ADHD Counseling for Teens

Is Your Teen Struggling To Concentrate, Organize And Stay On Task?

Are your concerned with your teenager’s academic performance? Is your teen making low grades, missing or misplacing assignments, struggling with homework, distracted in class or perpetually late for school? Does he or she experience difficulty with concentration, staying organized or time management? Is your teen often irritable, impulsive or increasingly withdrawn? Do you think that your teen’s self-esteem is being affected by these challenges? Is he or she constantly discouraged with him or herself, wondering why it’s so hard to complete tasks that seem to come with ease for others? Are you feeling frustrated with your teen, yourself or the school system? Are you and your teen in ongoing conflict over everything from grades to media time to friends? Have you felt fearful about your teen’s ability to get into a good college and function well as an adult? Are you struggling to help your child and find resources that really work?

Determining if your teenager truly has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and, if so, figuring out how to help him or her manage symptoms can be a challenging and frustrating experience. You may be struggling to understand why you teen behaves and learns differently or why he or she can’t seem to complete simple tasks. It’s not that your child is less intelligent than other teenagers, which is a common misconception of people with ADHD. There are no studies that link the two. Rather, for teens with ADHD, the executive functioning of the brain – the organization center – is not operating optimally. If you teenager has ADHD – which BPS can help determine – there is a biological reason for you child’s struggles.

You And Your Teen Are Not Alone

In every classroom there are students who struggle a little more than others. For some, the root cause of their difficulties is ADHD, which is biologically based and no one’s fault. The best thing that you can do for your teenager – and yourself – is to seek a comprehensive evaluation. It’s important that you rule out other possibilities, such as other learning disabilities, anxiety or depression, which can have similar symptoms. If your teenager truly does have ADHD, there are many tools and strategies that can help him or her cope effectively and develop skills to be more focused and complete routine tasks.

The BPS Staff Can Help

First, getting that true diagnosis can provide an immediate sense of relief. As a parent, you’ll finally know and understand what’s going on with your teen. For more information on comprehensive evaluations for ADHD and other learning issues, contact Dr. Jan Hittelman, BPS Director. In addition to being a licensed psychologist, Dr. Hittelman is a school psychologist with decades of experience in ADHD counseling for teens, and has evaluated hundreds of adolescents over his career.

Second, therapy can be extremely effective in helping teens with ADHD. Your BPS therapist will access your teen’s behaviors and symptoms and suggest behavioral modification strategies that your teen can use at home and in school to help him or her cope. Specific structures can help him or her develop better systems to organize, stay focused and retrieve memory.

If these tactics are not leading to noticeable improvements, your therapist may suggest having your teenager meet with a staff psychiatrist to determine if medication may be helpful.  It’s important to understand that your teen’s difficulties may not be due to his or her not wanting to participate in or complete tasks. If something is biologically wrong, the executive functioning of the brain may not be operating correctly, making it extremely challenging for your teen to organize, focus, and/or remember things. If medication is prescribed, your child may experience dramatic improvements in his or her ability to function normally. Medication in combination with therapy has been shown to yield the best results.

Your therapist will also help your teen work through the self-esteem, academic, social, and family issues that living with ADHD symptoms can create. The teenage years, are by their very nature, a struggle. Teens are charged with the challenging tasks of figuring out who they are and how they fit into the broader world. ADHD symptoms can complicate this already tricky transition from child to adult. Your BPS therapist can help your teen work through the self-esteem and social components that affect all teens, but may be especially challenging for a teenager who has viewed him or herself as different or unintelligent before a diagnosis. With help, your teen can feel better about him or herself and develop strategies to reshape how he or she learns and interacts in the world.

ADHD is pervasive – meaning it’s ongoing – and your teen may need new strategies to adapt as he or she continues to develop into adulthood. Addressing your teen’s ADHD now and getting support, tools, and guidance from a qualified and experienced BPS therapist can get your child well prepared for the future. Therapy can help your teen create the positive self-image that he or she will carry throughout life.

ADHD is manageable. It’s workable. With practice, planning and the right therapist, your teen can learn how to better remember things, stay organized and follow through. This can lead to higher productivity, improved self-esteem and better relationships. Rather than expecting and accepting struggle as the norm, therapy can help your teen move into his or her future feeling empowered, prepared and positive.

But, you still may have questions or concerns…

I’m worried that an ADHD diagnosis will mean medication and that my child will need to be on meds for the rest of his or her life.

The fear of your teenager being diagnosed with ADHD and being put on medication for the long-term is an understandable and very common fear. But, sometimes the diagnosis and understanding that something is biologically unbalanced can provide relief. At least you’ll know what’s going on with your teen and understand why all your previous attempts at helping him or her feel and function more normally have failed.

There is a lot that can be done to help your child that does not include medication, such as behavior modification strategies. These strategies can help strengthen the executive functions of the brain, such as memory, organization and ability to follow through. Some teens have achieved success with a variety of techniques and have not needed medication.

If medication is needed, however, your BPS psychiatrist will be able to help you find the right medication and dosage. Many teenagers with ADHD have experienced dramatic, positive results from medication.

I think that my teen could really benefit from therapy and other outside resources, but I’m concerned about costs.

This is your child’s life and wellbeing. Addressing your teenager’s ADHD issues now may prevent a host of problems from occurring as he or she becomes an adult. Investing in their mental and emotional health and ability to function now can lead to immediate improvements. It can also keep symptoms from getting worse and interfering with all aspects of their development – including academic –  as they get older.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with adolescent ADHD issues or who they or their teen couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match your teen with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat ADHD issues and whose personality is a good match for your teenager’s. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to your child, yourself and your family may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine your teen feeling and functioning better now and in the long-term on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.

I think that my teenager has ADHD, but I’m afraid of a diagnosis and the stigma that the label carries. I don’t want my child to be viewed as different.

First, an expert can help you determine if your suspicion is correct – if your teen’s behaviors fall outside of the range of normal and if he or she could really benefit from outside, expert help or medication. If so, it’s not the label, but the needs of your child that is the big issue here. Getting support during this critical developmental time can make a significant impact on how your teen feels and functions throughout the rest of his or her life. Therapy can help your teen not only learn how to cope with ADHD symptoms more effectively, but to also feel better about who he or she is. An increase in confidence and self-esteem can make a big difference now and throughout life.

Also, ADHD is a very common diagnosis, which holds less and less of a stigma. Countless other teens have been diagnosed with ADHD and have benefited from outside help. With proper treatment, there is no reason why your child should be perceived as anything other than normal. In therapy, your teen will learn appropriate coping skills and strategies, which will help him or her to complete the same tasks as everyone else. Your teen just needs the extra support to learn how. With help and medication, if it’s prescribed, your teen can manage ADHD symptoms and function better now and throughout his or her entire life.

We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your child’s specific issues are, if additional psychological testing is warranted, and ensure a good match between you, your teenager and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with adolescents and ADHD issues.

ADHD Counseling for Young Adults

Are You Struggling To Concentrate, Organize And Stay On Task?

Do you have a hard time focusing, completing assignments and tasks or managing your time well? Have you struggled with concentration, staying organized and time management since you were a child, but find that getting anything done now that you’re on your own is nearly impossible? Are you exasperated by daily tasks, falling behind at work or school and feeling like you can’t get anything right? Have friends, family members, teachers or bosses given you a hard time or expressed concern about your academic or work performance? Do you often feel frustrated with yourself, wonder why things that others seem to do with ease are so difficult for you or feel like giving up? Do you wish that you could figure out how to get through work or school with more ease, keep up with daily tasks and stop dropping the ball all over the place?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be struggling undiagnosed Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). While ADHD is typically diagnosed during childhood or adolescence, many ADHD teens squeak by with the help of the structured environments provided by their parents and/or school. It’s often not until young adults venture out on their own that ADHD symptoms really begin to impact their ability to function well in the world.

If you have ADHD, there is an explanation for your difficulties with time management, organization and concentration – and it has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s not that you are less intelligent than other young adults, which is a common misconception of people with ADHD. There are no studies that link the two. Rather, for people with ADHD, the executive functioning of the brain – the organization center – is not operating optimally. If you have ADHD – which BPS can help to determine through psychological testing – there is a biological reason for your struggles.

You Are Not Alone

Almost everyone struggles with adequately managing time, staying organized and juggling multiple tasks simultaneously at certain times in their lives. However, for some people (studies show about 10 percent of the population), these executive functions present ongoing, pervasive and extreme challenges. If your inability to manage time, maintain concentration and an ongoing lack of follow-through is negatively affecting your life – and has been for some time – getting help may be critical. Therapy can significantly improve how you feel and function now and throughout adulthood.

