ADHD Coaching

Hi - I'm Nicolle Griffin and I provide neurodiversity-affirming ADHD coaching.

Neurodiversity-affirming means that I understand ADHD and other neurodivergence to be natural differences in human development.
 
I do not see neurodivergent people as having intrinsic 'disorders', 'deficiencies' or 'conditions' that require 'treatment' or 'management'.

You are not broken.
You do not need to be fixed.

Coaching is for ADHD'ers who are coping with life more or less okay.

 

You do not need mental health treatment for anxiety, stress or depression, but you do want assistance better dealing with executive functioning for work or study or parenting. That is what an ADHD coach is for.

Neurodivergent people are differently wired

Neurodivergent (ND) people and neurotypical (NT) people have very different needs, strengths, and difficulties - we are just wired differently. If you like computer metaphors, it is like we each have a different human operating system.

 

And if you prefer animal metaphors, comparing neurotypical people to neurodivergent people is like comparing cheetahs and domestic cats - cheetahs are not 'better' cats - they are a completely different type of feline.

Not better, not worse, just different.

You wouldn't expect a cheetah to be able to force itself into the life of a domestic cat and be mentally healthy. And similarly,

You can't expect a neurodivergent person to force themselves into the life of a neurotypical person and be mentally healthy.

If you are neurodivergent, you will always be neurodivergent. Forcing yourself to act and function as though you are neurotypical is called 'masking'. Masking will make you exhausted, stressed and sick.

There is no medication, therapy, intervention, skill or strategy in the world that can turn you into a neurotypical person when you are not neurotypical.

 

And that's a good thing.

The human population needs all sorts of brains and neurotypes to survive, thrive and grow. A world full of neurotypical people might run efficiently, but...

Floral Arrangement 2

A world without Autistics, Dyslexics and ADHD'ers would be a world without creativity, invention and innovation.

 

The neurodivergent community is a community of people with big ideas and big plans. People who can be direct when communicating. Daydreamers and over-thinkers. People who can't and won't follow rules that don't make sense. Hyper-focusers who will pursue their passions and interests forgoing food, sleep and bathroom breaks. People who can see in pictures and imagine how things can be different. People with heightened senses who can detect risks and threats others cannot. Lateral and divergent thinking skills to be able to spontaneously generate new original ideas. People who can detect patterns that other people cannot. People who can laser focus on the important parts of a situation and ignore the rest.

These are our collective strengths.

Spending time with unsupportive neurotypical people who see your differences as 'disorders', 'problems' and 'symptoms'​ can make you stressed, exhausted and sick. And the same is true for attending appointments with unsupportive neurotypical psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and therapists...

Neurotypical Psychology says:

Work on your 'disorder'. You should try to improve your ADHD/Autistic/Dyslexic 'symptoms' by acting more like us. You need to stop offending and inconveniencing neurotypical people, because we find that rude, and therefore bad. We wrote down all the things that annoy us the most about you and your neuro-tribe. We call it the 'diagnostic criteria'. Let us help you correct your wrong thoughts, feelings and behaviours - and then you won't feel so stressed, anxious and depressed!     #neurotypicalgoals

Neurodivergent Psychology says:

Accept yourself - you don't have to try and pretend that you're neurotypical anymore. You are a complete person right here, right now - even with your difficulties. You will continue to experience stress, anxiety and low mood when you ignore your neurodivergent needs and force yourself to endure the neurotypical world without support. When you understand yourself better, you will know how to reduce and minimise neurotypical-induced stress. You will be able to make informed decisions about how to spend your time and what you need to look after yourself - in any situation.      #neurodivergentgoals 

Q: Why are neurotypical goals a problem?

A: Because we are not neurotypical.

What are neurotypical goals?

"Any goals that value or prioritize you acting like a neurotypical person".

Goals that aim for you to suppress or mask your neurodivergency are not good goals!

 

What makes a goal appropriate and worthwhile VS what makes a goal inappropriate or harmful depends on your needs - every neurodivergent person is different.

 

But to give you an idea of NT conversion therapy goals - here are some examples of goals that neurodivergent people may bring to therapy (consciously or without awareness) - as a result of years / decades / a lifetime of internalized shame about their neurodivergency.

  • ​Sit still in meetings/lectures/dull conversations without fidgeting or stimming and without getting bored, restless or falling asleep.

  • It's X o'clock - everyone else is focusing on their work / school work / dull housework chore right now - you need to focus and stay on task - don't let yourself get distracted.

  • Look people in the eye - it's rude not to look at people when you're talking.

  • You can't just say what you actually think - people will be offended. 

  • You need to spell, write, speak or move 'well' or 'the right way' - that's how everyone else does it, that's how you should do it too.
  • Why are you getting so upset? You're too sensitive! You need to learn not to be so emotional. 

  • You need to get out more. You need to go make lots of new friends.
  • You or your child take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to go to sleep? Have you tried a bedtime routine? You're clearly doing something wrong.
  • Why are you wasting so much time on the computer/phone/console/books? You should be out doing 9 different sports, hobbies and social activities a week - seize the day!

  • Your diet is very restricted. You need to learn to eat a wide variety of foods and textures. 

  • You need to be more organised. You just need to use a watch / clock / diary / calendar / to-do-list - it's easy - just write it down.

  • It's not that loud / bright / smelly / touchy / bad-tasting - toughen up. 

  • You just need to try harder, put in more consistent effort and take responsibility for yourself.

  • Oh, you'd like an assessment for neurodivergency? That's cool - you just need to call and speak to someone you don't know to make an appointment, then print these forms that we email/give/snail-mail to you, then fill them in, don't lose them, scan them and email back to us, or, remember to physically bring them to your appointment with you. And don't forget the appointment or arrive late!!

If you are good at detecting patterns in information (and I have a feeling you are...), you may notice that the kinds of goals that neurotypical people think are a valid and worthwhile use of our time..... are mostly goals focused around us being less annoying to them - or - just more like them. 

Appointments and Fees:

ADHD Coaching

Initial appointment:
$250.00 for 50 minutes

Subsequent appointments:
$220.00 for 50 minutes

 

If your GP assesses that you have an eligible "mental disorder" you may access Medicare rebates for mental health 'treatment'. If you do not need 'treatment' there are no Medicare rebates, but, you could use your private health insurance.

Some people I meet have been formally identified (read: diagnosed) as part of the neurodivergent community, and others strongly suspect they are and would like confirmation (read: assessment).

 

You don't need formal identification to access ADHD coaching, all are welcome. 

Our Values

At Very Helpful Chats we provide a service that values:

Kindness

Creativity

Connection

Evidence

Practicality