ADHD Treatment: Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy can be an important part of ADHD treatment. Basically, it's all about carefully modifying well-established patterns of thought and behaviour – with the ultimate objective of being better able to deal with the ADHD symptoms. You receive the "tools," so to speak, to live happier with the diagnosis of ADHD, assuming, of course, you are suffering from the symptoms, such as having problems in work or private life, and want to make the right adjustments. Psychotherapeutic procedures are also used when there are other comorbidities present (depression, addiction).

Otherwise, a diagnosis of ADHD does not automatically mean that psychotherapy is necessary!

Good to know: With a high level of psychological stress, the combination of psychotherapy and drug-based treatment can be advisable. Let the doctor assist you on this.

Psychotherapy: The First Steps

It may cost a lot, but as anyone who has endured an appointment with a therapist knows: psychotherapy can provide tremendous relief. Finally, you will receive the exact support you need!

First Steps:

  • Clarify in advance: Does your future psychotherapist have specific knowledge about ADHD and do they offer special treatment?
  • Be aware that costs of psychotherapy for ADHD are usually covered by health insurance
  • You have the option of having preliminary discussions with various psychotherapists until you feel the "chemistry is right" and you have found the expert to treat you

Psychotherapy for ADHD – what does that mean exactly?

Here you will find a summary of key points on the topic of psychotherapy for ADHD:


  • Recognition of typical ADHD symptoms and problematic behaviours
  • Learning about and receiving training strategies for managing the symptoms successfully (such as methods for planning daily routines, and methods for regulating overpowering emotions)
  • Reducing stressful thinking and behaviour patterns (such as avoiding tasks for fear of mistakes, lack of self-esteem)
  • Better management of problems that can result from ADHD (such as problems at work, divorce, etc.)
  • Recognition of own strengths (such as creativity, honesty, etc.)


  • Behavioural therapy
  • Possibility of Individual and group-based therapy

The treatment is usually carried out over a long period of time, since it concerns long-term changes.

Good to know: The effectiveness of behavioural therapy for ADHD has been scientifically proven!
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.
Lisa G. (31 years old) The best thing about group therapy for me was to meet other people with ADHD who have the same difficulties as me. Since then I can accept myself much better. I have also learned to cope with my symptoms much better and not to push away from them so much.