The best treatment for adult ADHD is developed from an individualised, comprehensive plan, based upon a client’s particular situation and needs. One size does not fit all!
Broadly speaking, we advocate for and are able to provide cognitive-behavioural skills-based therapy (either in individual, couples, or group formats) in combination with particular forms of psychotropic medication (e.g., stimulant medications). Whilst there is an evidence base for this multi-faceted approach, we acknowledge that there are other treatment approaches that have emerging evidence bases. The use of micronutrients is one such exciting example.
Cognitive-Behavioural Skills Based Therapy
Research suggests that many executive dysfunctions thought to be at the heart of ADHD (e.g., poor organisation and time management skills), entrenched core beliefs that often develop with the syndrome (e.g., defectiveness), and academic difficulties linked to the disorder are better addressed through cognitive-behavioural skills-based therapy than by psychotropic medication. What follows are some fairly typical components:
Education: Our clinical psychologist draws on state of the art research to educate you (and often family members and/or partners) about what ADHD is and how it manifests. The advantages and disadvantages of this syndrome will be discussed, and some of the myths associated with it will be dispelled.
Core skills development: Over a number of sessions, you will be introduced to a wide range of relevant skills for ADHD, including motivation techniques, time-management, and organisation strategies, prioritising skills, mindfulness and emotion regulation strategies. Where possible, compensatory skills (e.g., memory skills) informed by the results of your neuropsychological screening assessment will also be incorporated.
Addressing any co-occurring problems: As adult ADHD seldom presents in isolation, it is not unusual during therapy to integrate techniques that attend to other co-occurring psychiatric disorders and/or dysfunctional behaviours, including depression/low self-esteem, social anxiety, substance abuse, internet addiction and personality disorder. Indeed, there is evidence that people with ADHD often develop a range of unhelpful core beliefs (e.g., defectiveness, failure, perfectionism, dependency), which if left unattended, may increase their risk for other problems.
Couples therapy (if requested): Couples are taught how to best manage the impact of ADHD within their relationship/marriage.
Individual vs. Group Format
The cognitive-behavioural skills therapy can be provided in a group format. This is a more affordable option for many. The group ranges from 8 to 10 clients with adult ADHD. The therapy/treatment involves 8 2-hour sessions. The groups are both supportive and fun.
Whilst the same content is covered in both group and individual formats, the advantage of individual treatment is that more attention can be given to the presence of co-occurring problems (e.g., self-esteem difficulties).
Simulant and non-stimulant medications are often used to treat adult ADHD. They help adjust the levels of chemical messengers in the brain, particularly norepinephrine and dopamine. In WA, consultant psychiatrists require special prescribing rights to administer particular ADHD medications. Our four psychiatrists have these prescribing rights and will spend time carefully reviewing the results of the psychological assessment and your medical history before suggesting any medication. A significant advantage of our clinic is that if you are completing skills-based therapy here/with us, medication effects, including side effects, can be closely monitored by the clinical psychologist, and if necessary, promptly relayed to your psychiatrist.
(08) 9301 1222 (Calls received by Balanced Health Clinic)
Balanced Health Clinic Suite
104/6 Walsh Loop,
Joondalup WA 6027
0416 817 107
(upstairs, look for the green tree logo),
Chelsea Professional Centre,
145 Stirling Highway,
Nedlands WA 6009
Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm