Absolutely! Behaviourally-based psychological therapies have demonstrated effectiveness. It’s difficult to make generalisations as a diagnosis of “ADHD – inattentive type” comprises many different types of presentations. Eg, the inattention may be primarily to visual stimuli vs to auditory stimuli vs to kinaesthetic experiences; may manifest more in some contexts than in others.; may or may not be associated with cognitive processing difficulties (such as working memory). When I’m working with ADHD-inattentive type, I do the following:
• conduct an assessment to identify the unique features of inattention in each case. This would usually involve conducting a functional behavioural analysis;
• prepare a formulation to explain the predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors in each case;
• clarify values –what heartfelt values does the client want their life to serve? (this process is modified for children);
• plan & carry out customised attention-training using a range of mindfulness-based strategies – the client’s willingness to do daily out-of-session practice is imperative; and
• train self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism.
If I’m working with a child, the active involvement of parents is absolutely necessary (eg, training skills in empathy-based collaborative problem solving).
Psychological interventions are not a “quick-fix” for ADHD but benefits seem to be long-term. I’d be surprised to see significant benefit in less than 12 sessions.
Talk to your treating medical practitioner to discuss options for referral to a psychologist. Practitioners who work in a similar way to me can be found at the therapist listing www.actmindfully.com.au
Best wishes in your search for a non-medical intervention.
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