Why is it a good idea to work with someone who specializes in ADHD? Because, for as long as this condition has been around, it’s been generally misunderstood by both the general population, as well as by the people who actually suffer from it.
Myths and stigmas abound when the topic of ADHD is brought up. Doctors, researchers, psychologists, therapists, teachers, your friends, parents, etc., all seem to have differing opinions on what it means to have ADHD. Bizarrely enough, whether or not ADHD is even “a real disorder” is still debated, even among those in the field of psychology! There are licensed clinicians in this very town, at this very time, who even disagree on the validity of ADHD. It is mind-blowing...
It can be extremely invalidating to hear someone tell you that ADHD “isn’t a real thing,” or “you’re just not applying yourself,” or “it’s just an excuse to be lazy,” or “haven’t you grown out of it by now?” and so on. And if you have ADHD, you’ve had it, in some form, your entire life, so it’s likely that you’ve heard these, or similar, messages for your whole life.
Working with someone who specializes in ADHD is a helpful thing because, most likely, that practitioner either has ADHD themselves, or knows someone close to them who has it. The search for how to function at their best with an ADHD diagnosis has left them with loads of information, tools, and resources they’re just dying to share with others who have the same struggles!
An ADHD specialist will likely be up to date on all the latest research about ADHD, and will be able to provide relevant references and/or interventions to their clients that they, themselves, are probably also using to manage their, or their loved one’s, ADHD.
People with ADHD often suffer from social anxiety and/or feelings of awkwardness when they are around folks who have neurotypical brains, so the prospect of unpacking everything with a new therapist can be especially daunting when you’re worried they’re not going to follow your tangents, for example, or that they’re going to misdiagnose you as having bipolar disorder, for another example (this is a thing that commonly happens!) But working with a clinician who deeply understands how the ADHD brain works brings a sense of safety to the relationship.
An ADHD clinician will work with you to find out what YOUR goals are and how to help you achieve them; but typically, an ADHD treatment plan might begin with:
Learning how to manage time and tasks;
Learning how to prioritize;
Learning how associated conditions of anxiety, shame, low self-worth, and depression can arise from untreated/undertreated ADHD;
Learning how to communicate effectively with others (school, work, intimate/social relationships);
Learning how to tolerate frustration and curb impulsivity; and,
Learning systems and skills to help you function at your max potential, while keeping you accountable to following through with your goals.
Finally, a good ADHD specialist will help you in your journey of self-love and self-acceptance, because they’re not only going to talk with you about the struggles of ADHD, they’re going to emphasize the amazing “superpowers” of ADHD: spontaneity, creative thinking, persistence, hilarious sense of humor, problem-solving, empathy, sense of style, detail-orientation, hyperfocus, energy, forgiving natures, resilience, and much more.
Our ADHD specialist is Jennifer Elkins, LPC. Check her out and schedule an appointment today to unlock your superpowers and learn tangible tools for understanding yourself and managing your ADHD in beautifully healthy ways.