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I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and now work at Western Psychological and Counseling Services in Gladstone and Tualatin, OR.  I am a Certified Hypnotist and Certified Past Life Regression Facilitator. I am also an astrologer and Reiki Master.  I'm a graduate of Reed College (BA Psychology '87) and Portland State University (MSW '90). I work with children, teens, adults, parents, groups.  I am also the author of several blogs on personality/temperament, fashion and color. I'm certified in Color Me A Season color analysis and create custom fabric Color Profiles fans. 
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Books on Adult ADHD
Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder
Edward Hallowell & John Ratey
The follow up to "Driven to Distraction", in this new book, authors Drs. Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey (both ADD themselves) build on the sympathetic Driven to Distraction to offer a guide to "living a successful life with ADD". The book is tailored to ADD learning styles and provides accessible, engaging discussions of every aspect of the condition, from diagnosis to finding the proper treatment regime. With profiles of patients with ADD who have triumphed it is a great guide to "releasing the positive energy that all people with ADD hold inside".

Attention Deficit Disorder: the Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults
Thomas Brown
A great book (not a great title - many people with ADD would argue they are seldom ever unfocussed!).  Brown presents perhaps the clearest and most accurate model of the executive dysfunction model, broken down into six categories of (1) Organising, prioritizing and activating to work, (2) Focussing, sustaining and shifting attention to tasks, (3) Regulating alertness, sustaining and processing speed, (4) Managing frustration and regulating emotions, (5) Utilising working memory and accessing recall, and (6) Monitoring and self-regulating action. A clear, readable and practical book, with information on how to recognize and treat the disorder.  The book draws on recent findings in neuroscience and case histories from his clinical practice.

Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program that Allows you to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD
Daniel G. Amen
Daniel Amen is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience and psychiatry, in using objective scientific methods to determine differences in the brain, as opposed to diagnosing from lists such as DSM III. Amen uses a nuclear imaging technique called "Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography" (SPECT) to observe differences in the brains of people with ADD. To date he has performed over 8,000 studies and has classified six distinct types of ADD, with different characteristics and requiring a different treatments. Amen brings more precision to the care of the ADD patient and explores the biological (diet, exercise, medication), psychological (personal coaching to psychotherapy), and social support (parenting and school strategies) needed to heal each type of ADD.  Amen makes recommendations for prescription drugs, nutritional therapy, cognitive programming, parenting and education strategies, biofeedback and self-hypnosis.

Beyond ADD – Hunting for Reasons in the Past and Present
Thom Hartmann
Probably the most "argued over" theory on ADD, Thom Hartmann looks at ADD not as a disorder but he argues that ADD genes and people have served a vital purpose in society. Hartmann uses his “Hunter/Farmer” theory to put the strengths and challenges of ADD into perspective. ADD skills might have been better for hunting than the for more rule based and slow farming, these same skills would also incline people to create art, humour, to explore, to invent and to create new rules, new ideas, new businesses and new approaches. Hartmann's theories are empowering and helpful to the self-image of people with ADD. He is persuasive that society is part of the problem, with Education focussed on conditioning and is particularly hostile to children with ADD. The modern world proves challenging for people with ADD for many reasons such as lack of exercise, overly constrained, poor diet and lack of exposure to sunlight. It does not really matter whether his theory is correct, it rather serves as a more positive way to look at and understand the brain style of ADD.

Getting Unstuck - Unravelling the Know of Depression, Attention and Trauma 
Don Kerson
For many ADD adults their primary challenge is not focus or planning but is pro- crastination, usually explained as due to perfectionism, fear of failure, inability to plan and avoidance of unstimulating tasks. However for many procrastination creates far deeper problems than a messy kitchen and incomplete  tax returns. In this breakthrough book, Don Kerson M.D. ( psychotherapist and pharmacologist) argues that adults with ADD "get stuck" - unable to move forward in their lives, mired by depression, past trauma and an inability to imagine their future. Kerson shares his approach in getting people's lives moving again, by tackling their ADD, depression and dissociation. He recommends hypno-therapeutic integration exercises and meditation in this unique approach to a devastating issue. 

