Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for ADHD

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a type of very structured and goal-oriented psychotherapy that focuses on skill-building, using the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior in a very logical and scientific manner. Unlike other kinds of “talk therapy” you may have tried, CBT is extremely structured and relatively time-limited. A cognitive-behavioral therapist will work with you to identify specific goals (such as “improve my organizational skills” or “remember to take my medicine every day”), then work together with you over a few weeks or months to help you achieve these goals. The therapist will require you to complete weekly homework assignments to help you build your skills, and work with you each week to troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Because the work is so focused, many people participate in CBT in addition to their regular, long-term psychotherapy. If you already have regular meetings with a psychotherapist, talk with him or her about whether an adjunctive treatment with CBT might be helpful to tackle specific issues that you are facing.

Dr. Imber offers CBT specifically focused on the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Although many children and adults can benefit from medicine to treat their ADHD, there are many cognitive symptoms of ADHD that do not improve with medication unless the person also receives training to build his or her skills. Medicine can be important in helping a person to focus well enough to learn these skills, but it cannot teach a person how to organize a to-do list, keep track of appointments, stop procrastinating, or break down overwhelming tasks into “bite-sized” pieces. That’s where CBT comes in!

There is a lot of good scientific evidence to support the helpfulness of CBT for a variety of concerns. To find out if it is the right approach for you, you will need to come in for an initial interview so that Dr. Imber can get a better sense of your symptoms, history, background, any ongoing and stressful life events, and the possible reasons for your symptoms. You will also have an opportunity to learn more about CBT and to decide whether it sounds helpful for your situation. To get more information, please call Dr. Imber at 617-487-8910.

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