Ask the Experts

Should You See a Therapist for ADHD or ADD?

The differences between psychotherapy and behavioral therapy for children or adults with attention deficit disorder.

When people first discover they or their child has attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD), they often rush out to find a psychologist or counselor to help work through their problems. What you need to know beforehand is how psychotherapy differs from behavioral therapy.

While behavioral therapy treats core ADHD symptoms (impulsivity, attention-span problems, or hyperactivity), individual counseling does not. However, it can be useful in some cases as supplemental treatment, when ADHD is accompanied by extreme anxiety, sadness, or other mood problems.

Teenagers and young adults, in particular, may gain support and confidence through working through their feelings with a therapist or counselor. Remember that counseling is not a cure for ADHD — and can’t supplant medicine and/or a good behavioral program.