Counseling Options for People With ADHD

group therapy session
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The symptoms of ADHD can result in a variety of challenges ranging from broken friendships to low self-esteem to anxiety or depression. Long or short-term counseling, sometimes called "talk therapy" or "cognitive therapy," provides people with ADHD with a safe, nonjudgmental opportunity to process feelings and develop strategies for dealing with the effects of ADHD. 

Counseling may take many forms and may be offered by individuals with a range of different qualifications. Licensed social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists may offer short-term or long-term counseling. Only psychiatrists, however, can actually prescribe medications to treat the symptoms of ADHD.

Types of Counseling for ADHD

Short-Term Counseling

You are not suffering from major issues such as serious depression, addiction, etc., but you are facing some specific challenges that you'd like to address. You may, for example, want to improve your ability to complete tasks at school or work, learn some anger management techniques, or figure out why certain problems keep coming up. Short-term counseling usually lasts weeks or months rather than years and is often goal-oriented.


Psychotherapy is a form of long-term treatment for behavior disorders, mental illness, or any other major condition by psychological means. During psychotherapy, over the course of many months or years, you may explore your past in order to better manage your present and plan for your future. Psychotherapy may be an excellent choice for treating severe issues but is not a good option for meeting immediate challenges.

Family Counseling

Often ADHD has a profound effect on the family.  Family counseling may center on issues connected with a child or a parent with ADHD.Getting the family together with a family counselor is a safe way to gain more insight into ADHD and its impact on the family and develop strategies for dealing with it so the family can function normally and happily.

Group Counseling

Group counseling is particularly useful for children or adults who feel isolated or misunderstood as a result of their ADHD. Group counseling is a great place to meet with other individuals who are wrestling with (and often coping with) similar issues. A group can help an individual feel understood and accepted. It can provide a powerful support system, in addition to processing feelings, interpersonal relationships, and coping strategies.


Whatever type of counseling you choose to pursue—you may choose a combination or experience different types over time—it is a useful coping mechanism in itself to be able to discuss your condition, ask questions, and share your observations with a healthcare professional who understands ADHD.

ADHD Discussion Guide

Get our printable guide for your next doctor's appointment to help you ask the right questions.

Mind Doc Guide

Before starting any type of counseling, it's important to review your goals and carefully select an appropriate counselor and setting. It's also a good idea to ensure that your counselor has specific experience with ADHD. In many cases, counseling is covered by health insurance—but only if your counselor of choice accepts your insurance and is in your insurance network.

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