Ahmad El Rozz
Testing & Assessments Psychologist
I assess and counsel people with ADHD as I have family members living with the condition and I can relate to how distressing it can be. I have been trained, and have experience, in several different psychometric assessments. I also strongly believe in counselling and psychoeducation to help people understand and learn strategies to manage ADHD symptoms and improve confidence and self-esteem. I was previously promoted to the role of area psychometric resource coordinator for a state public health service.
The impacts of ADHD can be seen throughout most areas of life. It can impact your education, employment, self-care, and your social life. People can struggle to make and maintain connections with others. Underperform academically and do not achieve their potential at work. These experiences are often mislabeled as ‘you don’t try hard enough, you’re in your own world’ and many other stereotypes that can leave people with ADHD feeling ashamed and guilty.
Having a diagnosis can support people in pinpointing a major challenge for their quality of life and make sense of why they’ve struggled throughout their childhood, adolescence, and adult life. It is an opportunity to externalise the problem and move away from feeling lazy to understanding they’re living with a brain disorder. One that is management and treatable. It can also support people with ADHD to get the right support for their mental health.
I try and maintain a grounded and client-centered approach to counselling/coaching people with ADHD. This involves taking current models of therapy/strategies and techniques and shaping them to utilise a client’s strengths and account for where they are in life. Not all people with ADHD have the same challenges/areas for improvement. That is why I feel it is important to work with the person and not just the disorder. While I am a trained, registered and practising psychologist, I am not an expert in the lives of the people I treat. My focus is on the present, what challenges and barriers they face and ways in which I can support them to take ownership of their recovery, it is for this reason, supporting people with ADHD is often referred to as coaching.
My personal view in the medication versus therapy debate reflects that of the literature, that medication is effective for as long as you’re taking the medication. Therapeutic tools, skills and strategies are resources that will always be available. Both paths have evidence of their positive impacts. There is also research to support the idea of applying both at the same time. Medication can support people with ADHD to better absorb the learnings/ tools and techniques from CBT, leading to an overall better outcome.