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I have been working with clients since 2005. I received my official ADD Coaching certification at the end of 2007 from the ADD Coaching Academy (http://www.addca.com). As of April 2008, the ADDCA Coaching program was the first recognized ADHD certification course worldwide by the ICF (International Coaching Federation).
I was officially diagnosed with ADD in December of 2002 when I was 31 years old. Like most others, when diagnosed I had the initial reaction of confusion, anger, but mostly I felt as sense of relief. Finally I had a huge piece that seemed missing from the unfinished puzzle in my life. My life wasn’t bad by any means, but there was always something missing and I could never put my finger on it. I had a very successful career in the broadcasting industry, but growing up I always had an interest in Psychology and working with people in some capacity, especially with kids. I worked at summer camps for 10 summers from 1987 - 96. I always enjoyed working with the kids and had a great rapport with the campers and staff, and intended on following this experience with continuing to work with, and help people in some professional capacity.
I got by in high school, and eventually got into University and I was excited because I knew I wanted to major in Psychology and continue down that path. BUT, I hit a huge snag on my road to doing this. It seemed all the years of simply getting by in school, and last minute preparation before exams, caught up with me and my marks suffered. I was overwhelmed to say the least and I saw the only goal I had slipping away and I felt jaded and eventually dropped out. I was always confused how this happened. I’m an intelligent guy, and knew what I wanted to do, but couldn’t seem to overcome the difficulties to make it happen. Even if I graduated, my marks were nowhere near to being close that any grad school would even look or consider me in their program. Fortunately, I lucked out and found something else I enjoyed doing, working in the media, and eventually worked in the broadcasting industry as a television producer and I adapted very well to this, and to this day still am going strong.
However, this all changed in December of 2002 when I found out I have ADD. Things started to make sense in many areas where I was confused in the past, especially on why I never followed through on what I wanted to do originally in University. Now I was on medication for my ADD, and the door that closed 10 years earlier suddenly opened again. But I was 31, not 21. I had to support both my wife and me. Going back to school didn’t seem like a feasible option. But I was determined and I had to somehow find a way to shift this limiting belief I had from “it’s too late,” and change it to believing that there had to be some way I could do something in this capacity. I at least had to explore what options I had regarding getting back into a field where I could work with people and help them move forward in some way. I then shifted my focus and decided to start learning all I could about ADHD. I could now read and keep my mind focused that it wasn’t the same ordeal as it was when I was in school. I read around 10 books on the subject, and eventually found out about coaching as a profession.
But, I didn’t want to just coach. I wanted to emphasize and focus on ADD specifically. I hired a coach of my own to help get me started, and to get me better organized while I was still balancing my career and training to become a coach, in addition to working through various other challenges that mostly stemmed back to living without the knowledge that I had ADD.
My coach really helped me stay on track, especially during those times when I got overwhelmed. In addition I soon came to the realization that even though the medication I was on helped a lot, it really did nothing to get me going. I was still the one who had to get myself in gear, but the medication definitely helped smooth out certain areas that got in the way in the past. The greatest thing I learned while being coached was that when my goals were clear, my ADD served as my greatest asset. Even though I still enjoyed my work in TV, my passion for this work was now becoming a reachable goal, and this time I wasn’t going to let it pass me by.
Today I'm working as an ADD Coach. I knew I’d be really good at this. It’s an ever-evolving experience and so far it’s been fantastic. It’s great knowing that I can help others strive for what they want to achieve and to overcome the barriers of their own ADD. The real expertise I have comes from having ADD as well, and that’s what sets me apart from the other generic coaches I've encountered. Even though I have the formal coach training, it's my personal experience of having ADD that will serve any potential clients for the better. On many levels I know first hand exactly what they are going through, and with that, I also know the possibilities when overcoming these obstacles, and how fantastic that can be.
It's my privilege to be involved in the process of helping to move my clients forward in what they’re trying to achieve. It’s my passion for this work, and the fact that it took me so long to get here that helps me appreciate the opportunities to come when working with others who are experiencing similar ADD challenges that I went through as well not long ago.
I could say I’m lucky, but the truth is that once I found out about my own ADD, that through commitment and consistent hard work, I made this happen! The best choice I made was by not overwhelming myself and trying to do this all on my own. I took a chance and chose to work with someone who had more experience in dealing with ADD than I did, rather than trying to “re-invent the wheel” and do it all on my own.
I look forward to coaching others through their ADD challenges, and especially the possibility of having the same positive impact on them, that my coach had with me.
Ari Petroff, ACG
ADD / ADHD Coach 416-560-6409 firstname.lastname@example.org Serving: Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, North York, Downsview, Scarborough, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Canada and the United States
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