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Cognitive Behavioral Treatments for ADHD


The treatment of ADHD can be achieved through the use of differentinterventions. One such intervention is cognitive behavioraltreatments. The treatments focus on the identification of problematicthinking, which results in difficult behaviors. Cognitive behavioraltreatments are founded on the comprehension of the intricateinterplay of behavior, perception and feeling in the etiology ofpsychological disorders. The intervention combines cognitive as wellas behavior therapies to effectively manage ADHD. Cognitive therapyis based on the assumption that how an individual construes an eventbears more significance than the event. As a result, the objective ofcognitive therapy is to reduce dysfunctional thinking. On the otherhand, behavior therapy concentrates on the reduction of problematicbehavior.

In the following discussion, the paper evaluates some of theeffective cognitive behavioral treatments for ADHD and theirapplication.

ADHD is characterized by symptoms such as an inability toconcentrate, hyperactivity and recklessness (Antshel, Hargrave,Simonescu, Kaul, Hendricks &amp Faraone, 2011). Cognitive behavioraltreatments teach patients skills that can be employed in controllingsuch unwanted behaviors. Some treatments concentrate on approachesthat make it possible for individuals diagnosed with the disorder toremain organized. Others focus on reducing the disruptive behaviors,which enhance the possibility of patients getting into trouble(Antshel et al., 2011). The latter mainly applies to school goingchildren, who are unable to concentrate in the classroom or makefriends. It can also apply to adults, incapable of controlling theiremotions or using problem solving skills to effectively handle adisagreement (Miller, 2016).

There are different types of cognitive behavioral treatments. Onetype is parent training. Because people with ADHD are highly likelyto be impulsive, such behavior enhances the possibility of childrengetting into problems while at home or school (Miller, 2016). Thus,it is important that parents are aware of how to interact with suchchildren and assist them in developing desirable behaviors. Parentaltraining teaches parents on effectively praising and positivelyreinforcing their children more often, in the process motivating themto handle challenges (Miller, 2016). At the same time, parenttraining discourages disruptive conducts that cause the children toget into trouble. Children with ADHD are more prone to disobeyinginstruction and throwing tantrums at home. When such behaviors arenot managed in the home environment, they are also exhibited while atschool. Hence, as the parents learn how to interact with childrenthat have the disorder and strengthen positive behavior, the same isachieved when the children are different settings (Vander Oord, Bögels &amp Peijnenburg, 2012).

Another type of cognitive behavioral treatment is schoolinterventions. Students with the disorder are able to benefit fromstructures, which encourage them to behave appropriately. Theinterventions include pinpointing particular objectives for how theyconduct themselves while at school, provide feedback on the conductof the students, as well as the use of reward systems to encouragethe meeting of objectives (Miller, 2016). School interventions entailthe collaborative effort of parents and teachers. Teachers areresponsible for selecting the objectives for specific students. Theselection is based on the behaviors, which are most challenging forthe learner with ADHD. Examples of such goals include how studentsbehave towards their classmates, completing assignments, followingclass rules and avoiding disruptive behavior during class time(Miller, 2016). The instructor rates the performance of the studenton a daily basis. The parent enhances positive behavior by rewardingchildren based on the teacher’s rating. Also, while at home,parents can use the goals set by teachers to ensure that childrencontinue to behave as expected. For instance, they can follow up toensure that the goal of completing assignments is achieved.

In addition, cognitive behavioral treatment can also be in the formof skill-based approaches. The intervention teaches individuals withADHD, methods they can employ to manage their unwanted behavior(Emilsson, Gudjonsson &amp Sigurdsson, 2011). People with thedisorder are weak in performing executive functions. These functionscomprise of self-regulating skills, which are employed in theaccomplishment of tasks like organization, planning, decision making,emotional control and critical reasoning (Emilsson, Gudjonsson &ampSigurdsson, 2011). Since persons with ADHD are unable to concentratefor long, are impulsive and hyperactive, therapists work withpatients to create plans on how the desirable behaviors can beachieved, meaning how the executive functions can be easilycompleted. Skill-based approaches can be introduced to patientsthrough the use of a planner or checklist. This is because thecognitive behavioral treatment mainly focuses on improving theattention of individuals with ADHD (Mongia &amp Hechtman, 2012). Aplanner is used to record duties or assignments that should becompleted, while the checklist is helpful in ensuring that therecorded tasks have been accomplished. Such cognitive behavioraltreatment results in ADHD symptom improvement (Emilsson, Gudjonsson &ampSigurdsson, 2011). Thus, it becomes easier for patients to cope withtheir environment.


Cognitive behavioral treatments for ADHD are effective interventionsthat make it possible to manage the symptoms associated with thedisorder. The treatments reduce dysfunctional thinking, while at thesame time encouraging positive behavior. Parent training, schoolinterventions and skill-based approaches are types of cognitivebehavioral treatments. Parent training involves teaching parents howto reinforce positive behavior in children with ADHD. Schoolinterventions comprise of systems implemented in the learningenvironment to discourage bad behavior and set objectives forachieving desirable conduct. Skill-based approaches involve teachingpatients how to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.


Antshel, K. M., Hargrave, T. M., Simonescu, M., Kaul, P., Hendricks,K., &amp Faraone, S. V. (2011). Advances in understanding andtreating ADHD,&nbspBMC Med, 9, 1-72.

Emilsson, B., Gudjonsson, G., &amp Sigurdsson, J. F. (2011).Cognitive behavior therapy in medication-treated adults with ADHD andpersistent symptoms: a randomized controlled trial.&nbspBMCPsychiatry, 11, 1-10.

Miller, C. (2016). Behavioral treatments for kids with ADHD. ChildMind Institute, 1, 1-1.

Mongia, M., &amp Hechtman, L. (2012). Cognitive behavior therapy foradults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A review ofrecent randomized controlled trials. Current Psychiatry Reports,14(5), 561-567.

Van der Oord, S., Bögels, S. M., &ampPeijnenburg, D. (2012). The effectiveness of mindfulness training forchildren with ADHD and mindful parenting for their parents.&nbspJournalof child and family studies,&nbsp21(1),139-147.