Psychotherapy for Adolescents
ADHD & Executive Functioning Issues

Executive functioning is the cognitive capacity to plan, achieve, organize and maintain necessary actions to achieve goals.

Adolescents with ADHD often have executive functioning deficits particularly in working memory. I will help identity whether working memory interventions can help. I can also assist in identifying other executive functioning issues that individuals may exhibit, such as response inhibition (think before acting), sustained attention, and organization and planning.

Working Memory & Attention Deficit Disorder

Working memory is an essential cognitive capacity that plays a major role in learning and everyday life tasks. Working memory is the capacity to recall information presented to you in the present moment (short-term) and manipulate that information to solve problems, or comprehend and follow conversations or instructions. Listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing, reasoning and staying focused are all greatly impacted by working memory. For example, if you have poor working memory in math, re-arranging and manipulating numbers in your head to solve problems is more difficult. In reading comprehension, if you are unable to recall and organize what you have taken in your understanding of the information will be hampered. Doing well in in school and your job and even relationships is effected if one has working memory deficits.

Research indicates that often working memory deficits are a component of Attention Deficit Disorder. Being late, forgetful, poorly prepared, and easily distracted are all factors that are impacted by working memory. The individual with poor working memory may have difficulty executing a plan because they forget or have difficulty organizing the necessary steps for task completion. Working memory deficits also interfere with anticipating for the future and visualizing possible obstacles, leading to disorganization and lack of proper preparation. An inability to anticipate and plan appropriately also contributes to time management issues, which both adolescents and adults with ADHD display. Additionally, adolescents unable to hold all the necessary information when doing a task with multiple elements due to WM deficits may leave them prone to distraction and concentration lapses.

How I can Help

I determine through clinical data or testing if working memory is getting in the way of performance and what executive functioning deficits may exist. If working memory is weak interventions to target this area are applied using Cogmed. Cogmed is an evidenced based computer based training to increase working memory 80 percent of clients receive positive results. The program consists of memory games that enhance the ability to recall and manipulate information in short term memory. The program consists of 25 training sessions, thirty-five minutes long, coaching and feedback. For more information please see the following site.