My experience from the ACO international conference
My comfort zone
Upon receiving news of my nomination to have the honor to present my model project, ‘ADHD Structural Family Coaching Approach’, at the ‘ACO International Conference, I was both humbled and elated. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be part of such an impactful framework, which makes this experience all the more profoundly meaningful. I will always be thankful for being given the opportunity to fulfill my mission, be it while serving as the former principal of junior high school, or as an ADHD coach and a family coach instructor. I have always firmly believed in the structural family approach and my goal is to promote this approach as best as I possibly can. Furthermore, from a professional perspective, it was important to me to present my model in order to receive feedback from my esteemed and accomplished colleagues in the field. My sheer excitement leading up to the conference was accompanied by a great deal of apprehension. I couldn’t help ask myself: “Will they be open to hearing my experiences as a professional coach in a foreign country, coming from a different culture? ‘How will I cope in a conference in which I know almost none of the participants?’ Come from a sixteen hour flight away, I was overjoyed to learn that the first lecture would be conducted by the wonderfully esteemed coach Mrs. Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, who brings with her over 35 years of experienced working with clients around the world. To my unique delight, the subject of her lecture would be the expanding of horizons and openness to foreign cultures. For me personally, her lecture was a source of inspiration and some much needed comfort. Over the course of the conference, I quickly realized that my all my worrying was truly unnecessary, and not for a moment felt like a stranger. Starting from the first introductory meeting, everyone went out their way to make sure I felt warmly welcomed. And then the technician, who warmly agreed to test the technical equipment before my lecture, in his great sensitivity and generosity offered to return to the auditorium at the start of my lecture, simply to provide me some peace of mind. And onwards to one of the participants, who went out of her way to invite me to a tour of the city when she understood I had no plans for the free night. The conference took place in Phoenix Arizona in April 2015 and was attended by coaches from around the world. The lectures in the conference were varied in topic and professional in nature, presenting different and interesting perspectives in regards to attention deficit disorders. Despite each lecturers unique subject matter, they each provided different strategies for improving the Executive Functions of our clients, as well as practical tools for the implementation of the coaching process. I presented my model through the contI presented my model through the context of a specific case study from my personal clinic, which included special parameters for the Israeli culture and mentality. The openness of the conference participants warmed my heart and I was pleasantly surprised when some even wrote to me to share their interest and excitement in my model. The insightful feedback I received has been applied to my approach and the coaching tools that I presented.
The atmosphere in the conference was uniquely warm and intimate, unlike any other conference I have ever attended. I understand that this is a result of the active initiative of the organizers and have heard quite a bit about the American mentality that is used to accommodating migrants who have arrived from around the world. Nevertheless, the personal warmth and care that I experienced was beyond my wildest expectations. I returned from the conference with strengthened conviction in the importance and impact of the profession I have chosen to be my life’s work. But above all, I feel proud and honored to belong to this exceptional international community of ACO.