Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy: Clinical Interventions

The First Professional Guide
For
ADHD Couple Therapy

Endorsed by leading experts
in the field of
couple therapy and
of Adult ADHD

To develop this model, we carefully the merged the best evidence for effective couple therapy and adult ADHD treatment.

It is a flexible model that accommodates the range of potential issues and relationship status.

Our interventions help professionals and the couples themselves:

  • Adult ADHD specialists gain a roadmap for sensitively expanding treatment to include a client’s romantic partner.
  • Individual therapists learn to recognize Adult ADHD in their clients and adopt best practices for helping them in their relationships.
  • Couple therapists gain guidance for adapting empirically supported couple-counseling principles to include the specific issues presented by ADHD in one or both partners.
  • Individuals and Couples gain highly readable explanations and interventions that they can use directly or share with their therapist.

—Gina Pera and Arthur L. Robin, PhD

A Nuts and Bolts Guide — 

Based In Evidence

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy provides a systematic, step-by-step approach.  Yet, each topic acknowledges the complexity of these clients with a collection of flexible interventions.  

Major Topics include:

  • Psychoeducation
  • Medication guidelines and tracking tools for couples
  • Revising Mindsets developed over years of living with undiagnosed ADHD —in oneself or someone else (CBT modified for ADHD)
  • Habit change & Communication
  • More than twenty detailed case studies
  • Co-parenting techniques – when one or both parents have ADHD
  • ADHD-specific “hot spots”

Training in These Strategies

Professional Endorsements:

Russell Barkley endorsement Adult ADHD-Focused Couple TherapyRussell Barkley, PhD

ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control and Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

Excerpted from the Foreword: 

The counseling of couples in which at least one member has ADHD has received scant research attention. Fortunately, this book draws together not only what is known, but also what methods of treatment are likely to address these relationship issues.

Here we find experts in various approaches to treatment contributing to create the first book of its kind, one that provides a thorough review across a diverse array of modalities as well as detailed guidance on implementing them for the ADHD-affected couple.

Congratulations on having the good sense to read it.

Harville Hendrix endorsement Adult ADHD-Focused Couple TherpayHarville Hendrix, PhD

Getting the Love You Want and Imago Therapy 

First came cutting edge theory in Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?, shining light in the darkness for couples living with the amazing complications of one or both partners having ADHD.

Now comes a luminous clinical guide for Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy, helping therapists identify the essential elements of the therapeutic process for successful outcome, including therapy models ranging from medications to cognitive-behavioral to couples therapy. 

The thoroughness and clarity of the theory and therapy, and the voluminous sources and research citations, make these two books a seminal contribution to the field.

Douglas K. Snyder PhD Endorsement Adult ADHD-Focused Couple TherapyDouglas K. Snyder, PHD

Professor of Clinical Psychology, Texas A&M University
Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy and  Getting Past the Affair
 

Couple therapy has moved well beyond interventions for intimate relationship distress. Increasingly, evidence-based extensions of couple therapy have been developed for treating emotional, behavioral, or physical health problems in one or both partners.

ADHD presents a critical destabilizing influence on couple relationships that has, heretofore, been largely understudied and under-treated. This book offers a treasure trove of evidence-based interventions for helping partners to cope with this personal and relational challenge. 

The chapters are sensitively written by experts in adult ADHD and intimate relationship challenges. Both individual and couple therapists will benefit from the clear exposition of ADHD and its impact on couple relationships, as well as an integrated model for addressing its various adverse relational impacts. 

Step-by-step guidelines describe effective structured interventions for changing partners’ attributions about ADHD symptoms and for regulating and coping with their adverse consequences. Additional chapters address such critical areas as medication, co-parenting, finances, sexual intimacy, and a variety of compulsive behavior disorders.

Professional Endorsements Continue Below

The Co-Authors

Gina Pera Arthur L. Robin Authors adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy

The co-authors of Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy met many years ago. Gina attended  Dr. Arthur Robin’s conference presentation, on Adult ADHD and relationships. Having started the first online group for the partners of adults with ADHD several years before, she felt relieved to finally find an ADHD expert addressing this issue.

A few years later, they began regularly co-presenting at conferences to mental-health professionals.

This book is a natural outgrowth of their long-shared mission to elevate the clinical treatment standards for Adult ADHD, including in relationships.

Please see their biographies:  About The Course Creators

Strong Demand for Expertise—
Made Stronger by COVID

Far from being a limited specialty, Adult ADHD cuts across the problems that bring people to couple therapy — including conflicts over money, communication, chore-sharing, and co-parenting. 

Yet, when Adult ADHD is missed or its interventions poorly understood, these clients rarely rise above their problems.

ADHD awareness is burgeoning. Individuals and couples worldwide seek clinical expertise. Yet they seldom find it.Recent COVID stresses and constraints has pushed to the fore ADHD-related challenges among those who were only marginally coping before. 

They  need help now.  The overall demand will only increase with time and ADHD awareness.

 

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Model

A New Model

We created this book to guide mental-health professionals in identifying Adult ADHD-challenged clients and steadily guiding positive changes that last.

