01732 808 626 info@thinkcbt.com

01732 808 626 info@thinkcbt.com

01732 808 626 info@thinkcbt.com

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT Treatment for ADHD and ASD

CBT by Video Link

If you are looking for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for ADHD or ASD, our team of fully qualified and BABCP-accredited CBT specialists can help

On this page we have outlined the criteria for ADHD and ASD conditions and provided an overview of the CBT treatment approach. You can also view the profiles of members of our CBT team with specialist training and experience in the treatment of ADHD and ASD.

Our ADHD and ASD Services

We provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - CBT - for adults and children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Whilst there are important neurodevelopmental differences between ADHD and ASD, many of the presenting behavioural problems including difficulties with social interaction, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem commonly occur in both conditions. In spite of these similarities, it is important to distinguish between ADHD and ASD, as this has implications for therapy and medication options.

We therefore recommend that clients with ADHD and ASD work with members of our team with specific training and experience in the treatment of neurodevelopmental conditions. We currently provide CBT for neurodevelopmental disorders from a number of locations across the UK. All of our therapists also provide online CBT via video-link.

Charges for ASD and ADHD Treatment Sessions


We charge £85 for a daytime CBT appointment with our fully qualified CBT Psychotherapists and Psychologists. All of our ADHD and ASD specialists have additional training and experience in neurodevelopmental disorders. All fees are paid directly to the therapist and we operate on a commercially ethical basis.

To talk to a member of our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy team about treatment options for ADHD or ASD, complete the contact form on this page, email info@thinkcbt.com with brief details, or call +44 1732 808626.

Important Differences Between ADHD and ASD

Whilst studies indicate that over 50% of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, also present with ADHD symptoms, there are important neurodevelopmental and behavioural differences that influence the way these conditions are treated using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD involves problems with inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. This affects emotional and behavioural self-regulation and problems with executive function. This  includes concentration, prioritisation, time management and organisational skills. Individuals with ADHD find it difficult to regulate their behaviour, maintain focus and organise their thoughts. The diagnostic criteria for ADHD can be viewed in two parts affecting attention and hyperactivity.

Attentional Indicators:

  • Difficulty with close attention to detail and often making errors or mistakes at school or at work.
  • Difficulty maintaining attention in tasks, play or conversations.
  • Often not listening when being spoken to directly and easily distracted by other issues.
  • Difficulty following through with instructions and easily side-tracked.
  • Problems organising, managing and sequencing tasks, keeping things in order and managing own time or deadlines.
  • Avoids and is reluctant to engage in tasks that require concentration or sustained mental effort.
  • Often loses or misplaces things required to complete tasks or activities.
  • Is easily distracted by unrelated issues or thoughts.
  • Is often forgetful with daily activities and commitments.

Hyperactive / Impulsivity Criteria :

  • Fidgeting, tapping or irritable movement.
  • Finding it difficult to remain seated or to sit still when remaining seated is expected.
  • Running around, climbing on objects or acting in a restless manner.
  • Difficulty quietly engaging in recreational activities.
  • Often on the go as if driven by a motor.
  • Talking excessively.
  • Interrupting others and completing others' sentences.
  • Difficulty waiting in turn or standing in line.
  • Intruding, imposing self or taking over what others are doing.

For an ADHD diagnosis to take place, the individual must have experienced six of the above attentional and hyperactive indicators in two or more situations from aged 12 years and above.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder - ASD

Autism Spectrum Disorder normally involves problems with social skills, interpreting non-verbal cues, emotional interactions and repetitive and ritualistic behaviours. Individuals with ASD often struggle with the intuitive and subtle aspects of emotional or interpersonal communication. This can present as detached, introspective  or eccentric behaviour, contributing to persistent deficits in social communication and interaction.

The diagnostic criteria for ASD include:

  • Limits in social and emotional sharing, affecting social interactions and conversation.
  • Problems with nonverbal communication, eye contact and facial expression.
  • Limits in establishing, understanding, developing and maintaining close relationships with peers or friends.