Therapy Can Help You Better Manage Time, Tasks And Your Attention Span

First, getting that true diagnosis can provide an immediate sense of relief. You’ll finally know and understand why tasks that others complete with ease are more challenging for you. For more information on testing for ADHD, contact licensed school psychologist Charlie Wright. Second, if you are committed to doing the work, therapy can be extremely effective way to help you manage you ADHD symptoms and experience more confidence, productivity and ease in your everyday life.

Your experienced and trained BPS therapist can help you develop concrete, practical skills to manage your ADHD. There are simple strategies and structures that you can integrate into your life that can help you organize, stay focused and retrieve memory. Your therapist can also help you identify and address any lifestyle choices that are impacting your ability to feel and function well. Developing better eating, sleeping and exercise patterns and learning healthy ways to cope with stress can often help to improve focus, memory and general wellbeing.

Your therapist can also help you work through the self-esteem, academic, professional, social and family issues that living with ADHD symptoms can create. You can learn how to be more responsible and accountable, as well as how to identify and build on your strengths. Many people with ADHD experience periods of intense focus and are extremely intelligent and creative. Building on these types of strengths can help you become more confident, productive, and hopeful.

Addressing your ADHD now and getting support, tools, and guidance from a qualified and experienced BPS therapist can get you well prepared for the future. Although pervasive, ADHD is also manageable and workable. With practice, planning and the right therapist, you can learn how to better remember things, stay organized and follow through. This can lead to higher productivity, improved self-esteem and better relationships. Rather than expecting and accepting struggle as the norm, therapy can help you move into your future feeling empowered, prepared and positive.

But, you still may have questions or concerns…

I’m worried that an ADHD diagnosis will mean that I’ll need to be on medication for the rest of my life.

There are many coping skills and strategies that can help you manage ADHD symptoms. These techniques take work and it may take longer to see results, but it is possible to feel and function better without medication. However, if all other approaches are not leading to noticeable improvements, your therapist may suggest that you meet with a psychiatrist to determine if medication could be helpful. If something is biologically wrong, the executive functioning of the brain may not be operating correctly, making it extremely challenging for you to organize, focus and/or remember things – regardless of how hard you work at it. If medication is prescribed, it is possible to experience dramatic improvements in your ability to function normally. For many people with ADHD, medication in combination with therapy has been shown to yield the best results.

I’m afraid that therapy will just be more of the same lectures and advice that I hear over and over from my parents and teachers.

While you may hear some of the same observations, it is not the role of your therapist to lecture you. Rather, the goal of your BPS therapist is to help you look at your life holistically, identify and address challenges, and to set realistic and practical goals. There is no judgment or expectations in therapy; in fact, in most cases, it’ll be you leading the way as your therapist offers support, tools, and, yes, advice, to help you realize your goals.

I think that therapy could be helpful, but I’m concerned about costs.

This is your life and wellbeing, and the time to address your ADHD symptoms is now. Addressing symptoms and related issues as a young adult can prevent a host of problems from impacting academic, professional, and even social and personal goals.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with young adults with ADHD or who they couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat ADHD issues and whose personality is a good match for yours. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine feeling and functioning better now and in the long-term on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.

We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a therapist who has expertise treating young adults with ADHD.

Kate PhotoBPS therapist Kate Ellard, LCSW, helped create the content for this page. Kate is a licensed clinical social worker who focuses on helping clients navigate their futures while honoring the present. She particularly enjoys working with young adults and has been treating young adults with ADHD since 1993.

Counseling for Child ADHD

Is It Impossible For Your Child To Sit Still And Focus? Do You Feel Like a Broken Record?

Are you frustrated with your child or by the ongoing calls and reports from teachers saying that your child is not doing what he or she is being asked to do? Does your child have difficulties paying attention? Seem unable to sit still, struggle with follow-through, or need a lot of motor stimulation and movement? Have these behavioral issues – which you may have excused as part of a developmental stage in the past – started to affect your child’s ability to function normally at home and in school? Are you perpetually exhausted and feel like you sound like a broken record from the all reminders you need to give your child? Do you sometimes wonder if you’re doing something wrong as a parent? Do you wish that you had a workable strategy to help your child focus and stay on task?

Determining if your child truly has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and, if so, figuring out how to help them manage their symptoms can be a challenging and frustrating experience. You may be struggling to understand why your child behaves and learns differently or why he or she can’t seem to complete simple tasks. It’s not that your child is less intelligent than other children, which is a common misconception of people with ADHD. Rather, for children with ADHD, the executive functioning of the brain – the organization center – is not operating optimally. If your child has ADHD – which BPS can help determine – there is a biological reason for your child’s struggles.

