#2: Interview with ADHD coach IngerShaye

IngerShaye on being diagnosed with ADHD in her 50s, and how she became an ADHD coach.

A medium shot picture of myself wearing a dark blue shirt. Beneath my photo, the text reads ‘Adulting with ADHD, interviews with Rach’. At the bottom of the photo, the text says. adultingadhd.substack.com
A medium shot picture of myself wearing a dark blue shirt. Beneath my photo, the text reads ‘Adulting with ADHD, interviews with Rach’. At the bottom of the photo, the text says. adultingadhd.substack.com

IngerShaye is an ADHD coach committed to providing accessible services for Black women. IngerShaye has been featured on podcasts and has delivered workshops and presentations on ADHD. Here, she explains how she received an ADHD diagnosis in her 50s, how she got into ADHD coaching and shares her ADHD strengths.

Rach: When were you diagnosed with ADHD?

IngerShaye: I realized I had ADHD in my 50s, following my son’s ADHD diagnosis. I was not formally diagnosed until a few years later because I thought my ADHD was early-onset Alzheimer’s. I would forget words so I was so focused on managing this problem. Also, ADHD is usually missed in women because we don’t exhibit the traits that boys or men do.

As a licensed therapist, the information I received on ADHD during my studies was very limited, and at that time, I thought ADHD was a kid’s condition. It wasn’t until my son’s ADHD diagnosis that I knew people could have ADHD as an adult. I found that many therapists were unaware that adults with ADHD even existed.

Rach: You mentioned that you’re a therapist. How did you get into ADHD coaching?

IngerShaye: I have a psychotherapy practice and I’m also an ADHD coach. The two are completely separate.

I attended a meeting on ADHD coaching which was run by the organization, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). At the meeting, I volunteered to take part in a demonstration on ADHD coaching as a coaching client. Before I took part in this demonstration, I thought ADHD coaching was focused on what planners to use and how to organize your time. But I learned that ADHD coaching was about how ADHD affects you and why, and was also about using your strengths.

After this experience, I volunteered to demonstrate ADHD coaching at a 4-day conference to around 70 people. I was surprised to see that there were only around 10 Black people at the conference. I wanted to know why the numbers were so low. It also led me to think about how these services are accessible for black people, and how they would be able to afford it. I had all of these questions but instead of waiting for others to answer them and do something about it, I did it myself. In November 2019, I committed to providing ADHD coaching to Black women. I committed to learning everything I could about becoming an ADHD coach – from hiring a mentor and signing up for coach training programs. I am progressing towards a certification in ADHD coaching to go along with my counseling license.

Rach: What does ADHD coaching help with?

IngerShaye: Firstly, people should know what they are going to an ADHD coach for. ADHD coaching is a skill and an evidence-based practice. ADHD coaching requires coaching clients to take action.

With ADHD coaching, you partner with a coach. Coaching clients come to coaching sessions with their goals and areas they want to work on, and then they work together with a coach. ADHD coaching takes a strength-based approach, it’s like an action learning model. In a nutshell, it’s learning from your experiences and implementing what you have learned the next time you take action.

Being an ADHD coach has helped me to reach more people in the black community, as opposed to being a therapist. I think this is because there’s no stigma when to comes to coaching compared to therapy. Also, coaching is more of a partnership and I chance for people to get what they need without having to have their guard up all of the time.

I help my coaching clients with emotional management, but it’s not like therapy.

Rach: Which ADHD trait do you like the most and which ADHD trait do you dislike the most?

IngerShaye: I dislike it when my executive functioning is being taxed. I was recently a podcast guest on the podcast therapy4blackgirls. From that podcast interview, I had so many people reach out to me, it was a great feeling! But my systems were not set up to manage the influx of people wanting to get in contact with me. My organization is poor, but I’m working on getting organized. I’m doing this by identifying an organization specialist to resource, learning to delegate, and automate more.

I love the ADHD traits that make me who I am. I would not trade my ADHD. I wouldn’t be who I was without my ADHD. My ADHD has given me grit and has allowed me to do more things that I didn’t know I could do. My ADHD allows me to see opportunities where others see obstacles and I am learning I have skills as a leader and visionary. When I lean into my strengths, my ADHD works for me.

If people are not where they want to be because of their ADHD, I want to help them get there. I’m working on having services for people with ADHD who cannot afford my rate. I’m planning on doing some philanthropic work.

Rach: Some people refer to ADHD as their superpower. Is ADHD a superpower for you?

IngerShaye: Yes and no. There are times where I struggle and my ADHD wins, but I accept this.

When I lean into my strengths, like empathy, leadership, hyper-focus, and thinking big ideas, my ADHD is great.

I struggle with executive functioning, I’m not organized and I’m not great with time. But this no longer bothers me or stops me.

I’m learning to give myself grace and to practice radical self-compassion

Rach: Where can we find out more about your work?

IngerShaye: You can visit my website to find out more about my ADHD coaching services and my contact details, https://ingershaye.com/

You can also find me on social media: Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/blackwomenwithadhd

Twitter: @IngerShaye

Rach, with ADHD