Psychological Therapy for Adults with ADHD
Adults with ADHD may experience a range of difficulties, such as problems with their thinking style (e.g. inattention), problems with their behaviour in everyday situations (e.g. impulsivity, alcohol and drug use), problems with their mood (e.g. depression), or problems in relationships. A helpful approach is therefore one that draws on a range of therapeutic models and treatment styles.
At the Sloane Court Clinic the psychological therapy for adults with ADHD is based on the Young-Bramham model, which is primarily cognitive and behavioural in orientation, but which draws in other specific treatment approaches such as anger management, sleep management, motivational interviewing, assertiveness training, and interpersonal work. The psychological therapy can therefore be made specific to the individual depending on the problems experienced by a client and the priorities for intervention as agreed by the client and their therapist.
The Young-Bramham model is a new approach to a disorder that has only recently been recognised as a problem experienced by adults; however the therapeutic techniques used are all well established methods for helping adults to change and manage their thinking and behaviour.
The therapeutic work would usually include guiding the client in identifying ways in which their thinking style or approach is problematic for them, then working with them to devise, practice, and test alternative ways to think and respond in problem situations. They may also work on helping the client to alter aspects of their environment to reduce the impact of the ADHD (for example a well ordered diary and tidy environment can help to minimise forgetting and sources of distraction in those with memory and attentional problems).
The Young-Bramham model uses a collaborative approach, which to be effective requires a willingness to work with the therapist, to try out strategies in between sessions and to make changes.
Young, S. and Bramham, J (2007). ADHD in Adults: A Psychological Guide to Practice. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.