She said that the approach that they use, described by Safren and colleagues,4 was developed based on the idea that most patients would be taking medication, and many studies thus report effectiveness of CBT in patients receiving pharmacological treatment. That said, Sprich noted that her group has piloted a CBT approach for patients who are not taking medications, describing their preliminary results as “promising.”
Laura Knouse, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Richmond, wrote in a recently published chapter on CBT for adults with ADHD5 that clinicians should have as their ultimate goal to teach clients to “be their own therapist.” She described individual and group approaches, including the individual approach developed by Safren and associates4 that focuses on three core modules: organization and planning, distractability reduction, and dysfunctional thought patterns.
As noted, although negative patterns are a recognized problem in adults with ADHD, positive thought patterns can also be dysfunctional. Mitchell said that with CBT, the behavioral aspect of treatment will “mostly focus on negative thinking and the depressive and anxious flavors of cognition.” However, he and Knouse also have found6 that what look like positive cognitions can be “really maladaptive.”
One example cited by Mitchell is when a patient mentions a belief that “I can do these things at the last minute, I’m a really good multitasker,” but the evidence suggests instead that this attitude is “really causing a lot of problems.” Sprich concurred. “I absolutely agree with this observation,” she said. “It is something that we see very often when working with individuals with ADHD.”
Note from CoachRudy: This is a very good article that increases the awareness of ADHD but it limits the treatment of ADD/ADHD to CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. “Coach Rudy is an ADHD coach who addresses the negative thinking similar to CBT therapy. Coach Rudy also addresses the specific Executive Function impairments and teaches effective ADD/ADHD friendly skill-building to help his clients improve their self management of ADHD.