Wednesday, October 13, 2004

ADD Conference

I just got back from an ADD Conference in Tukwilla, WA. Ginger and her mom went too. The conference is (I think) a new format for the group, ADD Resources. They used a high school with an auditorium. There were about 400 people if I remember right.

In the AM session, there was one speaker. The first day was Kathleen Nadeau and the second day was Ned Hallowell. Both were very good. In the afternoons, we were left to fend for ourselves, with two mix and match segments to decide on, from a whole list of subjects that were being discussed in various classrooms. I felt annoyed that only "the professionals" got to hear what Nadeau and Hallowell said in the afternoon. What is a "professional"? Is a coach a professional? Now I suppose we might have been able to attend, but we thought that it was probably intended for doctors and therapists. Anyway, we went to the breakout sessions because, as it turns out, there were a couple of sessions that sounded pretty interesting.

I ended up in a couple of really bad afternoon sessions, but luckily I chose one good one and one bad one for each day. The first day I went to "Women With ADD" but the speaker said, "Nadeau said everything that I was going to say, so why don't you ladies tell us about yourselves?" That took about 45 minutes going around the room, after which about 3 women dominated the conversation. I was so bored but I didn't really want to walk out.

I ended up staying, but I tuned out of most of the conversation and doodled on my notebook, drawing random shapes and writing "slowly dying of boredom," "5,4,3,2,1," and things like that. Then I went to a good session that was about Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin. The speaker was Don Baker, MA (Seattle area I am very sensitive to other people's emotions, especially negative ones, and have to fight the urge to want to make them happy. But I was intrigued by the opposite problem that was mentioned in the session: that of not being able to tell when you are intruding on someone.

The next day, the afternoon session was selected rather hastily and I ended up at "Self-Care in the Midst of Chaos." Bad mistake. I ditched it after about 20 minutes. The lady who was in charge wanted us to close our eyes, breathe and relax. Then she said that we should talk about what our deepest yearning was, or for those who weren't interested in talking about it, we could write it down. I am just not "into" that approach. In fact our coaching philosophy at is "no touchy-feely". That means that we respect people's boundaries - note the above paragraph! When I could take it no longer, I ran for the door when her back was turned. My deepest yearning was to get out of that classroom!