Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty paying attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can have a significant impact on a person's daily life and can lead to difficulties in school, work, and relationships.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating adult ADHD. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that are contributing to the symptoms of ADHD.
One of the core components of CBT for adult ADHD is time management. This involves setting realistic goals, breaking tasks down into smaller, manageable steps, and prioritizing activities based on importance. It also includes techniques such as making a schedule, breaking down larger tasks into smaller steps, and using reminders to stay on track.
Another component of CBT for adult ADHD is organizational skills training. This involves teaching individuals strategies to improve their ability to organize and prioritize their daily activities, such as using a planner or calendar to keep track of appointments, using folders and labels to keep important papers in order, and using a to-do list to stay on top of tasks.
Cognitive restructuring is also an important component of CBT for adult ADHD. This involves identifying and changing negative thoughts, such as self-criticism or negative predictions, that may be contributing to the symptoms of ADHD.
Research has shown that CBT is effective in treating adult ADHD. A randomized controlled trial found that CBT led to significant improvements in attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity symptoms compared to a waitlist control group (Barkley, 2011). Another study found that CBT in combination with medication was more effective than medication alone in reducing symptoms of adult ADHD (Safren, 2005).
CBT is a safe and effective treatment for adult ADHD and can be used alone or in combination with medication. If you are experiencing symptoms of adult ADHD, it is important to talk to a qualified healthcare provider, such as a psychologist, to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Barkley, R. A., Murphy, K. R., & Fischer, M. (2011). ADHD in adults: what the science says. Guilford Press.
Safren, S. A., Otto, M. W., Sprich, S., Winett, C., & Wilens, T. (2005). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for ADHD in medication-treated adults with continued symptoms. Behavioral Research and Therapy, 43(10), 1331-1342.