Approach to helping adults with ADHD

In working with clients I have a flexible but structured approach that includes some core elements:

One 90-minute initial intake session.

In this first session we cover background information and issues in areas such as: your reason for seeing me, your education, occupation and personal or home life, your medical history, ADHD medication, your health and social well-being, any current stressors present in your life, how much do you know about the neurobiology of ADHD, and what problem or the issue would you want to tackle first (and how should we approach it). 

The session ends with a proposed plan (noting that either of us can revisit the plan if we think it needs adjusting). This would include the current agreed end-goal, the number and frequency of follow up sessions, and between session contact and so on.

45- to 60-minute “follow-up” sessions. 

These sessions focus on explaining the neurobiology of ADHD and how it impacts your life, ADHD and self-acceptance and self-awareness, exploring and co-creating strategies, routines, and habits, and learning new thinking and coping skills. I recommend six to ten regular sessions (each week or every other week) to help embed these new structures and skills in your life.

In each session we’ll see how things have gone since the last one, explore any issues and how to resolve them, and then you’ll choose an “assignment” or “experiment” to focus on until the next follow-up session. 

After each session I’ll send you a short email noting any next steps or you agree to take and any other actions I agree to take (e.g., sending you information, answering questions via email). I keep these emails short so as not to share personal or confidential information.

Between session contact. 

I encourage between session contact (within reason) as it helps you manage the functional difficulties you experience with ADHD. It is useful when you hit a snag and a short interaction may help get you back on track. 

Depending on your needs and the approach or plan we agree on, you might occasionally receive a midweek WhatsApp message to see how things are going. Such between session contact may help you in establishing new routines or thinking patterns and may help in keeping on track with any achieving specific goals set for that week. It also may help you keep the big picture in mind and help you sustain motivation. 

Between session contact is done through WhatsApp messaging and/or email (if I feel the issue is better resolved on the phone, I’ll suggest we schedule a phone call). You also have the option of requesting a short (30-minute) “catch-up” call yourself if you wish.

Personal ADHD “user manual”.

An important outcome is for you to identify thinking and behaviour patterns that help or hinder you, for us to have co-created strategies, and for you to have set in place structures that help you consistently stay organised and achieve your life goals. The intention is not to literally write a “user manual” (although it may be helpful for you to do that), but for you to better understand helpful strategies and habits that work for you.

Note: Scheduled session video and phone calls are billable. Between-session WhatsApp messaging or emails are not billable. The billable rate is R980 per hour. I am not registered with the HPCSA as a registered counsellor or psychologist and fees are not covered by medical schemes.