Does counseling help with ADD / ADHD?

Parents with ADD /ADHD children often wonder if counseling would help. Our culture has a view of // that it’s meant to help people deal with adversity, but sometimes these children come from perfectly happy homes. They’ve never been abused, they never experienced anything truly traumatic. What the heck to they need a counselor for? The answers might surprise you. Aside from the fact that these kids know their parents love them just the way they are; it’s also clear to them that teachers and peers aren’t feeling that love. Every time an annoyed teacher rolls her eyes and sighs after a child, it hurts. Counseling can help an ADD/ ADHD child rebuild their positive self image.

Before an ADD or ADHD diagnosis, frustrated parents and teachers might believe that a child is simply naughty or disobedient. The disciplinary actions that parents and teachers use to train children to be compliant and well behaved are pointless. Not only does the ADD child not understand that their behavior is troublesome, they also don’t realize they were doing it. Additionally, they don’t know how to prevent the behavior because something inside of their body is telling them that they just need to move.

Without counseling, these children sometimes grow immune to discipline and begin to develop an overall hatred of authority. Imagine, being reprimanded at every turn. Being viewed as a troublemaker, or being told that you’re disrespectful or naughty every single day can really affect a child negatively. If your ADD child is developing problems with authority, lashing out at you or his teachers, consider placing him in the care of an experienced ADD/ADHD counselor. Sometimes, just hearing that everyone doesn’t hate him or think he’s a bad boy can make a big difference.

An ADD child with a healthy self image can benefit from counseling to learn how to recognize their own inner cues and learn how and when to suppress energy, and tips and tricks for focusing on their studies. Regularly discussing their progress and being recognized and acknowledged for small successes can be a great incentive for kids to always do their best.

Counseling can take place in a group, where ADD and ADHD kids can discuss life management skills with other kids who have experienced the same things. This helps kids realize that they’re not the worst kid ever, they’re not weird, they’re not strange and “if these other kids can reach their goals, then so can I.” Individual counseling is also popular, and most experts in ADD counseling suggest that kids partake of both options, for the privacy and one-on-one benefits of individual attention, and for the camaraderie and friendship aspect of a larger support group.

Don’t let a negative perception of counselors and therapists deter you from seeking or accepting offers of ADD or ADHD counseling. ADD schools, both day schools and boarding schools credit a lot of their success to the fact that they usually have trained and experienced counselors on staff, available when children need them and at regularly scheduled visits. Expert ADD counselors are a popular treatment option, and can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

What are some of the best ADHD treatments?

Are boarding schools for ADHD a good choice for my child?