View Full Version : Surgeon General's Report:Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for kids with AD/HD

05-18-05, 06:07 PM
A while ago, I, a fan of Humanist therapies, was a bit dismayed with some people's opinions that behavior therapies were the ONLY ones effective for kids with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. (I didn't conduct myself in a very dignified manner when communicating my dismay, I'll admit.)

In providing the following reference, I must also provide the following disclaimer: since the time I became rather irate about our differences in opinion on these therapies, I have come to realize that opinions differ, and eclectic/integrative therapies are generally used by practitioners, so in the end, it doesn't really matter whether I disagree. Thus, this is not a jab, a poke, a "ha, so there," this is simply a resource to back up my case that Behavior therapies aren't actually the only ones that work. That's all. I promise! :)

Mind you, the Surgeon General is not discounting the efficacy of all Behavior Therapies. This is a word on CBT specifically.

Please also note the following, parents:
If your child is currently in CBT treatment, and it is working quite well, please don't withdraw them because of this statement. People vary. As such, effective treatments vary from individual to individual. Again, please don't take my post--or any post on ADDF--so seriously that you stop a treatment that truly seems to be helping your child's AD/HD symptoms. Thanks!

"Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), primarily training in problem solving and social skills, has not been shown to provide clinically important changes in behavior and academic performance of children with ADHD (Pelham et al., 1998). However, CBT might be helpful in treating symptoms of accompanying disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder, depression, or anxiety disorders (Abikoff, 1985; Hinshaw & Ehardt, 1991; Lochman, 1992)." -Surgeon General's Report, date not obvious and dear holy L_rd it's just begun to thunder so my computer may click off at any moment! Eek! Maybe y'all can see the date at the link. I'd assume it's current, since it's actually at the website of the Surgeon General and not simply something someone's made availabe via cut-and-paste on another website. Must go, however.

Soon to be a Grad Student and Thus Toning Down Her Opinionated Temperament (

05-20-05, 04:22 PM
Note to those reading the initial post on this thread:

I didn't realize I had missed a post of McTavish's specifically pertaining to CBT which clarifies this matter significantly. I feel it is only fair and courteous to him to provide the following link: (

I am posting this message to make sure that McTavish's "point of view is not 'misquoted,'" so to speak. His frame of thought differed from my impression of his frame of thought.

This is clarified in the above post, wherein McTavish indicates that it is his view that CBT is not actually a behavior therapy, regardless of its name.