In contrast to depth psychology, which also gives a large role to the soul life of humans, on the behavioural therapy level one rather proceeds from the outwardly visible behaviours. ADHD – typical symptoms and ADHD – typical behaviour patterns are therefore analysed and attempts are made to change them through various procedures. Depending on the therapeutic orientation, different methods are available. In the meantime, basic directions can be distinguished from each other. These are:
- The classical behavior therapy
- The cognitive therapy and
- The cognitive behavioural therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy represents the link between classical behavioural therapy and cognitive therapy. Perception as well as thinking and the resulting behaviour patterns play a major role in this form of therapy. It uses various methods (techniques) to connect the motor, cognitive and physical-emotional areas in a special way:
- The technique of operant conditioning
- The technique of problem solving training
- The technique of self-management training
- The technique of social competence – training, and
- Various relaxation methods, such as yoga, autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson (PMR)
The concept of systemic forms of therapy includes all basic therapeutic procedures that aim to clarify and resolve interpersonal relationships.
This means that systemic forms of therapy, which were developed in the 50’s of the last century and have been continuously developed since then, especially address and try to solve problems in families, at work, between friends, etc. With regard to the therapy of ADHD, systemic family therapies are used in particular, since the family is burdened in a special way and conflicts arise from this burdening situation, which can negatively influence the therapy of the ADHD child. A systemic family therapy in the case of ADHD therefore tries in a special way to change negative influences that “stand in the way” of the child’s therapy.
In other words, systemic family therapy in this case not only considers the typical symptoms of ADHD as a disease of the child, but also assigns an important role to the child’s situation within the family with regard to the symptomatic development of ADHD. As an example, an inconsistent style of upbringing could be mentioned here, which cannot be held primarily responsible for the development of ADHD, but which can have a strong negative influence on the situation. The declared aim of such a systemic family therapy is to pick up firmly established and entrenched behavioural patterns of all family members and, if necessary, to reshape them so that an improvement in interpersonal relationships can be achieved.
To achieve this, it is important that family members put themselves in the position of others in order to question the situations, ways of thinking and behaviour patterns of others. This is usually done by depicting a typical family situation, for example by using dolls. From this situation one tries to draw conclusions about the roles within the family, as well as about feelings, attitudes and ways of thinking.