Having My ADHD Interrupted
A week ago (it seems like five minutes ago, with my crazy schedule these days), I had the delightful opportunity to meet the equally delightful Alina Kislenko.
I’d known about Alina for quite some time, as we’d “met” online through our shared work in the ADHD world (and being full-fledged members of the tribe ourselves). I was totally pumped when Alina invited me to attend her support group after she’d interviewed me for her radio program, Strange Brains for CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph, Ontario, Canada (4:00 p.m. Thursdays).
(On the other hand, inviting someone to a therapy group after you’ve interviewed them seems mildly suspicious, does it not? Anyway. You know me. Jump in with both feet, I say. ADHD’ll make you do that…)
Alina was quirky, professional, fun, personable and a joy to work with. Our conversation flowed so well that one show turned into two which turned into dinner and a support group meeting. (I know, I know, not your typical first date of dinner and a movie, but what the hey – we’re ADHD professionals. That’s what we do, baby!)
What would a group with a kick-*ss title like CBT for ADHD be like? I wondered.
Who could resist going to a group whose name wields such powerful and mysterious acronyms?
And who could resist going to a group whose name wields such powerful and mysterious acronyms? Certainly not me. It was like being invited to a clandestine gathering, the Knights Templar or something of that ilk. Go ahead – say it out loud – “CBT for ADHD.” Your neuro-typical friends will be awe-stricken. They won’t know what the hell you’re talking about. They might even be frightened for you. I couldn’t wait.
Alina proved to be the quintessential group leader – warm and engaging without dominating the meeting. She skilfully led us through a discussion by first asking what topics we’d like to discuss, then taking a vote to decide which one we’d pick. She injected the occasional “fun fact” taken from her impressive memory banks stocked with relevant research about ADHD and related topics, and she successfully drew out the more reluctant speakers with her gentle persuasion.
Based on the chosen topic, Alina was able to provide an exercise to help each of us come up with our own way to modify our thinking and behavior in a situation where our meta-thinking and self-awareness had failed us. We were even encouraged to do homework, that is, to practice our custom-tailored solutions throughout the upcoming week.
Most impressively, she didn’t allow the extroverted chatterbox ADHD expert (and the only other female in attendance) to dominate the conversation. (Yup. That would be me.)
I was very happy when one of the group members purchased a copy of my book after the meeting (it’s helpful for men too).
That, plus the twenty bucks would put gas in my car so I could get home that evening.
If you haven’t already discovered her, I’d highly encourage you to head on over to Alina’s website, ADHD Interrupted, to check out her blog posts; her wonderful gadget recommendations; and links to her podcasts (shows focused on ADHD, Aspergers, Learning Disabilities, and all kinds of topics relating to our mysterious minds).
And finally, if you’re in range of the program, our first interview session will air Thursday, September 5, 2013 on CFRU 93.3, Guelph, Ontario, so please tune in or check out the podcast afterwards.
Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).
A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs (TotallyADD, ADHD and Marriage) covering ADHD-related topics.
Zoë holds a Bachelor of Education, and has created and facilitated specialized programs for at-risk youth using therapeutic drumming. The majority of students are public school kids with ADHD, or, as she would say, “my people.”
Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.
Her upcoming memoir for New Harbinger Publications about life with ADHD will be available September 1, 2013.
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Last reviewed: 4 Sep 2013