Creating a More Just and Merciful World
How Clinical Mental Health Counseling Can Help Individuals with ADHD
For those pursuing a career in clinical mental health counseling, they are likely to be called on to help individuals coping with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is an increasingly common diagnosis, with more than 10 percent of children and more than four percent of adults in the U.S. diagnosed with ADHD.
For children, ADHD can make it difficult to maintain focus, which impacts their ability to succeed academically. The impulsivity that accompanies ADHD can also make it challenging to succeed socially and maintain friendships. Adults dealing with the disorder, meanwhile, may struggle with difficulties with romantic relationships, poor time management, concentration issues or forgetfulness.
There is no cure for ADHD, and those diagnosed with it as children typically find that the symptoms persist into adulthood. Also, adults with ADHD often have a comorbid disorder, such as mood disorder, an anxiety disorder or a substance use disorder.
How Clinical Mental Health Counselors Treat ADHD Patients
The best treatment for ADHD is a combination of medication and therapy, meaning that clinical counselors can play an important role in helping individuals with ADHD. In fact, there are multiple ways in which counselors can help:
- Behavioral therapy. Individual or group therapy can help those with ADHD develop skills and change behavior patterns to better manage the disorder and have greater success in school, work and relationships. Targeted areas can include interaction and listening skills, as well as mindfulness, to help them be more present in the moment.
- Working with families, teachers and other groups. In addition to working directly with those with an ADHD diagnosis, counselors can help to provide an environment of support by working with family members, teachers and others to raise awareness, implement treatment strategies and demonstrate how to reinforce the skills targeted for development. In addition, counselors can provide strategies for having more effective interactions and relationships with ADHD-diagnosed individuals. Marriage counselors may work with adults with ADHD and their significant others to address the impact the disorder can have on these important relationships.
- Coaching. Counselors can serve as coaches to adults with an ADHD diagnosis to change behavior patterns and develop skills. In these engagements, the individual works toward and is accountable for meeting specific goals.
Get started on the path to a professional counseling career by pursuing an MS in Professional Counseling from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. This accredited program will train you to work with children, adults, and families in a variety of settings, and allow you to tailor your degree by choosing a clinical concentration such as child and adolescent, trauma-informed or forensic counseling.