ADHD Counseling

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other attention related behavior problems are characterized by symptoms of impulsivity, emotional outbursts, hyperactivity, inattention, loss of focus, forgetfulness, and disorganization. These symptoms may be present all at once or may only appear occasionally, depending on the situation. ADHD first appears in childhood and can cause significant academic difficulties. Children with ADHD often have problems completing assignments, staying still in class, and following directions. They tend to be singled out by their peers because of their unruly behavior and may have challenges making friends. ADHD can be managed through behavior modification, therapy, and/or psychotropic medication.

Many children learn how to live quite productively with their ADHD by the time they are adults, however others may face challenges with ADHD into adulthood.

6 Year Old Girl with Learning Difficulties – Case Example

Adult Male with Difficulty Concentrating for Long Periods – Case Example

Play Therapy for Hyperactive 12 Year Old Boy- Case Example

Resources Related to ADHD

Controversy Over ADHD Diagnosis

Distinguishing High Energy from ADHD

How Therapy Can Help ADHD

The Medical Model and ADHD

Controversy Over ADHD Diagnosis

The diagnosis of ADHD, especially in children but also in adults, has increased dramatically in the past years and received a great deal of public attention. In particular, the medicines commonly used to treat ADHD-like behaviors are prescribed so frequently that in nearly every classroom in America, at least one or two students will be taking such a medication. Add to this the ambiguous nature of the behaviors listed as symptoms for an ADHD diagnosis, and it is easy to understand why ADHD and the associated treatments are quite controversial.

How do we know if the difficulties we face are a mental disorder, or just the result of trying to put square pegs in a circular hole? Our society expects a great deal of regimentation and routine from us, especially in a public school or a workplace; for some people, this expectation is irritating but manageable, and for others it may actually feel natural. But for yet others, it may feel virtually impossible to follow strict routines, focus on tasks that are not entirely enjoyable or stimulating, and avoid giving in to perhaps more natural impulses such as runinging, playing, talking when one feels like talking, and allowing one’s attention to go wherever it goes.

Common questions people facing an ADHD diagnosis might ask include:

Does my child really have a disorder, or is it just that school is boring because she is so smart and creative?
Is my child’s hyperactivity really a problem, or does he just have a lot of energy because he is young?
Must I medicate my child to make him behave in school, or can I teach him some relaxation skills, put him in a smaller classroom, or change his diet to accomplish the same thing?
How do I know if my trouble focusing is a big enough problem to warrant treatment?

Distinguishing High Energy from ADHD

One way to distinguish between a person who is overly energetic or creative for the regimentation of school or most jobs and a person with diagnosable ADHD is to discover whether the attention problems and impulsivity occur only in one or two situations, or happen in every context of that person’s life. If a child cannot sit through math class, but has no trouble watching a two hour movie in one sitting, can carry on an intelligent conversation with an adult, and loves to play chess, ADHD is probably not an appropriate diagnosis. On the other hand, if impulsive, frantic behavior is present at school, at play, out shopping with mom or dad, talking on the phone, at the dinner table, and during bedtime stories, ADHD may be present.

How Therapy Can Help ADHD

Psychotherapy is effective for the treatment of the symptoms related to ADHD because it addresses behavior modification. Children and adults with ADHD can have a difficult time regulating their emotional and behavioral response to situations. Learning effective coping strategies is one way that these individuals can gain control over their symptoms. Therapists can also help people design a plan for organization and prioritization, key areas of difficulty for those with ADHD. When the client begins to feel like an active participant in their recovery, they become empowered and their confidence and self-esteem, which are characteristically low for people with ADHD, begin to grow. Goal setting, reward and consequence, and emotional regulation are other areas that are addressed during psychotherapy for ADHD.

