Looking for a professional to help me manage my ADHD
November 14, 2011 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to see professional who can help me develop tools/strategies to cope with ADHD. Should I see an ADHD coach? A cognitive behavioral therapist? How do I go about finding someone?

I've been taking ADHD meds for over a year and the effect has been nothing short of life-changing. But I've hit a plateau and I'd like to start seeing a professional to develop strategies for some of the more intractable issues, like my inability to stick with long-range plans or develop productive habits/routines.

I've looked at lists of local ADHD coaches, but none of them seem to take insurance. I've looked at the list of in-network psychologists on my health insurance provider's website and that's just sort of overwhelming to sort through.

The person needs to be a licensed therapist/counselor/psychologist and they need to take my (widely accepted) health insurance.
posted by lunasol to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Should have added: I'm in Seattle, in case anyone has local recs.
posted by lunasol at 12:44 PM on November 14, 2011

Who do you get your medication from? That person can likely give you names of an appropriate therapist.
posted by dfriedman at 1:25 PM on November 14, 2011

My sister and I are in our late 20's and we've both been taking medication for ADHD for over a year now. It's great because we constantly discuss the effects of the medications, benefits, problems, etc.

I ran into the same types of issues that you described and discovered that seeing a coach really isn't necessary to achieve great results. A lot of people (not just those with ADHD) have issues sticking to plans or developing productive habits/routines.

The greatest habit I developed (as someone with ADHD) was constantly creating lists and always keeping them in front of me. I write everything I need to get done for work, my personal life, etc and I either keep it in my pocket or on my desk at work. It's always in my focus so I'm always aware of what I need to do and when it needs to be done.

Additionally, try reading "7 habits of highly effective people" by Stephen R. Covey as well as some "getting things done" self-help books. Adopting some of the habits listed really helped me.

Not quite the answer you were looking for but I hope this info helps.
posted by deeman at 1:28 PM on November 14, 2011

Response by poster: dfriedman: I get my prescriptions from my GP. She did initially recommend a psychologist who did the screening, but I really did not like him. Maybe I can ask for another rec.

deeman: Thanks! I have read those books, and I have tried list-keeping. It always works ... for a few days. I really need help developing and sticking to routines.
posted by lunasol at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2011

Have you read any of the more well-known books in the field, such as Delivered From Distraction (and its related books) or You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy? Those might help you, although if you're anything like this ADD sufferer you will let them gather dust on the shelf. (The writers understand this.)

But more to the point, they might be a) a low-cost start on some techniques, and b) a source of tips on finding professionals.
posted by Madamina at 1:47 PM on November 14, 2011

Best answer: CHADD has a list of Seattle practitioners. About half a dozen are listed as various kinds of therapists (MA, LICSW, PhD, etc.)
posted by SMPA at 4:55 PM on November 14, 2011

The book ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life might be helpful.

If it's okay to recommend things that one can't claim to be 100% successful with (ahem), I would say structure, structure, structure. The more I can put a structure into place and stick with it mostly (even if not always), the better I do. When I let the "but I don't wanna/you can't make me/I'll do it when I feel like it" part take over, it's generally downhill from there.
posted by Lexica at 7:45 PM on November 14, 2011

As a more research-based counterpoint to Hallowell and Ratey's Delivered From Distraction, you might give Russell Barkley's Taking Charge of Adult ADHD a spin.
posted by wheat at 8:51 PM on November 14, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! SMPA's link was especially helpful. I found two people on that list, one of whom does take my insurance. I will also try to read some of those books, but I'm sure the ADHDers will understand when I say I'm not sure when that will happen.
posted by lunasol at 10:09 AM on November 16, 2011

I will also try to read some of those books, but I'm sure the ADHDers will understand when I say I'm not sure when that will happen.

In the part of Driven to Distraction that I actually read, the authors (one or both of whom also have it) say that they wrote the book so you can pick it up, read whatever part you want, and then accidentally forget about the rest of it.

Which was a very comforting acknowledgement :)
posted by Madamina at 11:37 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

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