Search and You Will Find

By Laura MacNiven, M.Ed. Health Education, Director of Health Education/Coaching, Springboard ClinicLaura MacNiven crop

Springboard Clinic finds the answer to ADHD treatment has been staring them in the face all along.
We performed a research study a couple of years back, and we were extremely excited to see the results. We were hoping to uncover critical information about what our patients/clients found most helpful in their ADHD treatment journey.
Instead of learning a fascinating thing like “it’s the giant whiteboards in your offices” or it was the fact that your care was cohesive across disciplines. Instead, we were deflated by really obvious results. Not bad results, just not something with a big tagline. At first read through, it was not the epiphany that would bring us to understand better what to focus on, or continue doing or stop doing it.
I guess that’s one of the funny things about researching stuff about human life. A lot of the times we “already know”. You know those headlines: “recent study shows that “eating potato chips everyday does create weight gain” or “by talking to your partner in a nice tone of voice, they are more likely to be affectionate towards you”. And yet, it’s often these basic features of life that we forget—that we pretend we don’t know when we get stuck in it.
We surveyed 150 clients of Springboard Clinic asking them “what is the most important part of your ADHD treatment”. We had a variety of questions: was it the medical and psychological services all under one roof? Or the fact that we are based with a philosophy of empowerment? Or was it that multiple of their family members were receiving care? What element of their treatment was most important to them?
We heard a resounding and consistent message: The most important part of their sustained treatment (across all demographics) was improving their self-understanding of ADHD. That by learning about what ADHD is, going through the process of what it means to the individual, and then actually facing the world with that self-understanding: this was by far the biggest indicator of successful treatment. As we contemplated our findings, and had accepted giving up on a dramatic “surprising” result, we realized that this was the critical message we were looking for after all. That at the end of the day, what mattered most to our patients was actually being given the education, the space and the language to learn their brain, how it fits in with attention issues, and develop the self-awareness that would ultimately help them move forward. In the end, it was the exact results we were hoping for.
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