As a social worker practising in Toronto, I work with people who have ADHD, and other adults who face a variety of barriers to employment. (For those interested, check my other website, www.vantagepointcareers.com). Because of my social work background, I bring a different focus to the area of career development, or career counselling.
Social workers are educated and trainined to help people understand and cope with their challenges – and we all have some! So, I decided to take that approach into my work with career counselling.
For adults with ADHD, understanding what your barrier is should not pose a problem. You have likely known since you were young that you had a type of disabilty that made school, and later paid work difficult. If you were lucky enough to pick a career well suited to ADHD, you already conquered one of the biggest barriers you migh have faced!
Career counselling for ADHD includes helping people understand the unique ways ADHD affects their work styles, productivity, and creative process. As you know, there is no clear cut career plan for an ADHD client – each person is uniquely different in terms of the way ADHD poses challenges, and indeed, what strengths in confers.
I have found that people with ADHD, like any other significant issue, have to go through a process of acceptance before they can become very comfortable talking about it in terms of their on the job performance. This is where working with a career counsellor trained in ADHD is very helpful.
Before any client begins to seek out interviews, or even dust off their resume, I like to work with them to be clear and confident about the impact of ADHD on their working lives. Today many workplaces have accomodations in place to support you. Researching your local job market – talkiong to people who work in H.R. is a good place to start. Often, magazine reviews of top companies will point out who has excellent HR policies in the area of disability.
Rather than think of ADHD as a hurdle to be overcome, work to see it as a way of describing how you behave in certain situations – and how you manage it – well.
For more information on workplace disability and accomodations, please contact me.
I offer both counselling and coaching services.
What does that mean?
As a counsellor, my background includes 15 years of clinical social work. I have provided counselling, or therapy, to individuals, couples and families. Counselling provides a holistic understanding of how ADHD affects the client. I help people look at their ADHD as a strength, but also as a challenge. We learn together how to compensate for the challenges. Counsellors provide advice and guidance. As well, I have training in areas such as treating depression and anxiety, common to people with ADHD.
For those looking for coaching services, I will provide you with assessment, goal setting, direction and follow through. I will ask you for your commitment, and help you stick to your plans. Coaching service can be like a “right hand” for any length of time you need it. It is less formal than counselling treatment, you set the agendas, and you advise me how you would like a coach to support you.
If you are looking for an ADHD coach or counsellor, do look into their credentials. Currently, ADHD can be well supported by counsellors trained in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.). Coaches need to be certified by the ICF, or working toward certification.
I have advanced training in cognitive behavioral therapy, and use it to help address clinical issues. My coaching skills are gained through the ADD Coach Academy, where I am training toward ICF accreditation. Please feel free to contact me to learn more about my background.
Treatment of ADHD involves what is called a multi-modal
approach. Whether it is for a child with ADHD or an adult with ADHD, effective
management of symptoms should include behavioral interventions, medical
interventions and educational/workplace interventions.
We have known for decades that the first-line, effective
medical treatment for ADHD is medication. Patients have very effective response
rates to stimulants, some to non-stimulants, and others sometimes to
anti-depressants prescribed specifically for ADHD.
Psychological treatment can be helpful to both the child and
the parents. The most researched, “evidence-based” is behavioral therapy. This
may be helpful for the older child, but more and more, it is recommended that
the parent of the child with ADHD receive the behavioral coaching – to then act
as their child’s “frontal lobes.” Additional psychological support can be
needed if the child has co-morbid (meaning simultaneous) disorders, such as anxiety or depression.
Finally, the third area requiring action is in the school system for a
child with ADHD, or in the workplace for an adult with ADHD. While a child is
developing executive function skills, it is necessary to build a short term
safety net – putting structures and supports in place in the classroom to
enhance the student’s strengths and compensate for his/her weaknesses. For an
adult with ADHD, paying attention to the workplace structure, routines and
“fit” is essential.
Treatment of ADHD requires this holistic approach, and
therefore, a number of support people to assist the child/family.
Either in person, over the phone or online, I provide ADHD coaching and
evidence-based counselling. Contact me to discuss how I can help you address all
these areas effectively, and coordinate your team of experts.
From a single-session consulation to a series of planned coaching sessions, let me help you organize an integrated treament approach to managing ADHD.