ADHD Therapy

ADHD Therapy generally refers to a variety of treatments that do not necessarily mean using medicine. In reality the most effective overall treatment plan is one that includes non medical treatment as a part of that plan.

A counselor or therapist with expertise in ADHD can help patients control their thoughts, actions, and attention. Individuals often need to re-learn behaviors and get rid of negative impressions that they may be hiding in side their belief system.

Therapy Choices

There are several different types of ADHD therapy, and counselors know how to use them to suit patients specific needs. Some of the most common kinds of ADHD therapies include:

  • Behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy focuses on controlling actions, for children, adolescents and adults alike. Of course, anyone with ADHD can benefit from learning new techniques to redirect and control their own actions. Some of this is done through positive reinforcement, and some through restructuring of routines and new methods of organization. However, behavioral therapy is useful for the whole family of individuals with ADHD. Parents can learn techniques to help children refocus and control themselves, instead of resorting to punishment for inappropriate behavior. Behavioral therapists can help families devise helpful structures and routines that enable everyone to operate at their best. Behavioral therapy can also help kids practice social skills so they know how to act and interact in school or other social situations.
  • Cognitive therapy Cognitive, or "thinking," therapy, is a way to "train the brain." One of the symptoms of ADHD is the lack of what is called "working memory," which means that individuals with an ADHD brain don't always remember the information it needs to complete the task at hand. This may account for the scattered and unfocused behavior of many ADHD patients, and the resultant poor social and academic performance. Cognitive ADHD therapy works specifically on increasing the working memory of those with ADHD, that help with making daily choices, from selecting clothing to completing homework. With structure these individuals can learn to complete these tasks using all the information at hand.

  • Psychotherapy Psychotherapy focuses more on patient coping skills or how the patient feels about his or her life. A psychotherapist helps a patient accept himself, mental illness and all. In this kind of ADHD therapy, a patient will often discuss the stresses or emotional challenges in his or her life, including anxiety, relationship strains, anger, or self-pity, and a psychotherapist will help the patient work through these feelings, identify their causes and sources, and begin to heal them a little at a time. Multiple examples are given emphasizing that individuals with ADHD symptoms can lead normal even very productive lives.

  • Support groups. These groups are invaluable for both ADHD sufferers themselves and for the families connected to them. A child or adult benefits dramatically from learning that they are not alone, and knowing that because there are many others like them, they themselves can't be intrinsically bad, stupid, or unable to deal with life. They also learn coping techniques that have worked for others, which can increase their self-esteem by teaching others some of their own successful methods.

  • For parents or spouses, attending a support group can alleviate the guilt that those close to anyone with a mental illness often feel. Self-defeating thoughts such as, "If I'd been a better parent," or "If I had more patience," can become healed when they receive reassurance that the family member didn't cause this, and that there are ways to adapt and learn to live successfully and happily with their loved ones.

For many individuals with ADHD symptoms, medication therapy is essential. Likewise, for the most optimal outcome, ADHD therapy can help sufferers and those who love them face life with a positive attitude, good self-worth, and the tools they need to succeed. A good therapist can help anyone with ADHD build upon their strengths, cope with their weaknesses, and establish a productive life.

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