ADHD Treatment Options

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ADHD Treatment Options and Interventions

There are many good treatment options and interventions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, teens, and adults. Here is a brief list:

Each of the interventions listed above will help those with problems with attention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, school or learning problems, and so on, to one degree or another. Each is fairly effectice.

Each individual will benefit greatly, a "day and night difference," from one or two of the listed interventions - but not from every listed intervention. Not everybody responds well to medication, or biofeedback, or diet, or Attend. But most respond well, and some see a "day and night" improvement.

When it comes to the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder - ADD ADHD - or with problems of Attention, Impulse Control, Over-Activity, and/or Learning Problems in "the real world," there are a number of approaches to treatment that may work well.

The information provided has either been gleaned from research on Attention Deficit Disorder ( ADD ADHD ) treatment interventions, or it is from our experience in a clinical setting treating over 1,000 Attention Deficit Disorder patients.

Each intervention that is discussed will work for some, perhaps most, of those who try them. Any of these interventions might work for you, or not.

We believe that the interventions in this section are all effective improving problems with Attention, Impulse Control, Over-Activity, and/or Learning Problems.

However, we cannot say that the interventions can help individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADD ADHD. To say that might make the FDA upset. Please forgive the "game playing" that is required below.

Parents should try the treatment that might be most effective for their child. Every child is different and will respond as an individual to the treatment options that we discuss.

For unknown reasons, some children respond very well to diet, and some do not. Some respond very well to Attend, and some do not. Some respond very well to medicine, and some do not.

Every child is different.

Also, there are different types of ADHD, and each different type will respond better to a certain treatment strategy, or a particular medication.

As a result, we recommend that you look carefully at each intervention listed below, and then also take a hard look at

  • your child
  • your finances
  • your insurance coverage
  • your present eating habits
  • the amount of "spare time" that you have in your life to do what it will take to make some of these interventions work.

Another disclaimer: We are not medical doctors. All of the following information is from our observations of treatment interventions given to our patients over the past twenty years. Don't be afraid to talk with your physician, psychologist, etc., about our observations.

This information is for the sake of education and discussion. We are not prescribing treatment across the internet.

Read each of the articles below to get a good understanding of what your treatment options really are, and how best to plan and manage these options.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., M.S. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Tehachapi, CA who has been a skillful counselor to children, teens, and adults helping them to overcome ADHD, find relief for depression or anxiety, and solve other problems in life since 1989. He served on the medical advisory board to the company that makes Attend and Extress from 1997 through 2011, and he is the Editor of the ADHD Information Library online resource. His weekly ADHD Newsletter goes out to 9,500 families. Visit his website at for more information on achieving greater health, personal growth, Christ-centered spirituality, stress management, parenting skills, ADHD, working out the stresses of being a care-giver to elderly parents and also being a parent to teenagers, or finding greater meaning in retirement years, Dr. Cowan can be a valuable resource to you.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT
27400 Oakflat Dr.
Tehachapi, CA 93561
(661) 972-5953

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ADHD Treatment Improvements Sustained in Most Children

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But Linked Problems Persist Into Adolescence

Most children treated in a variety of ways for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed sustained improvement after three years in a major follow-up study funded by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Yet increased risk for behavioral problems, including delinquency and substance use, remained higher than normal.

The study followed-up children who had participated in the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA).

Press Release: July 20, 2007 National Institute of Mental Health. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services.

Initial advantages of medication management alone or in combination with behavioral treatment over purely behavioral or routine community care waned in the years after 14 months of controlled treatment ended. However, Peter Jensen, M.D., Columbia University, and colleagues emphasized that "it would be incorrect to conclude from these results that treatment makes no difference or is not worth pursuing."

Their report is among four on the outcome of the MTA study published in the August, 2007 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

"We were struck by the remarkable improvement in symptoms and functioning across all treatment groups," explained Jensen.

After three years, 45-71 percent of the youth in the original treatment groups were taking medication. However, continuing medication treatment was no longer associated with better outcomes by the third year.

"Our results suggest that medication can make a long-term difference for some children if it's continued with optimal intensity, and not started or added too late in a child's clinical course," added Jensen.

