Children and Adolescents who suffer with ADHD have several treatment options: behavioral, cognitive, psychopharmacological, or a mixture of them all. We have seen tremendous success using any one of the aforementioned options, but have always struggled to help our patients grow beyond the most challenging symptom of ADHD: their inability to develop new passions in life.

Passion in life is often thought to come naturally. At Unfold Psychology, we believe success comes not just from identifying and working on the innate passions we possess, but being able to choose new ones. In school, in life, in work, even play, success comes from being able to find new passions, passions which may not have existed previously. In this lies the fundamental reason we believe Cogmed is the best non-pharmacological option, to treat the underlying challenges ADHD invokes: attention.

Attention, concentration, is what gives us the power to make the best choices. Whenever you hear people say, “there are not enough hours in the day,” what they are really saying is I wish I could concentrate enough to take ADVANTAGE of the hours I have. ADHD affects one’s ability to concentrate – people with ADHD tend to think the only ‘things’ worth paying attention to are the ones that spark their inherent interests.

When you have the tools to concentrate, truly concentrate, on the tasks at hand, you have the ability to find meaning in the mundane tasks of life. Children and adolescents feel like their lives have no meaning. Rather than debate this, at Unfold Psychology, we accept it and challenge their skepticism by having them consider if they believe they can create their own meaning… Inevitably, they always answer no; today’s generation seems to believe if it is not ‘there’ it does not exist – put another way, if they do not already feel it, it will never be present.

Meaning stems from what provides us happiness or makes us feel content in life. What gives our life the greatest meaning, are the goals which are not directly in front of us, but the ones we must work for, the ones that come after years of concentrated attention.

Children with ADHD often lack the necessary concentration to make a connection between future happiness and present contentment. More often than not they tend to seek out instant gratification (e.g. vaping, pot, instagram, facebook), whatever gives them an immediate sense of purpose and meaning. To put it simply, the greatest challenge children with ADHD face is finding meaning, and meaning is derived from perspective, and how do we develop perspective in life… through our experiences, our MEMORIES.

Cogmed and Working Memory

Cogmed is a software program which is designed to improve an individual’s working memory. Working memory is what allows an individual to sustain focused attention, recall directions, manage impulses and solve problems. Cogmed strengthens working memory in anyone who has difficulty recalling information and keeping important details in the forefront of their mind.