ADHD Treatment: Information & Advice ( Psychoeducation)

So-called psychoeducation is one of the elements used in ADHD treatment, meaning, the provision of as much information and advice as possible for the person affected regarding the clinical picture of ADHD.

One thing's for sure: The better informed you are about the clinical picture of ADHD, the easier it is to live with a diagnosis of ADHD. Comprehensive information and advice are the basis for improving the often-criticised self-image and self-perception as well as making a "new start."

Psychoeducation – What does that mean exactly?

Doctor-provided treatment plays a key role in psychoeducation. The first task is to provide the patient with as much information about ADHD as possible.

Core aspects of the information can include:

  • Background Knowledge:
    How does ADHD occur? What happens in the body?
    Key points:
    • Disturbed balance of messenger substances in the brain
    • Genetic disposition
    • Environmental factors, such as upbringing and media consumption
    Find out more
  • Treatment Options and Aims:
    What treatment options are available for ADHD and what are the desired outcomes?
    Key points:
    • Various therapeutic elements (information, psychotherapy, medications)
    • Improved coping with everyday life
    • Alleviation of symptoms
    Find out more
  • Practical Measures:
    What are the very practical options for better self-management in everyday life?
    Key points:
    • Attentiveness exercises
    • Dealing better with impulse buying (impulse control)
    • Strategies for better organisation
    • More control of emotions
    Find out more
  • Self-Perception:
    What particular strengths of the person concerned have not been recognised so far and can now be mapped out?
    Key points:
    • Creativity
    • Enthusiasm
    • Improvisational talent
    • Honesty
    Find out more
Maik P. (30 years old) In the past, I often did not know why I couldn't control my emotions or focus on my tasks. I didn't understand it and just felt "not quite normal". My self-confidence also took a knock. So it's much better that I know now what's going on in my body and why I am the way I am. And that what's going on is not necessarily bad, but maybe just different. And that's quite a relief.
UPDATE: A recent study proves drug-based ADHD treatment for adults is more successful than just psychotherapy on its own. The COMPAS Study (December 2015), supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), compared the administration of medication with and without group psychotherapy and non-drug therapies.
Philipsen Alexandra, et. al. Effects of Group Psychotherapy, Individual Counseling, Methylphenidate, and Placebo in the Treatment of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Dec 1;72(12):1199-210. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2146.