For the followup study, a multi-site research team evaluated, at ages 10-13, 485 children from the original MTA study, the first major randomized trial comparing different treatments for ADHD, published in l999. That study found that intensive medication management alone or in combination with behavioral therapy produced better outcomes than just behavioral therapy or usual community care.

Ratings from families and teachers favored the combination treatment, which allowed for somewhat lower medication doses. Also, the careful management of medication by MTA physicians produced better outcomes than medication provided through usual community care sources.

After the 14 months of assigned treatments ended, families were free to choose from treatments available in their communities.

To understand why the initial advantage of medication wore off, the researchers examined medication use patterns that emerged after formal treatment in the study ended. They found that children who had been assigned to intensive behavioral treatment were more likely to begin taking medication, while those who had been taking medication were more likely to stop. For example, among children originally in the behavioral treatment group, the incidence of high medication use increased from 14 to 45 percent.

In a secondary analysis of the data that searched for possible explanations for the findings, in the same issue of the JAACAP, researchers led by James Swanson, Ph.D., University of California at Irvine, reported finding substantial individual variability in responses to medication. They identified three groups of children with different patterns of response. One group, about a third of the children, showed a gradual, moderate improvement; a second group, about half of the children, showed larger initial improvement, which was sustained through the third year; a third group, about 14 percent of the children, responded well initially, but then deteriorated as symptoms returned during the second and third years. Swanson and colleagues suggested "trial withdrawals" for some children to determine if they still need to take medications.

Another report by Swanson and colleagues in the same issue of the JAACAP confirmed an earlier finding from the MTA study that taking medication slowed growth. A group of 65 children with ADHD who had never taken medication grew somewhat larger — about three-fourths of an inch and 6 pounds more, on average — than a group of 88 peers who stayed on medication over the three years. Growth rates normalized for the children on medication by the third year, but they had not made up for the earlier slowing in growth.

In a fourth article, Brooke Molina, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reported that, despite treatment, the children with ADHD showed significantly higher-than-normal rates of delinquency (27.1 percent vs. 7.4 percent) and substance use (17.4 percent vs. 7.8 percent) after three years. Earlier evidence of lower substance use rates among children who had received intensive behavioral therapy had lessened by the third year. "These findings underscore the point that ADHD treatment for one year does not prevent serious problems from emerging later," noted Molina.

The follow-up of the MTA sample will continue as the participating children go through adolescence and enter adulthood.

The following researchers participated in the studies:

Three-year Follow-up of the NIMH MTA Study. Peter S. Jensen, L. Eugene Arnold, James M. Swanson, Benedetto Vitiello, Howard B. Abikoff, Laurence L. Greenhill, Lily Hechtman, Stephen P. Hinshaw, William E. Pelham, Karen C. Wells, C. Keith Conners, Glen R. Elliott, Jeffery N. Epstein, Betsy Hoza, John S. March, Brooke S.G. Molina, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Joanne B. Severe, Timothy Wigal, Robert D. Gibbons, Kwan Hur

Secondary Evaluations of MTA 36-Month Outcomes: Propensity Score and Growth Mixture Model Analyses. James M. Swanson, Stephen P. Hinshaw, L. Eugene Arnold, Robert D. Gibbons, Sue Marcus, Kwan Hur, Peter S. Jensen, Benedetto Vitiello, Howard B. Abikoff, Laurence L. Greenhill, Lily Hechtman, William E. Pelham, Karen C. Wells, C. Keith Conners, John S. March, Glen R. Elliott, Jeffery N. Epstein, Kimberly Hoagwood, Betsy Hoza, Brooke S.G. Molina, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Joanne B. Severe, Timothy Wigal, and the MTA Cooperative Group

Effects of Stimulant Medication on Growth Rates Across 3 Years in the MTA Follow-up. James M. Swanson, Glen R. Elliott, Laurence L. Greenhill, Timothy Wigal, L. Eugene Arnold, Benedetto Vitiello, Lily Hechtman, Jeffery Epstein, William E. Pelham, Howard B. Abikoff, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Brooke S.G. Molina, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Karen C.Wells, Betsy Hoza, Peter S. Jensen, Robert D. Gibbons, Kwan Hur, Annamarie Stehli, Mark Davies, John S. March, C. Keith Conners, Mark Caron, Nora D. Volkow, for the MTA Collaborative Group

