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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Psychological Treatment (ADHD/ADD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD). It is estimated that ADHD affects three to five percent of children, adolescents and adults. The symptoms begin in childhood and include impulsiveness, inattentiveness, distractibility, difficulty staying focused, difficulty with organization, and hyperactivity (over-activity). These symptoms cause a variety of problems at school, work and home, including the ability to learn and get along with others.

There are currently three subtypes of ADHD, including predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive and combined hyperactive-impulsive, and inattentive, but most children have the combined type.

Effective treatments for ADHD include stimulant medications and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The current evidence suggests that CBT alone can be an effective treatment for ADHD. In other cases, CBT and medication are required. CBT for ADHD at any age includes teaching a number of compensatory strategies, including :

  • Organizing and planning;
  • Reducing distractibility;
  • Problem solving;
  • Prioritizing;
  • Breaking tasks down into smaller steps;
  • Challenging thinking;
  • Positive self-talk;
  • Positive rewards;
  • Reducing distractions;
  • Using auditory and visual cues;
  • Calendar task-list systems;
  • Anger and frustration management; and
  • Communication skills.

Because the signs and symptoms of ADHD typically appear in childhood, it can be difficult to distinguish between ADHD and normal behaviour. It is normal for children to have difficulties with memory, concentration, attention and distractibility. It is also normal for children to have difficulty “sitting still” for any extended period of time.

It is important not to label normal childhood behaviour as ADHD. However, significant and persistent difficulties with inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity across a variety of situations can also be signs and symptoms of ADHD.

The first step to understanding the problem is to recognize that there may be something going on. The next step is to consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist to get a proper comprehensive assessment and diagnosis, which enables you to understand what you or your child is struggling with. Then you can use CBT to address the problems and leverage strengths.

Did you know that CBT Associates now offers diagnostic testing services for adult ADHD?

ADHD is characterized by persistent inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity that occurs in academic, social or work settings.  Difficulties can include trouble focusing, making careless mistakes, becoming easily distracted, fidgeting, being constantly on the go, impatience and interrupting others.

Our assessment involves comprehensive testing that includes a diagnostic interview, cognitive testing and personality measurements.  Each assessment is approximately 3 hours in length.  A 30 minute feedback session with your psychologist will also be scheduled so that you can discuss your results, provide recommendations and treatment options, and address any questions or concerns that you may have.

Why choose CBT Associates?

CBT Associates is a large, well-established and rapidly-growing network of clinics that provides evidence-based psychological services to children, adolescents, adults of all ages, and couples.

We are a highly-qualified group of over 50 psychologists and psychological associates who provide personalized, compassionate, respectful and discreet treatment with the highest level of... Read More

What is the policy for cancelled or missed appointments?

To help us reliably meet the needs of all our clients, we must ask you to provide 24 hours’ notice when cancelling or rescheduling an appointment. Appointments without sufficient notice will be charged the full fee.

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What is a psychologist?


  • Are registered healthcare professionals who are regulated like physicians, surgeons, and dentists.
  • Work with individuals, groups and organizations to promote positive change by assessing and treating psychological problems.
  • Are trained to assess problems accurately using psychological tests and semi-structured interviews.... Read More
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychologists are closely aligned with psychiatrists as both are highly-trained professionals. Psychiatrists are oriented toward pharmaceutical solutions (some illnesses in fact lend themselves to medication versus talk therapy, such as severe depression or schizophrenia); while psychologists are oriented toward talk therapy as a solution.

Psychologists and psychiatrists both undertake... Read More

What is the difference between a psychotherapist and a psychologist?

The first important difference between psychotherapists and psychologists is the number of years of education and training required to register by each college. The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario requires members to complete any recognized training program in psychotherapy, with 450 hours of direct client contact, and 100 hours of clinical supervision. In contrast, to... Read More

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