Karen Perlman, LCSW
AD/HD Coach, Family Therapist
and Wellness Consultant
received her Masters in 1981 from New York University and post-graduate certificate and training from the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy in 1996. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which is affiliated with Columbia University and is certified as a Holistic Health Practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. In addition, she is a professionally trained AD/HD Coach, from ADDCA (ADD Coaching Academy) the world's premier ADD Coaching program, certified by ICF (International Coaching Federation).
Karen has been working with individuals, couples, groups, families, businesses and organizations for over 20 years. Karen brings expertise from her diverse background including: management development and training along with organizational development, psychotherapy and counseling and consulting to all ages and varied populatons, specialized training in mind-body medicine, and empowerment training for professionals. Incorporating cutting edge nutritional concepts into her work truly enables her to work from an integrative/systems approach. This means, appreciating and looking at the whole person, as well as every system that impacts on that person: family, friends, school, work, spirituality, finances, and physical activity.
Karen offers programs for addressing ADHD in her private psychotherapy practice as well as in her coaching business. Read about the difference(s) between therapy and coaching to see which one best suits your needs. She also works with families with terminal illness using a short-term model. Read about her work as a family therapist part of a research team on the "Family Focused Grief Therapy " Project with Memorial Sloane Kettering and the Ackerman Institute for the Family.
In her family therapy practice, Karen has begun to delve more deeply into studying and treating adults and families struggling with ADHD and learning differences. Her approach here is to work with individuals and families to identify and treat the underlying cause(s) associated with these disorders using a nutritional, holistic and family systems approach. She is most effective with individuals and families who have "tried everything" and/or those open to alternative and progressive approaches. In addition, she offers a program on Step-by-Step Nutrition and Mind/Body Health for Busy Families and Executives. The model employed here is one of helping people to create balance in their lives through nutrition, stress reduction and positive relationships for optimum health, vitality and happiness. Ultimately, one can then begin to create a framework towards being able to fulfill one's life desires and purpose.
My name is Victoria and I was lucky enough to have Karen coach me for several months this past year. Working with Karen was my first experience with a professional ADHD coach but over the course of a few sessions, I found myself asking How did I ever get along without a coach? I had seen psychiatrists in the past, and was even taking Adderall for period of several months, but nothing ever worked for the long term. The sessions with Karen were truly valuable in that I learned some important skills that I continue to employ in my daily life. Even though it has been a while since our last session, I still think of the tips she gave me in order to refocus myself and accomplish both simple tasks and larger projects.
In the midst of our sessions, I began to write my Senior Honors Thesis at NYU, and there were so many moments when I heard Karen's voice in my head and it helped me to stop myself from procrastinating and/or going off on tangents that were detrimental to my progress. I would notice I was doing something unproductive and I would stop, take a deep breath, restate my specific goal, and proceed from there. Even getting myself to sit down and begin this project, which seemed so unsurmountable, was aided by Karen's suggestions of how to start chipping away at the task by beginning with the easiest, most simple things first. I gathered up my materials, which had been scattered in all kinds of bags and boxes and shelves and closets, and slowly began to get myself organized. Another initial step I took was actually just getting myself to the library and with Karen's advice in mind, I tried really hard not to feel guilty if I didn't conquer the world in one day, I tried to not allow my visions of failure to keep me from getting on the train and walking through the NYU Library doors.
This was just a beginning, accomplishments that someone without ADHD might not even consider as accomplishments, but importantly it was ACTION and action spurred further action. It happened slowly at first, but repeating this action-oriented behavior eventually got the gears turning faster and faster. Just as Karen had foretold, I gradually got into a pattern of going to the library every day, even if it was for a couple hours at a time. With Karen's advice in mind, I restrained myself from beating myself up about my work, regardless if I wrote a page or a paragraph. I realized through this experience that it was possible to cut down the time I spend criticizing myself and feeling anxious and defeated by simply being aware of the action and stopping it in it's tracks.
Karen's voice really was in my head for most of the time I was writing my thesis until soon it became my own voice. And though I do not have experience with other coaches, I can confidently say that in my experience, I could not have gotten through the past few months of my life without Karen's words of encouragement and without her expertise and insightful advice, I could not have overcome the crippling effects of ADHD and my graduation from NYU might have been delayed for perhaps yet another semester or another year. Thanks to Karen, I was able to tell my parents that I would finish my thesis by May 2008 and indeed I not only finished it on time but I received High Honors and the highest marks! And my parents, well, they were able to see me finally graduate in May 2008.