By Richie Koenig, PsyD
My individual approach to ADHD treatment is part therapy and part coaching, as it integrates a variety of organizational skills, evidence-based behavioral tools, narrative therapy, and mindfulness-based therapeutic interventions. My goal is to offer a clinical space where I support my clients in co-creating a personalized ‘formula’ for optimizing their own lives and overall wellness. In each case, this “formula” might include the use of psychiatric medication, appropriate self-care (proper nutrition, hydration, exercise, and sleep), emotional regulation skills, and continued attention to both personal and professional relationships. Unforeseen circumstances in life may also warrant adaptations within a client’s personalized treatment formula. Optimal treatment outcomes are often met through generating resilient and sustainable strategies that continue to provide motivation and encouragement even after treatment ends.
Here is what a potential client might expect when seeking my individualized support for ADHD treatment: The first few sessions are designed to build trust and rapport, gather detailed information about the client’s background and history, and assess the ways in which ADHD symptoms have developed and impacted their functioning over time. From my clinical perspective, understanding how one might have sought to make sense of their symptoms before receiving a formalized diagnosis is also particularly important, as it may inform the ways in which the client views or treats themselves.
The subsequent few sessions following the psychodiagnostic intake include developing a thorough baseline understanding of the disorder and its symptoms through psychoeducation. Another critical component of this phase of ADHD treatment includes specific focus on a client’s relationship with food, exercise, and sleep. Without meeting these foundational needs, clients may experience ongoing challenges in building forward momentum towards effectively maintaining recovery from negative impacts of their symptom presentation.
Finally, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a core component in my approach to ADHD treatment. DBT offers a comprehensive set of skills that bring numerous benefits to ADHD treatment. One crucial aspect of DBT practice is mindfulness, which cultivates present-moment awareness and non-judgmental acceptance towards current circumstances and allows individuals to observe and regulate their thoughts and emotions more effectively. Furthermore, DBT also emphasizes emotional regulation, which enables individuals to better identify and manage intense feelings that may otherwise derail them. In addition, DBT equips individuals with distress tolerance skills to support them in coping with distressing situations in healthy and adaptive ways. Lastly, DBT emphasizes interpersonal effectiveness skills, helping individuals improve their communication, establish healthier boundaries, and build more satisfying and sustainable relationships. Overall, DBT, with its integration of mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness, offers a comprehensive toolkit for personal growth and lasting change for people living with ADHD.
My approach to ADHD treatment involves consideration of all aspects of my client’s lives and individual identities as they may relate to, and inform, experiences of the condition. Beyond learning how to reduce and better manage symptoms, the breadth and depth of my ADHD treatment ultimately aims to support clients in optimizing overall fulfillment, accomplishment, and satisfaction in their lives.