View Full Version : Approach of ADHD counsellors

05-08-13, 03:14 AM
I have had a recent diagnosis of adult ADHD. I have recently started Methylphenidate, and it been working really well for me. As far as treatment goes I have only used medication so far because:

A) I did not want to make too many changes in my life in the first month of taking medication, because it would be harder to tell if I saw an improvement in my ADHD symptoms, if it was because of the medication, or because of other treatments/self help options (i.e. counselling, changes in diet). The first month was only a trial of Methylphenidate, and I really wanted a concrete and honest answer on the follow up appointment with the specialist/ paediatrician, when he asked if the medication was helping or not, ( I did not want to give him a maybe answer, but it might have been this instead). Iím only going to see the specialist/ paediatrician yearly, with my GP/Primary Care Doctor prescribing the medication in between times, (at the specialist recommend dosing), so I really had to give him an answer if I thought the medication was helping or not, which I could do as the only change I had made was adding medication.

B) Before my ADHD diagnosis when I just had a diagnosis for anxiety and depression, I had seen quite a few counsellors but never found these sessions helped. Donít get me wrong I really liked the counsellors :), (they were good and compassionate people), but I found myself just switching off and getting distracted and not taking any of the information in, (an example, id be thinking - sheís a nice lady, she must of got some new shoes, I wonder what she having for lunch today/hope Iím not holding her up, thatís a nice painting on the wall etc etc ).On the odd occasion If I did manage to take the information in, I usually had forgotten it before I could apply it.

:scratch:I was wondering what counsellors that specialise in ADHD do differently, to help address my wondering mind, and my lack of ability to take information in?.

What I have learned so far about the treatment of ADHD is that itís not just about medication, (although the medication can help a lot); itís about a total treatment/lifestyle plan. This seems to fit in well with my personal beliefs as well, because although I have never been anti-medication, I have also never been a person to address everything with medication like itís a silver bullet either. At the same time I donít want to spend vast amounts of money on counselling, if Iím unable to take the information in.

Any advice or personal experience would be really appreciated. :thankyou:

05-08-13, 07:42 AM
Evidence based, coaching style based on action with tools. As opposed to the slower digestion style and "recommendations" if a typical counsellor.

05-12-13, 02:13 AM
So much for your reply, it was short and sweet and easy to follow :), (my ADHD brain loses focus easily). I have done further research on ADHD life coaching, and it makes real scene to me, it has also given me hope that I can make changes in my my life, (which I could not do before hand with ordinary counselling). I think the combination of life coaching, and medication is going to really benefit me.

I also enjoyed reading your blog, I also have ADHD-PI and Social Anxiety (mine also lead to disabling Agoraphobia overtime).

Hayden :)

05-12-13, 08:33 AM
Cheers Mate.

So yeah, the ADHD specific counsellor gives;

-Support ( and or coach )
-Separating what is ADHD and what is beyond it

The last guy I saw.......he did not know heaps about ADHD.......he asked heaps of stuff about crap that was going on in my life.......... Nothing wrong with that.......... but I could talk about those things all day every day and it wouldn't help me to evolve. The things he did suggest were medium term external actions and a bit of cbt. The kind of thing a normal person would do and observe over the long term. The kind of thing an ADDer will do twice, then wonder why the hell they were doing it........

The ADHD person i'm seeing now, asked a bit about how I see things, but is quick to get into actionable goals and tools......they get how you tick.........

With regard to change.............. It's slow..............

Med's and an ADHD specific counsellor are the fastest way to improvement. Partly because the counsellor gets you to work on the most critical things first, incrementally improving the other things as needed.

Always be mindful of the fact that your learning to adapt. Very few things are "changed"......I guess that's caused me heaps of self criticism. Cause I keep waiting for "change" and lose sight of the successful adaptions i'm developing.

Learn = Effort ( Rule No. 1 - "Awareness of how you feel" )
Adapt = Alter ( Practice these tools, going against the grain by action )

Whatever happens, be patient and kind to yourself.......

All the best brother.

05-12-13, 09:19 PM
You have been a great help :D . Iím def going to take you advice on board. Yeah I was hoping to not get a counsellor that just wanted me to keep talking about my problems, (Iím like you I could talk about them constantly for all the sessions Ė devoting way to much time to the past, but focusing less on the present). Iím really looking for a councillor/life coach that can concentrate on the now, and help me achieve some things I want/need to do.


12-29-13, 03:44 PM
hello! i want to know how would you go about talking to an adhd counselor that you really didn't like their way of coaching? bc i go to a clinic and they based it on everyone's view

12-30-13, 02:26 AM
mshienie, what is it that you feel you need...?

just clarify what things will direct you towards what will bring the most immediate results.

it's a two way process... maybe the clinic is not resourced or setup to provide the level of one on one support you need and you may need additional time or meetings or people who can provide that. in any event, once your clear within yourself of what's required it's a matter of sitting down with these or other people and outlining this and being quite specific on what sort of real world ongoing support you feel you require the most.

i highly recommend keeping some sort of log book that outlines what your working on now... and a seperate book that outlines the more general concepts that are discussed in the clinic but require personal adaption and or actions at a later date.