Embracing Aphantasia: An Essential Step for Coaches

adhd alexithymia anauralia aphantasia coach training coaching skills life coaching neurodivergent neurodivergent coaching neurodiversity sdam Jun 25, 2023
Aphantasia Academy founder Sassy Smith typing her latest blog which is all about neurodivergent coaching

Embracing Aphantasia: An Essential Step for Coaches

As an intuitive and dedicated coach, you've already embraced the world of neurodiversity. You have a keen understanding of ADHD and other neurodivergent conditions, and you've made it your mission to offer an inclusive and accessible service. But are you aware of one of the often co-occurring condition which can be a coaching killer? Aphantasia. 

Though distinct, Aphantasia and ADHD are not entirely unrelated. Research suggests they may be linked, with many people reporting having both conditions.

Aphantasia: The Hidden Aspect of Neurodiversity

Aphantasia is a condition where people are unable to visualise images in their mind, affecting their ability to daydream, remember faces or memories, and even imagine what they want for dinner​1​. It can limit your client’s ability to ‘see’ a new future or remember their past. Perhaps surprisingly, the prevalence of Aphantasia is higher than ADHD in adults. While the latter affects approximately 2.84% of the adult population, Aphantasia impacts between 3.9% to 5% of people​1​. Given these statistics, it is quite possible you're already coaching clients with Aphantasia, perhaps without realising it.

Why Aphantasia Matters to Your Coaching Practice

As a coach committed to neurodiversity, understanding Aphantasia is not only a matter of being comprehensive in your approach but also an issue of maintaining client satisfaction and retention. Failure to recognise and adequately accommodate this condition can lead to clients feeling misunderstood or unsupported, potentially causing them to discontinue their coaching journey prematurely. This not only has a financial impact but could also affect your reputation, if your client feels that you are unable to work with them.

In fact, because it is not widely known, even your client may not be aware that they have it and unless you are able to recognise the signs, there’s a strong chance that you’ve failed before you’ve even had the first session.

I’ve heard from many people with Aphantasia that they found coaching relationships frustrating and ineffective.

“They told me that everyone can visualise, I just need to try harder.  They also told me that I was the first client they’d had to pay a refund to. What a complete waste of my time.”

Imagine if one of your clients left that as a review of your services!

Your Opportunity to Broaden Your Practice

With Aphantasia being potentially more widespread than ADHD, embracing an understanding of this condition can open your practice to a broader client base. Furthermore, by providing a more inclusive and empathetic service, you are likely to improve client retention, protecting your financial stability and enhancing your reputation as a truly inclusive coach.

Supporting Clients with Aphantasia

Aphantasia cannot be 'treated' in the traditional sense, but there are ways to accommodate it by learning how to adapt your approaches for people who have it.

With the right understanding and techniques, you can effectively support clients with Aphantasia, ensuring they feel seen, understood, and valued in their coaching journey.

Enhancing Your Skills with Our Advanced Coaching Skills & Practice Course

Through our Advanced Neurodivergent Coaching Skills & Practice course, we offer you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of neurodiversity to include Aphantasia.

You also get to learn about other little known co-occurring conditions which have a big impact on the effectiveness of your coaching.  These are:

  • SDAM (Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory - The inability to remember life memories.
  • Anauralia – Lacking an inner monologue and having a silent mind.
  • Alexithymia – The inability to feel and name feelings and emotions or recognise and name them in others.

With expert-led modules, practical strategies, and comprehensive resources, you will gain the skills necessary to support clients with these conditions, enhancing your practice and setting you apart in the coaching field.

By investing in this course, you are not only deepening your understanding of neurodiversity but also showing your commitment to inclusivity and client satisfaction. This investment can enhance your professional reputation, improve client retention, and contribute to your financial stability.

In conclusion, recognising and accommodating Aphantasia is not just a niche interest – it's a crucial part of providing an inclusive, empathetic, and effective coaching service. So why wait? Enrich your professional toolkit and broaden your understanding of neurodiversity by signing up to our course today.  CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE