“The worst part of ADHD is not knowing that you have it, but there are great solutions and concrete strategies for working with it.”
What was your path to becoming a coach? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I love being with people — talking with them, connecting, teaching, and helping them succeed. Bolstered by a degree in psychology, my 20-year career in media broadcasting sales, mentoring, training, and new business development provided me with a wealth of experience and insights that continue to help me every day. I’ve always been intrigued by human behavior and the unconscious: how we impact one another and navigate this world of ours. I learned about coaching almost 20 years ago and knew it was the right path for me. Rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, coaching is all about getting sustainable and meaningful results and living in solutions. My own experience in therapy and life have taught me that difficult experiences are gifts and guides for change. With the right support, we can grow and thrive in seemingly insurmountable situations.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I, too, am an adult with ADHD and language processing issues. I'm passionate about helping people increase their own productivity and sense of fulfillment. I've experienced the challenges, confusion, and shame that we carry firsthand, and understand the struggle of managing high performance in an interruption-driven world. The difference between me and my clients is that I am just a bit further ahead in working with solutions. I've developed a 7-step process called Intentions Into Action, which helps clients get unblocked, unfrustrated, and refocused. Together, we identify obstacles, get clear on the big picture, and find simple solutions to complex challenges, bridging the gap between your ability and performance. I've been told that my no-nonsense, practical, laser-focused, and, above all, non-judgmental approach provides a safe haven and structure in which to grow and thrive.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy what would they be and why?
The first book that exposed me to the world of ADHD, formerly known as ADD, was "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!" by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. It was the classic self-help book for adults with ADD, originally published in 1993. A therapist I was seeing at the time recommended it to me and the floodgates opened. After I finished it, I felt compelled to learn everything I could about ADD. Coupled with "Driven To Distraction," the seminal work by Drs. Hallowell and Ratey, it showed me that there was nothing wrong with me, that it was simply about brain wiring and body chemistry. The more I read and learned, the more empowered I felt to not only help myself, but to help others. I learned that the worst part of having ADD is not knowing that you have it.
Why is understanding Adult ADHD so important, and how common is it?
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) presents a huge and often overlooked problem in the workplace. Nearly 10 million people don't even know they have it. One of them may work with you, or may even be you. Undiagnosed ADHD can lead to unexplained absences, difficulty carrying out assigned tasks, and inconsistent performance. Studies have shown that resultant lost productivity, medical costs, and retraining costs us billions of dollars annually. ADHD onsets in childhood and nearly half of all children with ADHD continue to meet the criteria for the disorder into adulthood. An estimated 4–5% of the adult population in the US has ADHD, yet 80% of cases go undiagnosed and untreated. The worst part of ADHD is not knowing that you have it, but there are great solutions and concrete strategies for working with it. Just reach out — help is much closer than you think.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
Aside from access and economics, a big barrier to care is what I refer to as self-sufficiency — the "I'm okay, I'm fine" syndrome. Seeking help is often interpreted as a weakness, rather than a strength. I've heard it said that the three most difficult words to utter are "I need help." Somewhere along the way, we were given the message that we're supposed to figure things out on our own. I’m happy that mental health care has champions today like Alma. We can all do our part to change the perception and enable more people to comfortably and safely reach out so they no longer have to suffer.
“I've been told that my no-nonsense, practical, laser-focused, and, above all, non-judgmental approach provides a safe haven and structure in which to grow and thrive.”