ADHD World Federation – From Child to Adult Disorder
Psychological Approaches to Treatment and Diagnosis

Session 2 | Psychological Approaches to Treatment and Diagnosis

Unfortunately, it was not possible for our experts to answer all questions posed during the hour-long seminar. Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke has taken the time to respond to your questions on "Psychological Approaches to Treatment and Diagnosis". Find the responses here.


1 | Given that meta-analyses show that properly controlled studies find small or no effects of non-pharma treatments on ADHD, when should these treatments be used in the absence of medication?
2 | How effective are psycho-social treatments compared to stimulant medication? Are they best when combined or is it a case of individual differences in responses to both types of treatments?
3  | How long to the effects seen from CBT last after therapy ends?
4 | I would like to hear experts thoughts on specific ADHD coaching in comparison to a good broader CBT approach for  ADHD patients.
5 | The right school and the understanding of the teachers for these children are very often missing here in Switzerland. They are often very intelligent but do not work according to the "norm". We involve the family. Should we also involve the school even more? What do you advise?
6 | Are there any risks or side effects with psychosocial interventions for ADHD?
7 | Can the panel talk to the essential overlap between attachment differences (relational dysregulatory patterns) and neurodevelopmental difficulties? There seems to be a lack of relational approaches to assisting neurodiverse individuals with their own holistic development.
8 | Given the challenges of individuals  with ADHD with emotioanl dysregualtion, would a hybrid CBT / DBT model useful, as a follow up question: Which componets of exectuive dysfunction are taregeted more effectively with psycosical  interventions?
9 | Which psychosocial interventions do you recommend?
10 | Do you think trauma and/or insecure attachment is a cause of ADHD?
11 | What kind of differences do you see in terms of gender differences in adults with ADHD? In terms of presentation of the disorder, needs of the individuals, in acceptance of CBT or in response to CBT?
12 | Long term stimulant use is beneficial for the adhd brain so medication could cure ADHD if started early. So why should CBT be preferred to medication? - taken from Wikipedia: in humans with ADHD, pharmaceutical amphetamines, at therapeutic dosages, appear to improve brain development and nerve growth.[50][51][52] Reviews of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies suggest that long-term treatment with amphetamine decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects with ADHD, and improves function in several parts of the brain, such as the right caudate nucleus of the basal ganglia.[50][51][52]
13 | Let's keep in mind that withholding medication to try a behavioral treatment could lead to adverse ADHD outcomes such as accidents. Isn't that an adverse effect of psychosocial treatments?
14 | Why does cognitive training have such a limited effect on ADHD symptoms?
15 | What is your opinion on group sessions for parents/caregivers of preschool Kindergarten children?
16 | How about CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) approach for ADHD? Is it effective?
17 | Any work on cognitive bias modification - changing the interpretive bias about everyday interactios (which is usually negative in adolecents with ADHD) rather than CBT?
18 | My reading of the literature indicates that it is not true that behavior therapy works well for kids as regards treating ADHD symptoms. Would you please give a comment?