Integrating Motivational Interviewing and ADHD Coaching: A Comprehensive Approach towards Treatment for Youth

Genevieve Mackenzie


ADHD is a common psychiatric disorder among youth. One frequent result of the symptoms of ADHD is academic underachievement. Two approaches that have been demonstrated to be useful for youth are ADHD coaching and motivational interviewing (MI). Throughout the four stages of MI (i.e. engagement, focusing, evocation and planning) the therapist encourages change in the youth through a goal-oriented communication style characterized by provoking the youth's own arguments supporting change. MI may facilitate the achievement of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable and Timely) goals identified at the start of ADHD coaching sessions. Further, ADHD coaching may augment the MI process in each stage leading to one comprehensive and perhaps more effective intervention. This paper describes this approach with the goal that it will begin to ignite empirical research leading to improved outcomes for youth with ADHD during their educational careers.


Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Youth, ADHD Coaching, Motivational Interviewing, Youth

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