You And Your Child Are Not Alone

In every classroom there are children who struggle a little more than others. For some, the root cause of their difficulties is ADHD, which is biologically based and no one’s fault. The best thing that you can do for your child – and yourself – is to seek a comprehensive evaluation. It’s important that you rule out other possibilities, such as other learning disabilities, anxiety or depression, which can have similar symptoms. If your child truly does have ADHD, there are many tools and strategies that can help them cope effectively and develop skills to be more focused and complete routine tasks.

The BPS Staff Can Help

First, getting that true diagnosis can provide an immediate sense of relief. As a parent, you’ll finally know and understand what’s going on with your child. For more information on comprehensive evaluations for ADHD and other learning issues, contact school psychologist Charlie Wright.

Second, therapy can be extremely effective in helping children with ADHD and their families. Your BPS therapist will access your child’s behaviors and symptoms and suggest behavioral modification strategies that your child can use at home and in school to help them cope. And, you’ll get help creating an external structure for your child – which is critical for children with ADHD. Specific structures can help him or her develop better systems to organize, stay focused and retrieve memory.

If these tactics are not leading to noticeable improvements, your therapist may suggest having your child meet with a psychiatrist to determine if medication may be helpful. It’s important to understand that your child’s difficulties may not be due to his or her not wanting to participate in or complete tasks. If something is biologically wrong, the executive functioning of the brain may not be operating correctly, making it extremely challenging for your child to organize, focus, and/or remember things. If medication is prescribed, your child may experience dramatic improvements in their ability to function normally.The combination of therapy or coaching and medication has been shown to yield the best results.

Your BPS therapist can also help your child work through the self-esteem, academic, social and family issues that living with ADHD symptoms can create. Your BPS therapist can also help you develop strategies to support your child’s learning and how he or she interacts with the world. ADHD is pervasive – meaning it’s ongoing – and you and your child may need new strategies to adapt as he or she continues to grow and develop. Addressing your child’s ADHD now and getting support, tools, and guidance from a qualified and experienced BPS therapist can get you well prepared for the future. Rather than expecting and accepting struggle as the norm, you and your child can move into his or her future feeling prepared and positive.

But you still may have questions or concerns…

I’m worried that an ADHD diagnosis will mean medication and that my child will need to be on meds for the rest of his or her life.

The fear of your child being diagnosed with ADHD and being put on medication for the long-term is an understandable and very common fear. But, sometimes the diagnosis and understanding that something is biologically unbalanced can provide relief. At least you’ll know what’s going on with your child and understand why all your previous attempts at helping him or her feel and function more normally have failed.

There is a lot that can be done to help your child that does not include medication, such as behavior modification strategies. If medication is needed, however, your child’s psychiatrist will be able to help you find the right medication and dosage. Many children with ADHD have experienced dramatic, positive results from medication.

I think that my child could really benefit from therapy and other outside resources, but I’m concerned about costs.

This is your child’s life and wellbeing. Addressing your child’s ADHD issues now may prevent a host of problems from occurring as he or she enters new developmental stages, such as adolescence. Investing in their mental and emotional health and ability to function now can lead to immediate improvements. It can also keep symptoms from getting worse and interfering with all aspects of their development – including academic – as they get older.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with children’s ADHD issues or who they or their child couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat ADHD issues and whose personality is a good match for you and your child. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to your child, yourself and your family may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine everyone in your home feeling and functioning better now and in the long-term on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.

I think that my child has ADHD, but I’m afraid of a diagnosis and the stigma that the label carries. I don’t want my child to be viewed as different.

First, it’s so important that you understand your child and his or her uniqueness. An expert can help you determine if your suspicion is correct – if your child’s behaviors fall outside of the range of normal and if he or she could really benefit from outside, expert help or medication. It’s not the label, but the needs of your child that is the big issue here. And, if you don’t focus on the label, then your child will be less likely to do so.

Also, there are countless other children who have ADHD and have benefited from outside help. It’s a commonly understood diagnosis, and that “label” may help your child qualify for extra resources in school. With help and medication, if it’s prescribed, children with ADHD can function better now and throughout their entire lives.

We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your child’s specific issues are, if additional psychological testing is warranted, and ensure a good match between you, your child and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with children and ADHD issues.

Counseling for Adult ADHD

Have You Spent Years Struggling to Stay Focused, Organized and On Task?

