Person-centered Yoga Therapeutic Approach for Adult Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

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Ihsan M. Salloum
Jamie Lee Cichon


Background: ADHD affects 2.5% to 5% of the adult population, is often under-diagnosed and poorly managed with few treatment options.  Limited pharmacotherapeutic options are available, and many patients and clinicians are reluctant to use them for fear of side effects or concerns about substance abuse liability. Very limited psychotherapeutic options are available for ADHD. Cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBTg) is the only approach with some preliminary promising results, however there is no individual CBT option for this population.Objectives: There is a growing popularity of yoga as a therapeutic technique in psychiatric disorders and it may offer distinct advantages for adult ADHD. The objectives of this paper is to discuss the benefit of yoga as a person-centered individualized intervention for adults with ADHD. Methods: We discuss the therapeutic utility of a more encompassing and systematic application of yoga practices, including their physical and philosophical, meditative and spiritual aspects to address the symptoms of ADHD and to enhance wellness through lifelong growth and skill building yoga for adults with ADHD. We also present a systematic comparison between yoga practices and the standard CBTg therapy to demonstrate that the proposed yoga intervention is able to address ADHD symptoms areas targeted by CBTg.  Results: Intervention based on a systematic application of yoga practices may offer targeted interventions to match ADHD patients’ symptoms and needs and compares positively with CBTg. Furthermore, yoga therapy may be superior to CBTg in terms of convenience, person-centeredness and individualized care. Conclusions: Yoga may offer a valuable option to meet patients’ needs by integrating both physical and philosophical aspects to dynamically targeting specific areas of emotional, behavioral and cognitive dysfunctions as well as the hyperactivity symptoms.

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Author Biography

Ihsan M. Salloum

Ihsan Saloum, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Chief, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Treatment and Research, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Salloum graduated from the University of Bologna School of Medicine, in Bologna, Italy and completed the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) post graduate fellowship program in alcohol research at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Salloum’s research interest has focused on developing effective interventions for comorbid mood and addictive disorders and on addressing the diagnostic and therapeutic complexity of comorbidity and on Person-centered Medicine. He has published on the treatment of co-occurring disorders and is a frequent speaker at National and International scientific meetings. Dr. Salloum is the recipient of grant awards from the National Institute of Health. He is a member of the National Institute of Health Scientific Review Group and a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with added Qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Salloum is Member of the Board of the Executive Committee of the International Network on Person Centered Medicine. He is also the Chair, Section on Classification Diagnostic Assessment and Nomenclature of the World Psychiatric Association, and he is also the Secretary of the International Society on Bipolar Disorders. Dr. Salloum is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Honorary Member of the World Psychiatric Association.


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