Out of the Fog: Treatment Options and Coping Strategies for Adult ADD
Kevin R. Murphy
Out of the Fog is written by the chief of the Adult ADHD Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. It is a sympathetic and clearly written overview of ADD. Murphy gives lists for simplifying and improving life for the adult with ADD, using concrete examples of time management and organizational skills. Murphy who has ADD himself provides great insight into the world of the ADD adult and he discusses the stumbling blocks ADD creates in the pursuit of a education, career, relationships and a healthy family life. Murphy and LeVert's detailed coverage of psychological and medicinal treatment is excellent. The books could be used to "self-diagnose" ADD, by using helpful "Self-Exploration Exercises"

Odd One Out: The Maverick's Guide to Adult ADD
Jennifer Koretsky
This book is one of only a handful of books that I recommend to friends and coaching clients, as it aligns so closely with my philosophy of Understanding, Accepting and Embracing ADD. Jennifer Koretsky explores the ways in which ADD can be both challenging for adults who struggle to fit into a world that doesn't always fit them and also rewarding, offering remarkable advantages.  Koretsky explores the 5 skills for managing ADD - from breaking the “cycle of overwhelm” to “taking control of space and time”, based upon her personal experiences and stories from her clients. A very readable, personal and sometimes funny book, packed with informative advice, strategies and motivation for adults with ADD to live happily and successfully by "breaking the rules".  The tools are effective, I particularly like "Live Out Loud" where she explains what you need to do to live the authentic you by embracing rather than fighting your ADHD.

Fidget to Focus: Outwit your Boredom, Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD
Roland Rotz & Sarah D. Wright
This book is based on the personal experiences of hundreds of people and recent breakthroughs in neuroscience. It is full of tips, strategies and personal stories about how to stay focused and on track, even when tasks are dull, tedious, and boring. Fidget to Focus is a short guide to keeping your brain engaged and focused. Science shows that is the overall level of stimulation to the brain is increased, even if on secondary tasks, then overall focus is increased. This book offers tools and techniques available to you at any time (workbook included!) to help with focus. A book for every teacher that sees fidgeting and doodling as distracting and one that I have shown to several teachers myself! 

Healing ADD
Thom Hartmann
This book is an accessible, readable and useful summary NLP applied to ADD struggles. The mental exercises presented can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of their symptoms, although persistence may be required.  Hartmann has an extremely engaging writing style, and persuades and engages the reader to take action in very effective manner, inspiring the reader to perform the exercises he outlines. Not always an easy task with ADD people! Hartmann's descriptions and exercises are attractive,  practical and "real-world". Healing ADD is about healing - coming to terms with what ADHD means in this world, learning new ways to function and position yourself in the world, and recovering from the traumas that virtually every person with ADHD carries.

Journeys through ADDulthood
Sari Solden
This book is about overcoming ADD Adult challenges. Solden, ADD herself, describes how her own absent-mindedness and disorganization have not prevented her from being a successful lecturer and counsellor. She describes the frustrations of four "example" people with ADD, who struggle with different challenges. Solden offers a three-step approach:  focus on the brain, then on the self and finally on the "self in the world".  Solden recommends seeking help from others for difficult or uninteresting tasks like paperwork or cleaning. Solden also covers the "grief cycle" of Adults upon discovering they have ADD:  relief in finally identifying the reason for life-long problems and differences, upset and anxiety because a diagnosis naturally brings with it a change in self-image, frustration with the long delay in diagnosis and with working through the partial treatments available, learning to cope with ADD, building a new identity and life whilst putting the past and the present into context.

