Mindfulness therapy proving to be effective for people diagnosed with ADHD
Parents, children, and teachers may hear a lot about executive functioning when it comes to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Executive functioning is a brain system that works to provide us with self-control, manage our short-term memory, and allow us the ability to be flexible. People with ADHD often struggle is in these areas, particularly with the ability to control themselves, focus, organize, and plan. For many this can create difficulties in school or work, followed by anxiety and depression once they realize their mode of thinking is different than others. Often the anxiety and depression will deepen and become a clinical issue.
Mindfulness is an emerging therapy that has been found to help with executive functioning and has become a useful strategy for therapists to provide. Mindfulness is an attempt at increasing your ability to be in the here and now and manage what is in front of you. When practicing mindfulness, “the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through.”
According to Dr. Sherman, “Research suggests that mindful meditation can train the ADHD brain to better concentrate and hold focus.” The meditation works by calming thoughts that can lead to negative outlooks and anxious or depressive feelings. So by focusing on the here and now, there is a reduction of anxiety and depression in patients.
At Pathways Psychology Services, we utilize mindfulness in our social skills group to increase awareness of behaviors and anxiety-invoking situations to recognize the situations and reduce the anxiety This experiential group engages children in activities that build on social skills, increase positive teamwork, and introduce and practice mindfulness skills. The group allows children to receive in-the-moment training and feedback from therapists and psychologists.
We also have experienced clinicians, therapists, and psychologists in our Winfield and Aurora/Naperville locations that work with children and adults diagnosed with ADHD. If you feel like you or someone you know could benefit from mindfulness therapy, please contact us. We can help.
By Zach Meers, LCPC, NCC