Meet Diane Thomson
Diane Thomson, MS, CAPC, PCC
As a Certified ADHD Productivity Coach (CAPC), a journey that started in 2012, I coach neurodiverse adults, students and their parents to balance out life's responsibilities, create clarity, reduce stress and act on what matters. While doing so, I strive to educate clients on the impact of ADHD and Executive Function challenges, often at the root of productivity and organization struggles. Together with my clients, we develop realistic strategies for a more satisfying and positively engaged lifestyle.
I received my coaching training from the Coach Approach Training program, and the Certified Professional Coach (PCC) credential from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). CAT’s program is fully accredited by ICF, thus sets rigorous standards for training and practice under the supervision of thought leaders in the field of ADHD coaching.
Currently, I am a trainer for the CAT program; teaching Body Based Coaching and co-teaching Coaching the ADHD Client from Awareness to Action with Cameron Gott, PCC
My Story: Why Coaching
I started my career helping people as a “mental health assistant” in an in-patient psychiatric program. I was in my 20’s and finding my way, but in a moment of clarity, I realized these patients, even when emotionally stabilized, had significant challenges in managing their lives outside of the hospital. I thought, “I want to help people manage their daily lives – learn the basics.” I wanted to help where it had the most impact, in their homes.
It may have been naive, but it was a very strong feeling. You know…when something feels just right.
It took a few decades to activate that moment of clarity. After 15 years of working in mental health & addiction recovery programs, including getting my Masters in Dance Movement Therapy and then taking time off for motherhood, I established my work as a Professional Organizer in 2003, reviving that desire to help people more directly in their day to day lives.
But something still didn’t feel right. Many of my clients, despite guidance, education, support, encouragement and a desire on their part, could not adopt the “organized ways” I had helped them set up.
I had to wonder, “what was I missing?” Afterall, I had lots of experience and training to work in a variety of challenging situations, but I wasn’t helping effect the change ultimately sought. My clients wanted their lives to feel more manageable, to feel less stressed. They thought a Professional Organizer could fix it by guiding them in clearing their clutter and creating organized systems.
However, just showing people what to do wasn’t effective without a process for behavioral change to occur.
Discovering What is Possible
My dilemma led me to the Coach Approach Training and the “awareness-action-learning” process of change. Coaching opens the door to trying out new actions, behaviors, habits, that are born out of self-understanding, identifying what is important and what is getting in the way. The actions teach the lesson about what works and what doesn’t, building the client's competence and confidence in themselves.
I learned to appreciate unique, neurodivergent brain wiring and as a "compassionate sequential" (a Cameron Gott expression) I recognize
that how my brain works, is not how everyone’s brain works. ADHD and Executive Function challenges must be taken into account to address how one manages their day, environment, time, and activities. I work with the difference, not try to make my clients like me.
Now, I am always learning about coaching and the process of change; through classes, books, podcasts, webinars. However, I learn the most by listening to my clients, allowing my imagination and my felt sense to understand and collaborate empathically with them.
I grew up in Wisconsin and now live in New Jersey via Brooklyn, NY.
I enjoy being outdoors, playing tennis, gardening, historical dramas and dancing when the mood strikes. Being part of a racially blended family, I readily engage in activities to expand my understanding of and promote racial justice and equality.
Now it’s your turn. I’d like to hear your story!