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CAPTP Colloquium: Cultivating Compassion ADHD Project: Clinical Challenges in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of ADHD

Date: Mar 7, 2019 11:45 am

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program


Thursday, March 7, 2019

11:45 am to 1:00 pm

Francine Conway, PhD

Distinguished Professor

Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology

Rutgers University-New Brunswick


Cultivating Compassion ADHD Project: Clinical Challenges in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of ADHD


Register Here


Individuals who present with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have complex clinical symptom presentations with diverse etiologies.  Treatment requires a sophisticated understanding of the complexity of the client's difficulties but more importantly, an empathic approach.  Although, most individuals who present with ADHD initially illicit empathy, the persistence of the behaviors such as the individual's difficulty completing tasks and a tendency to hide failed efforts lead to negative countertransference during treatment and interpersonal problems with peers and in the home.  My clinical practice experience with many school aged children and Co-eds diagnosed with ADHD, as well as working with many frustrated teachers and parents has led to the Cultivating Compassion ADHD Project (Compassion Project).  During this presentation, I will describe the Compassion Project and discuss the theoretical and therapeutic framework governing a psychoanalytic approach to ADHD.  Brief case examples will be used to illustrate therapeutic interventions used in working with children, parents and teachers to engender compassion and lead to therapeutic gains.  The case examples will also highlight the complexity of the work and the accompanying clinical challenges.



Dr. Francine Conway, an accomplished scholar and clinical psychologist recognized for her work in child psychopathology, is the dean of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Conway, a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia University, earned her doctoral degree from the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University. Conway has treated children with a range of behavioral problems in hospital settings and private practice for over 20 years. She has gained national and international recognition for her work on the psychodynamic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Her child-related editorships include the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy. Conway continues to gain national prominence in translational presentations of her research and clinical work with children diagnosed with ADHD through national forums, such as her TEDx talk “Cultivating Compassion for the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Child: Shifting Our Stance from Moral Indictment to Empathy” and through her recent book “Cultivating Compassion: A Psychodynamic Understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” published by Rowman & Littlefield.




  1. Participants will learn about a therapeutic framework that informs a psychodynamic approach to working with ADHD.
  2. Participants will learn at least two therapeutic interventions that can be used in working with children, parents and teachers to engender compassion and lead to therapeutic gains.
  3. Participants will identify how to work with the transference to address clinical challenges encountered in working with individuals diagnosed with ADHD.