Delinquent Behavior and Emerging Substance Use in the MTA at 36-Months: Prevalence, Course, and Treatment Effects. Brooke S. G. Molina, Kate Flory, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Andrew R. Greiner, L. Eugene Arnold, James M. Swanson, Lily Hechtman, Peter S. Jensen, Benedetto Vitiello, Betsy Hoza, William E. Pelham, Glen R. Elliott, Karen C. Wells, Howard B. Abikoff, Robert D. Gibbons, Sue Marcus, C. Keith Conners, Jeffery N. Epstein, Laurence L. Greenhill, John S. March, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Joanne B. Severe, Timothy Wigal, and the MTA Cooperative Group. The Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Justice Department, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also participated in funding this study.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) mission is to reduce the burden of mental and behavioral disorders through research on mind, brain, and behavior. More information is available at the NIMH website.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit the NIH website.

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Considering ADHD Alternatives

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Alternative ADHD Treatments that Work

Article includes VIDEO on EEG Biofeedback

There are a LOT of alternative treatments for sale out there for ADHD. Some are good, some are fair, and some are bad.

Anything will help somebody out there. There are 2 million kids with ADHD, so a treatment that worked for as few as 01% of the kids who tried it could still line up 20,000 kids on TV to say what a remarkable treatment it was. But if you are smart, you will want to pursue treatment options that have better than just a one percent chance of helping your child, or yourself.

Just as a way of reference, consider that studies show that a placebo is actually effective, when measured by parent rating scales, with about 15% of children with ADHD. But when measured by computerized tests such as the TOVA, placebos are 0% effective at bringing about statistically significant improvements.

So, when we rate the effectiveness of any treatment, alternative or pharmaceutical, we need to consider the effectiveness (measured by parents subjective ratings or objective computer ratings?) and the possible side-effects. Choose wisely.

These are the three alternative interventions that I think are the best. These decisions are based on my personal experience over several years, and from both published and unpublished research data. I'll only list them briefly, as this could turn into a book if I write too much detail.

EEG Biofeedback Training

Our experience was that EEG Biofeedback, or Neurofeedback training, was about 70-75% effective as measured by both computer assessment tools (TOVA test) and parent ratings.

Important issues to consider in choosing this treatment are the:

  • age of child,
  • IQ of child,
  • expertise, training, and experience of the therapist,
  • quality of the neurofeedback equipment,
  • and financial resources of family.

There are two good web sites on this intervention, one at and the other at

This technology involves the acquiring of the EEG brainwave activity from the subject, and through the use of either animation, or sound, or tactile feedback, the subject learns to change and control his/her brainwave activity. Simply, the subject is trained to produce less of the slow brainwave activity that is related to "disregulation" or being a "space cadet" and learns to make more of the mid-range activity related to focused concentration and self-control.

Here's a news clip from CBS News that's interesting.

Yes, neurofeedback works. No, it is not just placebo.

This is a 30 year old technology that is recently gained a lot of respect from clinicians and is used at over 1,000 sites now nationwide. It is best for children over 6 years old, with average or above IQ's. The therapist must know what he's doing, so look for experience and training. The equipment must be good. Two computer monitors are best, one for therapist and one for subject. The number of sessions can range from 20 to 40. Cost ranges from $50/session to $150/session. Shop around. Some insurances cover these services, most do not.

Resources: EEG Spectrum has an association of therapists around the nation and world. They now have 300 Associate Offices in 25 countries. I'm not associated with them, but I do consider Sigfried and Susan as friends.

Here’s a video on EEG Biofeedback and ADHD from the Othmer’s and



Our experience and research indicates that VAXA's ATTEND product is effective for 70% of ADHD individuals, as measured by computerized testing (TOVA) and about 80% effective on parent rating scales. See our ATTEND study results

Attend really works. We really like it and think that it is a great alternative to pharmaceuticals for both children and adults. Depending on the “Type” of ADHD a person has, we recommend specific treatment strategies using Attend.

Important issues to consider before choosing to try Attend:

  • Can the child swallow capsules (they are pretty large capsules).

