Individuals who present with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have complex clinical symptom presentations with diverse etiologies. Treatment requires a sophisticated understanding of the complexity of the client's difficulties but more importantly, an empathic approach. Although, most individuals who present with ADHD initially illicit empathy, the persistence of the behaviors such as the individual's difficulty completing tasks and a tendency to hide failed efforts lead to negative countertransference during treatment and interpersonal problems with peers and in the home. My clinical practice experience with many school aged children and Co-eds diagnosed with ADHD, as well as working with many frustrated teachers and parents has led to the Cultivating Compassion ADHD Project (Compassion Project). During this presentation, I will describe the Compassion Project and discuss the theoretical and therapeutic framework governing a psychoanalytic approach to ADHD. Brief case examples will be used to illustrate therapeutic interventions used in working with children, parents and teachers to engender compassion and lead to therapeutic gains. The case examples will also highlight the complexity of the work and the accompanying clinical challenges.
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