Executive Function Coaching

Executive Function Coaching

Executive function coaching is a method in which Dr. Cirillo works collaboratively with high school and college students to help build habits and develop strategies to strengthen executive functions. The model is collaborative in that the coach works with the student to set goals and devise workable ways to reach those goals. The ultimate goal is to help the student develop new habits that they eventually learn to use independently. In other words, the newly formed habits will eventually become part of who the student is are and how they approach their work.

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What happens in executive function coaching?

The first thing that happens is that Dr. Cirillo sits down with the student and often a parent to make sure executive function coaching is a good fit. This requires a desire to change and willingness to work towards meaningful change. Dr. Cirillo will explain executive function coaching in more detail.
Dr. Cirillo will review the time frame (usually at least a semester) and number of sessions per week (typically one). Dr. Cirillo will answer any questions you might have. If it sounds like a project that the student can believe in and commit to the parent if under 18 and the student to sign an agreement to engage in the coaching process.


In early sessions the student will fill out assessments designed to help both the student and Dr. Cirillo understand what areas you to work on. The student and parent probably already know things the student would like to improve on in their academic life but this can help identify areas needing attention.

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Goal setting is a key part of the executive function coaching process. Dr. Cirillo will work with the student to collaboratively create goals that will then guide the coaching sessions. Executive function skills will be developed as we work together on the student’s goals.

Monitoring Progress

Our coaching sessions will include frequent check-ins and monitoring of goals to gauge progress and see if anything needs to be modified.

Why should I do it?

One of the main purposes of executive function coaching is to develop greater academic proficiency. Also typically very helpful for students in coaching are to:
Clarify and achieve meaningful goals
Develop a supportive relationship with the coach(es)
Build autonomy, self-determination, self-awareness and self-confidence
Reduce stress
Our mission is for coaching to be a transformative experience for the student. The coaching will be geared towards helping the student internalize the skills developed in sessions and then move forward more independently with a better understanding of themselves and a set of very useful skills to help them succeed.
This type of coaching typically helps with the dynamic between a teen and their parent. Often the parent is the one with a sense of urgency, badgering the teen to stay on top of their work. The teen wants to do it on their own but doesn’t yet have the skills so he or she gets frustrated. Everyone winds up aggravated and the relationship suffers. Executive function coaching puts the responsibility where it needs to shift at this development stage – to the adolescent, who begins to feel more effective as their skills and independence grow. 

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