How To Find the Best Adult ADHD Therapist

therapist sitting in a yellow chair

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ADHD therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) tailored for those with ADHD symptoms. Therapists practicing CBT and specializing in ADHD treatment perform therapy for ADHD clients.

CBT is an effective treatment for managing ADHD symptoms in adults. A study discovered that combining ADHD medication with CBT in adult participants was more effective in reducing symptoms than medication alone. Not only did the participants who received both treatment methods experience a more significant impact on ADHD symptoms, but they also had fewer depressive symptoms. 

Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has shown to be effective for depression and anxiety symptoms in adults with ADHD as well. This type of therapy also offers benefits to self-esteem and self-efficacy. Individuals can gain more insight, support, and perspective concerning their ADHD symptoms.

A research study to assess the influence of group therapy found this form of treatment to have significant effects on individuals with ADHD. Participants who partook in a six-week group therapy treatment displayed more improvement over elements in self-esteem and self-efficacy than those who did not receive treatment. Group therapy aided in psychological symptoms and gave participants a feeling of support.

Why It’s Important To Find a Therapist Who Specializes in Adult ADHD

It is beneficial to seek out a therapist who has some expertise in adult ADHD. Therapists with experience managing ADHD symptoms can offer specific CBT strategies that enhance particular skills and improve destructive habits related to ADHD. 

ADHD specialized therapists will most likely utilize types of CBT methods built on the core value of targeting behavioral patterns resembling symptoms of ADHD. For example, meta-cognitive therapy has been recognized to consist of techniques beneficial to individuals with ADHD. “Meta-cognitive therapy uses cognitive-behavioral principles and methods to impart skills and strategies in time management, organization, and planning and to target depressogenic and anxiogenic cognitions that undermine effective self-management.”

Researchers found meta-cognitive therapy had a more substantial impact on the severity of symptoms than supportive therapy (therapy consisting of listening, advice, and relaxation techniques to cope with stressors and alleviate symptoms). Meta-cognitive therapy’s concept of enhancing particular skills related to ADHD, like time management, organization, and planning, to increase the ability to manage everyday life appears to be more beneficial for ADHD symptoms.

Therapists and experts in ADHD will be equipped with the appropriate approaches to managing symptoms and the most effective types of therapy that promote skill development, behavioral intervention, and healthy thinking techniques.

Benefits of Therapy For Someone With ADHD

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for ADHD can help with the following challenges:

  • ADHD symptoms
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-management
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Planning

How To Find The Best Adult ADHD Therapist

The best ADHD therapist is different for everyone. It would help if you considered someone that offers unique benefits that work well for you. They fit into your schedule and your financial budget and specialize in what you seek help with the most. The following is a guideline of steps to take when seeking an ADHD therapist that best suits you. 

First, you should figure out what you are looking for in a therapist

This step requires you to think about what you hope to get out of therapy and specific behaviors you would like to improve the most. 

Ask yourself what habit is currently interfering with the way you want to live your life. Is there something that is impacting your productivity, work performance, social life, and relationships?

It is important to think about what you want to work on in therapy and express this to potential therapists to assure they are the right person to help you achieve your goals.

Decide whether the therapist’s demographics matter to you

Ask yourself if gender, ethnicity, or other factors are relevant in your search? Do you feel you may connect with a person more if they have these commonalities, or is this not an essential factor in your search? It is perfectly okay either way.

If these factors are crucial, this is completely normal and not biased. Many people prefer therapists of the same gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation. Commonalities such as these can have many positive effects on therapy satisfaction.

Begin your search

once you are clear on your preferences. You can search for an ADHD therapist using multiple outlets.

  • Search Browsers: “browse the net” for an ADHD therapist, maybe utilize google’s search engine. Google should show you the therapists in your area or some that may conduct sessions online. There is also the possibility of using specific websites tailored to finding a therapist. These websites usually allow you to specify the type of therapist you are looking for and their areas of expertise. The website Zocdoc is an excellent example of a platform that will enable you to search for multiple types of health professionals, locations, and insurance coverage.
  • Referrals: You can reach out to a healthcare provider and possibly receive referrals for therapists from a mental health professional (psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.) or medical physician.
  • Insurance: Sometimes, insurance companies offer a list of therapists in your insurance network. Most of the time, people do not know about this resource, but it is accessible and can be beneficial. 

 Assure that the therapist is in your insurance network.

It is important for most people that health professionals take their insurance. Having someone who takes your insurance saves a lot of money and the headache of paying out of pocket and then attempting to send the paperwork to your insurance to be reimbursed.

However, there are those cases in which the therapist is worth the hassle of not taking your insurance. That decision is up to you to ponder and decide the best scenario for you.

Consider group cognitive behavioral therapy

Group therapy for ADHD to gain support and better understand your symptoms through shared experiences. Being surrounded by others with ADHD can help you not feel alone in your journey. If you think group therapy may be good for you, seek a therapist who facilitates these sessions.

A Word From Verywell

People do not often focus on the necessity of treatment for adults with ADHD. It can easily feel like nothing is out there for you, but there is. It may take a little more effort to find, but some therapists are experienced in assisting adults with ADHD.

You may feel alone in your journey but continue searching for the best therapist and possibly take a look at group therapy. The above information can help you begin your search and find what you are looking for in an ADHD therapist.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Safren SA, Otto MW, Sprich S, Winett CL, Wilens TE, Biederman J. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for ADHD in medication-treated adults with continued symptoms. Behav Res Ther. 2005;43(7):831-42. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2004.07.001. PMID: 15896281.

  2. Bramham J, Young S, Bickerdike A, Spain D, McCartan D, Xenitidis K. Evaluation of Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults With ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders. 2009;12(5):434-441. doi:10.1177/1087054708314596

  3. Solanto MV, Marks DJ, Wasserstein J, Mitchell K, Abikoff H, Alvir JM, Kofman MD. Efficacy of meta-cognitive therapy for adult ADHD. Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Aug;167(8):958-68. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09081123.

  4. Johnson LA, Caldwell BE. Race, gender, and therapist confidence: Effects on satisfaction with the therapeutic relationship in MFT. The American Journal of Family Therapy. 2011;39(4):307-324. doi:10.1080/01926187.2010.532012

By Tiara Blain, MA
Tiara Blain, MA, is a freelance writer for Verywell Mind. She is a health writer and researcher passionate about the mind-body connection, and holds a Master's degree in psychology.