Even if ADHD is not diagnosed, difficulties concentrating at school or at work can be very troublesome–no matter if we blame “the system” or the person with the attention challenges. Therapy, with or without medication, can help children and adults learn to stay more focused, manage impulses, and discover what learning and working environments and aids can help increase their attention. A therapist–especially one with a specialization in attention issue or school concerns–can work with parents, teachers, and the child in question to fine tune the learning environment to better suit the child’s learning style and needs. A therapist can also help discover whether attention issues are really the root of the problem, as in many cases learning disabilities, anxiety, anger, problems at home, or other emotional or cognitive challenges can be masked by a child’s acting out. Children can always explain their inner experience to adults; therapy can help uncover the true nature of the child’s inappropriate or troubling behavior.

The Medical Model and ADHD

In many cases a person diagnosed with ADHD will be prescribed medications by a doctor or psychiatrist to control and manage their symptoms.

Contact Me

Ask a question or book an appointment below. For emergencies call 911 or visit your nearest hospital

tammyhylandcounselor@gmail.com

4010 Barranca Pkwy, Ste 252 Irvine, CA 92604

(949) 290-6300

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Yelp Reviews

Tammy Hyland, LMFT
4.5
Based on 23 Reviews
Jason M.
Jason M.
2019-05-17 08:50:25
Tammy has been most helpful. This is my first experience with a professional Councillor / Therapist. I'm already feeling better and still have a long... read more
Jaclyn S.
Jaclyn S.
2019-04-25 14:49:31
Tammy is one of the most compassionate and caring people I have ever met. She is both professional and personable. From the moment I met her, her warmth... read more
Christine V.
Christine V.
2018-09-23 15:21:41
We made our first visit to see Tammy and she did a great job uncovering a few things we didn't realize we felt. She helped us dig deeper behind our... read more
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Google Reviews

Jason Martin USA
Jason Martin USA
15:51 17 May 19
Tammy has been most helpful. This is my first experience with a professional Councillor / Therapist. I'm already feeling better and still have a long journey ahead, With the help of Tammy I see a brighter future for me going forward. Kind consideration and dignity are only a few of the attributes Tammy has shown. Unfortunately for me I've had to relocate back to the UK, had I been fortunate enough to stay in California I would have continued the therapy sessions with Tammy. I very much doubt the road to mental health is something we can go alone, so please seek professional help from someone as qualified as Tammy
Quentin Hafner
Quentin Hafner
18:53 16 May 19
Tammy is an exceptional therapist and I highly recommend her for any issues ranging from personal development to marriage counseling. Tammy is kind, very intelligent, understanding, and offers people great solutions to life's problems!
Jaclyn Schlanger
Jaclyn Schlanger
18:03 27 Apr 19
Tammy is one of the most compassionate and caring people I have ever met. She is both professional and personable.  From the moment I met her, her warmth shone through andI could tell how dedicated she is to her clients.  I would recommend her to everyone I know for couples counseling, as her EFT base strategic completely align with the person she is.  She utilizes her intelligence and empathy  to help her clients navigate difficult situations, and her work is truly profound.  I would rate her 5 stars if I could!  One more thing:  her office is beautiful.  The colors and decor are so calming.  Its the perfect place to go to for a therapy session.  Tammy is the best!
Shirley Wang, MD
Shirley Wang, MD
00:23 25 Apr 19
At the first and only visit, she told my boyfriend and me that she didn't see why we were together, so he broke up with me. I expected to receive help in learning communication skills for us to determine for ourselves, not to see someone who thinks she the Oracle.
Frank
Frank
22:47 12 Nov 18
I saw Tammy for a few months and she showed me nothing but compassion and empathy while helping me dissect a couple of childhood issues. Including with my therapy she recommended a couple of really good self-help books that I can use the rest of my life. I will continue to see Tammy and recommend her to anyone who needs guidance for looking into any irrational behavior or stuck trauma. She’s one of the best if not the best therapist I’ve ever been to and I mean that with great sincerity. Thank you Tammy for all your guidance!
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