A few years ago, I wrote an article called The Benefits of Group Coaching that explored the unique experience of the group coaching format. It was based on both academic research and my own experience facilitating coaching groups, and explored things like setting your own personal goals while working with a group, the advantage of a shared learning environment, and how unique role of the coach can differ in group coaching than in individual coaching.
Well, here we are a few years later and dozens of people having completed Live Well ADHD,the online group coaching workshop that I developed specifically for professionals with ADHD. When I set out to create this group, I did so knowing that it would offer very specific benefits to people that only group coaching can offer. I thought I knew what all of those benefits were. Based on feedback from past participants, I realize now that I was only aware of someof the benefits. As I read through the comments submitted after each workshop, I noticed some common themes in the remarks. People were having similar experiences even if they were in completely different workshop groups.
That’s when I realized that I needed to flesh this out more. I wanted to understand these themes in more detail, so I did what I often do… I sat down and did a deep analysis of the data, and then I wrote about the results so I could share it with you.
Based on the feedback provided by past Live Well ADHD participants, here are even more benefits to group coaching…
Access to New Resources
For each Live Well ADHD workshop, I ask the participants to bring in whatever books, websites, podcasts, and other tools or resources that have helped them manage their ADHD effectively. This means that every group brings in different resources and we all get to learn about new tools in that workshop. I have learned about tons of new resources, such as Jessica McCabe’s website How To ADD (which includes a fabulous TEDx talk that some Live Well ADHD participants have found especially inspirational). Here are some other resources that have been recommended in Live Well ADHD workshops:
ADD in Intimate Relationships by Daniel Amen
Smart But Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD by Thomas E. Brown
My Minutes – a popular personal time tracker app
The One You Feed – a podcast about feeding your good wolf
From a participant…
"Live Well ADHD was very beneficial in helping me with managing my ADHD & having a group to help support each other in the same journey. The workshop helped guide me to many other great resources available in living with my ADHD." - Cathie F., IT Administrator
Peer Support (aka the “It’s not just me” realization)
I knew that putting a bunch of people with ADHD together in a group would elicit empathy and mutual understanding. I didn’t expect to be surprised at how validated people felt by connecting with others who have experienced challenges living with ADHD. I approach my ADHD coaching from the perspective of “every story and every individual is unique.” While this is true, it is also true that there are common themes that most everybody with ADHD experiences. So a group of professionals with ADHD, many of whom feel they have to hide their diagnosis on a daily basis, spending 7 weeks learning about strategies, tools, and resources together is a powerful experience. Most participants at some point during the workshop have a moment where they express the sentiment, “You get me.” It’s more than being validated – it’s being seen and heard for exactly who you are. And it is a very empowering experience that helps each participant realize they are not the only person to be experiencing the struggles and conflicts of life with ADHD.
From a past participant…
"Our group sessions have helped me tremendously--not just with ideas and ways to do things--but it just ignites me internally and helps me feel empowered to push forward. It helps me see I am not alone nor are these unique issues nor am I bad person--these are normal thoughts/feelings ADHDers have--and it isn't hopeless! There are solutions and things to try! I have gotten a lot done in my personal and work life due to these sessions and I want to keep the momentum going!" ~Liz M., Network Engineer
A common trait for people with ADHD is to blame themselves for their ADHD traits or beat themselves up for mistakes. Part of the benefit of connecting with others who share similar struggles is hearing someone else tell a story that could have been yours. When you listen to another group member share an experience that you’ve had, you listen differently – usually with greater compassion and respect, and far less blame. You get to see, in the moment, the difference in how you treat someone else versus how you treat yourself. And it can serve as a pivotal learning moment for you. It provides you the opportunity to look in the mirror with the same compassion and respect that you offer the other group members. Over the 7 weeks, people have learned how to turn that compassion and respect inward to change how they treat themselves.
From a past participant…
"Live Well ADHD helped me be more compassionate towards myself and provided a great balance of education/information and interactive discussion. Casey is a wonderful facilitator with an engaging manner and a wealth of knowledge." - Paula S., Healthcare Consultant
I want to point out that my involvement is minimal in these benefits, and I am sharing them to showcase the power that a group of people coming together for one shared learning experience can hold. Each of these benefits stems from the interactions that participants have with one another – they develop out of the sense of trust and safety that a group coaching environment provides, and serve to expand the Live Well ADHD experience beyond what I can provide by myself. Based on the majority of the feedback I’ve received, Live Well ADHD is a powerful experience for participants. I hope you’ll consider joining us for the next workshop.
If you're interested in joining our next Live Well ADHD workshop, you can learn more about the program and register here.