This is a nutraceutical medicine that combines 75 ingredients, including amino acids, homeopathic medicines, phospholipids, essential fatty acids, Pycnogenol, grape seed extract OPC's, DHEA, DMAE, and more.

I did the clinical research for the manufacturer, so I have seen this work with my own eyes and been able to give input into the development of the formula. I am convinced that it is very helpful for the majority of ADHD children or ADHD adults.

It can be used along with medications, and as it begins to be effective the medication levels can often be lowered. With temper problems or hyperactivity/hyper-startle problems, it is best combined with VAXA's EXTRESS product.

ATTEND takes about 30-60 days to become effective. Improvement continues for at least 120 days.

We even measured improvements with college athletes who were not ADD ADHD in reaction time over a 90 day period, and found that their reaction time continued to improve with Attend throughout the 90 period of time.

Here is a comparison of the effectiveness of Attend, as measured by the four scales of the TOVA computerized assessment tool, compared with Stimulant Medication (Ritalin) and with EEG Biofeedback:

ADHD Eating Program

Our Recommended Eating Program for ADHD is the 3rd best alternative treatment that I know of. It only seems to work with about 20-25% of the kids who try it, but when it does work, it is great. And we believe that it is helpful with along with the use of prescription medications, Attend, or EEG biofeedback training.

Any time someone stops eating junk, and regularly eats foods that feed and optimize brain performance, they are going to do better.

Why does it work? I don't know. Some kids seems very sensitive to food additives or food colorings, or to sodas, or to cow's milk, or to sugars paired with carbohydrates. Some kids seem to have real ups and downs with their blood sugar levels.

Why does it work for some, and not for others? I have no idea, and I've had hundreds of kids on this diet over the years. Here's a letter I received last week via email...

Dear Doctor,

I requested the info for the ADHD diet for a friend at church. It's working wonders for her son (after just a week!), but she's unable to find the Rice milk, Almond milk or Better than Milk. Can she substitute a lactose-free product or is there something else besides lactose in the dairy to avoid? If she can't, where can she get the other products you recommend? (We live in Oklahoma City)

We'd both like to express our thanks for the information. It's going to help a lot of other people we know, too. We've had many requests for copies of the info.

Once again, many thanks!

Love & Peace in Christ, Karen F

These are wonderful responses! But, don't get your hopes up too high. If it works, great! If it doesn't work, try something else.

To get a copy of the ADHD diet

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Counseling for ADHD

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Counseling Attention Deficit Disorder

When Does Counseling Help?

We are big believers that you should not just be giving an attention deficit child medication without therapy.

There are a lot of good, long-term studies from the days of Satterfield on, that show that medication by itself in long term is not a whole lot better than no treatment at all (Satterfield, Medication for Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD is far more effective when it is combined with counseling.

Family Therapy Can Be Helpful

The family needs to adjust to the ADHD child, and know how to adjust to him. Parents need to know what to expect from the Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD child, and the siblings need to be filled in on what is going on as well.

In fact, often the focus of family therapy ought to be the siblings. There is often a lot of jealousy with the siblings focused at the ADHD patient. Why? Because the patient has been getting all kinds of attention from the parents, both good attention and bad, over the past several years.

Also because the ADHD child probably gets away with a lot more than his non-ADHD siblings do. So the jealousy needs to be addressed at some point.

Parent Training Classes are Great

Most parenting classes focus on getting kids with Attention Deficit Disorder to be more compliant.

It doesn’t matter if the ADHD child is noncompliance because he’s a space cadet and can’t remember what he’s supposed to do, or if he’s being defiant and refuses to do what he’s supposed to do. Either way there’s a problem that needs to be fixed.

A good parent training class will give parents the skills needed to teach their ADHD kids to be successful at being obedient.

Individual Counseling with ADHD Children: Skills Not Insight

What about individual counseling or therapy for Attention Deficit Disorder?

Individual therapy using cognitive-behavioral approaches can be very helpful in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD. Stop and think therapy, teaching the ADHD child how to solve problems, and teaching him how to decrease his impulsivity is great. Teaching the Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD child how to monitor his own behaviors is important as well.

I really have a tough time with people doing regular psychotherapy with these kids, as in, “Well, how does that make you feel? Here, come play with this doll.”

Sorry, I have a tough time with that. If the problem is Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD, then the child has a neurological problem.

