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Smiling image of Neil Swanson, ADHD and Relationship Coach

Let me tell you a little about my journey to becoming an ADHD and Positive Intelligence Coach and about how what I have learned might help you on your journey.

Before becoming a life coach, I worked as a minister, a counselor, a construction contractor, and a building consultant. Along the way I engaged in volunteering and activism in an effort to make a positive difference in the world. This diversity of experience, combined with learning how to overcome many of my own challenges, has helped me become an effective coach for others.

For decades, many of my patterns of thought and behavior had a negative effect on my functioning in school, at work, and in family life – causing me to perform far below my potential. This caused pain, not only for me but also for those nearest to me. I thought I was simply failing to exercise good self-discipline and just needed to “shape up.”  My inability to shape up, however, left me feeling ashamed and discouraged.

I eventually discovered that what I was dealing with was classic inattentive ADHD. I then learned through some excellent coaching and my research into neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, that there are effective ways to address challenging patterns of thought and behavior. Learning productive and satisfying ways to respond to my challenges was so transformative it inspired me to enroll in and graduate from two coaching schools so that I might become a coach to help others transform themselves.

As I have grown in my self-acceptance and understanding of myself, my relationships within and outside my family have become increasingly open, authentic, and meaningful. My wife and business partner Linda and I have two remarkable children and four beautiful grandchildren whom I thoroughly enjoy.

In recent years, I have been thrilled to coach many individuals on their journeys toward discovering their uniqueness and unlocking their potential. 

As your coach, I will partner with you as we discover your best strategies for managing your challenges and maximizing your potential. In the process, you will likely gain clarity about your uniqueness and what gives meaning to your life.

Rather than sharing advice or promoting a specific outcome, I will support and assist you, without judgment, as together we uncover your own personalized solutions, knowing they are the ones most likely to be effective and enduring.

For more about my experience and background, see the “Experience and Education” section below. 

To explore how my coaching can support you in bringing about the change you want in your life, let’s schedule a Free Exploratory ConversationIf not now, when?

Experience and Education

Professional Coach Experience

  • Professional ADHD Coach  –  2012 – present

Professional Coach Credentials

  • PCC (Professional Certified Coach)  –  International Coach Federation, 2019
  • CACP (Certified ADHD Coach Practitioner)  –  Professional Assoc. for ADHD Coaches, 2015
  • PACG (Professional ADD Coach Graduate)  –  ADD Coach Academy, 2014
  • ACC (Associate Certified Coach)  –  International Coaching Federation, 2013
  • CPC (Certified Professional Coach)  –  Leadership That Works, 2012

Business and Leadership Experience

  • Owner and Coach at Neil Swanson Coaching, LLC (formerly Free To Be Coaching, LLC) (2012 – present)
  • Owner/Manager (part-time) of Product Design Company (2005 – present)
  • Owner/Manager of Building Consulting Company (20 years), Reston, VA
  • Owner/President of Residential & Commercial Remodeling Company (8 years), Reston, VA
  • Pastor (3 years), Morsemere Community Church (United Church of Christ), Ridgefield, NJ
  • Assistant Minister (1 year), West End Collegiate Church, NYC

College and Grad School Education

  • Masters of Divinity, Union Theological Seminary, NYC, NY
  • Metropolitan Urban Service Training – 1 year of living and working in East Harlem neighborhood, NYC, NY
  • BA in Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Coach-Specific Training

  • Positive Intelligence (PQ) Coach Training with Shirzad Chamine
  • Advanced ADHD Coach Training at ADD Coach Academy
  • Life Coach Training at Leadership That Works

Other Coach-Related Training 

  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Training, 500+ hours, primarily Portland, OR
  • Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification, Warrenton, VA
  • Addiction Recovery Training, McShin Foundation Leadership Training Institute, Warrenton, VA
  • Restorative Justice Course, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Pastoral Counseling Training at Andover Newton Theological Seminary, Newton, MA
  • Pastoral Counseling Training, American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry, NYC, NY
  • Parent Effectiveness Training, Ridgewood, NJ

Professional Memberships

  • International Coach Federation (ICF)
  • Professional Association for ADHD Coaches (PAAC)
  • ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
  • Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)
  • ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia

Volunteer Leadership Experiences

  • Co-Chair – Partnership for Community Resources, Warrenton, VA
  • Ethics Committee Chair – Professional Association for ADHD Coaches
  • Pro Bono Coach – Leadership Fauquier
  • Member – Special Education Advisory Committee, Fauquier County School Board
  • Facilitator – CHADD-sponsored ADHD Parent Support Group, Gainesville, VA


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