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Has anyone used CBT for ADHD?

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This is a spinoff from my neuropsych eval results thread...I've read that cognitive behavioral therapy can (in some instances) be helpful in managing the behaviors associated with ADHD. I realize it involves much more for kids with severe anxiety and for older teens and adults. But from what I've read, for children it's simply a system of praise and rewards for wanted behaviors, which we already do consistently at home (and it's worked well, albeit not perfectly.)


Since none of our local practitioners take insurance and it would be $150 or more for a 50 minute hour, I'm trying to understand what, if anything, hiring the therapy out could do for us. I don't think we need training in how to implement the behavior/consequence system, I've done a ton of reading on it. And I have a couple of Huebner books on hold at the library (recommended here!) which will also help me work with her. But what else could the therapist do? What does it look like when a child actually sits down in front of them? Can anybody help me to understand?



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My son had part of a program with a school counselor. He was working on "initiation" strategies. She taught him specific ideas for when he felt stuck with initiating. She suggested specific things to his teacher.


It is way more than just a system of praise and rewards. There is a skill element also, of teaching skills.


Sure maybe there is some praise and reward as part of the process of teaching the skills. But there are skills, too.


I don't know much about it, to be honest. But if you see lists of steps of executive function, you can see recommended strategies for the different steps sometimes.


My son was not starting bc he thought he would not be able to do a good job. Kind-of an anxiety thing for him. But the counselor said this section of the adhd program would work for him, and I think she was right.


I think you might reward/praise kids when they use the strategies.... But the strategies are what are a big part of it I think.


But honestly I think you are confusing "behavior modification" with CBT.

You know my little son does ABA right now, so I do some things like that. He is not at a level where CBT is appropriate for him, so I don't know about it very much.


But I think you are reading things that may also be recommended but are not CBT.


If the counselor is helping my son change his thought process when he didn't think he could do his work ----- that is teaching him a mental process. That is also teaching a skill. Those two things may not be part of "behavior modification." But if you see her use a skill and say "I'm so proud of you" then you have added in a system of rewards and praise. But that without the skill and strategy level -- it would not be CBT.


If you are addressing things that are not really about teaching a skill or strategy, just about encouraging some desirable behavior she is capable of -- then I think that is where the "system of rewards and praise" might be coming in.


It can depend on the specific issue. What it is you are targeting.


But I don't think you have necessarily gone through the systems and terminologies that people use.


They do not always lay things out in the same way, or say "okay now this is a CBT strategy." But eventually you might read things and have more of an idea, just from reading more and having more experience.

But C is for cognitive. If you are doing behavior strategies where you reward or praise, that is not addressing a thought process, it is addressing an outward behavior. If you don't see anything about C for cognitive, then it is not CBT.


That is my understanding anyway.


I am a little vague, but that is my understanding.

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Oh, my son was 7. I don't know unfortunately exactly what the counselor did. I think she talked to him about negative thought patterns he had, and helped him to think in a different way, and move past some mental obstacles he had.


That is my impression.


Then he got mini-goals and help getting started from his teacher, which were recommended for him by the counselor. He was able to earn marbles for the class marble jar for getting started and for reaching mini-goals, so the reward system part played into it too. But if that is all they were doing I doubt it would have done anything to help him.

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