Whilst ADHD and ASD can create common problems with social interactions, relationships and interpersonal communication, understanding the causal factors and differences between the two conditions is essential in determining a relevant Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treatment plan. Our CBT therapists have therefore received specific training in neurodevelopmental disorders in addition to their Cognitive Behavioural Therapy qualifications.

How CBT is Used to Treat ADHD and ASD

CBT by Video Link

Whilst there are several clinical crossovers between ADHD and ASD and many clients present with a combination of symptoms relating to both conditions, we have outlined the two approaches separately to identify the unique aspects of each treatment approach. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treatment plan will always reflect the specific needs of each individual.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for ADHD focuses on two key areas. Firstly, a highly structured behavioural approach to improve prioritisation, time management, procrastination, attention training, planning and organisational skills and problem solving. Secondly, approaches to deal with negative thinking, emotional sensitivity and anxiety, anger spikes and low self-esteem. Key CBT interventions include:

  • Behavioural Analysis.
  • Time management and prioritisation skills.
  • Planning and organisational skills.
  • Problem solving  skills.
  • Anger control training.
  • Gauging and focus of attention training.
  • Behavioural Activation.
  • Cognitive restructuring.
  • Mindfulness and acceptance training.

The published research evidence suggests that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for ADHD improves inattention and executive functioning. MRI studies also show that CBT improves activity  in the neural structures affected by ADHD and may cause an increase in grey matter volume. 

The research indicates comparable success in children, adolescents and adults; however, the CBT approach is adapted to ensure that the content of sessions is age relevant. If you want to talk to a member of our team specialising in CBT for ADHD, you can complete the appointments form or email info@thinkcbt.com


The published research shows that CBT provides a highly effective behavioural treatment for children and adults on the autistic spectrum or with an Asperger’s Disorder.

For children, CBT can provide a regular and highly structured programme of behavioural therapy to help with integration into the educational and social mainstream. The evidence suggests that regular behavioural therapy focused on social skills can help most autistic children outgrow ASD problems and function effectively in mainstream social settings.

Behavioural approaches for children focus on play, communication, self-care, social living and academic skills. This is grounded in Applied Behaviour Analysis and has been in use since the early 1960s. This is a highly structured approach to identifying triggers, breaking tasks and activities down into steps and using repetition and reinforcement to encourage behavioural learning.

In adults with ASD, the CBT process typically focuses on problems with secondary symptoms of ASD including anxiety, depressed mood, anger, aggressive behaviour, social skills and communication.

The purpose of CBT for adult ASD is not to convert the individual into a neurotypical person; it provides support with emotional reactivity and social interaction skills. The mix of cognitive and behavioural skills depends on the individual and the degree of functional impairment in daily life.

Common CBT interventions in ASD include:

  • Working on structured goals and personal values to help guide the process.
  • Cognitive formulation to understand how unhelpful patterns of behaviour and avoidance maintain interpersonal barriers and problems.
  • A focus on social and interpersonal rules to help read and interpret interactions that neurotypical people find more intuitive.
  • Working on information processing to identify and adjust cognitive deficits in social interactions.
  • Acceptance and distress tolerance skills to improve cognitive flexibility and emotional resilience.
  • Mindfulness training to improve attentional skills and emotional grounding.
  • Working on secondary patterns of negative thinking linked to anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

To talk to a member of our team about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for ASD, complete the contact form or email info@thinkcbt.com

Our ADHD and ASD Specialists

Download a Free Copy of the Think CBT Workbook

If you are an adult experiencing problems with ADHD or ASD symptoms, you may find it helpful to download a free copy of our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy workbook. This 90-page PDF includes 42 CBT exercises to help with negative thinking, unhelpful behaviours and distressing emotions.

Download a copy

if you need help and advice on therapy options for ADHD or ASD, email info@thinkcbt.com with brief details and we will arrange for a member of our CBT team to call you.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for ADHD | CBT for Autistic Spectrum Disorder | Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment Online and Across the UK