What kind of experiences are people having with the online coaches

I am trying to figure out what type of coaching or counseling would be the best for me and I would

appreciate any information or personal experiences any one has had.

We had a good experience with online coaching

When my husband first suspected his diagnosis (he was the first to suspect), we both did a lot of research on AD/HD and we were both decided that we wanted to try some form of coaching.  The doctor who diagnosed him and prescribed his meds (initially Ritalin and eventually Adderall) said he'd refer him to a psychologist for coaching but that we was sure insurance wouldn't cover more than a once every 2 week visit.  That sounded fine to us going in, but it never really was more often than once every 3 weeks and my husband would forget appts and it would take between 1-3 months to get him back into the rotation. 

This coach was great for sympathizing with hubby (most probably because we suspect he had ADD himself), so hubby really liked his visits, but they really didn't accomplish much of anything.  The doctor would make suggestions, hubby wouldn't really follow through on them or would for the first week or so and then when he didnt' see the doctor for 4 weeks, he'd long since forgotten what he was supposed to be working on.  So I found this to be VERY frustrating and in return my negative attitude about his coaching seemed to cause him to take it less seriously.  We tried to supplement with a family member coaching (similar to what is described in Driven to Distraction), but they were so hit and miss that it was ineffective also.

This poor experience with coaching also occurred during my husband's "mourning period" over his diagnosis, which neither of us really expected or knew how to handle since he couldn't tell me what was going on with him and I was just going on his actions, or lack thereof.  This was probably the height of our frustration levels and the point wher eI found this website.  A few months later we attended a virtual AD/HD conference in the fall of '09, and we really felt effective coaching was one of the missing pieces of our puzzle.

Hubby filed to be transferred to a different psychologist and this was probably a 4-6 month process to get in place.  During this time we went with online group coaching which cost us around $80 per month for unlimited calls.  We chose this because we had to pay out-of-pocket for it and this way he could try some different therapists and call in to any he found helpful.  Things I loved about it:  It was weekly, so it really seemed to keep him on track.  Also there was the ability to call 4 different days during the week, so even though he tried several and stuck to the one he liked best most of the time, if he was having a bad day or was feeling particularly stuck, he had the ability to call that day to get help.  The coaches were actual specialists in AD/HD and really seemed to be able to put things in a way that motivated him.  Also, the part I expected to find most negative which is that 4 or 5 ppl would be on a call together and each person would get around 15 minutes each, worked well for him because he heard about other ppl's issues and the suggestions for them and he said it was helpful to him also.  In some cases he hadn't connected that behavior with AD/HD or he found a way to apply info directed at one person's behavior, which he didn't have, to another one that he did.

 

The biggest negative about online coaching is that it isn't face to face, so it is hard to form a relationship with your coach & we don't have that much free time, so generally he had one GOOD time to call during the week and one that was OK as far as his work schedule.  Cue things coming up during his call times, and he hadn't called AT ALL in 3 weeks just before we cancelled.  That was a frustration to me since if he doesn't have an outside coach, it kinda makes the mate the de facto coach which is definitely not the best option.

Right around this time, fortunately, insurance came through for us again and he was assigned to a new coach.  This psychologist also was not an AD/HD specialist, per se, but she has a teenage ADDer which in my opinion makes a parent who's researching and trying to help their child somewhat *expert* on it's own.   Add in her background in therapy, and she's been great.  She was fascinated by the idea of the coaching process and has done a lot of research on how she could help my husband in the best way.  She's tried numerous things (like assigning him to track his time for a week and really see where it is going) and she holds him accountable if he doesn't do his work or does it only halfway--which is something our initial coach didn't do.

She's discovering that she has to do things somewhat differently with hubby, so she seems to be trying a new direction.  I think he's been with her about 7-8 months, and he came home from his last appt saying they spent the entire hour testing and answering questions.  He said she'd done a bunch of research to discover how to find out exactly which areas are his weakest.  I suspect she'd been coming up against his lack of self-analysis  & probably was realizing that "I don't know" seems to be his most frequent answer to a straighforward question, so she is trying to come around a different way to reveal where he struggles most. His follow up appt is today, and we are both curious to see how it goes.

 

My biggest question about coaching is that lots of questions he's been asked (esp by the first coach), he says he kept telling him that he'd get a more accurate answer if he asked me.  I was fully prepared to be involved in his coaching and I guess somewhat expected to be involved, but hubby kept being told that they had to work from where he was and what he was thinking and that at this point my thoughts were immaterial.  Original coach kept saying he'd probably involve me later.  So far I don't think this therapist has mentioned involving me.  I'd have thought the mate would be a key part of keeping the plan on track especially if there would be 2-3 weeks between visits.  Maybe I will ask hubby to ask if there is anything I can be doing to help the situation.


Curious to know if any other mates are directly involved in coaching.  I mean hubby tells me what they are working on and what his homework is supposed to be, but it is fairly general info rather than anything specific.

Coaching

I'm an add coach, with specific ADHD coach training and it was suggested that when working with clients to get the perspective of family members since it is common for adder's to be challenged in self observation. Aspen, it sounds like you have someone with your husbands best interest at heart, don't be afraid to offer your view to her. I have a feeling she will appreciate it.

Online coaching

Hi Norm, I'm an ADHD coach, I do in person, Skype and phone coaching. When looking for someone to work with I would suggest that you think of what things you want to work on and the type of person you work best with. Most coaches offer a complimentary first session to discuss these types of things and do some coaching to get a feel for what it would be like to work with them. Counselors may do the same. There are many people out there who don't really understand ADHD, so don't be afraid to ask questions about their view of adhd. Good luck in your search and a tip from a fellow adhder- don't worry about finding the perfect person on the first try. Each person you come into contact with teaches you something. Eventually you will find the perfect person for you. Sounds like you've learned the first lesson- two heads is better than one :)