Nonpharmacologic Strategies

ADHD Coaching

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adhd coaching is an emerging field that seeks to address the daily challenges of living with the disorder. An adhd coach helps patients learn how to manage daily life (eg, paying bills on time) in an organized, goal-oriented, and timely fashion. A coach accomplishes this by teaching adhd patients practical life skills and ways to initiate change in their daily lives.1

Coaches provide encouragement, recommendations, and feedback and teach practical techniques, such as reminders, questions, and calendar monitoring. They develop strategies to help patients address time management, eliminate clutter in the home or office, and become more effective in their personal and professional life.1

Skills a Patient May Acquire Through Coaching

Some of the life skills a patient may acquire through adhd coaching include1:

  • Teach tools/techniques to help improve goal setting
  • How to translate abstract goals into concrete actions
  • How to build motivation and use rewards effectively
  • Importance of Regular Contact With the Coach

Regular meetings—either in person, by phone, or by e-mail—are an essential part of the adhd coaching process. Interaction enables the coach to learn how adhd symptoms influence the daily life of the patient, enabling the coach to tailor his or her encouragement, recommendations, feedback, and practical techniques to address specific challenges faced by the patient.1

Patients Most Likely to Benefit From Coaching

Research suggests that adhd coaching may be beneficial for adults and possibly some teens with the disorder.2,3 Mature, motivated individuals who are ready, willing, and able to spend the time and energy necessary to create strategies for improving their behavior and who steadfastly adhere to those strategies may benefit from coaching.1

Caveats About adhd Coaching

Patients who are considering coaching should be informed of the following caveat: Coaching is not therapy. Coaches address the challenges of daily life—they focus on what, when, and how, not why. They are not trained to address psychiatric, emotional, or interpersonal challenges; these issues fall under the purview of mental health professionals.1


  1. National Resource Center on AD/HD. What We Know #18: Coaching for Adults With AD/HD. Landover, MD: Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; 2003. Published December 2003. Accessed March 14, 2013.
  2. Kubik JA. Efficacy of ADHD coaching for adults with ADHD. J Atten Disord. 2010;13(5):442-453.
  3. Sleeper-Triplett J. The effectiveness of coaching for children and teens with AD/HD. Pediatr Nurs. 2008;34(5):433-435.