Our clients tell us about overcoming their executive function challenges

Clare

 

Why were you looking for help?
“Life was spinning out of control. My anger and unpredictable flareups were crippling my
relationship with my husband and children. I couldn’t prioritize and life was erratic. I was
unproductive at work and missing deadlines. Distraction was a constant. I was either so
focused I lost track of time and ignored everything else going on around me or hours would
go by with little productivity.

What other help had you tried?
Over the years I’d sought different help but it was never targeted at what I needed. I felt I
had somehow missed the development of simple every day skills that most people had
naturally mastered in their youth. I needed skills and tools that I could draw on daily to be
the mother, wife and productive professional that I envisioned I could be.

How long did it take until you started to see the benefits?
Within just a few weeks, my coach had developed some of these skills in me that I had so
longed for. It’s now been 6 months since I started the coaching with my coach, and although I
still have a long way to go, I finally feel for the first time in my life I have at times some
control over my anger. in comparison to before, my effectiveness at work has soared.
Some skills work better than others for me and my coach has taught me how to apply these
differently to the situation at hand. My coach is fantastic at targeting these different skills to
my individual needs. She seems to have this never-ending box of tools she shares with me
to tackle my reactions and management of my daily life. She is gentle and super friendly
making it super easy to open up. I’ve shared with my coach moments of my life that I’m not
proud of and I’ve never once felt judged.

How has coaching impacted your life?
I still get angry, I still flare up, and sometimes I don’t have the most productive day at work.
But more than ever, I have lovely calm days with my family. I don’t hear nearly as often my
children yelling back at me, with that tone and anger I can only recognise as my own. I now
make decisions that actually reduce the erraticism in my life instead of increasing it. When
things don’t go my way, my husband sometimes looks at me and says “I see you’re really
trying to stay calm right now”. He sees this change and that gives him hope that a
calmer life is possible for us. It’s a nice place to be after spending much of my life with not
enough control over my anger and decision making.”

Elle

Why were you looking for help? 

I was referred by my primary psychologist for EF coaching to give me support in academic work. I had never even considered EFs might have been my main difficulty.

What other help had you tried? 

I had been through 5 different therapists since 2012 because I had been told my difficulties were anxiety based and not executive function based.

How long did it take until you started to see the benefits? 

About 2 months. Once I had my values in order and started to layer the practical skills onto these, it became easier to continue to work at them because I remembered what my goals were.

How has coaching impacted your life? 

I get a lot less anxious about needing to organise things in all areas of my life, and time management too! In academia I’m still anxious but I feel that once I let the anxiety subside the skills are still there, and now I have started to look at the management styles I’ve been using for years (templates for reports, coloured pens, whiteboards) that did partially work, and found it so much easier to incorporate them into what I’ve learnt.

James

Why were you looking for help? 

My wife thought that I would benefit from some help organising myself – so I wasn’t really looking for help – but she was desperate for me not to rely on her so much.

What other help had you tried? 

My wife has been my informal PA for years.

How long did it take until you started to see the benefits? 

Only a few weeks.  I suffered a lot with procrastination, I had so much work on my plate that something always got forgotten.  A lot of our work was on making time for all of my to do list not just the most pressing items.  Now I feel much more on top of my work load. It took a few months to embed the habits but the changes, under the support of my coach, were pretty much immediate.

How has coaching impacted your life? 

Not only am I now much more organised than I was before, but I am also better at meeting deadlines and managing my workload.  I am also kinder to myself about what I can manage and more boundaried in my expectations of myself. I had to learn to say no or delegate. This has made me less stressed and opened up more time for me to spend quality time with my family. My wife still helps me with my commitments at home but I feel much more ownership for my work responsibilities.