How does the coaching process work for you?

I ask because I am very confused by my husband's coaching experience.  It has been nothing at all like I've expected it to be, and hubby just seems to go with whatever with no real goals for coaching, which I think makes it harder for everyone.  He has done 2 types of coaching now with 3 individuals and only the middle one made sense to me.

When he was first diagnosed something like 4 years ago, it was through the VA and his coaching experience was pretty much worthless.  I posted it about here at the time and even Melissa was amazed at how unhelpful it was.  Basically the VA assigns him a psych doctor who took care of meds and a psychologist to help him with 'coaching' because we requested it to help him undo years of poor coping skills.

This coach would talk to him and commiserate with him......which he LOVED!.....but he'd make suggestions for my husband to work on, my husband wouldn't do it and the response would be "yeah I didn't think you'd do it", then they'd laugh about it since his doctor understood him so well (likely being undiagnosed ADD himself) and he'd ask him to do something else for the next month.  It was supposed to be every 2 weeks but it quickly became every 3-4 and then 4-5 because of other things coming up mostly on the doctor's side.

My husband was in the grief stage here, we didn't know about that, and we mostly had a coach because Dr Hallowell suggested it.  I tried doing the 'policing' of the homework assignments and when that didn't work, we tried the more distant family member of his choice (his grandparents could have never done what Hallowell suggested due to age and not understanding what they were dealing with) and that was just as much of a failure.  The family member called and they basically commented on what he didn't get done and said 'you should do that' and it didn't happen.  Maybe nothing much would have worked at this point because he was still coming to terms with the diagnosis, but he didn't/couldn't explain that to anyone nor use it in his coaching to get help, so basically it was mostly wasted time.

I was sooooo excited about coaching at first but it quickly became a source of anger and frustration to me.  It involved about a 3 hour chunk of the day to drive over there, have the appt, and get home for what I considered to be no benefit.  When I asked him, he enjoyed the appts but didn't really see any benefit either.  We asked at the initial appt and my husband says he asked a few other times about involving me in the treatment, but the doctor  just kept saying he'd call me in at some point, but it didn't happen.  I would also get infuriated by the way the doctor would describe some very basic concept that I had mentioned to him no less than 10 times, any my husband would act like it was Einstein-level wisdom.  For example he held up a pen and said "you and your wife are having conflict because her standards for cleaning the house are here around the top of this pen while yours are down by the point.  What you really need to do is meet in the middle........waving a hand around the middle of the pen". 

When my husband presented this idea to me as some kind of breakthrough.......we had openly talked about this issue and were supposedly in agreement for more than 5 years at this point showing me this pen experiment, I honestly thought he was mocking it and laughed out loud.  He was offended because he'd thought that was helpful. 

Anyway he later told me that my negative attitude toward his coaching gave him a negative attitude about it, and it dropped off with him not really working with that coach at all.  This was at the height of my ADD frustration during the stagnant phase progress wise well after diagnosis......probably 1-1.5 years post diagnosis.

Around this time we attended an ADD conference and it seemed to give us what we both needed direction wise.  We learned what his coaching should be doing and so we applied to have him moved to a different VA satellite to take care of his ADD needs.  This took months and during that time we paid out of pocket for over the phone coaching through a site specializing in ADD.  We paid $77 a month and he could call up to 4 times a week and talk to various coaches.  He found 2 coaches he liked and called pretty regularly for several months.....pretty quickly stablilizing at about one time per week.  This coaching was very targetted as far as "what conflicts are you having in your life?"  "what are a couple practical things you can do to alleviate this conflict"?  "Try doing this"......and be questioned about it next time.

More than one person could be on a call and I think up to 4, and he said he learned as much from the other ppl's issues as his own. 

By the month we cancelled about 3-4 months in, he'd only called once for the entire month.  Things came up during his regular times, but we both agreed that paying for a service he didn't use was unworkable and he just stopped doing it once it wasn't new and shiny anymore.  I was nothing but supportive of his coaching experience this time because I wasn't going to be his reason/excuse for not doing well.  But I did honestly think this was his best coaching experience probably because of dealing with an expert as well as being able to call so often.  I think the weekly was by far the best for him.

