One of the questions I am often asked, is if HET approaches only work for children and does ADHD / ADD affect adults?
Firstly, HET is for children and adults alike and it deals with the way we learn and experience life and how that shapes our reality around us through our emotions, lifestyle, core issues, negative patterns and dynamics, sensory experience, cellular support and even the way we learn best.
It releases the blocks along the way that prevent us from reaching our true potential and living the life we were meant to live.
So yes, it works for children and adults. I have mentioned on many occasions that ADHD/ ADD is a checklist of symptoms and is defined by how severe and how long someone has suffered them. No one really knows what causes it but what is known, is that a number of approaches can help to support the symptoms that define the condition.
Very often in childhood – the ‘label’ of conditions like ADHD are complicated with often being linked to other conditions too. These can include other spectrum disorders, which means they can vary for the individual concerned. Other conditions associated with ADHD include Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Tourette’s Syndrome, dyslexia, dyspraxia to mention but a few.
Often this translates in adulthood to associated conditions like bipolar, OCD etc. This is often reinforced with feelings of low self esteem and confidence around difficulties succeeding within the classroom environment. The picture is very complex and the intricacies around how we experience things in our life, what those experiences trigger at a subconscious level and the feelings that hold all this together play a hugely important role in how we cope with life. Not to mention the impact of dietary factors and lifestyle which can affect our very brain chemistry and physiology. For example, certain additives which may trigger hyperactive responses in children, can in fact cause headaches or stomach aches in adults. So as children grow up they may still show a sensitivity or allergy to certain additives. Also exercise helps adults just as much as children by balancing out the brain chemistry helping the serotonin and dopamine levels to balance out.
The difference in working through a HET programme with an adult compared to a child is only in the goal setting a rewards structure. With children, we set goals based on consultations with parents and teachers. With adults this is focused on setting personal goals and personal achievements like – concentration levels, task completion etc. In both scenarios it is tailored to the individual concerned
Very often there are family traits towards ADHD and the HET family programme assists in the dynamics that build up between adults and children around this situation.
In talking to a number of clients dealing with this condition I have become aware that there is an interesting tendency around ADHD discussion forums. Because the symptoms are so wide and varied people join discussion forums and can form an unofficial sort of support group. Here they trade symptoms off with other members and justify their negative experiences together. This shared focus creates a belief in some symptoms which are common to the ADHD checklist and informally they diagnose each other, debating the best type of medications to go for.
As an experiment I joined such a discussion group and every time I posted a comment that was positive or suggested a solution focused approach, the responses became more hostile and actually got quite abusive on occasions. There was of course the other end of the spectrum of people who were willing to try other proven natural approaches. The tendency for people to try other approaches was predominant with moms who were desperate to cope with their child’s behaviour. The tendency to resist any positive solution focused suggestions was strongly resisted by adults who ‘thought’ they may have ADHD. I am continuing to research this tendency by categorising people’s responsiveness to positive suggestions. How much they adhere to negative thoughts, feelings and associations contributes towards creating their ‘condition’ would certainly be worthy of a formal research programme!
In these cases it became evident there is a case for people to clutch at the ADHD label to justify certain behavioural traits without taking responsibility to change the outcomes of their behavioural choices. This seems to follow through from childhood patterns. I have seen this trait in young people who refuse to accept responsibility for the consequences of their choices. In children, we address this through the behavioural charts which are geared up to reward personal responsibility and doing things differently.
Without a doubt there are symptoms of these conditions that can impair everyday function. This can include bouts of forgetfulness, disorganisation, failure to relax, inability to complete tasks, obsessional thinking and so on. This has a knock on effect on career and personal relationships. Just as in childhood, they impact on academic success and friendships.
Each trait needs to be addressed holistically, and be an integrated lifestyle, stress management approach. By setting personal goals and evaluating them along the way we can measure any individual’s success on a programme which is uniquely defined for them.
These approaches are as effective for adults as they are for children with ADHD/ADD but generally there is greater resistance to try natural approaches due to the nature of the condition.