Moreover, our therapeutic interventions stand to help even greater numbers of people: the millions of individuals who struggle with similar behaviors yet do not fully qualify for the ADHD diagnosis.

After all, the associated traits of ADHD-procrastination, distractibility, emotional dysregulation, and the like-fall on a continuum in the human population.

Mental-health professionals sometimes assume that coaches can help clients with all-important environmental supports for Executive Functions. That is sometimes true. But many adults with ADHD and their partners require a therapeutic inter-weaving of emotional and pragmatic focus. 

In fact, many ADHD-challenged individuals and couples will need a solid psychoeducation—and ADHD medication—before even attempting to introduce habit-change.

The misinterpretations and poor coping responses developed over the years when ADHD went unrecognized require a professional therapist’s skills.

More Endorsements from Prominent Professionals:

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Endorsement Stephen Hinshaw, PhDStephen Hinshaw, PhD

Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley; Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

If you work with adults experiencing ADHD,  Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy: Clinical Interventions is a must-read. 

Packed with vivid case examples, informed by sound conceptual models, and filled with prescriptive (yet not pedantic) treatment plans and guidelines, this book is a revelation. 

It takes on controversial issues directly (e.g., internet additions, co-parenting, the potential for abusive relationships) while providing the best synthesis, in existence, of knowledge about ADHD in adulthood plus couple communication styles and issues. Five stars!

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Endorsement Patricia Quinn, MDPatricia Quinn, MD 

Developmental Pediatrician; preeminent expert on ADHD in females

Understanding Girls with ADHD

Describing ADHD as a disorder of executive functions and self-regulation, this guide creates a framework for clinicians that explains not only Adult ADHD but also how to effectively deal with ADHD as it affects couples and their relationships.

Presenting models adapted to the needs of couples, this book encourages flexibility while providing guidelines for therapists, including ways to manage and monitor medication for ADHD symptoms, initiate behavior change, improve mindfulness, and help the couple pursue shared goals. 

A fantastic resource for any therapist working with couples!

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Endorsement Lily Hechtman, MDLily Hechtman, MD, FAACP

Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Director of Research, Division of Child Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal Children’s Hospital

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Adult Outcome and Its Predictors
 

ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy: Clinical Interventions has many strengths. The book indicates in detail how conventional couple therapy needs to be modified to accommodate the fact that one or both members of the couple have ADHD. There are very few books that address this important topic.

The book clearly shows how ADHD symptoms can significantly affect the functioning and relationship of the couple, and how if the ADHD symptoms are not recognized and addressed, couple therapy may not succeed. It has a wealth of clinical examples to illustrate its points.

The book is clearly written and well-referenced, both with research and clinically helpful material, such as outlines, rating scales, and resources. Many of the chapters present clear step-wise approaches to intervention, with case illustrations for each step. A whole chapter is devoted to medication treatment.

Other chapters are devoted to particularly important topics that present challenges to couples and need to be addressed, e.g., money issues, cyber-addiction, and sexual intimacy. Co-parenting strategies is also an important chapter as it illustrates how ADHD can impact on parenting skills, particularly if the child also has ADHD

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Endorsement Philip Asherson MD PhDPhilip Asherson, MD, PHD

Professor of Molecular Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, King’s College London

Aimed at couples therapy for adult ADHD, this book does so much more. It provides a beautifully written and accurate account of the many difficulties faced by adults with ADHD in their daily lives. 

The disorder is so often misunderstood, yet here we have a clear description of the symptoms and impairments and how best to support adults with ADHD. 

The book is a treasure of information and practical advice that makes invaluable reading for both expert and novice alike. It should be read by all those working with adults with ADHD who wish to optimise the success of their treatments and make a real impact on the quality of their lives.

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Endorsement Linda Pfiffner PHD Linda Pfiffner, PhD 

Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

All About ADHD: The Complete Practical Guide for Classroom Teachers

Adult ADHD-Focused Couples Therapy is a truly exceptional resource. Up to now, the impact of adult ADHD on couples’ relationships has been surprisingly underappreciated and certainly undertreated. This book eloquently fills the gap.

Filled with poignant vignettes, the book brings to life typical day-to-day struggles facing couples with an ADHD partner, including the gamut of “hot spots”-from difficulties communicating, sharing responsibilities, and handling finances to co-parenting, infidelity, and sexual intimacy.

The chapters are uniformly helpful and complementary, clearly the product of seasoned clinicians. Evidence-based treatment principles are distilled into practical, easy to follow suggestions including clear and often scripted guidelines for educating couples about ADHD and enacting change through a balance of acceptance and accommodation. 

This book carefully guides clinicians through even the most clinically challenging cases and offers hope. It is a must-read for clinicians, destined to be of enormous benefit for the many couples and families struggling with ADHD.

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Endorsement Martin Kutscher, MD Martin Kutscher, MD

Behavioral neurologist, author of 

ADHD: Living Without Brakes

A-ha’  moments abound as this book successfully intertwines state of the art scientific knowledge with incredible empathy and insight into the lives of couples affected by ADHD. Emphasizing the pitfalls of a ‘one technique fits all’ approach, the text still clearly lays out practical recommendations for effective counseling of this massively underserved population. 

