Since 1999, various research initiatives have studied the impact of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) on the symptoms of ADHD in adults, in both individual and group formats, with a majority of the studies being published in the past 5-10 years. By and large, this research supports the assertion that CBT can help adults better address their ADHD-related challenges.
What is CBT for Adult ADHD?
Originally a treatment for mood disorders, CBT is based on the recognition that cognitions, or automatic thoughts, lead to emotional difficulties. Automatic thoughts are spontaneous interpretations of events. These impressions are susceptible to distortion, such as unfounded assumptions about yourself (or others), a situation, or the future. An unhealthy internal dialog could prevent an individual from working toward a goal, working to develop productive new habits, or generally take calculated risks. CBT aims to change irrational thought patterns that prevent individuals from staying on task or getting things done. For an individual with ADHD who thinks, “This has to be perfect or it’s no good,” or “I never do anything right,” CBT challenges the truth of those cognitions. Changing distorted thoughts, and the resulting change in behavior patterns, is effective in treating anxiety, and other emotional problems.
How does CBT target ADHD symptoms?
Most patients with ADHD just want to get out the door without wasting 20 minutes looking for their keys. CBT helps patients manage such everyday challenges. The CBT sessions target and focus on identifying the situations in which poor planning, disorganization, and poor time and task management create challenges in a patient’s day-to-day life. Sessions may help an individual deal with obligations such as paying bills or completing work on time, and encourage endeavors that provide personal fulfillment and well-being, such as sleep, exercise, or hobbies. Learning about ADHD is always a good starting point, as it reinforces the message that ADHD is not a character flaw and demonstrates the neurological underpinnings of daily challenges. Most adults with ADHD say, “I know what I need to do, I just don’t do it.” CBT focuses on adopting coping strategies, managing negative expectations and emotions, and unwinding behavioral patterns that interfere with the strategies.
Can adults with ADHD learn CBT on their own?
Yes, of course! Most adults have the ability to learn CBT strategies on their own but the one-on-one care, guidance, and support of a knowledgable clinician is invaluable!
How is Topsix for Adult ADHD different?
TOPsix is a short and intensive 6-week evidence-based CBT program facilitated one-on-one by Dr. Stella Fernandez. The program uses specific cognitive behavior interventions to target T-(time-management), O-(organization), and P-(planning) struggles of executive functioning. This individualized program is appropriate for individuals either on or off stimulant medication, and may be beneficial treatment for those who have not been responsive to medication for ADHD.
Please note: a formal diagnosis of ADHD by a licensed health professional is required.
Relationship Enhancement for Adult ADHD
Dr. Fernandez is certified as a PREP Instructor and follows this approach in couples counseling. PREP is a scientifically-based and empirically-tested method of teaching relationship education. It is based on over 30 years of research in the field of relationship health, with much of the research conducted at the University of Denver, and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. She tailors this research based approach for couples that struggle with ADHD. The program is condenced in a 6-week program to help couples learn better communication, trust, build stability, and grow both individually and as a couple.
Rates: TOPSix Programs are all-inclusive $480 (a super-bill can be submited to your insurance carrier for reimbursement). Pre and post test screeners are included.