Attention Deficit Disorder is an impulse-control disorder, or dis-inhibition disorder, and ADHD children need to be taught how to control themselves, how to decrease their impulsivity, how to solve problems, and how to stop and think before they act. They need to be taught skills to help them be more successful.

I rarely ask ADHD kids, “How do you feel?” simply because I rarely care how they feel.

Now, that may sound cold to you, but it’s really not.

I don’t try to help ADD ADHD kids to “feel good” about themselves, or have “good self-esteem.” There are too many people who feel good about themselves, but do wrong things, things that keep them from being successful, or things that get them into trouble, or things that hurt other people.

This may shock you, but Self-Esteem is highly overrated.

Some of you may find this opinion offensive. I'm sorry, but I know in my heart that I'm right.

Self-Esteem, without Self-Control and Respect for others, leads to selfish behaviors at best, and to criminal behaviors at worst.

Every criminal behind bars has good Self-Esteem, so much so that they believed that the laws of our society did not apply to them.

For those of you who want to argue, first consider this: one study published in 1997 reported that the "average" criminal locked up in prison had committed 116 crimes for which he was not arrested, or convicted, for each crime for which he was arrested and convicted! 116 to 1!

Every sociopath in the world has inflated self-esteem. We have to stop pushing self-esteem and start pushing self-control and respect for others.

Self-esteem should come naturally as the result of hard work which leads to success, not from "Self-Esteem Classes" or "Workbooks." We've become a society that praises mediocre work so that we don't offend anyone, and as a result our national work ethic has eroded away and we get lots of mediocre efforts.

Less Self-esteem, and More Self-control

The Keys to making this work:

In order to be successful in life, which should be the goal of therapy, Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD - kids need to learn what to DO to be successful.

The good “Feelings” will come as a result of the successful “Doing.”

Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD individuals need to be taught how to be under control, how to wait their turn, how to be polite, how to finish their work, how to work fast and hard until they are finished, how to pay attention to the right thing, how to follow rules, and how to obey their parents and teachers.

The better they become at these skills and virtues, the more successful they will be at home, at school, and in life.

If your child's counselor will focus on these things - great! If not, find someone else.

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EEG Biofeedback for ADHD

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EEG Biofeedback for Attention Deficit Disorder - ADD ADHD

What is EEG Biofeedback or Neurofeedback Training?

In this form of treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - ADD ADHD- the subject learns to pay attention to his own brain wave activity, and then apparently learns to change and control his brain wave activity.

The subject is given immediate feedback on just what his brain's activity is like at any given moment through the use of high-speed computers which provide both auditory and visual feedback.

This is a very good technology when combined with a good clinician and a motivated subject.

The variety of people that we used to see in our office was amazing, from head injured people, to ADHD kids, to professional athletes and business executives (for peak performance training or stress management).

Lots of studies are being published even as we speak. The intervention has been around for about 30 years, but mostly in the “ivory towers” of the universities and labs until just the past fifteen years.

There are about 1000 providers in USA at present time. The intervention works for about 70%-75% of kids, depending on factors such as what exactly the cause of the problem is, the severity of their problem, their IQ, motivation levels, and the number of sessions given.

Double-blind studies vs. Clinical studies

There has been a lot of bad mouthing about the supposed “lack of research” from the medical community and from psychologists who receive their funding from pharmaceutical companies regarding EEG Biofeedback.

Yet, there really is quite a bit of published research out there. The critics just don’t like what’s out there because they are “clinical studies” rather than “double blind” studies.

Double blind studies are great for pills, where you can fool the subjects into thinking that they are taking some medication when they are really only taking a sugar pill placebo.

But there are a lot of things worth studying in life that you simply can’t do double blind studies with.

For example, weight lifting.

Could you do a study with a placebo in weight lifting? No.

What would you do if you wanted to know if weight lifting made people stronger? You would test them at the beginning of the study to see how strong they were, then you would have them lift for a couple of months, and then you would retest them. In simple, that’s what you’d do.

In the health field that type of study is called a “clinical study.”

Most of the studies on EEG biofeedback training want to know, “Is the patient better or worse after having done X number of EEG biofeedback sessions?” Three out of four times the subjects are better off having done the training.

