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"ADHD Support Online" With Johanna Badenhorst

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Megan Walker: Hi, I'm Megan Walker and today our very special guest is Joanna Badenhorst, who is a director of Holistic Wellness Psychology. Hi, Joanna. How are you? 

Johanna Badenhorst: Hi well thanks. Thank you so much for having me here.

Megan Walker: So great to have you along. You have been working very hard. On your online courses and also a podcast, which we're going to be talking today a bit more about so that people can find out more about what you're doing.

But I thought if you wanted to start us off, can you tell us a bit about you and your background, the kind of work that you've been doing, and then yeah, we'll feed into what you're working on at the moment. So kick us off. 

Johanna Badenhorst: Absolutely. So I am an education developmental psychologist from Brisbane. I have been working as a psychologist for approximately seven years and I started my own business, Holistic Wellness Psychology, last year.

So been doing that for just over six months now. And through my ADHD style, I never felt that that was it. And so I decided to explore and find more things to do. I took a more perinatal mental health focus also. Took I guess it upon myself to dive a bit more into this, the neurodivergent space as well as I was diagnosed around that same time as I started the practice.

Megan Walker: Amazing. And so were you attracting more clients in the neurodivergent space?

Johanna Badenhorst: Absolutely. I started off yeah, seeing typically the perinatal, perinatal mental health. So that was a lot of mothers and fathers too. Mostly primarily women and mothers or those who were on the fertility journey. And then it started shifting a little bit more towards seeing a lot of ADHD referrals come through as well of actual moms who were querying ADHD.

And so I started actually mentioning it more on social media, and I don't believe I have it really boldly stated anywhere else necessarily, but it so happens that the word's gotten around a bit more and that people kind of know me somewhat for that as well, which is nice.  

Megan Walker: Fantastic. What do you enjoy about that work, working with people who are curious about ADHD and experiencing it themselves?

Johanna Badenhorst: Yeah, so I guess because I was late diagnosed, I found it something that Yes is now talked about quite a lot more. Like you probably hear it and people are wondering, is it a bit trendy? And whilst there is, you know, solidity to concerns about like arises in apparent conversations and that, you know, it can come with some problematic.

Some sharings on social media may not necessarily be too accurate, but I do think there's validity in conversations happening. And then also challenging that thought around is it being over-diagnosed? Because for so long it has gone underdiagnosed that we know, and it's simply the stats probably correcting itself and just having that ability for women to feel more seen and heard, who have been struggling for so long and not really understood while being misdiagnosed along the way.

And that's for autism and ADHD and other neuro types as well, but primarily those as been kind of ones that have been historically quite well masked and not well understood. So yeah, that's why I'm passionate about it. I really want to share more information and work with these women, it just really inspires me.

And yeah, it's just like really nice to connect with that population. 

Megan Walker: What's something that, you've got a platform here, you've got an opportunity to correct a myth ... what's something that you think is a misconception around women who've got a ADHD? What do you think you want to correct?

Johanna Badenhorst: Sure. Yeah. I talk about this on the podcast as well, and I would say that it's around the fact that when they're okay on the outside that everything you know is fine and that they're not struggling, but it's actually the internal struggle and that they may not be apparent, hyperactive, but it's actually more the internalised symptoms that aren't well captured in a diagnostic manual.

So it looks more like a restless mind and as opposed to like that typical hyperactivity of jumping into conversations or just being that kind of more louder person perhaps like that I have been diagnosed with combined. So that would be hyperactive and in and impulsive and also attentive types.

But for many, it's actually the inattentive type is more common for women to be diagnosed and that's harder to just observe. 

Megan Walker: Yeah. 

Johanna Badenhorst: It looks like innocent daydreaming or suddenly not replying to messages or having a thousand tabs on your computer and never, I mean, some of those things are quite neurotypical behaviors too.

It has to be something that is off, you know, in that big list of different traits and then be really impacting someone's functioning. So if people are curious, you're welcome to listen to the podcast. But yeah, it is, it's often around misunderstanding.

What does it look like? It obviously is very different in different women but it usually involves a lot of heavy masking. Hence why it's, it's very hard to actually diagnose unless you really dig quite deep. 

Megan Walker: Wow. And that masking is so exhausting, isn't it? So amazing. All of your background.

