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  • Writer's pictureSpring Berriman

What to expect from ADHD therapy

Explore what it’s like to work with an ADHD therapist 

ADHD therapy

Embarking on the journey of ADHD therapy and working with an ADHD therapist can be filled with questions and uncertainties. This article answers some of the most common questions asked about ADHD therapy to help you better understand the process, outcomes, and benefits of seeking professional help for managing ADHD symptoms.

If you live in Toronto, Ottawa, or any other Ontario community, this article should answer most of your questions. You can book your session by clicking the button below.

Book a free 30 minute initial session:

That said, here is what you need to know about sessions with an ADHD therapist and ADHD therapy in general:

  • What is ADHD therapy?

  • What is the ADHD therapy process? 

  • Why do people seek ADHD therapy? 

  • What counselling methods are used in ADHD therapy? 

  • What is the biggest predictor of success in ADHD therapy? 

  • What are the long-term benefits of ADHD therapy?

  • Are ADHD therapy sessions possible using online technology or do we have to meet the therapist in-person?

  • What does ADHD therapy cost?

  • What is the length and frequency of ADHD therapy sessions?

  • How can I prepare for ADHD therapy?

  • What outcomes can I expect from ADHD therapy?

  • What unexpected outcomes may come from ADHD therapy?

  • What if a loved one does not want to go to ADHD therapy?

  • What qualifications do ADHD therapists have?

  • Where can I find an ADHD therapist? 

  • Can I ask a question about ADHD therapy?

  • Can I book a free session?

What is ADHD therapy? 

ADHD therapy is a targeted treatment approach for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It focuses on helping clients develop strategies to cope with inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and other common symptoms of ADHD. 

Topics discussed during ADHD include techniques for modifying unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours, and strategies to improve organization, time management, and focus. It also often includes developing coping mechanisms to help clients manage impulsivity and hyperactivity and improving social skills and emotional regulation. 

What is the ADHD therapy process? 

The ADHD therapy process typically begins with a comprehensive assessment with a psychologist or psychiatrist to confirm the diagnosis of ADHD and understand its impact on the individual's life.

Following diagnosis, you can find a therapist that works with you to tailor a treatment plan that addresses specific ADHD symptoms and related challenges.. This often involves behavioural therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness and an exploration on the impact to them not just in function day-to-day but also emotionally and rationally.  Note: There is an option of medication for ADHD which would be prescribed by your family doctor 

Therapy sessions typically discuss methods to manage potentially disruptive behaviours and strategies for improving organization, time management, and focus. They also often encompass techniques for modifying negative thought patterns and behaviours and improving emotional regulation and social skills. 

Education about ADHD and its effects is also an important component, providing clients with a better understanding of their condition and the brain they were born with.

The frequency and duration of counselling sessions can vary depending on individual needs. Regular follow-ups and adjustments to the treatment plan are expected to address evolving needs.

Find an ADHD therapist with our therapist collective

ADHD therapists on our Ontario team offer a free half hour consultation via video call or phone, if preferred. This consultation  session allows you to explore the right fit for your needs and goals, while getting to know your therapist a little bit. (Call us at 647-296-9235 or click here to book your appointment).

If, after your call, you do not feel like your ADHD therapist is a good fit, you can request a different member of our team. We encourage you to meet with more than one ADHD therapist before choosing who you'd like to work with.

If you would like to continue with our services, you can book future appointments with your ADHD therapist directly or use the client portal you created when you booked your consultation. A dedicated member of our team will then get started on your personalized therapy journey. 

Our ADHD counselling services offer a client-centred and collaborative approach. First, we focus on creating a strong therapeutic relationship to better understand the client's specific concerns and goals. A personalized treatment plan is then developed, focusing on breaking down tasks into manageable steps and using organizational tools like to-do lists and calendars. Additionally, therapy helps in identifying and managing specific triggers that may lead to distraction or impulsivity.

