Helping the ADD/ADHD Client See His or Her Role

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan/
Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan/

One of the biggest challenges is teaching a ADD/ADHD client about accountability. Scapegoating or it’s not my fault are commonly expressed in my office. Taking ownership and identifying our role in situations is a key to self-improvement.

One example comes from one of my newest clients. His first session was a blamefest on everyone in his life from his teachers to his parents. What made this process more difficult was that his parents were feeding into his situation. While I’m not saying there’s moments where a teacher may side against a child, I am saying that this shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If you can name many different examples, just look at the pattern…there’s a deeper issue.

With this same client, he would become extremely defensive and angry when his parents discussed some peer relationship concerns. This shows me that a client knows that his parents are correct and doesn’t want to hear the truth. Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth, but we have to learn from it. This particular client made poor choices with his friends and refused to admit that his friends were a horrible influence. They would blow him off regularly as well as steal his things. Discussing this problem was a major roadblock for our work. But it needs to be done regardless of his feelings.

My advice to anyone in this situation is stay the course. Stick to the topic and do not get off-topic. Creating conflict to avoid conflict is a regular strategy used by ADD and ADHD people, so do not get caught in this strategy.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit and I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at [email protected] or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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