And tell us more now about what you are creating. So you've mentioned your podcast. I want you to tell us about that. And you've also got a program that you are developing. Tell us more. 

Johanna Badenhorst: Yeah, so it's in very early stages. I have mostly created like free guides and that just as an intro to what I hope to be some more online content soon.

And. That is something that is available to people to find on my social media. And the hope is that eventually I do create more of an ADHD community. Perhaps, you know, several courses prior to that. And so it is very much in its infancy, but in the hope that I can really cater towards ADHD women feeling better supported having proper intervention around their post-diagnosis and that looking very much like that tier of mental health support that is not the individualised, but it's more sitting at kind of like preventative care. As opposed to like, you know, them perhaps needing one-to-one therapy. They may feel like this is sufficient. It's kind of like more tapping into the skills that they need to feel more like they're flourishing than they would typically not be the people that entirely are floundering necessarily.

Although with ADHD, it's such an ebb and flow. But you know that therapy is still available. But maybe for those who've either experienced that already in the past and they are ready for something different. Or they have had their assessment and diagnosis and feel that like, what's next? Yeah, yeah. Something like that is what I hope to kind of have, you know, up and running in the very near future. 

Megan Walker: Oh, it sounds amazing for people who will be able to find their tribe and learn together. 

And you've taken the brave step of creating a podcast, which is amazing, congratulations. Yeah. What tell us about the podcast and who it's for and any lessons you've learned in going down this path as well. 

Johanna Badenhorst: Sure. So I guess I did it maybe a bit backwards. Some people create stuff before they actually start advertising it on a podcast, and I thought at least, you know, I wasn't maybe quite ready to make that jump and that leap.

But I'm probably more of the creative type. I love having a good chat, so I was like, why not? Go for the podcast avenue. And it was also a bit by your encouragement I'm not much of a blog writer, but this is going to be the way that I utilise the avenue that I feel a little bit more comfortable in less so than writing. 

Megan Walker: Yes. 

Johanna Badenhorst: And so the podcast is really a combination of a bit of fun, very much like focusing on the informative element ADHD education and psychoeducation. And it aims to deliver more expert insights from other practitioners who have lived experience as well.

So that we can support the overwhelmed Mums, the busy entrepreneurs and the stressed out students because they all deserve to thrive in all those environments. And being late diagnosed myself, I have found interviewing several different late diagnosed ADHDers and that's been really enjoyable to connect with them.

So every second episode I do a solo and then I interview guests and it's been a lot of fun, but also very time consuming. So you definitely have to be prepared to either outsource some of the actual editing and things like that. Or even like the promotion side of things because it can be what I've learned really quite time consuming.

Megan Walker: Okay. And so where can people go to have a listen? Sounds amazing. I'm going to be checking it out. Point us in the right direction.

Johanna Badenhorst: Yeah, sure. So it's the ADHDher. It's backwards on my wall, but that is it. And I have various different episodes uploaded already, and I just had a little quiz. It was pretty funny.

I was like, you know what? I'm just going to have a look at the top Apple podcasts. And it's like creeping in the top one hundred, sitting at 101 in mental health. So that was a bit exciting. 

Have had such positive feedback already.

Megan Walker: So cool. And so it's on your website. Do we go to Holistic Wellness Psychology?

Johanna Badenhorst: It's on my social media. So if you actually go to the Instagram page and I've got ADHDher way on Instagram and I also have it under Holistic Wellness Psychology.  

Megan Walker: Absolutely I'll post all of those links below where everyone's watching the video.

And then to wrap us up, Joanna, I can tell you really love what you're doing. I think it's amazing that people can find their space and their tribe, especially with a new diagnosis. I imagine people who've got so many questions, they're wanting to find out more about themselves and their community.

Tell me what's your what's your vision for your clients? 

Johanna Badenhorst: So I guess ultimately my vision is that they better understand themselves and come to a space of self-acceptance and clarity. There's a lot more self-compassion, a lot more clarity about their own direction, their own lives, and eventually they really feel they're thriving in their life. That's, that's what I'd like for. 

Megan Walker: That's amazing.

Thank you for the work that you do. It's very important and it's very meaningful. It's not easy to step outside of the tradition of clinical delivery to doing something that's a bit more creative, but you'll do so well in this area. So thanks so much for chatting with me. 

Johanna Badenhorst: Thanks for having me, Megan.

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