My name is Victoria and I was lucky enough to have Karen coach me for several months this past year. Working with Karen was my first experience with a professional ADHD coach but over the course of a few sessions, I found myself asking How did I ever get along without a coach? I had seen psychiatrists in the past, and was even taking Adderall for period of several months, but nothing ever worked for the long term. The sessions with Karen were truly valuable in that I learned some important skills that I continue to employ in my daily life. Even though it has been a while since our last session, I still think of the tips she gave me in order to refocus myself and accomplish both simple tasks and larger projects. In the midst of our sessions, I began to write my Senior Honors Thesis at NYU, and there were so many moments when I heard Karen’s voice in my head and it helped me to stop myself from procrastinating and/or going off on tangents that were detrimental to my progress. I would notice I was doing something unproductive and I would stop, take a deep breath, restate my specific goal, and proceed from there. Even getting myself to sit down and begin this project, which seemed so unsurmountable, was aided by Karen’s suggestions of how to start chipping away at the task by beginning with the easiest, most simple things first. I gathered up my materials, which had been scattered in all kinds of bags and boxes and shelves and closets, and slowly began to get myself organized. Another initial step I took was actually just getting myself to the library and with Karen’s advice in mind, I tried really hard not to feel guilty if I didn’t conquer the world in one day, I tried to not allow my visions of failure to keep me from getting on the train and walking through the NYU Library doors. This was just a beginning, accomplishments that someone without ADHD might not even consider as accomplishments, but importantly it was ACTION and action spurred further action. It happened slowly at first, but repeating this action-oriented behavior eventually got the gears turning faster and faster. Just as Karen had foretold, I gradually got into a pattern of going to the library every day, even if it was for a couple hours at a time. With Karen’s advice in mind, I restrained myself from beating myself up about my work, regardless if I wrote a page or a paragraph. I realized through this experience that it was possible to cut down the time I spend criticizing myself and feeling anxious and defeated by simply being aware of the action and stopping it in it’s tracks. Karen’s voice really was in my head for most of the time I was writing my thesis until soon it became my own voice. And though I do not have experience with other coaches, I can confidently say that in my experience, I could not have gotten through the past few months of my life without Karen’s words of encouragement and without her expertise and insightful advice, I could not have overcome the crippling effects of ADHD and my graduation from NYU might have been delayed for perhaps yet another semester or another year. Thanks to Karen, I was able to tell my parents that I would finish my thesis by May 2008 and indeed I not only finished it on time but I received High Honors and the highest marks! And my parents, well, they were able to see me finally graduate in May 2008.
I’m truly grateful for Karen’s invaluable help! My success can be attributed at least in part to the work we did together. I’d recommend Karen to anyone who’s looking to grow.One of my biggest challenges was getting on a good work schedule and not procrastinating and Karen gave me some essential tools which helped me: 1) being realistic about my schedule and factoring in all I want to do into my work schedule and in that way find the day to do my work. I use this in the present and it is extremely helpful.2) getting started gaining momentum into a productive rhythm of work (often the hardest thing for me and working more efficiently getting more done.Using these tools and checking in weekly allowed me to accomplish my academic and personal goals. One of the greatest interventions that helped me was the offer to answer questions I had for my cooperating teacher at my teaching fieldwork site. I felt intimidated by her expectations and in “paralysis” in this situation. Karen consistently made herself available in real time, during these time sensitive “mini crises” which was immensely helpful. I grew to feeling a greater sense of empowerment and confidence.I highly recommend Karen as a coach because I always got practical, effective and supportive advice that truly helped me with real tools. Additionally, the weekly phone meeting helped me focus and involved troubleshooting and support when I truly needed it. The encouragement as well as the down to earth guidance were essential to my success in my Masters program and beyond. Overall, Karen gives so effortlessly and humbly it’s possible to miss just how important the advice you give is. She helped and did so graciously and has detailed guidelines and did so in an easygoing calm way. Priceless.Thank you!