March 28, 2019

Teens and ADHD

Distraction!  Irritability! Disorganization! Does this sound like someone in your household? Do you feel like your adolescent child is going in a million different directions at the same time? Do they have difficulty getting organized, staying on task or turning in an assignment on time, or maybe doing the assignment but forgetting to turn them in at all? Do you feel like they don’t listen well? Do they have a hard time remembering things? Do they take risks that worry you? Are these and other issues getting so pervasive that it has taken over all aspects of their life? If so they may have ADHD. Oftentimes kids who are pretty high functioning in elementary school, find that the ADHD catches up to them in middle and high school. They were able to keep the symptoms at bay when they were in a highly structured environment, but with so many classes, teachers and activities, they are no longer able to manage all that is happening around them.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 2 million teens have ADHD. As a teen with ADHD, risky behaviors tend to carry greater consequences and can have devastating effects. Teens with ADHD have higher risks of car accidents, alcohol, and marijuana abuse. Because of the risks associated with ADHD, treatment is very important.

Collaborative Approach

It is also important when working with adolescent clients to assess social stressors and academic stressors. In order to serve your child best, we will do our best to work with your pediatrician, school psychologist, counselors, and teachers to make sure we are not leaving any stone unturned. We want to make sure you and your child feel supported in all areas of his or her life in order to minimize the effects of ADHD as much as possible. His or her school has support staff for teens who have ADHD. We will try to connect you with as many resources as possible.

While the symptoms of ADHD can seem daunting and overwhelming, there is hope! Here at Core Values Counseling we understand ADHD and specialize in treating even the most severe forms. Working together with our clients we design individualized treatment plans that are tailored to meet each client’s specific needs. We are skilled at integrating many different counseling methodologies to affect change.

Here are just a few of the methodologies we use.

Psychotherapy and Your Core Values

We recognize that  ADHD has affected every area of a person’s life. Often, it may even feel as though ADHD can define your teen. But we see your ADHD as part of who they are. We want to give your teen tools to manage the parts of the ADHD causing chaos and frustration to them. But we want to highlight those parts of his or her ADHD that bring their life pleasure and excitement and bring order to the parts causing them frustration. We also believe at Core Values Counseling, his or her Core Values are also part of the story of who they are. We want each person to understand what drives us from the innate, unchanging center of who we are. We will help your teen incorporate all this together to design their most successful life possible. We help clients gain insight into what behaviors, emotions, and ideas are contributing to symptoms of ADHD assisting them in regaining a sense of control and pleasure in life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is all about helping people take control of their brain by assisting them to change negative styles of thinking and behaviors that are often associated with ADHD. Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy, we support clients as they identify negative patterns and behaviors, and replace those with healthier ones. People with ADHD need a coach on the sidelines of their life helping them find new methods to tackle the daily pieces that make up their life. Some examples of how we will help are by teaching clients how to find ways to keep routines, utilize apps to organize tasks and activities, assign special places for things that tend to get lost, schedule assignments and developing systems that bring joy and order to his or her life.

Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness practices provide positive coping strategies, ways of acting and reacting to situations more intentionally instead of instinctually. Mindfulness helps us be present in our lives and gives us some control over our reactions and impulsive thoughts.  It helps us pause, get a clearer picture of a situation, and respond more skillfully. At Core Values mindfulness practices are used to help clients recognized destructive patterns that are keeping them stuck and provide them with tools to experience a more purpose-filled life.

Neurofeedback & Electroencephalography (EEG)

Our brainwave profile and our daily experience of the world are inseparable.  When our brainwaves are out of balance, there are similar problems in our emotional or neuro-physical health. Research has identified brainwave patterns associated with many psychological and neurological conditions like ADHD, anxiety disorders, sleep problems, nightmares, hyper-vigilance, impulsive behaviors, anger, aggression, and chronic nerve pain. Here at Core Values, we offer Neurofeedback (EEG) individually and in correlation with therapy to treat symptoms of ADHD. Neurofeedback is a way to train brain activity. This is especially important during adolescence because the brain is in a time of intense growth, so doing EEG Neurofeedback can optimize the growth and healing. Using sensors on the scalp, we measure and monitor brainwave activity. With brain analysis software (Brainpaint) we can identify what specific activity is giving rise to your symptoms and a training plan to help draw your brain into a comfortable, efficient state is created, helping reduce the negative symptoms of ADHD and allow for your brain to function at a more optimal state.

Using these methodologies, we offer a safe space where thoughts, feelings, and experiences can be explored, tools are offered, and the symptoms of ADHD are addressed.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

Another unique mode of therapy we offer at Core Values Counseling is EAP in which we use horses as our co-therapists. Horses have mirror neurons in their brains just like we do and they reflect our emotions. Through the connection clients have with the horses on the ground (vs. riding)  we work out all kinds of issues in the barn, including the effects of ADHD. This kind of therapy is active, fun and is solution focused. We offer individual, family and group therapy at the barn. This may be a mode we can add in for a few sessions or use it exclusively as their therapy if your adolescent child enjoys being with animals.

Family Therapy

We know ADHD disrupts your life and the lives of the family. It can be very disruptive to everyone. We believe no one should suffer alone. We want to help you understand your teen with ADHD (and help them understand themselves better) and learn how to help each other best deal with the effects ADHD has had on all your lives. By understanding everyone in the system’s Core Values through the Core Values Index, you will be able to honor each other’s differences, build on each other’s strengths and support each other’s limitations.

Choosing to come to counseling to treat symptoms of ADHD is a significant decision, one that can seem unfamiliar and scary.  You may have many questions swirling around in your head. You might wonder if your counselor will understand your child? You might be concerned about them being misunderstood, or you may question if finding relief for your teen’s symptoms is even possible. You may not even know if your teen will be willing to come to counseling.  We honor your struggle in seeking our help and believe that hope, healing, and transformation is achievable. We will do everything we can to make this a positive and worthwhile experience for you and your child.

Here at Core Values, we have a track record of working with a diverse population of clients with a wide range of needs. We are committed to providing our clients with the best, most competent, kind and compassionate care we can offer. Each counseling session is designed to make our clients feel safe and to create a space where healing and change can be fostered.

If you’re looking for therapy to address your child’s symptoms of ADHD, want to enhance your child’s brain’s capacity through neurofeedback, or need a safe space for them to acquire new skills for life and relationships, we’re here to do that with your family. If you’re ready to take action, we are here for you. You can read the profiles of our therapists here. You are welcome to contact us Here to ask questions or set-up an appointment, we will get back to you within 24 hours. Taking the first step toward healthy change is courageous and powerful.