An ADHD case

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Hi Everyone,

Amelia Conrad responds to the recent case posted by "Carl" regarding an adolescent boy's behavior problem. In Amelia's case, the young man is ADHD with substantial emotional possibilities as causes of the behavior. She describes her procedures and her results in the message below. I think you'll find the ending quite interesting.

Also, please note two possible avenues to approach ADD & ADHD. One has to do with unresolved emotional issues (like the ones Amelia addresses) and the other has to do with allergic reactions to substances like sugar, caffeine, wheat, pesticides, etc. that may be literally causing the problem. See the book "Is This Your Child?" by Doris Rapp, MD for impressive evidence of this latter cause.

Hugs, Gary

by Amelia Conrad, LICSW

Hi Gary,

This is the first time I write, even though I've been avidly keeping up with your wonderful postings. It is truly inspiring that the "energy" community shares so freely and openly!

This is in response to "Carl's" questions about working with a guarded teenager. I'd like to share an experience with a similar client:

John (not his real name), 14, was referred for therapy because of long term involvement with protective services and ADHD. He was taken from his home when he was four, bounced around several foster homes, was abused in some of them, suffered disruptions in attachments and separation from his parents and siblings. At the time I saw him he had been reunited with his mother and one older brother, and was in a regular school with accommodations for special education.

Shortly after I started working with him, John's Ritalin level, which he had taken for ten years, became toxic. When he was taken off the drug, his behavior problems became more acute than what the school was prepared to handle.

Mom was understandably scared of the tics her son had developed and vehemently refused further medication. The psychiatrist I referred him to for a second opinion felt that treatment with stimulants was the only accepted way to treat ADHD, according to the Academy of Pediatrics. The school team decided that he could not stay unless he was medicated. I argued that John's symptoms could also stem from his past traumatic experiences, and that the Ritalin may have contained him enough through the years, but also may have prevented him from developing more adaptive positive coping skills. After much debate, all parties agreed to a one month try with EFT, with the caveat that he would be medicated at the end of the month if our efforts failed.

John complied, as much as can be expected from any teenager. I was able to get his attention for brief periods of time, and worked with his goals, as they related to the rest of the parties'. He did not admit to any past trauma. So I explained about flashbacks, and asked if he had ever had any experience that came back vividly to haunt him. He talked about two recent accidents. He tapped on these. My strategy was to rely on the generalization (domino effect) that is quite common with energy techniques, and that allows related traumas to be treated as a group. On the second round after the 9G I use a variation that I learned from my NLP teacher, Nancy Saltzman, and from my HBLU teacher, Judith Swack, that uses hypnotic language, something like this:

"Allow your Higher Self/unconscious mind to take you back to the source event where this whole pattern started...(tap)... you don't have to know where or when this started, just allow your Higher Self/unconscious mind to take you there...(tap)...and when you get to the source event, allow your Higher Self/unconscious mind to transform any negative energy, negative beliefs, negative feelings... (tap) just let them go, because they don't serve you or help you in any way... (tap)... and only by transforming them can you pick-up the learnings... (tap)...and once your Higher Self/unconscious mind has transformed all the negative energy, the negative beliefs, negative feelings, allow your unconscious mind to bring you back to the present only as quickly as it can dissipate any remaining negative energy, negative beliefs, negative feelings from any subsequent event, picking up the learnings all the way back to the present... (tap,tap,tap...) and continue to tap on your pinkie until your Higher Self/unconscious mind tells you that you are all the way back to the present..."

By the end of the month there had been some progress, but not enough by the school's standards. Everyone agreed that the main objective was to keep John in school, and Mom agreed to follow thru on our pact and allowed her son to take a different stimulant. Things continued to improve steadily. We worked on behavioral modifications in the school plan, other behavioral triggers, used NLP anchoring to enhance positive resources, and continued to work with EFT.

John was happy, Mom was happy, the school was happy, and I was glad for the gains made, but confused as to why EFT "failed," and we had to resort to medicating this child again. John graduated, and I met with Mom to discuss the treatment to date and disposition alternatives. I congratulated her for her flexibility and the achievements her son was able to make, even though our alternative treatment had not been as effective as we had hoped, and we had to also resort to medication. She gave me a long glance, with a raised eyebrow. "What...?," I said. She answered: "I wasn't going to tell you... but I never gave John any of the medication. The only dose he got was the one they gave him at noon at school." John remained stable and thriving at three and six month follow-ups.

Thank you for the opportunity to share,

Amelia Conrad, LICSW

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