Ask the Experts

Q: How Do I Find a Qualified Behavioral Therapist for My Child?

Behavior therapy is recommended to treat ADHD, but how do you know who is qualified to help us? And will I be able to implement the therapist’s strategies when I have ADHD myself?

Q: “How can I find a behavior therapist who specializes in attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD)? And how can I ever implement the lessons and strategies learned in behavior therapy when I have ADHD myself?”

The best way to find a behavioral therapist is through a referral from your school district, your pediatrician, another parent, or a special education professional – anyone who has experience with your child or others with ADHD. It doesn’t matter whether you end up seeing a social worker or a psychologist. What matters is that the professional has training in cognitive behavioral therapy and a background in treating ADHD.

Your behavioral therapist also needs to click with you and your child. It doesn’t how many people recommend a clinician if you don’t like her. The biggest hurdle is often insurance coverage and time.

[Free Download: Everything You need to Know About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy]

Getting started with behavioral therapy is like pushing a boulder over a hill. It takes huge effort initially, especially for a parent with ADHD. It’s difficult, but not impossible. A good clinician will help you learn to effectively problem solve. Once the therapy starts to work, things will feel more manageable as your child starts to learn new behaviors and skills — and the daily pressures on your shoulders lighten a bit.

This advice came from “ADHD Plus: Diagnosing and Treating Comorbid Conditions in Children,” ADDitude webinar lead by Mark Bertin, M.D. in June 2018 that is now available for free replay here. 

Mark Bertin, M.D., is a member of ADDitude’s ADHD Medical Review Panel.