Temple University’s Psychological Services Center (PSC) is working to find ways to help people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) function better in a university environment.
The program uses a combination of group and individual therapy sessions to help people with ADHD overcome the obstacles the disorder creates in their lives.
The weekly group sessions began on Feb. 19, but the program remains open for qualified individuals to participate, said the Director of the Psychological Services Center, Dr. Michael Bridges.
The group therapy is open to Temple students, staff and faculty members who are struggling for strategies to cope with ADHD issues.
This ADHD group therapy was offered during fall semester and was very successful, Bridges said.
Due to confidentiality agreements, former participants in the program could not be reached for comment.
Bridges said that the participants said that the skills they learned were very helpful.
PSC therapist Joanna Robin said that program evaluations by participants said that talking to other people with ADHD in group therapy sessions was very helpful.
“People with ADHD often experience being the only one who always gets in trouble in classrooms,” Bridges said.
“Sharing struggles with other people who have succeeded as far as undergraduate and graduate levels helps them feel less isolated.”
ADHD is a behavioral disorder and is commonly diagnosed during childhood.
People with ADHD have difficulties focusing, planning, and organizing, according to Bridges.
“[ADHD] becomes more of a problem as they get to college because they have [to deal with] more complex concepts, more to remember and more… in terms of organizing schedules and everything,” he said.
He added that most people with ADHD have general intelligence, and there are many adults who overcame their problems and work as professionals and in positions of authority.
Five to seven percent of population have this disorder; boys are diagnosed four to five times more often than girls, Bridges said.
“Some people with ADHD have problems with depression or anxiety, but others don’t,” Bridges said.
“So in individual therapies, they can work on those individual problems.”
In group sessions, they focus on organizing schedules and following them, especially on how they can focus on studying.
If participants are having problems with being easily distracted from studying as they planned, the therapists examine the reasons to help avoid these distractions.
Medical treatment for ADHD has not been established, although there is extensive ongoing research into the disorder.
“The plan for us right now is to keep doing this, and if it continues to be
successful with Temple students, we’ll probably continue to offer and possibly expand it to larger community,” Bridges said.
Although the Psychological Services Center provides counseling services to the
University community, alumni and patients throughout the Delaware Valley, this ADHD group is exclusively offered for Temple community at a cost of $150.
Interested individuals can call 215-204-7324 for phone screening, the first step to join the group, but must do so soon. According to Bridges, the phone screenings are to ensure that the group is what the individual needs.
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