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Becoming A Coach: My Journey

I have put a little post together to tell you about the path I took to become an ADHD Coach, in the hope it helps when trying to decide what the best route is for you.


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So you are thinking of becoming a Coach? Well the first thing I want you to know, is that Coaching has changed my life, first as a Client, and then as the Coach. I became a coach, because my experience in the clients seat was incredibly transformative. It was predominately in relation to my ADHD, and I went from feeling like something was missing to leading from my strengths. I wanted other ADHDers to have the same experience. As a Coach, I have the honour of witnessing my clients change their lives according to their own needs.


Coaching while on the road.

Claire Twomey
Becoming A Coach

Coaching is a journey of discovery in search of your true authentic self. On this adventure the travellers must be brave, fearless and ready to work. All assumptions and expectations must be left at the starting point, because the journey could take you somewhere you have never been before, a place far beyond anything you could have ever imagined.


Below I have written down the details of my entire journey, as I get asked a lot about how I became a coach, what path I took and what my experience was.


Step #1: Experience Coaching as a Client


In 2016 I started my Coaching Journey in the clients chair. I worked with my Coach for about 2 years, rewiring and reframing the way I saw myself and the way I looked at the world. I completely unlearned everything I had been taught by neurotypicals, and relearned how I needed to do things according to my neurodivergent brain.


When you are holding space for someone, expecting them to have the ability to reflect on themselves, put in the hard work and change the fundamentals, I really believe that as a coach we need to be able to not only model this, but have a deep understanding of what it takes.


When you are bringing someone through something, it is advisable that you have been through it yourself, this offers great comfort to the client, and creates connection, as the clients know they are sat in front of someone who really gets it.


There is also the possibility that you may experience your own personal triggers and parallel processes from time to time. You may even get new insights and understandings of yourself and your own personal journey based on your clients learning, and therefore you need to be equipped on how to best manage this.



Step #2: Professional Coaching Course


In 2019 I started my coach training journey with an organisation called Coaching Development. This was an in-person training that completely changed my life. Ailbhe Harrington was the lead facilitator and for five months, once a month I would travel to Portlaoise and immerse myself in four days of training, learning how not to tell people what to do.

Aspire Coach Training

Ailbhe has since gone on to develop her own Coach Training organisation and I would highly recommend working with her and her team. Click the image to visit her website.



"Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their growth." – John Whitmore

Step #3: ADHD Coaching Education


Half way through 2020 I participated in the Coaching Education modules delivered by the ADD Coaching Academy based in New York. Unfortunately, I did not travel to NY for this, however it was handy to be able to study online. I completed the 'Simply ADHD' and 'Personal Transformation' modules. This, coupled with my previous coach training, providing with enough expertise to call myself a 'Professional Coach Specialising in ADHD'.


Due to my previous coach training, I was not required to complete ADDCA's Basic Coaching Skills Course and was able to start with the Advanced Programme. Although, if money was no issue, I would return to complete it as an add on, because the experience, knowledge & skill at ADDCA is phenomenal, not to mention benefiting from the coaching experience of its facilitators.


ADDCA

ADDCA have a regular Q&A session online that you can attend to learn more about their programmes, and to determine which pathway is best for you. Click on the image to visit their website.



Step #4: Advanced ADHD Coaching


Throughout the next year I worked with clients on a one-to-one and group basis, building my hours of experience. In 2021, I began the Professional Advanced Coaching pathway with ADDCA. This was a 7 month process, meeting online twice a week.


Upon reflection I am really glad that I had taken the time to gain some experience before completing the Advanced Programme. It meant that I had the space to acquire new learning and apply the skills and insights to my coaching practice. It really deepened my understanding of the process for ADHDers, and provided me with more to offer my clients.


You can of course complete the Basic and Advanced course back to back. When you complete ADDCA's Basic course, after reaching certain coaching hours and mentor hours, and your coaching skills meet required competencies then you can apply for the AACC certification. When you complete the Advanced training course, you will be required to have completed more coaching/mentor hours and hand in a final project. When your coaching skills meet the advanced competencies, you will be able to apply for ACCG certification.


Step #5: Coaching Accreditation


Certifications and credentialing processes are incredibly important to me for many different reasons, probably because I'm competitive and there's great dopamine involved, but mainly because my previous experience in education wasn't successful or fulfilling.


ICF

ICF (International Coaching Federation) has 3 step process. Completing this process assures your clients that your practice is of a high ethical standard, is in adherence with professional guidelines.


The table below displays ICF credentialing process and the requirements to meet them.

​Level

Credential

Title

Client Hours

Training Hours

1

ACC

Associate

​100

​60

2

PCC

​Professional

​500

125

3

MCC

​Master

​2,500

200


PAAC

I have also worked with PAAC, the Professional Association of ADHD coaches. They also have a 3 stage certification process.



The table below displays PAAC credentialing process and the requirements to meet them.

Level

Credential

Title

Coaching Ability

1

CPAC

​Certified

​Basic

​2

PCAC

​Professional

​Mature

3

MCAC

Master

​Masterful


Please Remember:

This is my journey, and the only one I took at that. So I know that it was the right one for me, and I have a positivity bias! This does not mean that you have take the same path, but I hope learning about mine will at least help you make your decision.

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