CBT for Adult ADD and ADHD

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 or need attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment.

Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may experience a number of troubling symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. More specifically, adults with ADHD can have difficulty sustaining attention, problems attending to details, poor organization, and acting before thinking among other difficulties.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is virtually the only scientifically tested psychological treatment for the residual symptoms medications cannot treat.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)  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. CBT for ADD/ADHD has been shown in randomized controlled trials to significantly reduce symptoms of ADHD.

CBT for ADD/ADHD may involve:

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

Click to learn how to become involved in an ADHD clinical trial at UCLA.