Treatment can be some form of psychotherapy alone or may be a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Cognitive Remediation may be the best option for ADHD and Learning Disorders. Cognitive Training Medication Many   medications   used   to   treat   depression,   anxiety   and   ADHD   can   be   and   are   routinely   prescribed   by   family   physicians. When medications are necessary, Dr. Smith will be readily available to consult with your physician by phone, letter or email. A Special Note About the Treatment of Conditions like ADHD ADHD,   Learning   Disabilities   and   Dyslexia   are   neurological   conditions.   That   is   they   are   physical   conditions   and   psychotherapy cannot    directly    treat    the    condition    itself.    However,    clients    and    family    members    often    have    enormous    frustration    and confusion    about    these    disorders,    which    leads    to    conflicts,    poor    self-esteem    and    strained    family    relationships.    These conditions   can   be   treated   with   psychotherapy.   For   ADHD,   especially,   this   treatment   is   usually   a   combination   of   individual   and family therapy sessions. Medication is usually the primary treatment for ADHD, but medication is often not enough by itself. PSYCHOTHERAPY The Primary Principle of Most Therapies Psychological   disturbances   result   from   thoughts,   attitudes   and   feelings   that   are   hidden   from   conscious   awareness,   which   is   a way   of   coping   with   painful   emotions.   This   way   of   coping   may   once   have   been   consciously   chosen,   but   such   decisions   are made   in   an   instant   and   quickly   forgotten.   Such   decisions   are   usually   based   on   the   assumption   that   there   is   no   other   way   to deal   with   this   pain.   Other   components   of   the   train   of   logic,   or   rather   illogic,   for   the   coping   choices   are   also   forgotten.   Burying thoughts,   attitudes   and   feelings   this   way   provides   immediate   relief   from   the   pain,   but   they   continue   to   actively   exert influence   over   us   and   cause   seemingly   inexplicable   psychological   symptoms.   The   primary   goal   of   psychotherapy   is   to   bring these   hidden   thoughts,   attitudes   and   feelings   back   into   conscious   awareness   as   well   as   consciously   examining   the   original logic   for   burying   them.   Psychotherapy   accomplishes   this   by   getting   the   clients   to   explore   themselves   through   talking.   We resist   this   process   because   it   is   at   first   painful   to   rediscover   the   things   we   think   that   have   been   buried.   Most   psychotherapies work in this way The   answer   is   seldom   as   simple   as   a   forgotten   childhood   memory   or   even   some   childhood   trauma,   even   when   present.   What is   lost   to   consciousness   is   a   complex   web   of   faulty   assessments   of   ourselves   and   the   people   in   our   lives.   This   web   of   faulty assessments evolves and grows over time. Types of psychotherapy Psychologists   have   defined   and   debated   the   merits   of   various   kinds   of   psychotherapy   for   the   past   60   years.   However,   it   really does   not   make   any   difference.   Research   has   consistently   shown   that   successful   vs.   unsuccessful   therapy   is   the   result   of   the fit   between   the   therapist's   and   patient's   personalities,   not   the   type   of   psychotherapy.   What   counts   is   not   the   theoretical orientation   or   technique,   but   whether   the   therapist   communicates   in   ways   that   get   through   your   resistance   and   feels   right   for you at a gut level. The important difference is between good and bad therapists, not between theoretical orientations. There   are   useful   ideas   from   each   of   the   schools   of   therapy.   Therapists   should   be   flexible,   adjusting   what   they   do   to   fit   the person   sitting   in   front   of   them.   Psychotherapy   should   be   a   discussion,   not   a   client   monologue   facing   a   blank   unresponsive therapist. There are two basic types of therapy to choose: Individual and Family Therapy. Individual Therapy Individual   Therapy   is   a   50-60   minute   meeting   between   the   therapist   and   the   client.Family   TherapyFamily   therapy   is   a   50-60 minute   meeting   that   includes   the   therapist,   the   client   and   other   members   of   the   immediate   family.   The   client's   problems have   an   important   impact   on   other   family   members   and   other   family   members   have   important   observations   of   the   client. Sometimes   it   will   be   the   whole   family   while   at   other   times   it   may   be   deemed   necessary   or   only   possible   to   have   one   other family member. This form of therapy is especially important with children and adolescents. How long does therapy take? That   depends   on   the   nature   of   the   client's   problems.Specific   clearly   defined   symptoms   often   improve   sufficiently   within   10   to 20   sessions   to   consider   discontinuation   of   therapy.   Clients   often   see   a   significant   improvement   in   how   they   think,   feel,   and act   within   10-20   sessions.Other   kinds   of   problems   need   more   time.   A   behavior   or   attitude   that   is   more   ingrained   and   reflects your   overall   way   of   getting   through   life   will   be   more   difficult   to   uproot   than   a   specific   symptom   in   an   otherwise   comfortable person.   Therapy   may   also   go   more   slowly   for   clients   with   important   family   members   or   relationships   where   partners   have psychological problems. How Frequently Will We Meet? Frequency   of   meetings   depends   on   the   goals   of   therapy.   Some   clients   will   be   seen   weekly   for   an   extended   period   of   time. Most   clients   will   be   seen   weekly   at   first,   but   will   we   may   find   that   meeting   every   other   week   or   even   monthly   meets   their needs.   This   is   mutually   determined   by   Dr.   Smith   and   the   client   based   on   the   goals   and   practical   considerations   of   scheduling and expense. Children and Adolescents Everything    about    psychotherapy    with    adults    applies    to    children    and    adolescents.    However,    they    require    some    special handling.   It   is   seldom   the   child   or   adolescent's   idea   to   enter   psychotherapy.   Instead,   someone   around   them   thinks   they   need help.   Consequently,   the   resistance   is   often   much   higher   and   may   take   more   sessions   to   see   progress   than   with   an   adult.   The therapist   will   need   extra   patience   and   frustration   tolerance.   However,   children   reject   phony   appeals   and   can   be   less   polite about   it   too.   Often   what   the   child   or   adolescent   dishes   out   to   the   therapist   is   just   a   taste   of   what   the   parents   have experienced for a long time.
© Robert D. Smith, PhD
Robert D. Smith, PhD Diagnosis & Treatment for Dyslexia, ADD & Learning Disorders IQ Optimization Children & Adults