At Done, we want to make sure our patients know about all the methods that can potentially help them manage their ADHD on a daily basis. That's why we've put together this guide to the different types of ADHD therapy and their potential benefits.
Behavioral Therapy for ADHD
Behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that can help people with ADHD manage their symptoms more effectively. The goal of this type of therapy is to provide practical strategies for dealing with ADHD behaviors. If patients successfully adopt and reinforce the recommended behaviors, they may be able to lessen the effects of their ADHD symptoms over time.
Patients in behavioral therapy for ADHD learn coping skills that allow them to overcome some of the challenges they face related to their disorder. For example, they might learn different techniques for maintaining focus when at school or work or for minimizing hyperactivity in situations where excess energy and movement isn't appropriate.
Behavioral therapy is often recommended for children with ADHD. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate in order to help the child get the best results and to reinforce the strategies advised by the therapist. However, adults with ADHD can also participate in behavioral therapy and may find that it gives them useful tools for easing their symptoms.
It's important to note that behavioral therapy usually takes a significant amount of time to produce results. You need to be dedicated to sticking to the recommended behaviors as much as possible in order to see positive changes. Consistency is key in making behavioral therapy effective for the patient.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for ADHD
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another type of psychotherapy often recommended for people with ADHD. It is especially useful for teen and adult patients with the disorder who are facing negative thought patterns in relation to their ADHD.
ADHDers often suffer from low self-esteem. This can stem from their struggles to overcome their symptoms as well as criticism from others. For example, some children with ADHD endure years of scolding and punishment for their hyperactive or impulsive tendencies. Similarly, adults with ADHD may face relationship troubles or problems at work due to their symptoms. This can directly affect how someone with ADHD thinks about themselves and their abilities.
The goal of CBT is to change negative, demoralizing, or irrational thought patterns to help people with ADHD develop a healthier mental attitude toward themselves and their situation. People in this type of therapy often learn about ways to manage stress and regulate their emotions. Where behavioral therapy works on practical coping skills and strategies, CBT is more focused on training the brain to see things in a different, more positive light.
In CBT, people with ADHD learn to recognize and identify their distorted, negative thoughts and replace them with more realistic and optimistic ones. This can be incredibly helpful for improving mental health by minimizing self-critical thinking.
Other ADHD Therapy Options
There are a few other types of ADHD therapy which certain individuals may find to be beneficial, such as:
- Family therapy: This type of therapy can help people who are struggling with parents, siblings, children, or spouses due to their ADHD. A family therapist can assist in facilitating better understanding between family members and coming up with strategies for improved harmony in the home.
- Social skills training: People with ADHD who struggle with appropriate social behaviors can benefit from social skills training. This type of therapy is mostly recommended for children with ADHD.
- Parenting skills training: Parents of children with ADHD can learn more about the disorder and how to help their child manage it in this type of therapy.
- Art and music therapy: Many people with ADHD benefit from a creative outlet, and this type of therapy channels that into a calming social activity.
- Support groups: Having a community of people who face the same struggles can be incredibly empowering for someone with ADHD.
What About Medication?
Therapy can have many benefits for individuals with ADHD, but it's not the only option. In fact, it may be a good idea to combine it with medication in order to get the best results. For instance, one study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital found that a combination of CBT and medication was more effective at controlling ADHD symptoms than medication alone.
If you're ready to rethink the way you approach your ADHD, reach out to us at Done. Our clinicians can help you find the right ADHD medication to help manage your symptoms. We don't currently offer therapy, but we do highly recommend it and can help guide you in finding the right fit for your unique needs.