Melbourne Cognitive Psychology
ADHD Psychology & Coaching
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is defined as a persistent pattern of inattention and or hyperactivity that interferes with functioning at work/school or development. While ADHD is a recognised condition in children, there is now an increasing awareness that symptoms may be present in adolescence and even adulthood. Many adults would not have been diagnosed during childhood due to a lack of awareness of the condition at that time. DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) lists ten symptoms for inattention of which six or more must have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and impairs academic, social or professional performance. Some of the symptoms are

  • Failure to give close attention to detail or careless mistakes at work or during other activities.
  • Difficulties to sustain attention.
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish tasks.
  • Difficulties in organising tasks or activities.
  • Avoidance of tasks that require sustained mental effort.
  • Losing things necessary for the task or activities.
  • Distraction by external events or unrelated thoughts.
  • Forgetfulness of daily activities.

There are nine symptoms in DSM-5 for hyperactivity and impulsivity of which six or more must have persisted for at least six months to a degree that results in impaired functioning at school, work or any activity that requires mental effort. The nine symptoms are

  • Fidgets with or taps hands/feet and the inability to sit in a relaxed position.
  • Leaving in situations where it is expected to remain seated.
  • In adults, feeling restless.
  • Difficulties in engaging in leisure activities quietly.
  • Being "on the go" as if "driven by a motor".
  • Talking excessively.
  • Completing other people's sentences.
  • Distraction by external events or unrelated thoughts.
  • Forgetfulness of daily activities.

ADHD begins in childhood and several symptoms must be present before age 12 years. Since depression and anxiety can also result in irritation and concentration problems, it is important to differentiate between ADHD as a neuro-developmental disorder and other mental health problems that may occur later in life. In this sense, many of the tests that are freely available on the Internet are insufficient for a diagnosis since they do not allow for the possibility that symptoms are the result of other mental health problems.

Psychological Services for ADHD

Melbourne Cognitive Psychology offers Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as well as coaching services for ADHD. Often, the two are combined: A clinical psychologist offers psychological therapy while ADHD coaching supports the client in the completion of daily tasks, works on motivational strategies as well as goal setting. ADHD coaching is performed by registered (licensed) psychologists (including "provisional psychologists" who are in training and work under clinical supervision) ADHD coaching is offered on a weekly or monthly basis, ie. the client commits to the coaching program for a limited period of time. In regular intervals and at the end of the coaching service, the progress is formally reviewed in a process that includes the client and a clinical psychologist.

ADHD Coaching

Coaching services are available for clients with an established ADHD diagnosis. ADHD coaching is hands-on and includes goal setting and decomposition, motivational strategies, visualisation methods, reminder systems and relaxation techniques. Coaching is performed by psychologists (including psychology students who are working under supervision).

Please note that Melbourne Cognitive Psychology is not able to offer crisis services. Therefore, if you or a loved one is thinking or talking about suicide then you will need to seek urgent medical attention or alternatively call a crisis service such as Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For information on fees and a first appointment, please email today.