At our therapist collective, we are dedicated to assisting individuals at all ages and stages in life to overcoming the challenges posed by ADHD. Through our support, we aim to help you overcome obstacles, enhance your understanding of your unique brain functioning, and equip you with the necessary tools and guidance needed to lead an awesome life.

For more details, you can visit our ADHD Therapy webpage..

Why do people seek ADHD therapy? 

Individuals seek ADHD therapy due to the significant impact the disorder can have on their physical, mental, and emotional health. ADHD can lead to difficulties in academic and professional settings, challenges in personal and social relationships, and can sometimes be associated with higher risks of substance abuse and accidents. 

For children, ADHD can lead to difficulties in school, such as trouble concentrating, staying organized, and completing tasks. It can also affect their social interactions and self-esteem.  

Adults with ADHD may struggle with time management, workplace productivity, and maintaining relationships. They might also face emotional challenges like anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem stemming from ongoing struggles with ADHD symptoms.

Therapy is sought as a means to gain strategies for coping with these symptoms, improving focus, organization, and impulse control. For many, therapy offers a path to understanding and managing ADHD in a way that enhances overall functioning and quality of life.

What counselling methods do ADHD therapists use?

ADHD therapy employs a variety of counselling methods, each tailored to address the diverse needs and symptoms of individuals across different age groups and environments. 

1. Behavioural Therapy: Primarily used with children, behavioural therapy involves modifying the child's environment to encourage behaviors that will benefit the child and support the connection with those around them. Techniques include using reward systems, establishing routines, and setting clear and consistent rules. This approach aims to effectively manage impulsivity and hyperactivity, helping children develop better self-control and social interaction skills.

2. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours. This helps develop coping strategies for common challenges like time management, organization, and maintaining focus. It's particularly beneficial for addressing co-occurring issues like anxiety and depression, which are common in individuals with ADHD. 

3. Parent Support/Family Therapy: Involving family members, especially for children and adolescents, is crucial in ADHD therapy. 

Parent support or Family therapy can assist in educating family members about ADHD, helping them understand the challenges and how to provide support. This can extend to supporting the child/youth and their family in advocating for specific needs and learning about different supports or accomodations in different environments (for example, figuring out what supports may be helpful at school). It also addresses family dynamics that may be affected by ADHD symptoms, improving communication and reducing conflict.

4. Psychoeducation: Educating individuals about ADHD and its effects is an integral part of therapy. Understanding the condition empowers individuals and their families to manage expectations, reduce stigma, and actively participate in treatment.

5. Social Skills Training: This method focuses on improving social interactions, particularly among children and teenagers. Children with ADHD often struggle with social cues and maintaining friendships. Social skills training teaches them how to interpret these cues and react appropriately. 

6. Mindfulness and Stress Management: Techniques like mindfulness and relaxation training are beneficial, especially for adults with ADHD. It helps manage stress and improve focus. Mindfulness also aids in developing a heightened awareness of the present moment, reducing impulsiveness and improving emotional regulation.

Best Methods for Different Age Groups

  • Children: Typically benefit most from behavioural therapy, family therapy, and social skills training. These methods provide a structured environment, both at home and school, fostering better behavior and social interaction.

  • Teenagers: CBT and social skills training are particularly effective for teenagers, addressing the unique challenges they face in academic, social, and family settings. Psychoeducation is also crucial to help them understand and manage their symptoms.

  • Adults: Adults generally benefit from CBT and mindfulness-based interventions. These methods help in tackling the complexities of adult life with ADHD, such as workplace challenges, relationship issues, and co-existing mental health conditions.

What is the biggest predictor of success in ADHD therapy?

The biggest predictor of success is the individual's active participation and commitment to the therapy process, including consistency in attending sessions and implementing strategies learned in therapy. Support from family, caregivers, or educators also plays a vital role in the success of ADHD therapy, especially for children and adolescents. 

A good therapeutic relationship characterized by trust and rapport between the therapist and the individual is also essential. It allows the client to feel understood and supported by the therapist, making them more likely to engage actively in their sessions. 

