Executive Functioning Skills Training

Executive function coaches at Appletree Psychological Services works alongside individuals to set goals (long-term, short-term, or daily) designed to improve self-regulation and goal attainment.

At Appletree Psychological Services, we use a "client goal-setting" approach. This allows our coaches and their clients to work in a collaborative manner rather than prescriptive.


Communication Style:

  • Open-ended questions: The kind of questions that open the door to more words from the client than from you, as opposed to yes-no questions used to collect information or data.

  • Affirmation: Affirmations comment favorably on specific positive traits, attributes, or strengths of the person that endures over time.

  • Reflection: Accurate empathic reflections involve listening not only to what the person says but also for what the person means.

  • Summarizing: A special form of empathic reflection where you collect statements from part of or the whole conversation.

What are executive functioning skills?

Executive functions are a set of skills that involve managing mental control, self-regulation, and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. The executive functions all serve a "command and control" function; they can be viewed as the "conductor" of all cognitive skills.


Cognitive skills are core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. These skills are used every day at school, at work, and in life. Executive functions help you manage life tasks of all types.


These skills play a role in most aspects of life. Executive function deficits can hinder an individual academically, socially, and emotionally. While they are present from an early age, problems with executive functions often do not become apparent until middle school, when the demands for working independently increase.

Health Executive Functioning Looks Like:

  • Response Inhibition

    • The ability to think before you act.

  • Working Memory

    • The ability to hold information in your memory while completing tasks.

  • Emotional Control

    • The ability to manage emotions or control and direct behavior.

  • Sustained Attention

    • The ability to maintain attention throughout a boring situation or task.

  • Task Initiation

    • The ability to begin tasks without procrastination.

  • Planning/Prioritizing

    • The ability to make decisions about what is most important and plan efficiently to complete a task.

  • Organization

    • The ability to create sustainable systems.

  • Time Management

    • The ability to estimate time in an accurate manner and to stay within time limits.

  • Goal-Directed Persistence

    • The ability to make and complete a goal.

  • Flexibility

    • The ability to adapt to new, unplanned obstacles and setbacks.

  • Metacognition

    • The ability to take a birds-eye view in a situation.

  • Stress Tolerance

    • The ability to endure stressful situations.