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New Cognitive Therapy
Successful with ADHD
by Eldon Taylor, Ph.D.

In a bench mark study conducted by researcher Kim Roche of Colorado State University, a new cognitive behavioral therapy successfully reduced symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) in young people between the ages of 6 and 16.

Roche followed the earlier work of Dr. Gathke-Brandt who employed subliminal audio messages with ADHD patients and had limited success. Roche teamed up with Eldon Taylor of Progressive Awareness Research. Taylor's work with cognitive engineering (changing self talk) through the means of audio subliminal communication has been successful in prior studies conducted in domains such as test anxiety, stress, depression and cognitive organization.

Together, Roche and Taylor developed affirmations designed to counteract the self talk assumed to be inherent to sufferers of ADHD. The philosophy of cognitive engineering was originally conceived of in the mid fifties. The theory behind this form of behavioral therapy is stated by Roche as, "by disputing irrational beliefs and replacing them with rational, realistic, and positive statements, behavior change is effected". She continues by offering a simple model which she credits to Albert Ellis. The A-B-C model as it is called is graphically depicted as follows:

A--------------------> B--------------> C
(activating event) (belief) (consequence: emotional & behavioral)

Taylor and Roche argue that by changing the belief, a method which they assert can be done by subliminal statements which bypass critical or conscious awareness and become internalized as self talk, or what Taylor refers to in his book Subliminal Learning, as "semantic priming", an activating event will pass through a different lens and result in a different interpretation of the event. This difference in interpretation changes expectation which defines many emotional and behavioral responses.

The study was conducted as a double-blind where only Taylor knew which tape (tape A or B) contained what messages and Roche knew which subjects received the respective tapes. Custodians of the young people involved in the study were also blind as to whether the tape they had contained the research messages or the control message. The research messages, or affirmations, were first person statements such as, "I concentrate, I focus my attention, I choose to learn, I am good" and so forth. The control tape had only one message and this was considered to be a neutral message: "people are walking".

The results of the study showed a strong statistical decline in ADHD symptoms as rated in pre and post conditions by caregivers (P=.01). However, there were reports of an abreactive nature (psychological resistance). Some caregivers reported a worsening of conditions during the experiment, although by the conclusion of the thirty day usage of the audio taped subliminal messages, only one subject listening to the experimental tape had worsened compared to five in the control group.

The study enlisted thirty two children volunteered by their caregivers. The children were randomly assigned to two different groups. The subliminal messages were embedded using the "Taylor Method" in the sound of a stream. The researchers caution that "The literature seems to indicate that most commercially prepared subliminal self help tapes are ineffective. Therefore, it appears that the method of presenting the subliminal messages, and the content of the subliminal material greatly impacts their effectiveness as a treatment modality".

For more information, contact Progressive Awareness Research, Inc., P.O. Box 1139, Medical Lake, WA 99022 Or Email: to

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