A productive relationship between the client and the therapist can also impact the appropriateness and effectiveness of the therapy approach. Effective communication and understanding allow the therapist to better tailor counselling sessions to the client's specific needs and symptoms, which is crucial to the success of ADHD therapy.

What are the long-term benefits of ADHD therapy?

ADHD therapy offers a range of long-term benefits that extend well beyond the immediate management of symptoms. These benefits can significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals with ADHD across various life stages:

  • Improved Academic and Professional Performance: Therapy helps develop skills like time management, organization, and prioritization, which are crucial for academic success in children and teens and for workplace efficiency in adults.

  • Enhanced Social Interactions: Individuals with ADHD often struggle with social cues and maintaining relationships. Therapy can improve these interactions, leading to more fulfilling and stable relationships.

  • Increased Self-Awareness and Reduced feelings of isolation: By learning more about ADHD, individuals can start to see commonalities between their symptoms and those around them, helping them to feel more connected and giving a greater sense of belonging. Awareness of symptoms can also support individuals in understanding certain social dynamics or past experiences, and can help them process these experiences in a safe space. 

  • Better Emotional Regulation: ADHD is often accompanied by emotional dysregulation. Therapy can help individuals understand and manage their emotions more effectively, reducing impulsivity and frustration.

  • Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence: As individuals with ADHD learn to manage their symptoms better, they often experience a boost in self-esteem and confidence. Success in various endeavors that were previously challenging contributes to a more positive self-image.

  • Reduced Risk of Co-occurring Mental Health Issues: ADHD therapy can lower the risk of secondary mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, which are more common in individuals with ADHD.

  • Improved Organizational Skills: Therapy often includes training in organizational strategies, which can significantly benefit individuals with ADHD who struggle with disorganization and forgetfulness.

  • Enhanced Coping Strategies: Learning coping mechanisms for managing ADHD symptoms equips individuals with tools they can use throughout their lives, reducing the impact of the disorder on daily activities.

  • Stronger Family and Personal Relationships: Through family therapy and an improved understanding of ADHD, family members can better support their loved ones, leading to stronger, healthier relationships.

  • Greater Independence and Self-reliance: As individuals with ADHD learn to manage their symptoms, they often become more independent and capable of handling life's challenges without as much external support.

  • Better Decision Making: With improved focus and emotional regulation, individuals can often make more thoughtful and considered decisions, leading to better outcomes in various aspects of life.

  • Reduced Negative Behaviours: Therapy can decrease negative behaviours associated with ADHD, such as impulsivity and hyperactivity.

  • Career Advancement and Stability: By mastering skills essential for the workplace, adults with ADHD are often better positioned for career advancement and stability.

  • Resilience Building: Long-term therapy helps build resilience against everyday stressors and challenges caused by the disorder, enabling individuals to bounce back more quickly from setbacks.

  • Long-Term Mental and Physical Health: Effective management of ADHD symptoms contributes to overall long-term mental and physical health, reducing the strain and stress that ADHD can place on an individual.

These long-term benefits represent a comprehensive improvement in the overall quality of life for individuals with ADHD. The skills, strategies, and insights gained through therapy not only address the immediate challenges of ADHD but also lay the foundation for a more fulfilling and successful life in the long run.

Are ADHD therapy sessions possible using online technology or do we have to meet the therapist in-person?

Yes, ADHD therapy sessions can be conducted using online technology. Virtual counselling has become increasingly popular and accessible, offering flexibility and convenience for both therapists and clients.

At our therapist collective, our ADHD therapists offer meetings via Jane, a secure platform specific to health practitioners. We also use Zoom when needed.

What does ADHD therapy cost?

The cost of ADHD therapy in Ontario can vary widely based on the therapist's qualifications and the setting (private practice vs. public health system). Some costs may be covered by provincial health plans or private insurance.

At our collective company, ADHD therapy session costs are on a sliding scale based on client needs. The fee is $130-$150 per session. Each session is 50 minutes in length with an ADHD therapist. This includes HST.  

What is the length and frequency of ADHD therapy sessions?

