ADHD changes both of us. The partner with ADHD often feels that they can’t reliably deliver their intentions and is unhappy with how they deal with it and their partner’s expectations and disappointment. The partner without ADHD often feels that trying to address the issues in the relationship pushes them into a role they don’t want, and behaving in a way that they don’t feel is them, but without choice.
To begin to change this dynamic we need to approach the relationship with awareness, understanding, acceptance, shared experimentation, and collaborative adaptation.
Monica and Jonathan approach working with couples in the presence of ADHD by:
1. Awareness – in this case, identifying the emotional trigger situations
2. Understanding – how ADHD contributes via EF – in turn the solution
3. Acceptance – how both have changed, shared objectives, what can be corrected and what needs to be accommodated
4. Experiment – that to get something different we will need to create an experiment that will feel unnatural and even uncomfortable
5. Adapt – that every change will include failure at some point. Sustainable change (adaptation) comes from noticing the failure and learning opportunity for change, embracing it as something to be solved, and creating a new change.
Monica Hassall is an ADHD and Executive function Coach, from Australia. Her coaching journey started in 2012 when she and her husband Jonathan started ADHD Coach training and subsequently created “Connect ADHD Coaching” She presented at the International Conference for ADHD in 2018 and 2019 , and 2020 and 2021. She presented at the Australian ADHD Conference in 2019- on “The Fourth F- Fight, Flight Freeze, or …Fib?”. And also again in 2022. Monica’s work has been published in ADDitude magazine and also ATTENTION magazine. She runs a Live ADHD Parenting program as well as working with adults of all ages with ADHD. Monica’s goal is to curate knowledge to work closely with her clients incorporating information and practices from a variety of sources. These include the most current Neuroscience, Traditional philosophies, Eastern Teachings, Mindfulness and Coaching Principles.
Jonathan is an ADHD & Executive Function Coach and director of Connect ADHD Coaching, providing services internationally from Brisbane, Australia. His background includes psychiatric services and as Scientific Advisor for ADHD in the pharmaceutical industry. Jonathan trained as a an ADHD coach through the US and offers individual and group programs for people with ADHD. Jonathan is a regular speaker at national ADHD meetings in Australian and US. He is a board member of ADDA and a published author.
His focus includes the translation of relevant executive function theory to facilitate individuals with ADHD finding and embracing their “neuro-native” state supporting adaptation and realisation of potential.