We personally provided EEG biofeedback training in our practice for eight years. Most of our patients liked it very much. As we mentioned earlier, we have worked with a wide assortment of patients from head injured, autistic, Attention Deficit Disorder - ADD ADHD, up to professional athletes who wanted “peak performance training.” Just think of it as weight lifting for the brain.

Might EEG Biofeedback help your child?

EEG biofeedback training works best with subjects who have average to high IQ, are seven years old or older, can sit still for a few minutes if interested in what he’s doing, and are motivated people.

It works much less well for those with low IQ, or are very young, or who couldn’t sit still under any circumstances, or those who “don’t want to be here.” The worst results are with 14 to 17 year olds who have been dragged to treatment by their mothers and don't want to be there.

Biggest Problem with EEG Biofeedback Training

The "Down Side” of the intervention is the cost. Treatment sessions range from $50/session up to $150/session, depending on the provider and the part of the country you live in. The usual course of treatment is two to four treatment sessions per week, for a total of about 25 to 40 sessions. However, we have seen some people do very well in as few as five sessions.

Our experience is that 65% to 75% of Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD individuals receive benefit from this intervention. Results are usually slow but steady. Realistically plan on needing about 30 to 40 sessions (30-40 minutes each session).

We believe that the results of EEG biofeedback training can be enhanced significantly by using the Nutraceutical ATTEND while undergoing the neurofeedback training. We cannot prove this with research, but that has been our experience.

More information may be found at these sites:

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Metacognitive Therapy for ADHD

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Metacognitive Therapy for ADHD : Here is a Therapy that Just Might Help

There are a number of treatments for ADHD that can help people to focus, increase awareness, and improve performance in day to day living. These include medications, certain natural alternatives like Attend, EEG Biofeedback training, and particular eating programs. But absent from this list has been any form of clinical therapy, such as psychotherapy, as these forms of talking therapies tend to focus on improving people’s feelings or insight, rather than teaching particular skills that would improve performance or focus.

Through the years a notable exception to this has been cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with a specific set of skills training. We have seen this type of therapy help lots of people, but research studies have never been able to “prove” that it helps.

However, a new form of cognitive-behavioral therapy has been developed over the past twenty years that was originally designed to better help those suffering from anxiety disorders or depression. CBT has always been helpful in treating these disorders, and therapists and researchers have invested time and money into finding ways to continually improve its impact.

This new technique is called Metacognitive Therapy (MCT), which is based on the work of Wells and Matthews (1994). To over-simplify things, let me say that MCT has helped those with anxiety disorder or depressive disorders by helping them learn how to gain both awareness over their thoughts, and control over their thoughts. It seeks to help people to learn how to change the thinking patterns that have developed over time that cause anxiety, fear, panic, or depression.

To do this, Metacognitive therapists have developed different types of awareness exercises and attention training exercises. These exercises can help people to control thinking processes, and can also train people to improve focus, attention, the flexibility of attention, decrease the noise of distractions, and increase awareness.

So, obviously then, somebody asked if this would work for people with ADHD. And this is where Mary Solanto, Ph.D., and her research team from the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Center at Mount Sinai Hospital stepped in to find out. Dr. Solanto is the Director of the ADHD Center at the hospital there in New York. The study is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Her team had published a previous study on the subject in the Journal of Attention Disorders in 2008 with similar positive findings.

They designed a study where ½ of the subjects would attend either a support group for ADHD, or a MCT group. But groups received the same amount of therapist time and attention. There were 88 subjects in the study, which lasted for 12 weeks of treatment. The study began by using rigorous diagnostic standards for ADHD, and gathering baseline information on the subject’s ADHD symptoms, especially as related to inattention, time management skills, and organizational skills – real world issues with adult ADHD. The study also looked at symptoms of depression and anxiety, probably since (1) these are often seen in adults with ADHD, and (2) the MCT therapists had already developed these tools.

Those in the MCT group saw far greater improvements in their ADHD symptoms, organizational skills, and “executive functions” than did those in the support group.

We are always supportive when clinicians teach skills rather than just hand out pills. So along with Attend, EEG Biofeedback training, and a good ADHD Diet, we will add MCT to our list of non-medication treatments that just may work for you.

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