Navigating Neurodiversity: Examining ADHD's Influence on Therapists

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Hind, Makena
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Neurodivergent (ND) therapists are mental health professionals who identify as such due to their sensory experiences and cognitive styles, which deviate from societal norms. This hermeneutic phenomenological literature review considers the experiences of ND therapists, specifically therapists with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This research drew upon counselling and ADHD literature, borrowing participant quotes to consider the experience of ND therapists beyond diagnostic criteria and counsellor development theories. Therapists with ADHD may encounter disadvantages related to comorbid conditions, gender-based inequalities, and executive functioning impairments. This literature review also addresses foundational impairments of ADHD, such as deficits in executive functions and working memory and their implications for therapists. In addition, the effects of ADHD on the working alliance and therapeutic presence are considered. Conversely, this literature review highlights specific characteristics of ADHD that may serve as protective assets for ND therapists. It considers the potential benefits of using mindfulness as an ongoing strategy to mitigate ADHD symptoms. The findings of the phenomenological hermeneutic analysis shed light on the critical research gap concerning ND therapists. Consequently, an opportunity arises to identify the most effective ways to support ND counsellors through the ever-changing phases of their lives and careers.
ADHD , therapist , psychologist , neurodivergent , counsellor development , hermeneutic , phenomenology
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess