Connection and Community: ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability Groups
Mark Katz, PhD
EXPERTS often cite the difficulties adults with ADHD have in consistently executing the behaviors necessary to organize, plan, and manage their day-to-day lives. It’s as though they experience a disconnect between their intentions and their actions. The results can be disheartening, if not demoralizing. How can adults who struggle in this way learn to execute more consistently, and in the process also enjoy a significantly improved quality of life? Eric Tivers, LCSW, feels one answer might be his ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability Groups (ArC).
This innovative coaching model is comprised of several components, all working in conjunction to help participants achieve their desired outcomes: a ten-week online coaching group, twice weekly four-member accountability teams, and access to Adult Study Halls that provide participants with a virtual body double. Upon completion, they can join an online community of ArC alumni that offers continued long-term support plus access to weekly group coaching sessions.
Participants meet for one hour via online video conferencing three times per week, for ten weeks. Groups consist of twelve individuals with ADHD, a group facilitator (Tivers), and two peer mentors who also have ADHD and have successfully completed the group themselves. Participants can join from anywhere in the world with access to a high-speed internet connection.
New topics are introduced each week, providing tools and strategies that target common areas of challenge for those with ADHD, such as time blindness, organization, and prioritization. Particular attention is given to help participants learn how to plan for the day, week, month, quarter, and year. Topics important to the long-term health-related needs of adults with ADHD, such as sleep and exercise, are included. Other quality of life issues, such as self-care and self-acceptance, are also addressed.
Mastermind Sessions are a key component of the ArC groups; six of these are held within the course of the ten-week cycle. Two group members are each given thirty minutes to harness the collective wisdom of the group and receive targeted feedback around a specific personal challenge. These sessions are based on the work of Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich. Says Tivers, “Mastermind Sessions are a powerful way for people to receive help and to also let them see they’re not alone.”
Accountability teams and Adult Study Halls
Four-person accountability teams meet online twice weekly for thirty minutes. For increased accountability throughout the day, team members also check in three times per day using a group messaging app. During check-ins, they share updates about their daily goals. Each accountability team is supported by alumni peer mentors who have successfully completed the ten-week program and were trained by Tivers to provide additional support and to assist him.
Through Adult Study Halls, participants can access a body double on video. During the first week of group, Tivers facilitates the group’s first ASH. Afterward, they can join a dedicated Zoom Room for ASH 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While members can hop into ASH anytime, there are four scheduled times throughout the week when ASH is proctored by alumni. “ASH is a great place where people can work on things that are ‘im-bor-tant.’ Those are things that may be boring but are important,” says Tivers.
The ArC Alumni community
After completing the program, those seeking additional support can join a membership community of fellow ArC alumni. Tivers provides the alumni community with weekly online group coaching and planning sessions. “The ADHD reWired Alumni community offers members not just community support,” says Tivers, “but continued encouragement, accountability, and connection with other members who also value and support each other in a safe and welcoming space.”
The cost of the ten-week program typically runs $1,499; a six-month payment option is available through PayPal. A separate monthly fee of $39.00 is charged to those wishing to join the ArC Alumni community, where members can continue getting support with weekly group coaching sessions, adult study halls, monthly webinars, and monthly happy hours. “Monthly happy hours are all about making time for play and connection,” says Tivers. “We gather in an online meeting room just to hang out. Sometimes we play games, share weird YouTube videos, or let our members share their artwork or photography.”
In creating his model, Tivers drew heavily upon the work of Dr. Brené Brown, the University of Houston professor who has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, and has written bestselling books on these subjects. Tivers also drew on his own personal journey. Diagnosed with ADHD at age 19, he understands the shame so many adults with ADHD experience. A cornerstone of his program is to help them alleviate this sense of shame and learn to see ADHD in a hopeful new light.
Tivers says that his “real education” around ADHD started after hearing Russell Barkley’s keynote address at the 2010 CHADD conference, where Dr. Barkley explained his conceptual model for ADHD as an executive functioning disorder. Tivers says that he has been a student of Barkley’s work ever since. In addition to his many professional responsibilities, Tivers served as coordinator of his local CHADD chapter for more than seven years. He continues to attend meetings as a member.
But Tivers is perhaps best known as the host of ADHD reWired (http://www.adhdrewired.com), which offers nearly 300 podcasts on topics related to ADHD. “[They] are designed for those of us who have really good intentions, but slightly wandering attention,” he says. Available for free on any podcast app on a smartphone, he wants people to know that his shows are more than mere podcasts: “We are a community, we are wired for connection, and you are not alone.”
A clinical and consulting psychologist, Mark Katz, PhD, is the director of Learning Development Services, an educational, psychological, and neuropsychological center in San Diego, California. As a contributing editor to Attention magazine, he writes the Promising Practices column and serves on the editorial advisory board. He is also a former member of CHADD’s professional advisory board and a recipient of the CHADD Hall of Fame Award.
FOR MORE INFO
Visit https://www.adhdrewired.com to learn more about ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability Groups.