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"What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!" - William Shakespeare

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS AND/OR ADHD

Positive Esteem Psychotherapy™ or Identity Development Psychotherapy™ 

RATIONALE

Each child is unique. Every child has attributes or positive aspects to his personality. Each child has abilities. Not all children have abilities in school subjects, yet school consumes the majority of the daytime hours Monday through Friday for nine months a year for children over 5 years old.

Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD and children who have undiagnosed school or behavior problems often need intensive positive feedback about their abilities especially if school work does not constitute one of their strengths. They also often need validation of their experience: perceptions, feelings and emotions as well as their positive attitudes and positive values.

The history assessed by Dr. Fisher over the last twenty-five years of children diagnosed with ADHD or who have undiagnosed behavior problems indicates that the emphasis has been placed on the negative aspects of the child.  Improving performance on school work and reducing behaviors such as a short attention span, distractibility, defiance, impulsiveness, and temper tantrums, understandably, receive most of the attention from parents, teachers and counselors. What is frequently missing is emphasis on the positive aspects of the child’s identity.

Conversely, parents sometimes overuse power in discipline. What can result is a child who is known by his negative behaviors and hence has a negative identity. Even worse is the child who has had many of his privileges and important possessions removed such that he has nothing to lose by continued opposition and misbehavior; to wit: unremitting power struggles with parents and teachers. Power becomes a reinforcer for the child when parental power is overused. The child learns by the parent’s model to value power above other attributes.  They attempt to gain power or utilize it when they can be in control (i.e., with smaller or weaker kids, or to exploit loopholes in rules or systems).

TREATMENT

Dr. Fisher’s treatment plan is to accentuate the positive and then, develop a discipline plan in conjunction with the parents. The treatment begins with 5-10 session of Positive Esteem Psychotherapy™. Showing the child through the therapy a sincere appreciation of his abilities and strengths creates a bond with the child and increases his cooperation with discipline, i.e., the behavior modification plan.  After 1 or 2 sessions, Dr. Fisher begins consultation with the parents to develop the behavioral plan to decrease and/or eliminate negative behaviors.

Dr. Fisher has developed a two-pronged system of consequences incorporating a "win-win" format designed to increase positive values such as empathy for others and  social responsibility as well as  reduce power struggles.

A plan is also developed to improve school performance.

This treatment approach has been successfully implemented in over 1000 cases.

Depressed children and adolescents think and feel negatively about themselves. They may have difficulty with interpersonal relationships or they may have experienced trauma and/or a loss of significant relationships. Depression in children and adolescents often manifests itself as irritability. Low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty with sleep, loss of pleasure in almost all activities, weight gain or weight loss (and even failure to meet expected weight) are common symptoms. Thoughts of death or suicide accompany severe depression. Suicide threats are always a sign of desperation and hopelessness in depression. These threats must be taken seriously.