The frequency and duration of counselling sessions can vary depending on individual needs, but sessions typically last about 45 to 60 minutes and occur on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. 

ADHD counselling sessions at our company run 50 minutes per session.

How can I prepare for my session with an ADHD therapist?

Preparing for a session with an ADHD therapist involves several vital steps to ensure that you make the most out of the counselling process. Here's how you can get ready:

  1. Understand Your Symptoms: Start by making a list of symptoms or challenges that you face due to ADHD. This might include issues with attention, organization, time management, impulsivity, or emotional regulation. Being aware of specific areas you struggle with can help you and your therapist focus on what's most important.

  2. Set Clear Goals: Think about what you want to achieve through therapy. This could be improving your performance at work or school, building better relationships, or learning coping strategies for your symptoms. Having clear goals will give you and your therapist a direction to work towards.

  3. Gather Relevant Information: If you have previous medical or psychological evaluations, school reports, or any other relevant documentation about your ADHD, bring them to your first session. This information provides valuable background for your therapist.

  4. Reflect on Your History: Consider any past experiences that might be relevant to your therapy, such as previous treatments, what worked or didn't work for you, and any significant life events. Understanding your history can offer insights into how to approach your therapy.

  5. Prepare to Be Open and Honest: Therapy requires a degree of vulnerability. Prepare yourself to share your thoughts and feelings honestly. Remember, the therapy room is a safe space; your therapist is there to help, not judge.

  6. Think About Your Support System: Consider who in your life can support you through this process. Informing family members or close friends about your therapy can be beneficial as they can provide additional support and understanding.

  7. Log Your Daily Life: Keeping a diary or log of your daily activities, moods, and any ADHD-related challenges can be incredibly useful. This record can help identify patterns and specific issues to address in therapy.

  8. Practice Self-Care: Ensure you care for your physical health through adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Good physical health can positively impact mental health and your ability to engage in therapy.

  9. Manage Expectations: Understand that progress in therapy can be gradual. It's a journey of self-discovery and learning, and it's normal to experience ups and downs along the way.

  10. Stay Committed: Commit to the process. Regular attendance and active participation are crucial for effective therapy.

  11. Prepare Logistically: Ensure you know the time, date, and location of your sessions. If it's online, test your technology beforehand. Also, plan to arrive a few minutes early so you can be relaxed and focused when your session begins.

By taking these steps, you'll be well-prepared for your ADHD therapy journey, setting the stage for a productive and transformative experience.

What outcomes can I expect from ADHD therapy?

ADHD therapy offers a spectrum of outcomes that manifest differently in the short term and over the long term. These outcomes are influenced by the type of therapy, the severity of the individual's ADHD symptoms, their engagement in treatment, and the support system in place.

Short-Term Outcomes:

  • Improved Understanding and Awareness: Early on, individuals gain insight into how ADHD affects their lives. This knowledge is foundational for effective management of symptoms.

  • Skill Acquisition: Therapy initially focuses on teaching practical skills like organizational techniques, time management, and strategies for maintaining focus and managing impulsivity.

  • Symptom Relief: Many individuals experience a noticeable reduction in ADHD symptoms, such as decreased hyperactivity and distractibility. This is especially true if medication is part of the treatment.

  • Enhanced Emotional Regulation: Early stages of therapy often bring about better management of emotions, reducing the quickness to frustration or overwhelm that is common with ADHD.

  • Improvement in Relationships: As individuals begin to understand their condition and implement new strategies, they often see improvements in their personal and professional relationships.

  • Better Academic or Work Performance: Children may show improved performance in school, while adults may find themselves more productive and efficient at work.

Long-Term Outcomes:

  • Sustained Symptom Management: Individuals typically develop a deeper mastery over the skills necessary to manage ADHD symptoms. This leads to long-lasting improvements in attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

  • Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence: Continuous therapy can significantly boost self-esteem as individuals successfully manage their symptoms and reach personal goals.

  • Stable Relationships: Long-term therapy helps individuals build stronger, more stable relationships through better communication and understanding of social cues.

