Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy: Clinical Interventions, edited by Gina Pera & Arthur L. Robin, New York, NY, Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-415-81210-8, 2016, 236 pages, $39.95.
A key premise of this strengths-based approach to the treatment of couples with an ADHD-affected partner is the executive function framework. Individuals affected by ADHD, often not diagnosed in childhood, demonstrate marked deficits that affect relationships and communication. Attention to the impacts of ADHD on the relationship help to focus strategies for effective change.
This book begins with an overview of the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults and includes demographics and statistical information related to its prevalence in couples who seek therapy. This first section can be a beneficial overview for clinicians doing couples therapy. Section II highlights evidence-based strategies beginning with psychoeducation about ADHD. Robin’s psychoeducation and Ramsey’s CBT chapters, in particular, provide clear frameworks and step-by-step intervention strategies. Parallels to those who are not affected by ADHD are identified, so clinicians can modify their approaches with couples in line with the challenges each couple experiences. The chapter on medications by Pera and Robin discusses strategies that can be implemented in therapy to communicate most effectively with the physician and track success. Another chapter by Robin, highlighting a framework for behavior change, would be a helpful aid in the progression of therapy, promoting positive change with strategies that can be applied to a range of conflictual situations. As an alternative approach, Robbins discusses the modification of Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) when working with ADHD-affected couples. Section III addresses the special topics of co-parenting, sexual issues, and money management. Throughout the text, individualized treatment, emphasis on strengths, and readiness to change round out the discussion of successful interventions.
The text is best for both beginning and experienced clinicians providing therapy. Each chapter uses case examples that demonstrate the topic and application of the frameworks provided. In addition to the book, there is a companion website. Concluding each chapter are additional potential resources and extensive bibliographies for those wanting to delve deeper into the topic. The final chapter provides a listing of resources—books, online classes, videos, and links to organizations that could be helpful to clinician and client alike. The editors and contributors provide useful tools for practice, as well as opportunities for additional research.
Reviewed by Joan Groessl, MSW, Ph.D., LCSW, Assistant Professor and BSW Program Coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.