ADHD Couple Therapy: The Revolution Is On!

ADHD couple therapy

Introducing the first ADHD Couple Therapy professional guide, Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy: Clinical Interventions

The goal?  Nothing short of a revolution. Training couple therapists. Teaching couples. Online. And in-person workshops. Check out ADHD Success Training.

After four years researching and writing, it’s here.

Why This Topic?

For 17 years, thousands of reader e-mails detailed their personal relationship challenges. Thousands of detailed posts in the discussion groups I’ve led for years do the same. As a result, I’ve heard way too many ADHD couple-therapy-gone wrong stories. The conflict. The strife. The hurt and confusion. Upset children. The futility. Ach.

As my Italian momma would say, “Basta!”  (Enough!)

Years ago, in my own marriage, my husband (diagnosed in 1999) and I gave up on couple therapy. In fact, we shuddered at the thought of trying to “train” yet another couple therapist in ADHD—and paying for the privilege!

There we’d sit in the therapists’ office, telling our stories of domestic quasi-mayhem. Why? We desperately needed someone to help us solve our mysteriously intractable problems. But there they’d sit, looking puzzled or having jaw-dropping expressions. They meant well, but they were out of their depth. You see, the typical “couples troubles” strategies didn’t apply. Sometimes, those strategies exacerbate a bad situation.

To avoid more painful and expensive therapy, we doubled-down on our efforts to work things out ourselves. Yet, it was a long and sharp learning curve. We both still bear some scars. The good news for you? We figured out that learning curve so you don’t have to.

Until Now? Mostly Two Dismal Choices

Until now, ADHD-challenged couples have mostly faced two dismal choices:

  1. Couple therapy that is not informed by ADHD-specific knowledge
  2. Adult ADHD therapy that overlooks the needs of the other partner and the relationship

As I wrote in my first book (Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?), the wrong therapy can be worse than no therapy at all.

With our new book, we (psychologist Arthur L. Robin and I) created a model that carefully merges two sets of therapeutic approaches:

  1. Those proven effective for couple therapy, and
  2. Those proven effective for adult ADHD treatment

In other words, we based these interventions not on loosey-goosey ideas about “communication” and “be vulnerable” and “intimacy”. Instead, we combined our 50 years of professional experience with the research-based evidence about what works.

Make no mistake: We focus on the practical as well as the emotional. Both are equally important. Why? Because emotional intimacy fails to flourish (or resuscitate!) when household chores are neglected, the budget is busted, and important commitments are forgotten.

ADHD couple therapy

A Bit Of Back Story

Three times, the publisher asked me to produce a guide for mental-health professionals, for helping ADHD-challenged couples. Twice, I declined. I simply couldn’t afford even more pro bono work. Typically, it’s academics who write these professional guides. (You know, people with salaries and an expectation to publish.)

By the third request, my week had been particularly peppered with stories from too many couples struggling—despite weekly therapy. Sometimes for years!  It only magnified the chorus I’d heard for 20 years.

That is to say, I weakened. I tentatively agreed—dependent upon psychologist Arthur L. Robin, PhD, agreeing to join me. We’ve co-presented at conferences for years on this topic. Bless him; he agreed. (You can read our bios here.)

Four years later, it’s here!  With its debut, Routledge Press named Dr. Robin and me January Authors of the Month:

ADHD couple therapy

Top Experts Praise Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy

Top experts in the fields of general couple therapy and Adult ADHD have lavished praise upon this comprehensive, pragmatic guide.

These experts include psychologists Harville Hendrix, Douglas K. Snyder, Russell Barkley, and physicians Patricia Quinn, Lily Hechtman, Philip Asherson, and Martin Kutscher.  Click here to read the full endorsements and learn more about these experts.

ADHD couple therapy

What’s Covered In Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy?

In 250 no-nonsense pages, we cover the gamut:

  • Explaining the wide variety of potential issues ADHD-challenged couples face
  • Zeroing in on very practical strategies
  • Healing what we’ve designated the “Adult ADHD-Focused Dysfunctional Interaction Cycle”
  • Working together on chores and planning, budgets, electronic addictions, and even sexual intimacy.
  • Explaining how to get the best results from medication—and how couple therapists can help in the process

We are grateful to guest contributors, including psychologist J. Russell Ramsay, who developed a couple-therapy intervention based on his CBT model for ADHD.

