What is Executive Functioning Coaching?

What is Executive Functioning?

Executive functioning is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of cognitive processes responsible for guiding, directing, and managing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions. These processes allow us to plan, initiate, and complete tasks. Moreover, executive functions enable us to evaluate our progress and problem solve so that we can efficiently complete goals. Certain disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are associated with increased challenges with executive functioning.

People with executive dysfunction may experience:

  • Difficulty with time management
  • Disorganization and difficulty planning
  • Emotion dysregulation
  • Lack of motivation to accomplish tasks due to feeling overwhelmed
  • Procrastination/avoidance of tasks

What is Executive Functioning Coaching?

An executive functioning coach can provide an individualized plan to develop and practice strategies so that you can achieve your goals. For example, some goals may include:

  • Create and complete timelines for tasks/assignments
  • Develop lists and reminders for completing daily tasks
  • Strategies for turning in assignments on time
  • Teach skills related to time management
  • Problem solve and adapt to find strategies that work
  • Work on strategies to increase motivation and accountability

Research indicates that executive functioning coaching is associated with improvements in self-regulation and well-being, as well as academic and vocational performance.

Who Would Benefit from Executive Functioning Coaching?

Executive functioning is an integral part of life. Anyone who struggles with motivation or task completion could benefit from these strategies. Some people are more vulnerable to challenges with executive functioning. Specifically, those who have ADHD and/or ASD may experience “mental block” or feel overwhelmed with everyday tasks, which can make it difficult to accomplish goals. For those with ADHD and/or ASD, executive functioning coaching can provide you with an individualized set of tools to help you get past mental obstacles and accomplish your goals. Coaching can also help students or adults who just want more organization, structure, and motivation to complete their everyday tasks at home, school or at work.

Executive functioning coaching is designed to be a collaborative process whereby clients can develop strategies that will help improve their life outcomes. Consequently, executive functioning coaching does require buy-in from the client. In order to make progress, a client needs to take ownership of the process and outcomes.

Interested in Executive Functioning Coaching?

Savannah Pham, LPA (supervised by Dr. Charleen Wilder) is excited to work with you.

Please call 972-519-1692 or email info@upsidetherapy.com.


Diamond, A. (2013). Executive functions. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 135-168. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143750

Hill, E. L. (2004). Evaluating the theory of executive dysfunction in autism. Developmental Review, 24(2), 189-233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2004.01.001

Parker, D. R., Hoffman, S. F., Sawilowsky, S., & Rolands, L. (2011). An examination of the effects of ADHD coaching on university students’ executive functioning. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 24(2), 115-132.

Sjowall, D., Roth, L., Lindqvist, S., & Thorell, L. B. (2013). Multiple deficits in ADHD: Executive dysfunction, delay aversion, reaction time variability, and emotional deficits. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(6), 619-627. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12006