My review of Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Hi, I tend to agree with you regarding CBT versus trauma and PTSD. CBT is born out of studies to show effective treatments for the things they target. It’s not a one size fits all. And trauma and grief are not things that can be over come with a worksheet and some mental tricks. Unfortunately some recoveries are a function of time and compassion. It can be highly effective for certain things and people that engage with the process. But ADHD can make that harder to keep consistent. I found a low-effort easy to get into talk therapy quite useful and more targeted to me. That being said it can depend a lot, I spent many years finding a therapist that suited my experiences. One thing my therapist is not, is an ADHD specialist, so I may need to find someone for just that. It’s not wrong to seek a multi-pronged approach to solving your own mental challenges.
I tried CBT few years ago for my anxiety, (before I even knew about my ADHD) but it did not even work for me. Maybe it was the person I talked to.
I'm open to try it again. Hopefully I might get the right one.
I got on someone publicly pushing CBT for everyone, saying he was posting something irresponsibly and he doubled down. No modality works for everyone and even professionals don’t always know this, though it seems to be getting better. Or I have a whole ND care team which is likely. I do start every new person meeting with “don’t give me a €#%* worksheet or I walk”
I had CBT about a decade ago, long before I was diagnosed with ADHD. I found it useful but with a lot of footnotes to that. I did a computer based course with a human therapist generally around to help and then checked in with a human therapist for a 1 to 1 every few sessions.
I was very skeptical but thought I had nothing to lose by trying it, and the waiting list for 1 to 1 CBT or counselling was much longer and I just wanted it started while I was in the right frame of mind. I told the therapist from the off that I wouldn’t write everything down/do the worksheets, but I would be able to talk through what I’d done during the week.
I felt no positive effects for weeks and weeks, and then on the second last week, it sort of clicked. Not sure if it was the CBT or the anti l-depressants kicking in or both, but I definitely felt a benefit. I still use the methods now if I’m starting to get overwhelmed/anxious/panicky.
If the therapist had been strict and insisted on written workbooks I would have quit though. It would have just been an extra thing to do, when I was already overwhelmed.
Love this article, thanks so much for the info. I have talking therapy but it's not CBT and I love it, but wonder if I would benefit from CBT too
CBT saved my life. It was introduced to me as “emotions are a choice”. That wasn’t a good session. As we started using different frameworks in group, it began to make sense until it became a natural part of my thinking.
I don’t recognize much of what you wrote about as being CBT. One framework that I’ve seen used a lot in ADHD coaching is the STEAR Map.
If you aren’t getting the result you want because you have an emotion that doesn’t serve you well, change your thought.
A tool to help that is putting your thought “on trial”. The book “Mind Over Matter” is excellent for learning this.
As for this not working for PTSD, grief, or any other trauma... what have you done well when you started? I used to be able to benchpress over 200 lbs. It took months of work to get there... and I can’t since I stopped. Practice CBT for a year and then say if it works on trauma. I’m 2 years in and have greatly reduced the emotions I struggle with.
And it’s not an either/or with therapy. They work beat together.
When using CBT to target ADHD, you should be using (and if necessary giving to the therapist) the specific CBT programs specifically tailored for ADHD. From Drs Mary Solanto, or Russell Ramsay, or Steven Safren, or Susan Young