Dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) & Work 9/98

-Mental Health Services

After reading your June 1997 column, I realized that I probably had Attention Deficit Disorder, and started getting treatment for it (psychotherapy and medicine). This has made a real difference as I am less restless and better able to stay focused. Unfortunately, though, I still forget crucial details, work in a very unorganized way, tend to focus on less important tasks before important ones, and in general, still get into some pretty big messes. If someone could just follow me around all day and keep me organized, I would do just fine. Obviously that can’t happen but do you have any other ideas?

While there is no simple or completely effective fix for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) — including the use of medicine and therapy — a new field has evolved of organizational and career “coaches.” Coaches work with all kinds of people who feel the need for assistance in organizing their lives and pursuing goals in a more directed manner. Additionally, some coaches specialize in helping those with ADD.

Although coaches cannot “follow you around” all day, many do their work by phone as needed, so that you can get closer to “real time” input than you can from a therapist. Along with strategies to better organize your work and home life, you might also be assisted and supported in identifying strengths and limitations, obtaining and reviewing relevant testing, and making longer range plans.

Career coaching is a still emerging field but LCL has assembled a working list of career/ADD coaches. We recommend first meeting with a staff clinician for an evaluation to confirm the nature of the problem and formulate a more comprehensive set of recommendations. You can also get information from a referral service provided by the International Coach Federation of New England, whose president can be reached at 978/692-4454.

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