What is “Couples Coaching”?

Many of my clients who have ADD have exasperated spouses who are upset with them about starting too many projects and finishing too few, interrupting mid sentence, being late, losing keys, cell phone, etc.… I’m sure you can add to this list.

When I suggest the option of couple’s coaching to them, they’re surprised. Couple’s coaching is a relatively new offering for couples struggling with the affects of ADD or ADHD in the family. Couples’ coaching has similarities to, but is quite different from couples counseling, marriage counseling, and psychotherapy.

A traditional coach will work with you or your spouse. A couple’s coach works with you and your spouse. This person is not a life coach, and may or may not be an ADD implementation coach. Couples’ coaches that I recommend have a deep knowledge of relationships, ADD and ADHD, and some training in family work.

Many issues that couples contend with are completely unrelated to ADD. Expectations, communication styles, different ways of figuring things out, needs for intimacy and connection, and money can all create challenges to smooth and comfortable relating. Then there are the ADD-related issues like disorganization, losing focus, clutter, a different sense of time, starting and not completing tasks, impulsive communication and/or decision making… You get the idea.

Partners (non-ADD or less ADD) may contact the coach because they are frustrated or annoyed. People struggling with ADD symptoms may also initiate the call because they really want to please their partners, are trying very hard to make things work better, don’t want to have conflicts, and want to make positive lasting changes.

Coaching can be helpful for both newlyweds and couples who have been together 25 (or 45) years.

At Cerulli and Associates, we have a variety of professionals, including a couple’s coach; Jay Livingston does executive coaching and ADHD coaching, alongside his skillful couples coaching. He and I work closely, sometimes seeing couples together. I’ve found this blending of skills and approaches to work really well for certain couples.