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Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches to ADHD Treatment in Adulthood

Steven A. Safren, PhD

Published: July 14, 2006

Article Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adolescence and adulthood is a chronic, distressing, and interfering neurobiologically based disorder that is primarily treated with medications. However, most individuals treated with medications continue to evidence at least some residual symptoms and functional impairments. These residual symptoms may be amenable to a structured, cognitive-behavioral treatment approach. Recommendations for treatment of ADHD in adolescents and adults therefore call for psychosocial intervention concomitant with medications. This article is a review of the extant research on outcome studies of psychosocial interventions for adults with ADHD, including the successful randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) my colleagues and I conducted. The article also includes a presentation of our model of treatment of residual ADHD in adulthood, which includes initiating CBT after medication stabilization, and an overview of the components of our specific CBT approach for residual ADHD that is geared toward adults and, potentially, adolescents.

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