How is cognitive-behavioral therapy applied to ADHD cases?
This is how people with adhd are helped from cognitive-behavioral psychology.
ADHD, an acronym that refers to the term "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder", is a psychological phenomenon that often gives rise to controversy. In fact, more than a few people today believe that it is simply an invention of the pharmaceutical industry, created to sell stimulant-type drugs such as methylphenidate.
However, the truth is that ADHD is a reality.In fact, its existence is not as closely linked to the dynamics of big pharmaceuticals as is often believed. It is true that it is probably an overdiagnosed disorder (i.e., it tends to be assumed that people without ADHD have developed this disorder), and it is also true that the use of medication is often recommended in its treatment.
But the truth is that the existence of ADHD has evidence both in the field of clinical psychology and neuroscience, and that the fact of having received this diagnosis does not imply the need for the use of psychotropic drugs. Normally, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is what works best, and it is often sufficient.and it is often enough. Let us see what it consists of and how it is applied in this disorder.
What is ADHD?
Let's start with the basics: what is ADHD? It is a neurodevelopmental a neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually detected during childhood in some children, and which gives rise to three types of ADHDand which gives rise to three main types of symptoms:
- Problems in maintaining concentration on a specific task or stimulus.
- Problems to control impulses, and impatience.
- Hyperactivity, restlessness and constant search for stimuli in the environment.
One of the main consequences of ADHD is that if it is not treated properly, it tends to significantly limit the school progress of children, leading to school failure and all that this entails in adolescence and adult life. In addition, it also leads to problems of coexistence and family dynamics.
As far as is currently known, normally the symptoms of ADHD do not disappear completely in adulthood, although it is true that after adulthood the symptoms of ADHD do not disappear completely.However, it is true that after adolescence we have better tools to put in order both our thoughts and our priorities. While it is true that those who have developed ADHD during childhood do not continue to maintain the classic childhood behavior based on impulsivity and high activity, statistically they are more likely to develop addictions and other problems linked to difficulties in repressing impulses.
How is ADHD treated in cognitive-behavioral therapy?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychological intervention that, as its name suggests, aims to help the person seeking support to modify their behavioral patterns and cognitive patterns. That is, their way of behaving from an objective and observable point of view (moving, talking to others, and interacting with what is around them in general), and their way of thinking, feeling and holding beliefs.
This dual pathway, which is not as parallel as it seems, since observable behavior and cognitive processes are constantly influencing each other, is very effective in providing psychological assistance for a wide variety of problems, some of which are not even related to psychological disorders.
How is cognitive-behavioral therapy applied in the case of ADHD? In summary, the main forms of intervention in this kind of cases are the following.
1. Training in emotion recognition
The cognitive-behavioral model helps people with ADHD to correctly identify the emotions they feel at any given moment.
In this way, for example, they are prevented from using forms of "relief" of emotional discomfort that can lead to recurrent habits.This can be done through actions that lead to cover up that discomfort with occasional moments of well-being that "cover up" the anguish, sadness, frustration, etc. Doing this makes it more likely that the person will correctly intervene in the real source of the problem that makes him/her feel this way.
2. Structuring behavioral patterns
Psychologists who work with the cognitive-behavioral model train people with attention and impulsivity problems to adopt action sequencing strategies..
This makes it less likely to start a task and leave it half done, or to direct the focus of attention to other stimuli, since emphasis is placed on those pathways of thought and action that lead us to finish what we have started and move on to the next task to be done.
Anxiety management techniques
Anxiety is one of the psychological phenomena that most predisposes to disorganization and the search for external distractions.. For this reason, cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people to manage it better without falling into its traps.
4. Communication guidelines
It should not be forgotten that many of the symptoms of ADHD facilitate the appearance of conflicts and problems of coexistence. For this reason, in psychology gives guidelines to prevent this kind of problems and to give them a constructive solution once they have occurred..
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If you are interested in professional psychological help, please contact me. I am a psychologist specialized in the cognitive-behavioral intervention model with many years of experience helping individuals and organizations; I currently work either in my office in Madrid or through online therapy. On this page you will find more information about how I work, and also my contact details.
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