One Boy's Struggle: A Memoir
Bryan L. Huttchinson
I think this is the first true auto-biographical view of a “late-diagnosed” adult with ADD. When I saw this book was available, I excitedly bought it immediately directly from the USA. As I read it I was both pleased with the insights and some of the similarities to my life but a little disappointed that it was not a better read and failed to cover so much. However it is unique in providing a first person insight into the heart and mind of a child/young man suffering from ADD and helps you to consider perhaps you own life-long struggles and feelings of being misunderstood in light of someone else's experiences. So oddly some of the books appeal is that it is not very professional and feels authentic. The book also clearly shows that being strict with ADD children does not work but can strain relationships and can traumatize the child. It is also a great book to be read by the partner of an adults with ADHD, to gain insight in how late-diagnosed adults develop negative mindsets, low self-esteem and skewed perceptions about the world. "One Boy's Struggle" remains a unique insight into ADD and a worthwhile read.

You mean I am not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!
Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo
"You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!" is one of the best-selling titles on ADD ever written. The first book about adult ADD, and the first one written by adults with ADD, it explores the latest science, diagnostic process, and treatment options and provides both moral support and practical tips for reducing chaos and disorganization, improving memory, and forging better relationships at home and work. Ramundo and Kelly also examine the often-overlooked positive effects of ADD. With more than 200,000 copies in print, "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!" is already an essential reference for anyone facing the challenges of adult ADD. This new edition is a perfect blend of strategies for daily life and must-have medical information - an inspiring resource that enables the millions of adults living with ADD to finally take control.

ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says
Russell Barkley, Kevin Murphy & Mariellen Fischer
Russell Barkley is one of the best scientists researching ADD, his insights on the "disorder" of ADD are compelling. He is however unfortunately stuck in the "disorder model" and disregards any evidence of positive ADD traits and strengths. If you can read this book, accepting that the author is takes an very bleak view, there is a lot of valuable information contained in it. The book analyses findings from two major studies and presents the results on the significant impairments produced by the disorder across many areas including education, work, relationships, health, behaviours and mental health. The book covers treatment implications of these findings and demonstrates that current diagnostic criteria do not accurately reflect the way ADHD is experienced by adults, and outlines improved criteria based on executive function deficits.

The Gift of Adult ADD: How to Transform Your Challenges & Build on Your Strengths
Laura Honos-Webb
This book helps adults with ADD focus on the positive traits of this condition.  The book explains that people with ADHD have different perspectives that lead to challenges. This book offers insights into life with ADD, suggests changing perspectives and creating effective strategies for living well with adult ADD. The aim is to shift the reader's vision of themselves, to follow the Positive Psychology principle of building on strengths rather than focus on patching up weaknesses. Honos-Webb reviews how cultural changes of technology and globalization align well with the gifts of ADD. He also looks at how these Gifts can benefit in job performance, relationships, parenting, creativity, and connection to the environment. 

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
Edward Hallowell & John Ratey
Hallowell and Ratey have written perhaps the seminal book on ADD, compassionate yet rigorous, it reveals a balanced view of the problems and down-sides of ADD whilst exploring and revealing the many strengths: "high energy, intuitiveness, creativity, and enthusiasm" ... "completely overlooked by the 'disorder' model". The authors suggest Mozart and Einstein as examples of people who are ADD. The authors, successful medical professionals with ADD themselves, dispel the myth that ADD is only found in children or that it is about lack of self-discipline and convincingly argue that ADD is not an attention deficit but an attention inconsistency: "most of us with ADD can in fact hyperfocus at times."  Helpful tips for dealing with ADD in a child, a partner or a family member are given along with some case studies of the many adults who have dealt successfully with their diagnosis. 

Is it You, Me or Adult ADD: Stopping the Rollercoaster When Someone you Love has ADD
Gina Pera
As someone diagnosed ADD in their late forties, I have some experience of the strains that undiagnosed ADD can place on a relationship. The imbalances and unspoken expectations that can arise can cause great heart-ache to both partners. In this insightful book, Gina Pera combines her own experiences, summarises the clinical and research literature, and offers a study of her own design to show the complex ways in which ADD affects relationships. Most books on marriage and conventional couple therapy make little impact on the challenges brought by ADD to a relationship, this book helps couples with these added challenges find hope and solutions. Pera is effective and funny in the way she captures the subtle dynamics of partnerships affected by ADD. Her book is brought to life with quotes from partners with and without ADD. It provides a strong framework to address the stresses that ADD imposes upon intimacy, love and friendship.