Adult ADHD Therapy: Finding the Right Therapist
ADHD Therapy: Coping With Emotions continued...
“People who have just been diagnosed look back on their life through the
lens of ADHD,” Ramsay says. “They start to wonder about what could have been
different if only they’d been diagnosed earlier. Maybe they could have gone to
college, or followed a different career path, or saved that relationship.”
Some are left with scars after a life with undiagnosed ADHD. “A lot of
people with ADHD grew up being subject to ridicule and criticism,” Goodman
tells WebMD. “They came to believe what people said about them, that they’re
not smart or not capable.” Individual ADHD therapy can be a good way to work
through some of these issues.
ADHD Therapy: Getting a Therapist
So given that treating ADHD takes some expertise, how do you find a good
therapist? Here are some tips.
- Talk to your doctor. If you’re already working with a doctor -
preferably a psychiatrist - he or she may have good advice about whom to see
for therapy. Some psychiatrists may use psychosocial techniques
- Get in touch with a child psychiatrist. It might sound odd. But
Goodman recommends calling a local medical center and asking to speak with
someone in child psychiatry. Since ADHD in adults is still not well known,
child psychiatrists often have the best grasp on ADHD treatment and can refer
you to experts in your area.
- Try a national organization. “Some advocacy organizations have
professional directories online where people can access clinicians experienced
in ADHD,” says Ramsay. He recommends CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder
Once you’ve found a therapist, here are some things to ask - and to mull
- Ask about experience. You really want to have a therapist who has
experience in treating people - specifically adults - with ADHD. Find out about
their training. In a therapist, look for a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist,
or social worker. Keep in mind that coaching is a more informal treatment and
that coaches are not licensed by the state.
- Discuss the therapist’s approach. There are lots of different
therapies that can help adults with ADHD. Try to get a sense of the approach
that your therapist will take. Will it be exclusively focused on changing your
behavior? Will you be tackling some deeper, emotional issues as well? Does the
approach match what you want?
- Find out what to expect. What are the specific goals of ADHD
therapy? How long is it likely to last?
- Make sure it’s a good fit. Your therapist doesn’t need to be your
best friend. In fact, for therapy to work you need to have some distance. But
it’s important that you develop an open and trusting relationship. If after a
few sessions you don’t get a good vibe, you may want to consider trying someone