1st Edition

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Integration of Cognitive, Neuropsychological, and Psychodynamic Perspectives in Psychotherapy

Edited By Francine Conway Copyright 2014

    For many researchers, clinicians, teachers, patients, and family members, the discourse on ADHD has been occurring in silos. Traditional ADHD camps are organized primarily in terms of neurological and cognitive perspectives and to a lesser extent psychoanalytic/psychodynamic perspectives. Those with an interest in ADHD have not been able to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the disorder and consequently have been restricted in psychotherapy treatment options. This book argues for the integration of the three perspectives on ADHD.

    Drawing on the expertise of an international range of contributors, the volume addresses questions from a psychoanalytic vantage point which have considerable meaning in clinical work with children who have ADHD. They examine the role of trauma and attachment problems as both a possible antecedent to ADHD, and as an outgrowth of ADHD which predisposes the child to limitations in emotion regulation, social adversity, an even maltreatment. Several questions pertinent to psychodynamic treatment and relevant case studies are discussed including: a) the viability of psychoanalysis/psychodynamic treatment for ADHD children b) the impact of early traumatic experience on the child’s specific weaknesses in attention, over-reactivity and dysregulation c) contributions of problems in object relations and regressive defences to ADHD symptoms d) and the importance of other intrapsychic issues.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

    1. Introduction: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and the Psychoanalytic Process James McCarthy and Francine Conway

    2. ADHD via Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, and Cognitive Psychology: Why Haven’t We Fielded a Team? Lucy Zabarenko

    3. The Neural and Neurocognitive Determinants of ADHD Chaya B. Gopin and Dione M. Healey

    4. Psychoanalytic Treatment of ADHD Children in the Frame of Two Extraclinical Studies: The Frankfurt Prevention Study and the EVA Study Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber, Katrin Luise Laezer, Nicole Pfenning-Meerkoetter, Tamara Fischmann, Angelika Wolff and Jonathan Green

    5. Trauma and ADHD – Association or Diagnostic Confusion? A Clinical Perspective Kate Szymanski, Linda Sapanski and Francine Conway

    6. ADHD and Complex Trauma: A Descriptive Study of Hospitalized Children in an Urban Psychiatric Hospital

    Francine Conway, Maria Oster and Kate Szymanski

    7. The Reality-Sampling Deficit and ADHD: Indication for an Active Technique Barry Jones

    8. Psychoanalytic Conceptualizations of the Internal Object in an ADHD Child Björn Salomonsson

    9. Trouble Paying Attention Daniel Gensler

    10. Is ADHD a Real Neurological Disorder or Collection of Psychosocial Symptomatic Behaviors? Implications for Treatment in the Case of Randall E. Burton Norman Seitler

    11. Psychodynamic Play Therapy With a Six-Year-Old African American Boy Diagnosed With ADHD Gabrielle F. Cione, Lila A. Coleburn, Eric A. Fertuck and Peter Fraenkel


    Francine Conway is a full Professor at the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University, USA, and has been treating children diagnosed with ADHD over the past 14 years. In addition to her clinical experience, she has taught courses on ADHD and provided clinical supervision for students working with ADHD.