Do you find it difficult to stay focused on one task? Does it feel impossible for you to multitask, organize or prioritize your work or daily routines? Do you regularly feel irritable, frustrated or impatient toward yourself or others? Have you struggled to maintain a job or relationships? Does it seem like accomplishing normal tasks in a normal time frame has been a challenge for you as long as you can remember?

Most people experience the difficulties listed above from time to time throughout the course of their lives. But, those living with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) experience them more frequently and in more debilitating ways. And, it’s not that these people are less intelligent than others, which is a common misconception of people with ADHD. There are no studies that link the two. Rather, for people with ADHD, the executive function of the brain – the organization and concentration center – is not functioning properly. If you have ADHD, there is a biological reason for why you’ve been struggling for so long.

You Are Not Alone

Adult ADHD is very common. Although it is generally diagnosed during childhood or teen years, many undiagnosed adults continue to struggle with ADHD throughout their lives – not understanding why they have a harder time than others with seemingly normal activities.

If you think that you may have ADHD, it is very important that you seek an accurate and clear diagnosis. Some people who exhibit ADHD symptoms do not need to be on medication and can be helped through other forms of therapeutic treatment. But, for others, medication can yield life-changing results. A licensed and experienced BPS professional can help make this determination.

You Can Feel and Function Better

Adult ADHD is very treatable. Experience shows us that many with ADHD are highly functioning people, are very coachable and are relieved to find a solution. At BPS, you will be provided with the help you need to determine if medication is needed and the coaching necessary to help you understand and cope with your challenges. There are simple yet effective techniques you can develop to make your life much easier. A trained BPS therapist will help you identify your limitations. They can help you understand and develop the ability to express them. And, with help, you can learn new, habitual patterns of compensation to make your life more manageable. If you are struggling with memory, for example, it may be as simple as developing a system where you put your keys in the same place everyday.

Treating adult ADHD is an individualized process, and finding a highly trained therapist whom you can relate well with is key. At BPS you will be matched with a therapist who specializes in ADHD treatment and who is a good fit with your personality. With help, you can learn how to stay focused, track projects from start to finish and develop a system to stay organized. It’s like a rehab effort – you must be committed to getting better and you need a really good coach. With both in place, you truly can develop solid strategies to make your life happier, more productive and much more manageable.

But, you still may have questions or fears…

I’m afraid to learn that something is actually biologically wrong with me. That’s a hard label to swallow.

Yes, that’s a tough one. No one wants to be labeled. But, if a diagnosis could change your life, wouldn’t that be worth it? And, you may be surprised by how many people have learned that they have ADHD. These people’s lives have improved in drastic ways by finally knowing and finding the right course of therapy or medication, if that’s recommended. Right now, though, the important part is that you find out. If there are no biological issues affecting your ability to concentrate, you can finally rule that out and BPS can help you figure out what really is at the root of your difficulties. But, if it is a biological issue, medication and therapy can better your life significantly. Either way, you’ve taken the important first step to regaining control over your life and wellbeing, which can lead to feeling better today and in the long-term.

I am afraid of needing medication for the rest of my life.

The fear of being diagnosed as having ADHD and being put on medication for the long-term is an understandable and very common fear. But, sometimes the mere diagnosis and understanding that something is biologically unbalanced can provide relief. At least you’ll know that it’s not your fault and understand why all your previous attempts at feeling and functioning more normally failed. And, there is a lot that can be done to help you that does not include medication. If medication is needed, however, your psychiatrist will be able to help you find the right medication and dosage. Many people with ADHD have experienced dramatic, positive results from medication.

I think that I may have ADHD, but don’t see how I can afford the cost of a diagnosis or the cost of the therapy or medication that will be needed if I am.

It is important to first be accurately diagnosed to determine if medication and/or therapy is even appropriate. There are research proven psychological tests that can help determine if you really do have ADHD. If you are diagnosed with ADHD and medication and therapy are prescribed, you must ask yourself what’s the value of feeling and functioning more fully now and in the long-term. This is your life and your well being. Getting help to manage your ADHD may be one of the most important investments you make. Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to properly diagnosis or treat ADHD or who they couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced in treating ADHD and whose personality is a good match with yours. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself is the investment of a lifetime – imagine being much happier on a regular basis and ask yourself what that is worth. If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist or psychiatrist to see if they work on a sliding scale. BPS may also be able to help you find lower cost options in the community.

We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by bPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We can help make the determination if psychological testing and/or consulting with a BPS psychiatrist for is necessary. If counseling is indicated, Jan will also work with you to determine what your specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a therapist who has expertise working with clients with ADHD and related issues.