Do you feel like your brain is either going way too fast or way too slow? Maybe traditional psychotherapy settings have been too boring, or have felt scattered and disjointed?
When you are neurodivergent, and when you specifically align with the diagnosis of “Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder” it can feel like traditional therapy just isn’t as helpful as it feels like it should be.
I am also neurodivergent (I was diagnosed with ADHD in my early twenties), so I try my best to utilize my lived experience, while honoring your unique experience, in our sessions. I’m usually pretty good at keeping up with other neurodivergent brains, and I always strive to be as accommodating as possible.
ADHD counselling sessions can be different from typical psychotherapy sessions. One session might involve figuring out how in the world to get that laundry done, while another might involve processing ableist beliefs which stem from childhood. To hear me talk about ADHD and art therapy, feel free to listen to my interview on the Hypersensitive Podcast.
What is ADHD/VAST?
ADHD (Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder) is the label used to describe a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects many children and adults across the world. Recent research shows that 8 to 10% of school aged children suffer from ADHD (Harstad & Levy, 2014; Lee et al., 2011), making the estimated prevalence in adults at about 4 to 5%,.
VAST is a term that is more neurodivergent friendly and stands for Variable Attention Stimulus Trait. For more information on why the term “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” is problematic, check out Dr. Hallowell’s thoughts on his podcast: The Future of ADHD is VAST
From what I have experienced in my practice, through the literature, and with myself, adults who are diagnosed with ADHD/VAST often experience:
- Losing/misplacing things
Looks like: losing your keys, your phone, the remote, your essay, your last D20, that important work document…
Looks like: Spending money without thinking, buyers remorse, going home with a stranger, quitting your job suddenly, over-booking yourself because everything sounded so fun at the time, saying something you wish hadn’t.
- Poor time management
Looks like: always being a bit late, forgetting multiple appointments, always being early, time anxiety, not being able to estimate how long something will take.
- Rejection Sensitivity
Looks like: People pleasing, perfectionism, feeling lonely, never feeling good enough, feeling like you have to prove yourself all the time, fear of losing friends, fear of being alone.
Looks like: Not remembering what you just read, feeling lost in conversations, starting to work on something only to have your focus drift to something else, day dreaming, forgetting what you are talking about mid-sentence.
Looks like: You are in the zone, there is flow, everything is tuned into one thing that is incredibly interesting and you must know everything about it NOW. I like to call this one of the superpowers of ADHD as it can be incredibly useful when you learn to work with it, but can also be incredibly frustrating especially in regards to hyper-focusing on emotional states.
Looks like: Not being able to sit still, needing to tap your foot or fingers, fidgeting, excessive talking, restless legs, fidgety toes/fingers.
Looks like: Being sensitive to certain types of fabric in clothing, being sensitive to different scents, being very aware of loud noises, being very sensitivity to light and to color.
What can I do?
Having ADHD/VAST can be difficult, and it can also be pretty great. In order to help your brain work within the confines of this society (which is often not very ADHD/VAST friendly) it’s important to understand what you as an individual need in order to be successful. Helping your brain includes getting to know yourself, getting to know more about being neurodivergent, learning about masking, maybe counselling and/or coaching sessions, and maybe working with a psychiatrist to find the right support via medication (or your naturopath/holistic coach if you are taking supplements or other herbal remedies).
As a neurodivergent woman diagnosed with ADHD/VAST I empathize with some of the struggles that come with having an ADHD/VAST brain. Through my own work in counselling, experimenting with different medication, and learning different lifestyle practices I have come to learn ways to celebrate my brain, to laugh at my mistakes, and to honor my unique journey in this life.
Individual online ADHD/VAST counselling sessions are offered at a rate of:
$165/ 50 minutes (Including GST)
$264/80 minutes. (Including GST)
Sessions may go over by 10 minutes so it is recommended you take that into consideration when scheduling. Please note that all prices are set in Canadian dollars.