Now that his coaching is again with a psychologist provided by the VA, I feel we are back in not much benefit land, but I have been trying to gently feel him out about how it is going from his view.  She involved me about a year ago after he saw her for about a year because she wanted to get my insight into his issues and homework.  She is not an ADD expert nor a coaching expert per se, but she's been extremely excited to fill this roll for him as she has an ADD son and knows how much help a coach can be.  She loves to research ideas and learn new things & he really seems to have a good raport with her.

I feel the coach is central to helping track ADD progress without the spouse having to be policing it and I feel everything about my husband is getting stagnant as far as progress and excitement level in all areas, and nothing seems to be addressing it.

He went to coaching was a rescheduled appt and like the last 3-4 appts, I have not been able to go.  His meds doctor says he wants me at every med appt and every coaching appt, but the scheduling just always doesn't work, esp when the doctor reschedules it like happened for today's appt which was supposed to be 2-3 weeks ago.  While his coach is open to me participating, has called me in a few times,  and sometimes asks me to send in status updates, she seems like she thinks his reality is his reality so it isn't vital for me to give a counterpoint with coaching like it is with meds.

Anyway, I asked him to please discuss consistency with the doctor today, so I was interested in how the appt went....he is always open to sharing how the appts go with me but lately even though I try to cover, I just feel disappointed that nothing seems to be progressing/helping.  I think because he has a psychologist, she is very interested in why he is the way he is and what the family dynamic is.  When I went in (after about a year of coaching) it really opened up a world of family chaos because he'd told her things like 'my parents weren't very involved in my life' but not the utter craziness of his mother's Bi Polar behavior or his sister's suicide attempts, etc etc.

Now she seems to continue asking what is going on first on a family-of-origin level, then on a relationship level, then on a work and spiritual level (because she apparently considers these his most important issues).  His family of origin has been going though a LOT since January....a couple deaths, a nasty divorce, and some seriously stressed out parents (they each lost a father).  The truth is that because of the way he was parented, he isn't that involved in the day-to-day of their lives.  They love each other, but they are all in their own worlds in some ways.  He says he tells her this, but I suspect that she feels this relationship is the key to everything.  He admits tha the expects something to reveal a big A-HA and be the key to all kinds of resolution.

If there is, GREAT, I hope he works out all his issues, but she is supposed to be COACHING!  We need him to learn tricks to remember things and ability to form new and better coping skills and habits.  And she asks every time how his sister's divorce is going.  The divorce is his sister's fault, but she was married to a creep, so honestly it is probably a good thing ultimately that has been gone about in a way that no one could approve of.  She is running around dating like a teenager and won't listen to anyone, so other than being involved with them for a recent funeral, he isn't even really speaking to his sister.

His parents are very upset about what she is doing and he is a main source of support to them, so for sure it is a source of extra stress and worry for him at times, but they have worked out a situation which should settle things for them, and we are involved in helping them move house, but other than that the worry is seriously downgraded.

Now if this was me, it would be a major point in our lives since we are very very involved in the day-to-day lives of my family who live right next to us; but his family lives hours away and since they weren't all that involved in understanding his life or issues, it just isn't a huge concern to either of us.

So I ask him to discuss consistency, and he does as his subject-of-the-day, and in an attempt to give her an example, he mentions how he even has trouble consistently marking on a worksheet the healthy habits he is working on (this is the worksheet where our blow money for the month is based on how many check marks of good eating choices). I get why he mentioned it because it sit on the fridge, it takes 5 seconds to put in your check marks, and he LOVES to get blow money, but 6 weeks in he has basically quit doing it at all.

But then they got off on a tangent and this is all they talked about.....consistency of check marks and how there shouldn't be more than 5 things he is working on to check off anyway.  These habits are things we've worked on for years so they should be second nature at this point and not be the things you are 'working on ' per se.

So the only thing that came from the appt is that we should revamp a worksheet which doesn't even list anything in the realm of the consistency that I was talking about.  I am talking about consistently finishing the "Married to Distraction" worksheet to work on our relationship, to work toward setting goals and moving forward as far as our spiritual goals, etc.

And we got.....revamp the worksheet.  Fine I can do that in 5 minutes tonight, but what does that have to do with anything anyway..........SOOO frustrated with the lack of practical help.  I honestly think he didn't even get the issue until I was angry that is as far as it went.  It wasn't until THEN that he realized that while what he talked about was definitely consistency, it wasn't important move-our-life-forward types of consistency.

I want to get him UNSTAGNATED not revamp a worksheet.

Are any of you having better/different coaching experiences?