Experiential Family Therapy on ADHD Child

Experiential Family Therapy on ADHD Child


ExperientialFamily Therapy on ADHD Child


The Diagnostic andStatistical manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) recognizes ADHD as adisorder mostly diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolescence and ischaracterized by an impulsive hyperactivity greater that a normalindividuals with same developmental levels (AmericanPsychiatric Association 2000). The fifth edition of the manualappears to move ADHD away from being listed as a disorder in childreninto being a neurodevelopmental disorder with a childhood onset(Dalsgaard, 2013). Family therapy for ADHD focuses on assistingfamilies in creating and developing patterns of organization whichencourage cooperation. The paper will examine experiential familytherapy as an intervention that addresses the difficult relationshipsbetween ADHD children and their parents.

The aim ofexperiential family therapy is on highlighting the role ofexperiential obstacles to individual growth that predispose childrento ADHD and patterns of ADHD maintaining behavior (Goldenberg &ampGoldenberg, 2013). Experiential family therapy draws from thepersonally centered approach of Carl Rogers, Gestalt therapy, andpsychodrama as well as concepts for personal growth movement.Experience, intuition, process, growth, spontaneity and the here andnow are concepts relevant to experimental family therapists(Goldenberg &amp Goldenberg, 2013). Therapeutic change occurs ingrowth experience and not just in intellectual reflection and insightinto the origin of ADHD. therapeutic interventions are tailored tothe specific and unique needs of the family and psychotherapy must bean interpersonal encounter between therapist and client that isgenuine, the aim being to enhance sensitivity, the expression offeelings and personal authenticity.

Working from inside out, experiential therapy helps family members todiscover their authentic emotions first, and then to shape moregenuine family connections out of the heightened authenticity. Thedidactic structure of utilizing a co-therapist and team is informedby an experimental model. Besides, focus on the process of familialinteractions rather than problem solving is guided by experientialtherapy.


American Psychiatric Association. (2000).Diagnostic and statistical manual ofmentaldisorders(4th ed., text rev.). Arlington, VA:American Psychiatric Association

Dalsgaard, S. (2013). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder(ADHD). European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2243-48.

Goldenberg, H. &amp Goldenberg, I. (2013). Family therapy: Anoverview (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson-Brooks