ADD/ADHD THERAPY IN NEW JERSEY
Do You Or Your
Partner Have ADHD
And It’s Affecting Your
Does it seem like you’re having more arguments than before and that you’re getting more frustrated with their behavior?
Do you suspect that the symptoms of Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) could be underlying your conflict?
Has your relationship with your partner been under more strain since you had children?
When You Suspect Your Partner Has ADHD...
... you probably feel ignored, unappreciated, and unsupported. You might harbor resentment for having to do more around the house and to always be the one in the relationship in charge. Without your organization and focus, everything would fall apart.
Perhaps you have to communicate very concretely and directly with your partner to get them to help but you feel like you shouldn’t have to do this. This dynamic is amplified significantly if you are raising young children because there is so much more to do now. This leads to anger, frustration, and frequent arguments that drain your energy.
When You Suspect You Have ADHD...
... you probably feel misunderstood, criticized, and micromanaged. Maybe you get easily flustered or stressed out when your partner expects you to complete tasks around the house within a certain amount of time. You might have a hypersensitivity to criticism that makes it difficult for you to accept your partner’s feedback without getting defensive— instead, you may become irritable or short-tempered with them. You probably have trouble staying motivated and find the constant effort to remain focused exhausting. Perhaps you knowingly— or unknowingly — self-medicate with excessive use of caffeine daily.
Fortunately, whether or not you’re the partner with ADD/ADHD, treatment can help.
Both of you can learn how to improve your communication and relate to each other with more compassion.
And you can stop having the same argument -- over and over again.
Adult ADD/ADHD Is Often Misunderstood And Undiagnosed
ADD/ADHD is often misunderstood, especially in adults. Many of us who had it as children believe it will resolve on its own as we get older although, in reality, 60 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to have symptoms as adults. Sadly, the divorce rate is nearly twice as high for people with ADHD—which affects roughly 4 percent of adults—as it is for other couples.
Adult ADHD Might Be The Root Cause Of Problems In Our Relationships
Oftentimes adult ADHD is undiagnosed and, therefore, we don’t realize when its symptoms are causing problems within our relationships. Even though our relationship may have managed to function before we had kids, once they arrived on the scene, the dynamics with our partners significantly changed. Suddenly the added duties of parenthood reveal the challenges we face meeting our partner’s expectations and feeling understood by them.
If we don’t recognize the role ADD/ADHD plays within our relationship, we are flying blind. We know that frustration with our partners is escalating and that we feel mutually misunderstood, but without understanding ADD/ADHD, we are unable to formulate a path forward.
If ADHD is not recognized as the core reason for your discord, it’s unrealistic to think you can solve it on your own.
The good news is that adult ADHD therapy can help either partner in the relationship identify better ways of relating to one another that will ease the tension between you.
Adult ADHD Therapy
Can Help You And
Your Partner Relate
To Each Other With
When our partner has ADHD, we often hold back what we share about them with our friends and family because we don’t want them to be judged unfairly by others. And when we have ADHD ourselves, we often feel misunderstood by those around us and carry the burden of it alone.
In either circumstance, therapy is a safe space to vent the frustrations you’re experiencing and to find validation. It is also a place where you can explore possible solutions for the issues you’re facing with your partner and learn better ways of communicating with them.
What To Expect In Sessions
The sessions for adult ADHD therapy are usually attended individually.
We usually begin by exploring how ADHD shows up in your relationship and identifying what the common symptoms are.
Solid psychoeducation about what ADHD is—and is not—is an important starting point.
What To Expect From Treatment If ...
Your Partner Has ADHD.
Adult Therapy for ADHD can help you understand that your partner’s actions are not malicious or intentional. I will teach you how to communicate your frustration and the impact your partner’s ADHD symptoms have on you in a way that diffuses defensiveness. By diffusing defensiveness, effective communication can occur and the relationship can be mended.
We will also focus on understanding your partner with more compassion and depersonalizing their behaviors. By reframing the negative thoughts you may have, such as, they are ignoring me or they don’t care about me, you will learn to reevaluate the situation and acknowledge that it might be their ADHD symptoms at play instead. After reframing these thoughts, we will work on how you can communicate the impact your partner’s behaviors have on you in a non-confrontational manner.
You Have ADHD.
Our sessions together will help you understand the impact your symptoms have on your partner and how, in turn, their reactions to your behavior affect you. We will identify better ways to communicate with your partner so that you can avoid conflict and foster mutual understanding.
In addition, I can help you implement better executive functioning skills, such as developing an organizational system, learning how to use a planner and make a “to-do” list, breaking down large tasks into smaller steps, identifying and eliminating distractions, and learning how to work within your attention span.
The Modalities I Use For ADHD Treatment
I teach relationship-building principles, based on the work of Drs. John and Julie Gottman, including how to communicate with each other without triggering anger and defensiveness, how to build fondness and admiration, and how to grow together with your partner.
In addition, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is also very effective for both partners to help reframe thoughts and behaviors that have become habituated in the way you react to each other.
Knowledge and understanding are powerful tools for healing. When you recognize the deep love you have for each other you can achieve patience and forgiveness that transcends your challenges.
But You May Be Wondering If Adult ADHD Therapy Is Right For You…
Couldn’t I just see a coach? I’d rather not be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.
Coaching and therapy are two different professions with different goals and philosophies. I am specially trained as a mental health clinician and have worked with clients using evidence-based CBT principles for many years. The results often have a significant impact on my clients’ satisfaction with their partners.
Regarding a diagnosis, since I am an out-of-network clinician, no diagnosis is communicated to any third parties. I can provide a receipt should you choose to seek reimbursement which would require a diagnosis, but if you choose private-pay therapy then the diagnosis will remain confidential.
My partner is not ready to join me in adult ADHD therapy yet.
ADHD counseling for couples is only effective when both participants are fully committed to it. If one is reluctant, individual therapy alone is a great alternative. Because it’s effective at improving your mood and emotional state, it often has a positive impact on the overall relationship. And after your partner sees the difference, maybe they will decide to join you for ADHD treatment for couples—when they are ready.
I’ve managed my ADHD so far and don’t think treatment is necessary.
You have certainly made it this far and are likely successful in many other areas of your life. But sometimes, our environment shifts underneath us and changes the situation, either subtly or significantly. With the COVID-19 pandemic, you have likely experienced some challenging shifts that have disrupted your usual ways of coping and managing. Adult ADHD therapy can help you find what will work for you in the here and now – helping you uncover new techniques and strategies to meet the demands of your current situation.