Counseling for ADHD

at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids

Counseling for ADHD
In Grand Rapids, MI and West Michigan At Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids, MI

Common Types of ADHD & How Therapy Can Reduce Symptoms

ADHD is a common condition that affects millions of children and adults worldwide. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 6 million children are diagnosed with ADHD, while 8.7 million adults in the U.S. have ADHD. This mental health disorder is characterized by difficulties in maintaining attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior.

People who are diagnosed with this condition face challenges on a daily basis that can significantly impact their work, education, and personal relationships. Struggling with organizational skills, having difficulty managing time, and maintaining focus on tasks are only a few of the problems these individuals face. Therefore, counseling is crucial for their optimal functioning.

Studies prove that counseling is an effective treatment for ADHD, which reduces the symptoms and helps in managing the disorder (e.g., Liu et al., 2023). Through counseling, individuals with ADHD can learn effective strategies to manage their symptoms.

Let’s take a look at the most effective counseling approaches for ADHD and see what you should expect from ADHD counseling.

What are the Types of ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition associated with inattention, hyperactivity, or a combination of both. ADHD can be displayed in 3 different types of conditions:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Type – If you’re diagnosed with inattentive ADHD, you may struggle with attention and concentration control without being hyperactive. This can be expressed in the difficulty of staying organized, following detailed instructions, and maintaining focus. It’s the most common type of ADHD, both in boys (4.05%) and girls (2.21%) (Ayano et al., 2020).
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type – Individuals with this type are characterized by hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. For example, they may have difficulty staying seated, act without thinking, and have a tendency to interrupt others.
  • Combined Type – Those diagnosed with a combined type of ADHD display both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. This means that they experience some degree of both ADHD-I and ADHD-II. According to the NIH, this condition is especially common in children, especially boys.

Counseling Approaches for ADHD

Practitioners use various types of treatment methods in order to help clients manage ADHD symptoms. According to research, medication paired with therapy is the most effective way to reduce symptoms of ADHD, especially among children who display oppositional behavior (Mei-Rong et al., 2019).

Currently, the most common types of treatment used for ADHD include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches, and occupational therapy. Family therapy and group therapy are also beneficial, as they provide a supportive environment for individuals with ADHD (e.g., Strålin et al., 2022; Larraín-Valenzuela et al., 2023). Each of these types of therapies focuses on enhancing life skills and coping mechanisms to help individuals learn how to manage attention difficulties, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

CBT

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically proven treatment for ADHD that aims to modify negative thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes to better function in everyday situations. It’s a short-term, goal-oriented form of counseling that focuses on practical solutions to everyday problems.

Studies show that cognitive-behavioral interventions are especially effective in combination with medication (Lopez et al., 2023). However, a 2012  study published in BMC Psychiatry also demonstrated the efficacy of CBT without medication in reducing symptoms of adult ADHD (Weiss et al., 2012).

Mindfulness-based Therapies

Therapists frequently use mindfulness-based interventions in order to help people with ADHD increase awareness and presence at the moment. The main purpose of a mindfulness-based approach is to teach individuals how to intentionally focus their attention and reduce distraction.

Some of the most widely used mindfulness practices include meditation and breathing exercises, which help manage the symptoms of ADHD by enhancing concentration and reducing stress. A 2017 study found limited support for the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based interventions for ADHD (Lee et al., 2017). However, other studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in regulating impaired brain functioning and reducing ADHD symptoms (Bachmann et al., 2016).

In particular, mindfulness practice can help with ADHD by improving emotional regulation and developing coping strategies for impulsivity and hyperactivity.

EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, although initially developed for trauma, has shown potential for managing ADHD symptoms. EMDR involves guided eye movements in order to help individuals process and reframe traumatic experiences and thoughts that may worsen ADHD symptoms.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine (2022) considers ADHD as a promising treatment for children with ADHD who have a history of traumatic experiences (Guidetti et al., 2023). The reason for its effectiveness is that it can reduce the impact of past trauma, improve emotional regulation, and help individuals develop a more positive sense of self

As a result, nowadays, counselors frequently use EMDR as a complementary approach to traditional ADHD therapies to result in more holistic healing.

How Counseling Can Help Reduce ADHD Symptoms

Counseling for ADHD, particularly in adults, has numerous benefits that can reduce symptoms and improve overall functioning. First of all, therapists provide a supportive environment for addressing issues that disturb the everyday lives of individuals with ADHD. Beyond symptom management, counselors can also help you become more self-aware and understand how ADHD affects various aspects of your life.

Here are some of the ways ADHD therapists can help with:

  • Enhancing coping strategies for ADHD-related challenges.
  • Improving organizational and planning skills.
  • Building better focus and concentration.
  • Developing techniques to manage impulsivity.
  • Providing emotional support and strategies to boost self-esteem.
  • Teaching mindfulness and relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
  • Helping you accept your condition.
  • Working on your interpersonal relationships and addressing common social challenges.

Finding the Right Counselor for ADHD

If you’re considering receiving therapy to deal with ADHD symptoms, note that choosing the right counselor is the first step to effectively managing your condition. Your therapist should be a professional who understands the complexities of ADHD and can provide personalized strategies that suit your needs.

At Health for Life Counseling, our team of licensed therapists is experienced in offering personalized counseling services using evidence-based approaches such as mindfulness-based therapies, EMDR therapy, group therapy, and other effective methods tailored to ADHD management. They’ll make sure that you feel understood, respected, and confident in the process of counseling.

You can reach out to us directly at our offices in Grand Rapids, MI, and Ada, MI. Alternatively, you can choose the option of online counseling. In order to offer accessible care for everyone, we accept a variety of health insurance options, including Blue Cross Complete, UMR, Meritain Health, Optum, and others. Here’s the full list of insurance options with us.

Therapists For Counseling for ADHD

Stephen Lovell, Counseling Intern

Person-Centered Counseling for Children, Teens, and Adults

Katy Sandison

Supportive Therapy for Anxiety, Deconstruction Issues, Life Transitions and More

Lucas Perkins, Counseling Intern

Culturally Sensitive & Holistic Counseling for Adults and Older Teens

Melissa Wade

Strengths-Based, Solution Focused, and Resilience Therapies for Families, Children, Teens, and Individuals

Dana Kennedy

Relational, trauma-informed, strengths-based therapy with a foundation of authenticity and hospitality to heal and grow

Lindsey Beaver

Trauma Informed Counseling & EMDR for Teens, Young Adults and Adults

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