CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY and ADULTS and young people with the labels ADHD/ADD

I'm Victoria Behrends, and as a Craniosacral therapist and HHP with years of experience in education with adults and teens, I've seen many adults who have some of the difficulties described here--though they may or may not "have" ADHD...it's an overused phrase for a complex health problem often with only old solutions. If you or someone you know finds this information familiar or helpful, you can call and speak to me about it, or make an appointment to discuss possibilities and strategies to help.
            Call 760-753-1493 to ask questions or to make an appointment, or go to my contact page.

Adults and young people who have been labeled with "ADHD or ADD" often feel as if they are battling the entire world. Many people with these disorder symptoms have struggled for most of their lives, and often without a clear and accurate diagnosis. ADHD can be misdiagnosed and may have underlying physical disruption or trauma that can look like what is seen as symptoms. Only some of these characteristics for ADHD may include: low self-esteem, distraction, rage, excessive talking, restlessness, difficulty organizing and completing tasks, lack of follow through, and consistently losing things. Often assumptions are made too soon in situations where behavioral skills can be built or there is a physical cause and solution. Focus has often been on children due to scholastic and obvious difficulties in that setting. There are Federal and State laws in place that give parents the right to object to all aspects of school suggestion or coercion of drugs as a solution or even evaluation with the assumption that "it's ADHD/ADD".

Sensory disorders have a huge impact on students of all ages, and not just in the traditional academic college and high school and elementary school setting, but also later in training and workshops required in business, technical and service employment. People with the label ADHD/ADD are often angry and have low self esteem not only due to the brain activity, but also to the constant and ongoing criticism and misunderstanding from others that can result. Most people with this disorder have been experiencing this for many years, especially if it has been unacknowledged for most of that time. They have been seen as "lazy", uncooperative, distracted, without a sense of deadlines, plans, commitment and so much more. There is a definite effect on their relationships, both personal and professional. Often they have been consistently seen in their childhood as being a "problem", which forms their concept of self. So many with ADHD are often brilliant, but without some way to deal with the disorder symptoms, they find their potential unfulfilled and hampered by the characteristics that hold them back or have them make foolish and sometimes odd decisions.

There is another factor---neurologist Dr. Robert Scaer , The Body Bears the Burden, The Trauma Connection
presents the research that there is most often a trauma, physical or emotional that is the primary cause of this sensory disorder.
Somatic therapy then comes into the picture as a way to treat ADHD and other labels that involve sensory disorders, ie. Sensory Processing Disorder. Dr. Stephen Porges, psychologist Peter Levine, Stanley Rosenberg and others have worked with these concepts for some time now, but mainstream treatment often does not include this approach, relying primarily on drug treatment.

There is some awareness of gluten intolerance and toxic foods having an impact on attention deficits, but specific trial and error and additional information from nutritional tests can be implemented to make a difference.

Individual strategies can be developed and techniques in Craniosacral Therapy can be used to strengthen, resource and release those held back by these difficulties.

Support to substantially help those adults with Attention Deficit symptoms will be offered with a four point approach:

  1. Craniosacral Therapy, to balance and resource the system, and improve self-esteem and self-control
  2. CRM, Comprehensive Resource Modeling or Brainspotting, BSP, to identify and release barriers that may be causing the symptoms and to provide resourcing
  3. A specific Hair Analysis to research what may be needed to strengthen and balance the system
  4. Strategy Sessionsto further resolve difficult characteristics after working with Craniosacral therapy and Brainspotting
  5. Safe And Sound Protocol - A new Listening Program, developed by Dr. Stephen Porges

BSP and CRM have been effective in treating ADHD/ADD, especially when trauma appears to be the original source of the Attention Disorder symptoms. The roots of survival terror often play out in ADHD-like behavior that can be changed with trauma resolution.

Craniosacral Therapy can often be the first effective and valuable step to improvement in the attention deficit disorders.

John Upledger, OD, a pioneer in the field of craniosacral therapy, reported improvement on many levels including "an increase in self-esteem with a greater ability to exercise self-control".

Upledger described: "Craniosacral therapy can have a profoundly positive effect on brain and spinal cord function. It has been used successfully in the treatment of ADHD since 1975. Our clinical experience suggests that structural restrictions in the body, especially in the bones and membrane layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord, may be the primary factor in a significant number of such cases. These restrictions can interfere with the normal movement of fluids and vital nutrients into and out of the brain - nutrients that enable the brain to function properly." Pathways Magazine, 3/1/10

Frustration and deep sadness often rises in children and adults who are diagnosed with ADHD, complicating and adding to the many things that impact their quality of life. Frequently there is a disconnect in even accepting the concept that there ARE solutions or directions to go in at all. There is a strong sense of looking out at the world from a restricted place, trying to break through to relief and clarity, and trying to move past the negative perceptions of others.

In the words of one adult with ADHD disorder symptoms:"Often I feel so isolated, and cannot see any solutions & help I want to be a part of something, to function better and do what I want, to be happy, and not feel so different and weird ."