Only one student is utilizing a free, skill-based group specialized to help Pacific students who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

“The skills we teach are focused toward adults,” said Laurie Juraszek, a doctoral student in the School of Professional Psychology at Pacific University. “The skills you learn here can be applied to the rest of your life, whether it be a career or relationships.”

Juraszek and post-doctoral psychology resident Staci Wade-Hernandez created the group because of the number of students requesting help with issues associated with ADHD.

They created a 9-week plan using the book, “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adults with ADHD” by Mary Solanto as their guide.

“The main focus is mostly about time management,” said Juraszek.

The group’s official mission describes that if a student struggles with disorganization, procrastination, tardiness or inability to prioritize tasks, Juraszek and Wade-Hernandez help reinforce new skills focused on timely functioning.

“It’s about how to cope with ADHD,” said Wade-Hernandez. “We are doing a two pronged approach focusing on time management and the negative self thoughts associated with ADHD.”

While they wanted the group to have many participants because of an understood need from Pacific’s learning center and clients, the turn-around to sign up for the group was very quick.

Juraszek and Wade-Hernandez both said they wished they had more time to advertise.

“If students are interested we can tailor it to them on a one on one level,” said Wade-Hernandez. “We wanted to run it as a group to make it less daunting. In a group setting, students can learn from each other and share skills that worked for others.”

They plan to do a 12-week group during the fall 2013 semester with senior staff support.

If the ADHD group is successful in the fall, doors open to the possibility of other support groups on campus in the future.

“The groups come out of what we hear from the students themselves,” said Wade-Hernandez. “Groups for anxiety and social skills depend on need and interest.”

If students are interested in receiving free one-on-one help for their attention deficit disorder or ADHD related issues, they’re encouraged to contact the Counseling Center at counselingcenter@pacificu.edu or call the center at 503-352-2191.

“It’s harder to do these support groups on a small campus,” said Wade-Hernandez. “But I still think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.”

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