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with Eric Tivers interviewed by Carolyn D’Argenio
In an unusual twist, previous guest Carolyn D’Argenio returns to the show to interview host Eric Tivers. For either long-time listeners or new audience members, this is a nice episode exploring though topics ranging across Eric’s history with ADHD and his podcast, the differences between therapy and coaching, psychological defense mechanisms, and a dog barking in the background. Many suggestions for audiobooks abound alongside helpful applications, and an especially long Random Question Round.
Carolyn is an ADHD coach with a background as a college professor.
Carolyn was a guest previously on Episode 62: Loss and Hope – ADHD and Type 1 Diabetes. See the show notes there for more information.
Carolyn created the slide show list of Audible.com recommendations hosted at erictivers.com/audible.
In a twist, Carolyn interviews Eric this week:
With the ADHD reWired podcast now in existence for over a year, Carolyn wanted to highlight the growth and change in Eric and the ADHD reWired community over the life of the show so far.
Now, with many new listeners, it might be a good time to allow the audience to learn more about “the man behind the voice.”
Therapy and Coaching:
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker: Eric is a trained therapist who works with individuals, kids, and adults with families as both a coach and therapist.
Therapy focuses more on the emotional components of what may be holding a person back. It covers issues like negative self-talk, negative self-esteem, and accomplishing goals effectively.
Coaching tends to focus more on productivity, with the occasional topicality of changing people’s habits and certain automatic thoughts and beliefs.
Eric: In therapy, a patient might not really understand the nature of what the challenge is, while in coaching they understand it, maybe have done some of their own research, and are really ready to move forward.
While therapy sessions are held in Eric’s office, most coaching sessions are held virtually over video conferencing.
When coaching clients who are also in therapy elsewhere, Eric will often collaborate with their therapist to make sure the coaching is a good fit.
After talking with a prospective client, Eric can assess whether they’re a better fit for therapy or coaching. If they start talking about where they really would like to go with their lives, coaching could work well – they have to want to be coached through their own volition. If they are more defensive and less focused on moving forward, they may need therapy first before they are ready for coaching.
People have natural defense mechanisms as part of the human psyche.
One favorite of Eric’s is called intellectualization, where one uses reasoning and rationality as a way to avoid the emotional factors at play in a situation.
Other defense mechanisms include people trying to rationalize reasons, deflect blame, maintain negative thoughts about what they never or always do, or project their thoughts and emotions onto another person.
How well a person is able to own their challenges is probably one of the best indicators that they’re ready for coaching.
Education on Effects:
Carolyn: I think, a lot of times, a barrier to owning one’s challenges is the knowledge of how much ADHD affects people.
Eric: Through all of the roles I play, as a therapist and consultant, my main role is one of an educator. It’s taking people from where they are, using information, to help them grow.
Learning as much as possible about one’s condition is a strategy that’s worked well for Eric. Especially with ADHD, education about the disorder makes a huge difference.
Eric’s ADHD Story:
Eric was diagnosed with ADHD at age 19 after almost failing out of college.
During his freshman year, Eric was a communications and advertising major. After being recommended a class about social work by his friend Gabe, Eric enjoyed it so much that he switched majors.
After his diagnosis and prescription for medication, Eric says he “felt normal for the first time”, now being able to read through a chapter in a book and retain its information.
He then began to experience his first real academic success while studying a subject he was interested in.
People with ADHD really have to love what they do.
Eric’s friend Gabe, who had recommended Eric take his first social work class, was eventually kicked out of the college for drug possession.
In Gabe’s last semester of graduate school at a different college, he died following an overdose.
Eric: “There’s really not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that.”
Gabe was a very humble, selfless person, though one who struggled with both addition and ADHD.
Eric named his son, Gibson, after his friend Gabe.
At the start, Eric wasn’t exactly sure where to take the podcast.
The first bunch of episodes were solo shows with just Eric.
One of the first emails Eric received after starting the podcast, thanked him for sharing his story and complimented him for having the testicular fortitude needed to share information about himself. He had his first “vulnerability hangover”.
For episode 15, Eric read an email he received from James, a listener, about his story of adult ADHD, alcoholism, and attempted suicide. Following up with James, Eric intended to hold a short conversation, but instead ended up having his first full interview.
The interview allowed James’ story to be told in a respectful, important, and informative manner.
Eric: Informative storytelling is as important as education about the science behind ADHD because of how it helps to communicate the information more effectively.
The ADHD reWired Facebook Community:
Eric started the Facebook community fairly early on in the life of the podcast, though not with any particular direction in mind.
Initially, Eric would invite others to join after talking with them individually on other Facebook groups about the podcast.
The group has grown slowly, somewhat by design, as Eric interviews each member beforehand and usually wants to maintain topicality with the podcast.
He really wants the group to be a place where people can discuss their challenges with a desire to do better and to work toward increasing their level of focus.
Carolyn: That’s one of the things that makes this group one of the better ones out there. With some of them, it’s very easy to have discussions derailed through arguments and diversions.
People within the group will help one another out, following up to hold each other accountable.
Eric: It’s amazing to see how respectful the members are. Many times where I’ve seen conversation threads at risk of running into problems, other members will have guided them back to a reasonable direction.