A joy to read, and sure to be of great help to therapists and the people they care for.

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Endorsement Andrea Bilbow OBEAndrea Bilbow, OBE

Founder and Chief Executive ADDISS, London

Living with adult ADHD brings numerous challenges, not only for the ADHD adult, but also for his or her partner. This book offers therapists cutting-edge methods rooted in the latest research.

Armed with this book, therapists have at their fingertips practical tools and insights that will allow them to empower couples to thrive with understanding and appreciation for the challenges that ADHD brings to relationships.

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Endorsement Mark Stein PhDMark A. Stein, PhD, ABPP

Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Pediatrics, Unversity of Washington

This is an outstanding treatment manual, providing an excellent summary of ADHD in general and a comprehensive framework for working with couples. 

The authors integrate the latest in ADHD research and describe a combination approach to treatment with an emphasis on neurobiological and cognitive behavioral interventions. This is an extremely practical book, with case examples illustrating applications and exercises that can be used with couples at various phases of treatment, beginning with diagnosis. 

Many myths and common barriers to reducing ADHD-related impairments are addressed. I recommend this for anyone who works with adults, couples, or families. 

Thank you, Gina Pera and Arthur Robin!

Therapy that fails to recognize ADHD risks making a bad situation worse, adversely affecting the couple and
any children for years
to come—and leaving
clinicians feeling
befuddled and bereft

About the Contributors

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Contributor Barbara Easterlin PhDBarbara Easterlin, PhD

Dr. Easterlin is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in ADHD diagnosis and treatment. She completed her MA at the University of California, Irvine, and her PhD at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

From 2004 to 2013, Dr. Easterlin served as an assistant clinical professor at the Hyperactivity, Attention, and Learning Problems (HALP) Clinic, within the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco. She performed ADHD assessments as part of the clinic team and mentored postdoctoral fellows in psychoeducational evaluation, Parent Management Training, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for children with anxiety disorders.

She trained parents and learning specialists in San Francisco Bay Area school districts on identifying ADHD symptoms in students and deploying behavioral interventions. As a licensed psychologist in private practice, she provides individual and couple therapy as well as parenting consultation.

In 2004, Dr. Easterlin founded Authentica Center, a psychosocial group therapy program primarily targeted at helping girls with ADHD develop and maintain friendships. She lectures frequently on ADHD, the social world of girls, and parenting children with ADHD and other disruptive behavior disorders.

 

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Contributor J. Russell Ramsay PhDJ. Russell Ramsay, PhD

Dr. Ramsay is co-founder and co-director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program and an associate professor of clinical psychology in psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. After earning his PhD from Palo Alto University, Dr. Ramsay completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ramsay has authored numerous professional and scientific articles and book chapters, and has lectured internationally on various issues related to Adult ADHD.  He is author of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD: An Integrative Psychosocial and Medical Approach (American Psychological Association, 2010). He co-wrote (with Anthony  Rostain, MD) the second edition of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD and its companion patient guidebook, The Adult ADHD Tool Kit: Using CBT to Facilitate Coping Inside and Out >Dr. Ramsay serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Attention Disorders.

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Contributor Carol Robbins PhDCarol Ann Robbins, PhD

Dr. Robbins a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in ADHD. She works closely with Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, a leading expert in the field, at the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland. She is also the clinical director of the Annapolis ADHD Center. As adjunct faculty at Anne Arundel Community College, she teaches about ADHD. Dr. Robbins has presented on ADHD locally to the American Psychological Association, schools, and various public and private entities, and has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences.

She authored an article on ADHD and relationships in a 2005 issue of In Session: Journal of Clinical Psychology, and co-authored a chapter on treating ADHD and Learning Disorders in Learning and Attention Disorders in Adolescence and Adulthood: Assessment and Treatment, Second Edition (Wiley, 2011). Dr. Robbins earned her doctorate from the University of Miami and completed her internship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.

She is a trained Imago Relationship therapist. Personally, she is married to a man who has ADHD and is raising two children with ADHD. As a volunteer, Robbins has served as coordinator of the Anne Arundel County Maryland Chapter of CHADD since 2002.

 

Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy Contributor Kevin Roberts MAKevin Roberts, MA

Roberts holds a Master’s degree in ADHD Studies and is an ADHD coach who also helps clients worldwide who are struggling with cyber addiction.

Roberts has trained parents, doctors, nurses, therapists, and teachers on cyber addiction and ADHD. Fluent in several foreign languages, he has also given seminars internationally on the topic. He regularly talks to audiences of young people, warning them of excessive dependence on “the screen.”

As a self-described recovering cyber addict, as well as an adult with ADHD, Roberts has a strong personal interest in this area. He has been interviewed as an expert on cyber addiction on television and radio in the United States and abroad, including NBC, ABC, Fox News, and the BBC. 

Roberts is the author of two books: Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap  (Hazelden, 2010) and Movers, Dreamers, and Risk-Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD (Hazelden, 2012).