For a quick overview, here is the 250-page book’s Table of Contents:

Introduction

Section I: Adult ADHD and Relationships

  • Meet the Couples and Their Common Challenges, Gina Pera
  • Principles of ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy, Gina Pera

Section II: Clinical Interventions

  • Psychoeducation, Arthur L. Robin, PhD
  • CBT Model for ADHD-Challenged Couples, J. Russell Ramsay, PhD
  • The Role of Medication, Gina Pera and Arthur L. Robin, PhD
  • Behavior and Habit Change, Arthur L. Robin, PhD
  •  Imago Relationship Therapy Adapted for ADHD, Carol Ann Robbins, PhD
  •  Co-Parenting Strategies, Barbara Easterlin, PhD

Section III: Special Topics

  • Money, Gina Pera
  • Cyber-Addictions, Kevin Roberts, MA
  • Sexual Intimacy, Gina Pera

Conclusions and Clinical Notes

Resources

Index

For more details on the topics: The Skyrocketing Demand for ADHD Couple Therapy.

Online Training! Therapists and Consumers

Now, we are excited to be offering online training for therapists.

The first course is available. It is a home-study test, a set of 20 multiple-choice questions based on reading the book. CE hours are available (NBCC).

(Readers can join our mailing list at ADHD Success Training to be informed when the training is available—or follow this blog to be updated.)

Soon, we will offer soup-to-nuts training for consumers.  This will help you get the most from Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy™ with a trained clinician. It is also designed to help you even if you cannot find or afford appropriate therapy.

Professional Directory!

For years, I’ve fielded e-mail requests for referrals to professionals. The sad truth, I have a very short list to whom I can refer in confidence. Having traveled that path before them, I know the quality of therapy can make or break a relationship. Much hangs in the balance.

That’s why I have created an ADHD Professional Directory. Clinicians listed in the directory who successfully complete Level 1 training are invited to indicate that via a badge icon on their listing.

This directory will be worldwide. To learn more, visit the ADHD Success Training website.

 

ADHD couple therapy

 

Meanwhile, I’d love to know your reaction.

Are you happy to see a new clinical guide on couple therapy for ADHD?

Are you looking forward to the online training?

(I sure am looking forward to finishing and offering it!)

—Gina Pera

28 thoughts on “ADHD Couple Therapy: The Revolution Is On!”

  1. Do you have a referral (or two or ten) for a person who does video counseling for couples and implements your approach. Yep, I’m one of those who doesn’t have the time nor patience to explain the chaos level in my home to a counselor and then help that counselor treat myself and my spouse (“all the while paying” haha, hall of fame hilarious). Bah. I could use your book on my own, but I’m dealing with some pride issues in my spouse. They would not take me “teaching/leading” them well and thy sure won’t be taking the time to go through it themselves. Frustrated, angry, and at the end of my rope. Again help (in the form of a referral) would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Gordy,

      I feel your pain.

      If I had enough professionals to refer to, I wouldn’t have spent 4 hard years producing the first ADHD couple therapy guide based on the evidence of what works. Not idiosyncratic opinions and psychobabble tropes shoe-horned onto ADHD. 🙂

      THEN, I wouldn’t have spent several more years creating “direct to consumer” training.

      But lucky for you, it’s ready and waiting. I haven’t written the blog post yet because I’m still tinkering with the information page.

      Positive reviews are already trickling in. Including from couple therapists.

      Despite the attempts by some (with an agenda) to paint my approach as “negative”, people actually familiar with it find it remarkably well-balanced and compassionate to everyone.

      You can learn more here. Keep in mind: Couples needn’t take it together in order to benefit.

      https://adhdsuccesstraining.com/adult-adhd-solving-the-four-essential-puzzle-pieces-consumers/

      Seriously, this will be so much faster/easier and less fraught with minefields than therapy. If, after completion, there are still issues, then at least the ADHD-related boulders have been cleared.

      Good luck!
      g

  2. Is this book, Adult ADHD Focused Couples Therapy meant only for those in the professional setting or can couples reap benefit from reading this?

    1. HI D,

      We wrote it for the couples themselves as much as the professionals. We assumed it would take a while for professionals to get up to speed. Meanwhile…couples need help.

      In fact, we included in our contract that the price be made affordable for consumers. This is about 1/3 the price of most professional guides.

      And the interventions are step by step (but not “cookie cutter”) rather than blah blah narrative. 🙂

      g

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