The Role of Coaches and Support Groups
Although coaching, like therapy, revolves around talking, unlike therapy, coaching is aimed at helping adults develop practical, concrete tools for dealing with the challenges of the disorder. Instead of delving into the past for hidden reasons or motivations behind why you may behave the way you do, a coach focuses on the present.
If you have trouble starting projects, instead of exploring and analyzing the many reasons why you may avoid doing a specific job, a coach focuses on helping you develop specific strategies to eliminate procrastination, such as breaking a large task down into small bites and using visual cues and reminders to stay on track.
Gaining Insight Through Support Groups
Many ADHD adults avoid social situations and, as a result, become isolated and out of touch. Support groups can provide ADHD adults with a safe place to develop and practice social skills in a supportive, nonjudgmental, and caring environment.
By sharing their stories and learning that others share the same difficulties, ADHD adults can help overcome the feelings of isolation that often make them feel like social outcasts and build the supportive relationships they need to carry them through challenging times.
You'll get the best support from your group if you know the ground rules going in and understand that being part of a support group entails listening as well as talking. It's also very important to understand the structure of your support group and how it functions. Some groups combine casual socializing with collective sharing during the meeting, while others set aside opportunities to socialize and mingle before and/or after the official meeting.
Remember that an adult ADHD support group isn't an excuse to “let it all hang out,” but an opportunity to share mutual problems and build on your social skills in a supportive setting. Make sure your impulsivity doesn't cause you to chatter away without thinking and self-censoring, or that your hyperactivity doesn't leave you jumping into conversations before you're invited.
For best results, test the waters when you first join a support group before taking the plunge. Sit quietly and observe for the first few meetings before actively participating. Sharing too much about yourself may make you feel uncomfortable later, while sharing too little may make you seem indifferent or bored to others in the group.
Take your cues from others to find the right balance between talking and listening, but a good rule of thumb is to listen more than you talk and contribute only when you have something concrete and appropriate to say.
By joining a support group, you've made an unwritten agreement to listen as well as talk, and to view the support group as a tool for helping yourself as well as others gain insight and find solutions to adult ADHD-related challenges and problems.