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ADHD Alive Foundations

I will ask all new clients to read this page to find out more about where I come from, what I believe in, and get a sense for how we will work together. If this resonates with you, I'd love to know.

My philosophy on the origins of ADHD

There are a few theories on the origins of ADHD. The most prevalent are 1) The "nature" theory that ADHD is purely biological and results from a lack of dopamine production or absorption. 2) that it is more of a "nurture" theory that it is caused by the environment.

 

I subscribe to the nurture theory that Dr. Gabor Mate writes about in his book Scattered Minds. This attributes ADHD and many spectrum disorders to being survival mechanisms developed very early in life.

 

I also believe that there is room for ADHD to be caused by a pure biological deficit in the ability to either produce or absorb Serotonin and/ or Dopamine. I do not believe this is the majority of cases. The main focus of my coaching support is for those whose ADHD was formed as a result of early childhood trauma.

What does this mean? Our time together is going to be not only giving you skills to manage your ADHD, but also healing through the help of meditation, mindfulness, visualization, breathwork and other somatic practices. 

We know that nervous systems and brains go through multiple stages of development from birth to around 15 years old (Piaget's Cognitive Stages of Development, and multiple other studies on formation of brain and nervous systems.) During that time, our nervous system and brains are wired for life: pathways form, attachments are founded, and beliefs, behavior and personality are a result. 

Those of us who were born into an environment where parents were not emotionally regulated were confronted with the realities that are correlated with emotional dis-regulation in parents: fighting, yelling, physical abuse, abandonment, depression, anxiety, lack of consistent caregiving, and more.

As an infant, our nervous systems and brains only know survival. When we are helpless, totally at the mercy of our caregivers and we feel this level of emotional dis-regulation from our environment and caregivers, we develop with hyper-vigilance as the norm: our brains and nervous systems are wired to be on high alert for threat, danger, and ready in fight or flight mode. This comes with a high adrenal load: cortisol and adrenaline are always at the ready to help us get out of dodge if a threat presents itself, and when you're a helpless infant, anything can be a threat.

Once this hyper-vigilant wiring is in place, we are wired to scan our environments with our eyes, brains and nervous systems (feelings, energies) to detect threats. This hyper-vigilant state means that both our brains are in a state of over-activity and our adrenal system has a higher baseline. For some, this could result in a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or higher than "normal" anxiety. For some this may lead to hyperactivity, where we need to exhaust ourselves through physical activity. Women, who are adept at multi-tasking anyway, do a million things to pre-occupy ourselves so that we don't have to sit for too long and hear the thoughts of dangerous things that could be happening. We go. We drive. We conquer. We control and direct. Many result to numbing these feelings with things like food, alcohol, entertainment, co-dependent relationships, hobbies and more. 

 

This keeps us feeling safe. This is all in an effort to survive. 

The reason I am here, offering support as a coach for ADHD and offshoots (GAD, HSP) is because I believe that we can retrain our brains and nervous systems; I've done it, and I know many others who have done it. It's hard work. It's not always fun. It can be really scary; but coming out the other side as a happier, lighter, calmer and gentler person... it's worth every second of the work it took.

My Coaching Principles

1. We all deserve to be infinitely happy - I am here to show you the bright spots, open doors, and abundance available to you.

2. We are all doing the best we can with what we have in any given moment

3. You have all of your own answers; I am here to help you find them

4. You can't go somewhere you've never been doing the same things you've always done

5. I can't coach someone past a point I haven't gone myself

Our Partnership in Coaching

The journey before you is one of understanding, integration and learning to THRIVE. 

We will work together to understand your unique abilities and tailor plans together that include various modalities across psychology, mindfulness and somatic therapy.

We start by learning what is ADHD? What are all of the ways it can show up? Then, we will build your unique neurodivergent blueprint: this is what your ADHD looks like and feel like to you, so you can express that to others. Then, we dive in to understanding how your mind + body work together, or sometimes don't.

 

You will walk away from our time together with not only a plan, but already practicing the plan of thriving, including nervous system therapies, communication coaching, home & school routines and tools, breathwork, mindfulness practices, journaling and even yoga. 

For parents and families, I help you to understand what is happening with your neurodivergent star, how to support them, hold accountable, and work with them to build the safe spaces they need to thrive. 

This work extends well beyond the current moment - you will be building life-long tools and skills, turning your neurodivergence into the fuel for your success in life; whether that's at school, work, home or in your relationships.

For this to work, it has to be a partnership. I am here to support,  but I cannot do this alone. Thriving happens after vulnerability, trust, compassion, speaking truth, and accountability for doing "the work" happens. These are statements of our time inside of the walls of a session and outside of those walls. The work does not only happen when we are together; in fact, most of it happens outside of that time. There is homework. There is deep reflection. There are scary tigers that once confronted turn out to be puppies. That work is critical for growth, rewiring and thriving. I am here to support the entire way, but the work comes from you. This is definitely one of those times that what you get out is a direct result of what you put in.

My Comittment to You

  • I will always lead with kindness 

  • Your life is unique and I will treat you with a customized approach 

  • You will leave every session with a tool, practice or go-do

  • Everything we talk about is confidential

  • If I don't know the answer, I will find someone who does  

  • I will not keep you here longer than you need to be - we might elevate our work together if you are ready to graduate.

  • I am always open to feedback

Coaching & Therapy

Therapy and Coaching both have their function in our lives. 

Therapy is focused on looking back to what happened, often childhood/parent focused, and deciphering how that has impacted your life today. Therapy also helps you process and heal specific experiences, if needed, through modalities like EMDR, Lifespan Integration and other cognitive therapies. It is primarily focused on the brain. 

Coaching is about looking forward. It's about taking who you are today and realizing your full potential to meet and exceed your goals. I am currently in training to become a Certified Somatic Integrative Trauma Therapist, so I can help with healing trauma that is based in the nervous system. 

There may be times when I suggest to certain clients that you see a therapist either before or in combination with coaching in order to process something that will inhibit your ability to move forward wholly and to the ultimate level of effectiveness. 

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