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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD) 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which was previously known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a common childhood disorders that often lasts through adulthood. ADHD Symptoms include problems focusing and staying focused, impulsive behavior, and sometimes hyperactivity or over-activity. The following information applies to both adults and children who may have Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Symptoms of Causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


  • Have difficulty focusing on one thing

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another

  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new

  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities

  • Not seem to listen when spoken to

  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly

  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others

  • Struggle to follow instructions.


  • Fidget and squirm in their seats

  • Talk nonstop

  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight

  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time

  • Be constantly in motion

  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.


  • Be very impatient

  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences

  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games

  • Often interrupt conversations or others' activities.


Currently available ADHD treatments focus on reducing the symptoms of ADHD and improving functioning. Treatments include medication, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or a combination of the two. ADHD treatments can relieve many of the disorder's symptoms, but there is no cure. With treatment, most people with ADHD can be successful in school and lead productive lives. Researchers are developing more effective treatments and interventions, and using new tools such as brain imaging, to better understand ADHD and to find more effective ways to treat and prevent it.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aims to help an individual change his or her behavior. It might involve practical assistance, such as help organizing tasks or completing work projects, or working through emotionally difficult events. CBT also teaches the individual how to monitor his or her own behavior. Learning to give oneself praise or rewards for acting in a desired way, such as controlling anger or thinking before acting, is another goal of behavioral therapy. In addition, clear rules, organizational strategies, and other structured routines can help an individual control his or her behavior.

A cognitive behavioral therapist can help an adult with ADHD learn how to organize his or her life with tools such as a large calendar or date book, lists, reminder notes, and by assigning a special place for keys, bills, and paperwork. Large tasks can be broken down into more manageable, smaller steps so that completing each part of the task provides a sense of accomplishment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also can help change one's poor self-image by examining the experiences that produced it. The therapist encourages the adult with ADHD to adjust to the life changes that come with treatment, such as thinking before acting, or resisting the urge to take unnecessary risks.

Click for more information about ADHD, its causes and symptoms 

Click for more information about  What CBT is and How it Works