1st Edition

Neurodiversity Coaching A Psychological Approach to Supporting Neurodivergent Talent and Career Potential

By Nancy Doyle, Almuth McDowall Copyright 2024
    308 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    308 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Neurodiversity Coaching demystifies the themes and assumptions affecting neurodivergent coachee experiences at work, whilst at the same time exploring the necessary safeguards required for working with this vulnerable group.

    The book supports existing coaching practitioners, managers and community leaders to understand the essentials of neurodivergence, a term which encompasses ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and Tourette Syndrome, and how these diagnoses require specific coaching approaches to support individuals to thrive at work. This book is practically focused on the “how”, sharing coaching exercises and activities that have been evaluated and researched by authors with extensive experience in the field. Grounded in coaching psychology theory, those with existing knowledge will be able to transfer their skill set to the neurodiversity context and those who are considering learning more about coaching can be signposted to essential knowledge and skills.

    Neurodiversity Coaching will be suitable for independent coaching practitioners and internal organisational coaches and managers seeking a coaching approach.

    Acknowledgements  1. Our approach to writing this book  2. Introduction to neurodiversity  3. Typical challenges in neurodiversity coaching  4. The opportunities in neurodiversity coaching  Section B: Coaching Techniques and Principles  5. Clean Language interviewing  6. Transactional Analysis  7. Positive communication in coaching  8. The Psychology of coaching  Section C: Context Matters  9. Good work  10. Wellbeing and work life balance  11. The coaching contract  12. Reflective Practice


    Nancy Doyle is a registered occupational psychologist and coaching psychologist who has practiced in the disability support and social justice space for over twenty years. Nancy founded the non-profit company Genius Within, which is a majority neurodivergent/disabled staffed and led company providing support for adults and businesses on neuroinclusion in society and work. Nancy is a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London.

    Almuth McDowall is Professor of Organisational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, where she co-directs the Centre for Neurodiversity Research at Work with Nancy. She is a registered practitioner psychologist (occupational) and undertakes consultancy for the public, private and third sector. She is committed to helping businesses make their people happy.

    "Openness to support for emotional wellbeing and health is crucial from a culturally inclusive perspective. So, coaching needs diversity to serve a diverse population. It is no longer nice to mention, it is a necessity, in order for people to find their voice and lived experience in books like this. Thank you Almuth and Nancy for being part of change"

    Marcia Brissett-Bailey, 'theblackdyslexic', Editor of 'Black, Brilliant and Dyslexic'.

    "In this book, authors Doyle and McDowall offer readers an opportunity to learn more about coaching in the workplace for neurodiverse individuals and those who support them. The underlying philosophy evident throughout this book is that difference should be celebrated and supported, in a way that allows the development of independence and potential, which is certainly core to the success of all people, including neurodiverse individuals. The book uses empirically-based and good practice sources woven into a valuable resource to inform readers about neurodiversity, coaching, and the professional context of workplace coaching."

    Susanne M. Bruyère, Professor of Disability Studies, Cornell University.

    "The challenge for a coach, mentor or supervisor working with a neurodivergent individual is how to support their development without underminding their natural way of being in the world. By combining first-hand experience and academic rigour, Nancy Doyle and Almuth McDowall describe a methodology which honours the neurodivergent individual's strengths. It signposts a way of relating to the wonderful variety of their inner worlds that extends what it means to be human. By drawing on the ethos and practice of Clean Language, Neurodiversity Coaching advocates that each neurodivergent person is a complete and fully-functioning whole with sufficient individual creativity and resourceful capacities to develop in a life-affirming way. The skill of the coach is to encourage the conditions for a coachee's system to adapt and evolve in ways that only it can discover. Working with neurodiversity requires the coach to extend their models of people, to let it go of many presuppositions and instead work with the unique patterns of the individual in front of them. Neurodiversity Coaching is a vital, timely and inspiring addition to the field, intersecting as it does with the growing self-empowerment of the neurodivergent community."

    James Lawley & Penny Tompkins, authors of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modelling. 

    "NeuroDivergent people of all types are unfortunately more likely to be under or unemployed than our NeuroTypical peers. Frequently work environments are hostile and poorly suited to accomodating NeuroDivergent People, which can prevent us from accessing employment. If the climate is good, we may struggle with not having the proper tools and coping mechanisms to navigate it (because many of us have not had adequate support throughout our lives and have not been encouraged to lean into our NeuroDivergent brains). Many (possibly most) NeuroDivergent People have bene pushed to do things "the NeuroTypical way" (which ignores our different brain wiring). We've been gaslit by society (and sometimes ourselves) into neglecting our needs and working in ways that don't suit us. We fail to embrace our brains when we force oruselves into NeuroTypical boxes, which takes away our ability to adequately accomodate and support ourselves, impacting all areas of our lives (including the workplace). Coaching (life or career) is a service I frequently recommend for NeuroDivergent People and businesses that employ them. Working with a coach (who gets NeuroDivergent brains) is an excellent way for NeuroDivegent (and all people) to understand themselves and others better. In my time working within organizations, I've coached NeuroDivergent People and NeuroTypicals who want to be better allies when working alongside or for us, and there's one thing I FIRMLY believe: Everyone benefits from working with a coach who understand NeuroDiverstiy because everyone in the world is NeuroDiverse (because NeuroDiverstiy includes ALL brains). Humans have DIVERSE brains...NeuroDiverse brains. Understanding and appreciating those differences can help us all understand and respect one another more completely. If everyone understood NeuroDiversity and the beautiful spectrum of human experiences, the world would be much better, and THIS BOOK answers this much-needed problem. Many coaches today are coaching and doing beautiful things. Still, if they had the information in this book (that clearly explains how to coach and support NeuroDivergent People effectively), they would be infinitely better coaches when working with ALL of their clients (not just the NeuroTypical ones).I will eagerly await this book so that I can recommend it to every coach I know, as this information (if used correctly) can make the world better for all humanity"

    Lyric Rivera, NeuroDivergent Rebel, Educator, Coach & Best Selling Author.

    "Doyle and McDowall bring together the science of neurodiversity with practice of coaching, and offer readers a deep dive into how practitioners can better understand and work with clients. An essential read which celebrates on every page the million petalled flower of human variety."

    Prof Jonathan Passmore, Henley Business School.