In a clinical paper entitled Live Fast, Die Young? A Review on the Developmental Trajectories of ADHD Across the Lifespan, I was struck by the following assertion:

Scaffolding and support for people with ADHD is complex and specialized. One of the problems is that support is often offered for short periods, such as three months, but then they are on their own. Lifelong scaffolding and support may be required.

Understandably, a common question prospective clients have is, ‘how long will this take?’ meaning attaining the goals of ADHD coaching. When I hear this question, I tend to quote Barbara Luther of the ADHD Coach Academy, who states that our job, as ADHD Coaches, is to coach ourselves out of a job.

That said, in concurrence with the assertion above, I require a minimum of six months with private coaching clients. Why? Because in three months, you’ll develop some tools and new ideas…but you won’t have begun to change your habits and mental patterns in a permanent way.

Six months is long enough to mess around, try things, see what sticks, and come up with alternative solutions for what doesn’t. Honestly, the sweet spot for a private coaching stint in my practice tends to run between a year to a year and a half. In that time, clients will have created more ‘scaffolding,’ or voluntary structures as the article refers to, by which to manage themselves and start following through on things that they consider meaningful.

But make no mistake….part of graduating any modality, be it therapy or coaching…is in the actual changing of thoughts, behaviors, and external structures, aka scaffolding, including community and relationships. And that takes time.