Eric’s Challenges with ADHD:
Despite the outward appearance of being in relative control, Eric does work really hard to do what he does. He often feels as if he’s on the edge of everything falling apart, despite the reality that there isn’t really any evidence that would be the case.
Eric doesn’t give those self-defeating thoughts more power than they deserve, not ignoring them, but only acknowledging them.
Following an episode Eric recorded in his car (episode 47, ADHD at 55 MPH), he received an email from a listener saying that until that point, the listener had begun to doubt whether Eric actually had ADHD. Eric still thinks of this as one of the best compliments he’s ever received.
Eric had previously talked about struggling to be home from work on time.
Later in the day, after his medication has worn off, Eric has “a really bad case of ‘one-more-thing-itis'”.
Eric once thought he was more productive and creative at night, but he no longer feels that’s necessarily the case – “you can be structured with creativity.”
Over the last month or so, he’s improved greatly.
He uses an application to track his sleep. As a result, he’s slept more, his hours are more normal, and his sleep quality has also improved.
Eric was annoyed by a dog barking in the background of Carolyn’s audio.
Carolyn admits she sometimes becomes very distracted by her children speaking in character voices nearby. When their voices seem to indicate they might do something dangerous she starts to worry and is distracted further. Then she becomes angry at how long it is taking for her to finish a task because of her distraction.
Books and Audible:
Eric found a book entitled Masterminds and Wingmen, thinking it would cover mastermind workgroups. It actually covered topics related to raising boys, covering how to better understand their actions, teach them empathy, masculinity, handling bullying, and more.
Carolyn recently started a book called Miracle Boy Grows Up.
She is also listening to Your Greatest Power, which is about the power of choice and how some may not realize the choices available to them, Unlocking Potential, a business coaching book, and You Are a Badass, a mind-set book to “help people wake up and smell their awesomeness.”
Eric listened to A Complaint Free World, which issues a challenge of going 21 days without complaining or gossiping with the goal of creating positive habits in people.
Audible rewards its users with badges based off of their use of the service. Carolyn just received a batch of badges.
Carolyn recently applied to be a Goodreads Librarian.
Carolyn: When you find peace and can find meaning in something and that can move you forward, it doesn’t always matter where it comes from.
Eric talks about the difference between astronomy and astrology (“astronomy is science; astrology is science fiction”), mentioning that there are thirteen major constellations but only twelve astrological signs in use. The missing sign is one for death; Eric postulates that its removal was due to business reasons, what with the receipt of the sign of death being somewhat unattractive. Thus, one should look toward astonomy for
Carolyn highlights how various coincidences she could encounter seem to be meant to be, like finding the perfect pair of shoes in the right size for sale when there’s only one pair left.
Eric recently cut his medication in half after experiencing some anxiety.
Random Question Round:
If you had the chance to be invisible for one day, what would you do?
Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?
What is your favorite pizza topping?
Do you believe in aliens?
Why do you think Yankee Doodle named the feather in his hat Macaroni?
If you won a yacht, what would you name it?
If you could teleport by blinking your eyes right now, where would you go?
What are your favorite apps?
Are you ever nervous about how much data about you exists?
What do you think the next year will bring?
Eric’s Favorite Episodes:
Episode 63: Russell Barkley on the Meaning of ADHD: Eric feels like he was really able to show more of who Russell Barkley is, as opposed to the impressions some may have had of him as a stoic researcher.
Episode 39: Don’t Doubt the Dream: Musician Jerry Mills played a few songs during the interview, which made Eric think about quitting his job and starting a band.
Episode 23: Authenticity with the ADDiva: An interview with Linda Roggli that covered authenticity and telling others about ADHD.
Episode 8: Motivation: Eric did a skit involving funny character voices for dopamine and the frontal cortex.
Other ADHD reWired Episodes referenced in this episode:
Products, Services, and Other Links:
Nathalie Pedicelli’s professional organization business: Métamorphoses Organisation
Your Greatest Power by J. Martin Kohe
A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen
Some of Eric’s Favorite Apps:
Find and Contact Carolyn D’Argenio:
Visit erictivers.com/t1d for a link to Carolyn D’Argenio’s type 1 diabetes crowd-funding campaign for her son.
Go to coachingrewired.com to let Eric know if you’re interested in joining the next ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability group, which is most likely starting in early May.
Eric is collecting videos describing people’s experiences with CHADD. If you are currently involved with CHADD, record a video however you wish (horizontally, please!) of you describing your relationship to ADHD and what CHADD does for you. Send it to Eric via Facebook, Twitter, or email here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help CHADD, an ADHD organization dedicated to improving the lives of those with ADHD through useful research and support, by donating to their fundraising campaign here: gofundme.com/oneof15m.
Visit erictivers.com/audible for Carolyn D’Argenio’s list of her top Audible.com audio-book picks, complete with preview links.
Connect with people virtually using Eric’s favorite video conferencing and connectivity platform, Zoom, by visiting erictivers.com/zoom – the basic service is totally free.
If you want you hear your question or comment on a future episode, go to erictivers.com/adhdrewired and look for the comment form, or click on the yellow button for either “Be a Guest” or “Record your question”.
Are you looking for a coach? You can schedule a free 20-minute consultation with Eric. Go to erictivers.com and click the blue “Schedule an Appointment” button
Third Monday of every month at 6:45 PM
(CHADD does not endorse this podcast)