At the Hallowell ADHD Centers we begin with connection and a focus on the patient as an individual, with their own unique needs, strengths and challenges. Therapy sessions with your clinician are almost always part of our holistic approach to treatment, and especially valuable for those who have just been diagnosed.
Through a number of sessions developing self-awareness, education, informed by the expert understanding of ADHD that the therapist will have. This will help you or the person you love get an understanding of their own unique set of strengths and challenges with their ADHD. Everyone is different, and understanding yourself, and especially your unique gifts together is an essential part of the Hallowell strength-based approach to ADHD.
Psychotherapy may be recommended for your child and/or for your family. Your child’s clinician will get to know your child as a person and focus not only on what has been challenging for them and the family, but also on what is going well and what is special about them. Children can benefit from learning more about their ADHD, learning challenges, anxiety, or mood disorders and learning new coping strategies.
Psychotherapy for children is different from the talk-based approach with adults. Your child’s therapist may play games, create art, go for a walk outside, practice mindfulness, listen to music, or read certain books with your child.
Parents and caregivers are an important part of treatment and will receive feedback and advice about ways to help your child. Your child’s treatment providers at the Hallowell ADHD Centers may also work with teachers, school counselors, outside providers, and any other members of your child’s support team.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of treatment that focuses on symptom resolution using cognitive restructuring to instigate behavioral change. Patients are coached into reframing thoughts and redirecting behaviors that impede healthy psychological maturation. Although there is a natural human tendency to attribute problems and feelings to external elements (like people, situation, events), in fact, it’s more often our internal thoughts that determine how we feel and behave. Changing the way we think can bring about a major shift in how we feel and behave, even if the external situations remain the same.
CBT is a collaborative process: the patient shares his/her problems and goals with the therapist, who listens and provides specific insights on how to achieve those goals. Therapists who employ a CBT approach actively engage their patients to participate in their own recovery process by implementing the insights learned within a treatment action plan.
CBT can be helpful for children with ADHD as well. CBT for children will have the same focus on thoughts and behaviors, but is geared to the appropriate developmental level (play is involved!)
Parents can benefit from parent coaching with a CBT approach to help themselves in reframing their children’s challenges through an ADHD lens in order to respond helpfully to their child, and less reactively.
The CBT approach is also often used to treat other conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD and eating disorders.
Relationships where one or both members of the couple have ADHD can be plagued by misunderstandings, anger and frustration. These problems often arise from the misinterpretation of undiagnosed ADHD symptoms. The good news is that by understanding the role that ADHD plays in your relationship – by correctly interpreting what is happening to you and learning ways to make the interactions more positive – couples can not only improve their relationships, but thrive.
We offer a number of ways to learn how to thrive in relationships affected by ADHD, including counseling for couples interested in improving interactions and misunderstandings in their relationship.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. First, mindfulness focuses on improving an individual’s ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Second, distress toleranceis geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Third, emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life. Fourth, interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.
Family therapy can help your family recognize unhelpful patterns of communication and interacting that have developed unintentionally as a result of untreated ADHD, learning challenges, anxiety or mood disorders. Family therapy provides a safe place to address these patterns and create new ways of connecting, communicating, and interacting as a family.