Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD: A Practical, Easy-to-Use Guide for Clinicians

Apr 01, 2008

Although there is evidence in the research literature from as far back as 40 years showing that the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often persist into adulthood, it has been only in the past decade or so that integrative treatment models designed specifically for adult ADHD have been developed.

Ari Tuckman, PsyD;
Oakland, Calif: New Harbinger, 2007
252 pp. • $49.95 (softcover)

Although there is evidence in the research literature from as far back as 40 years showing that the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often persist into adulthood, it has been only in the past decade or so that integrative treatment models designed specifically for adult ADHD have been developed. While there has not been a systematic empirical study of integrative, multimodal treatments for adult ADHD, there is a growing clinical research literature on the combination of pharmacotherapy and psychosocial treatments.

Ari Tuckman's book, Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD: A Practical, Easy-to-Use Guide for Clinicians, tethers together the essential information about the treatment of adult ADHD. True to the book's subtitle, Tuckman surveys the relevant literature and culls from it a collection of practical intervention strategies that provide mental health clinicians a framework with which to help their adult patients with ADHD.

Clinicians cannot effectively implement treatment strategies for adult ADHD without first grasping the effects of the disorder on the daily lives of their patients. Thus, the first part of the book provides an introduction to adult ADHD. Chapter 1 provides the reader with a brief history of the diagnosis, the evolution and limitations of current diagnostic criteria, a review of commonly used assessment instruments, and a discussion of the various challenges to making an accurate diagnosis. Chapter 2 reviews the neurobiological and genetic underpinnings of ADHD as well as theories of the role of executive dysfunction as the source of the self-regulation problems encountered by adult patients. Chapter 3 outlines the types of day-to-day impairments experienced by adults with ADHD. Rather than ADHD being a benign disorder, its untreated symptoms can cause significant life problems.

The second part of the book introduces the components of integrative treatment, starting with a discussion of psychoeducation in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 is an overview of the pharmacological treatment options, including second-tier agents and combination regimens for cases of comorbidity. ADHD coaching is discussed in the penultimate chapter, and Chapter 7 wraps up the discussion of treatment with ways to adapt psychotherapy to address the low self-esteem, distorted cognitive patterns, and maladaptive coping behaviors associated with adult ADHD. The appendix offers resources that clinicians can give to patients. In addition, readers are invited to visit the author's Web site for useful clinical materials that can be downloaded.

Overall, Tuckman's book offers a highly competent overview of adult ADHD and gives practicing clinicians useful strategies for helping their adult patients with ADHD to better manage their lives and thereby to experience improved well-being.

 

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