  • Career Advancement: Adults with ADHD may find that as their symptoms are better managed, opportunities for career advancement and job stability increase.

  • Reduced Comorbidity Risks: Long-term therapy can lower the risk of secondary issues such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse, which are more prevalent in people with ADHD.

  • Greater Life Satisfaction: As individuals gain control over their symptoms, they often experience a higher overall quality of life, marked by fewer daily struggles and more fulfilling experiences.

  • Resilience and Coping Skills: Long-term therapy equips individuals with robust coping mechanisms for stress and setbacks, making them more resilient in the face of life's challenges.

  • Independence and Self-reliance: Over time, individuals with ADHD often become more self-reliant, needing less external support and demonstrating increased independence in their daily lives.

It's important to note that outcomes can vary widely from person to person, and success in therapy often depends on a consistent and proactive approach. 

What unexpected outcomes may come from ADHD therapy?

ADHD therapy can lead to several unexpected yet positive outcomes. Examples include: 

  • Enhanced Creativity: Many individuals with ADHD possess unique perspectives and innovative thinking; therapy can help channel these traits into productive and creative endeavors.

  • Uncovering Hidden Strengths: Therapy often reveals underlying strengths like resilience, adaptability, and resourcefulness that were previously overshadowed by ADHD challenges.

  • Improved Physical Health: As individuals gain better control over their ADHD symptoms, they often develop healthier lifestyles, including regular exercise, improved diet, and better sleep habits. This holistic improvement can significantly improve overall well-being.

  • Increased Empathy and Social Skills: Therapy can enhance understanding of self and others, improving empathy, better social interactions, and stronger, more meaningful relationships.

  • Career Clarity: Individuals may gain insights into careers or work environments that align with their strengths and ADHD traits, leading to more fulfilling professional choices.

  • Positive Family Dynamics: Improved understanding and management of ADHD can lead to more harmonious family relationships, with better communication and reduced conflicts.

  • Broadened Mental Health Awareness: Engaging in therapy can increase overall mental health awareness, fostering a more compassionate and understanding attitude towards oneself and others.

What if a loved one does not want to meet with an ADHD therapist?

It's important to approach hesitation towards ADHD therapy with understanding and empathy. Encourage open communication about your loved ones' concerns and provide information about the benefits of therapy. Offer your support, but also respect their autonomy and decision-making process. Sometimes, suggesting a trial session or meeting with a therapist to address their concerns can help ease apprehensions about starting therapy.

What qualifications do ADHD therapists have?

ADHD therapists are typically registered psychotherapists or mental health professionals licensed to practice psychotherapy. They typically have specialized training in ADHD. 

In Ontario, psychotherapists must be registered with CRPO, which you can learn more about here: We always recommend that you check CRPO to ensure your ADHD therapist is registered and in good standing in Ontario. Please note: This does not mean they are registered to provide strictly ADHD therapy, it just means they are  registered in Ontario to provide the controlled act of psychotherapy, don’t worry, that’s a different blog! 

When working with clients with ADHD, it is most beneficial for therapists to have specialized training or experience counselling clients with the ADHD. This can include therapists well-versed in behavioural therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and ADHD medication management. Knowing how ADHD manifests across different age groups tends to be most effective. 

Where can I find an ADHD therapist?

Looking for ADHD therapy in Ontario? Our therapist collective can provide ADHD therapy for you or your loved ones. We serve all the major cities - like Toronto and Ottawa - and all communities with postal codes in Ontario. If you are outside Ontario, try checking for listings at Psychology Today.

We offer virtual counselling sessions on Google Meet or similar technologies. We also provide in-person ADHD therapy where available in select cities.

Can I ask a question about ADHD therapy?

Yes, questions can be submitted to us via email to or by phone at 647-296-9235. You can also learn more on our ADHD Therapy page.

Can I book a free session?

Yes, we offer a free virtual ADHD therapy consultation. To book yours, call us at 647-296-9235 or click here to find an available appointment.

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