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Holding the Middle Ground


According to the website of the UK’s biggest ADD / ADHD charity ADDISS, next week (19th – 26th September) “ADHD Awareness week will be celebrated across Europe”.

My own activities will be fairly low-key: just a mailing to independent GP’s in the UK (in fact, there are very few outside London). It will stress how non-NHS psychiatrists and GP’s have a common interest in actively promoting our practice, rather than keeping quiet and just picking up patients who are dissatisfied with the NHS enough to seek us out.

“Moderate” clinical views will also be emphasied. Eighteen months ago I received some comments that I was too skeptical about the pharmaceutical industry, after stating (1) that I thought the 2009 NICE ADHD guidelines were too pro-medication for adults, and not favourable enough about non-medication treatments.

More recently I have been advised that I have come across (within the London independent medical scene) as a bit “biological”, which can mean “uses medication too freely”.

I’m not sure how reliable this report is, but it is true that I have not blogged much about psychotherapy in the last few months, and my only piece wholly on the subject (22nd January) suggested that cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) had been “hyped”.

Plenty of discussions have in fact taken place between myself and psychotherapists based at 17 Wimpole Street, especially Max Cohen and Richard Sherry. Plus others who include the energetic ADHD coach Andrew Lewis, clinical psychologist Katingo Giannoulis, and ADHD-coach-turned-integrative-therapist Sue Dives. Many patients have had psychotherapy or coaching, of various kinds, recommended. More than a few are taking these suggestions up.

In April I took my poster presentation on Vincent Van Gogh’s possible ADD / ADHD to an influential psychotherapy conference (2), where I stressed the potential for psychodynamic therapies to help ADD / ADHD and other developmental disorders.

Now that I think about it, it might be just as well to print off this Blog piece for my independent GP colleagues, and do a brief covering note. There’s only so much “awareness” raising one can do, especially if one is stressing “moderate”, safe, and therefore possibly less attention-seeking views.



(1) In my talk at the 2009 ADDISS conference, and on this website.

(2) The Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Psychotherapy Annual Conference, in Cambridge.

Published at on 17th September 2010; transferred to on 9th October 2011

Busy Busy Busy


After the August bank holiday, its time to get organised again. Like many people with mild ADD / ADHD (1), plans mulled over while taking a break from work during August are coming up against the reality of having to do several things, some not anticipated, at once.

Medical doctors, rightly, are regulated, and the regulation is increasing. We are both on a medical register, and licensed. This year a separate registration with the Care Quality Commision has been introduced, the application forms and guidance for which were only published at the beginning of July, and have to be submitted, with a lot of accompanying documents, by 1st October.

I’m not moaning, but it is quite a tight deadline, and I may have to ask for a couple of weeks extension. In the meantime lots of other interesting things are happening, and it would be nice to think a bit more about national ADHD week (19th – 26th September).

Got to go.



(1) See 23rd July posting

This post appeared late due to problems with technology and…organisation

Published at on 3rd September 2010; transferred to on 9th October 2011

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