Regular sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy have been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) involves self-instructional training administered in a group or individual basis, to help the individual with ADHD to develop a more planned and reflective approach to thinking and behaving, including social interactions. It can also help individuals adopt a more reflective, systematic and goal-oriented approach to everyday tasks, activities and problem solving, including academic functioning.

Results from a randomised controlled trial of a CBT group in adolescents with ADHD (n=119; aged 15–21 years) receiving pharmacological therapy with methylphenidate or atomoxetine showed that:3

  • Patients who received CBT showed significantly reduced symptoms of ADHD compared with the control group on the Clinical Global Impression Self-Report Scale (p<0.001) and the Clinical Global Impression Clinician-Report Scale (p<0.001).
  • Patients who received CBT showed a significant reduction in functional impairment compared with the control group on the Global Assessment of Functioning (p<0.001) and the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale Parent Version (p<0.05).