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Coaching Can Help When Anger and Frustration Get in the Way

For many months, I have watched the news, read articles and looked at online posts about the alarming Migrant Separation Policy. I find it difficult to put my feelings to paper, as they are filled with anger at the current policies and with grief for the children and their parents. Having unexpectedly lost a child myself, I know the feeling of being torn apart and dealing with the continued sense of loss, like a piece of your heart is missing. Yet being surrounded by supportive coaches has been a great help when I’ve wanted to process my thoughts and consider how to deal with them in a productive manner. Working with a trained coach and using positive self-talk can be beneficial to regain focus, calm and direction.

When I received the most recent e-newsletter from the Center on the Developing Child, I read the testimony in which Dr. Jack Shonkoff shares details of the trauma of separation: “Sudden, forcible separation of children from their parents is deeply traumatic for both the child and the parent. Above and beyond the distress we see “on the outside,” this triggers a massive biological stress response “inside” the child, which remains activated until the parent returns and provides comfort. Continuing separation removes the most important protection a child can possibly have to prevent long-term damage—a loving adult who’s totally devoted to his or her well-being.” Once again, my internal anger and frustration boiled up with no place to go.

As an ADHD coach and coach trainer, it is my responsibility to understand the neurobiology of the brain and to teach my trainees and clients how changes in brain chemistry caused by ADHD, serious illness, brain trauma and toxic stress negatively impact the well-being of children (and adults). Knowing that thousands of children are being subjected to toxic stress right now in our country, when all their parents wanted was a safe haven for them, leaves an even deeper hole in my heart than before.

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that when I take time to work with my coach and set my intention on what I can change, it is easier to manage the powerless feelings that I am experiencing in the moment. Coaching provides an opportunity to brainstorm, gain awareness of our own strengths and create a plan of action that may provide ideas, and maybe even a few answers, to be part of the solution in some small way. I urge you to dig deeper into your hearts and work with a coach to identify what you can do to support those who cannot support themselves.