View Full Version : Starting Over (the tv show)

09-14-03, 06:12 PM
Has anybody seen the new show "Starting Over"? I believe it's from the creators of the show "The Real World". It's about 6 women who live together in one house. But...Instead of exploiting the people who live in the house, the women actually receive help!!

The show is really interesting. The women come from all different backgrounds and are different ages. They are pretty much there to try to accomplish things in their lives in which they have not been able to do before.

There are also 2 "Life Coaches" who work very closely with the Women. The Coaches don't actually live in the house but do spend a lot of time there.

I'm not sure if any of the women actually have AD/HD. From what I have seen some of then do have many AD/HD behaviors though.

I think the show does a great job of illustrating how beneficial a coach can be in a person's life.

Here's a link to the show's website

01-18-04, 12:02 AM
I saw a single episode of the tv show "Starting Over". Essentially it's about a group of midlife women in transition making major life changes with the help of two life coaches. One of the women (Theresa) is ADD.
Theresa is being ABUSED by her ignorant coach and scapegoated by the others for ADD behaviour (procrastinating, mainly). The coach was intolerant and rude. Obviously she doesn't have a clue who she is working with.
I was so upset that I had to remind myself it's a bogus reality tv thing and maybe poor Theresa will come out ahead.
I so much identified with Theresa that I don't think I can bring myself to watch any more of this abuse.
Has anyone else seen this? Am I missing something? Do all "professional" coaches behave in such an unenlightened manner?

01-18-04, 07:49 AM
I have been watching the show since it started and at 1st I really liked the show.

I haven't watched in the past week because I was a bit fed up with the show and it's on really late here.

Teresa does show a lot of sign of AD/HD.

Was there something mentioned on the show in the past week that she does actually have AD/HD?

I have voiced my opion on the starting over message board about they way Teresa is being treated.

If you search through the Teresa section at you will see some of my posts.

01-18-04, 10:12 AM
I think the difficulty for me is in the uncontracted dynamics. It almost appears as if the coach has a personal aversion to Theresa (is the coach really that perfect -- is anyone?). I know it's tv and not "real" -- but I think it sends an inaccurate message to the general public in that it perpetuates the stereotypes of laziness, ditziness etc. and that the solution is to just "get your act together". Theresa was given verbal reminders to do her chores, but she obviously didn't hear them. There was no attempt to use another prompt format etc.
The house IMO is run like a boot camp with "punishments" for minor infractions. I have a problem with that approach. If Theresa did contract to abide by the rules, she really bit off more than most people (ADD or not) could chew. They actually give weekly grades to the women and two "C's" in a row, you're out. Theresa isn't getting the kind of help she needs.
I would also not appreciate that luxurious house if I was afraid of spilling or breaking something all the time and then get a strip torn off me. If Theresa actually survives this environment and lives up to everyone else's expections then she deserves a medal!
I've been thinking that I would find a good coach helpful-- now I'm not so sure. It looks like a case of "buyer beware" and I would need to satisfy myself that the coach had no personal issues about ADD behaviour and we would work from realistic personal goals.
I hope you don't mind my starting this thread. As someone who is actively looking for coaching, I felt is was relevant.
BTW Theresa actually said, "I got the ADD thing going on."
Thanks for the comments and the link -- I'll check it out.

01-18-04, 01:10 PM
I think this is a great thread that you started. As for it not being "real" it is a reality show. So it's as close to real as it gets.

The coaches are not trained to handle a person with AD/HD. There are many great coaches out there who have training in AD/HD and know how to work with an AD/HD client.

Please don't let this show shy you away from working with an AD/HD coach.

04-09-04, 10:01 PM
They have a new house guest with AD/HD. I really hope the coaches have learned more about AD/HD since Teresa was in the house.

04-03-05, 05:42 PM
The show "Starting Over" is, at best, 30% accurate for how coaches (including ADD coaches) actually operate. In other words the show does not present a clear picture of coaching. Coaches do not tell clients what to do or give advice. Clients will want to select the coach that the client really likes, and not have a coach assigned to them. Coaches assist clients to achieve coachable goals. They do not solve problems for people. And much more.

The show is made for TV to entertain viewers by producing drama. The use of coaches is the vehicle for entertaining. Personally, I am happy the show features coaching, because it makes the public aware of coaching. This thread is a positive result of the show. Any news is better (bad or otherwise) than no news.

However, I wish they would present the coaching process in a more true light. But in our conversations with the producers before they started, they revealed how they were more interested in creating a dramatic, entertaining product for their sponsors, than in presenting a clear representation of coaching. And it has worked for them. Just like the movie about how the mobster (Robert DeNero) interacted with his therapist (Billy Crystal) did not accurately represent therapy, but it was fun to watch.

Starting over is show business.

04-10-05, 03:06 PM
Yes it is show business but so it Dr Phil and all other so called self-help shows on TV. You and I know this but many people do not not know. Many people think that what Rhonda and now Ilyana do on the show is Coaching. Both of them have several books out and Rhonda gives the appearance that she is a "Coaching Exper"t. It really surprises me that IFC hasn't spoken out about this.

I am still outraged at the way Rhonda treated Denise when she was in the house. Densise actually does have ADD. She mentiones it on her website and end the very end of an interview that she did on . I knew it from the second she walked in. The thing is that even if the coaches were actually doing coaching they were not equipped to deal with Denise's ADD. Even the best Coach in the world can be damaging to a person with ADD if the coach is not educated about ADD.

Coaching a person with ADD is a whole lot different that coaching a person who does not have ADD. The tools and techniques that work on a person with out ADD could hurt a person with out ADD instead of helping him or her.

For those people who never actually saw Denise on the show Starting Over, TLC (The Learning Channel) now air the show at 3:00 pm EST and they running them a few months behind the current show. From the episode decriptions on TLC it seems as Denise should be enterinng the show during the 1st week of May.

11-11-05, 09:16 PM
Take a look at ( Rhonda is on the home page! I agree that what you see on that show isn't really coaching. The people are made to do things that they aren't comfortable with, and are punished if they don't cooperate. It seems that they often cross the line into "therapy" as well.

Far Wanderer
12-01-05, 12:54 AM
Coaching a person with ADD is a whole lot different that coaching a person who does not have ADD. The tools and techniques that work on a person with out ADD could hurt a person with out ADD instead of helping him or her.

wow Tara, that is soo true. It is unfortunate that there is this confusion about coaching and ADD coaching and the asumptions that any ole' coach will do. I really believe that an ADD educated coach for folks with ADD can make a huge difference in peoples lives

so many myths seem to be perpetuated by the media about ADD and how to deal with it, by people just making assumptions and not truly educating themselves.