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Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

A resource about ADD, ADHD, and mental health




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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

November 13th, 2014

Hallowell Centers Help You Improve Critical Thinking; Essential for School and Work

Critical thinking is a much sought after skill in the workplace, but rarely taught in school — kind of like listening or conflict resolution. Critical thinking is even more elusive to those with ADHD as it depends largely upon one’s working memory, and working memory is often a weakness in persons with ADHD. Working memory is the ability to hold onto all the variables needed to solve a problem and then to mentally manipulate those variables to arrive at a conclusion. It requires one to screen out irrelevant information and preserve the relevant factors while entertaining various scenarios. A critical thinker can solve many problems quickly, but is not impulsive.

Job interviewers frequently call upon a candidate to demonstrate their prowess with critical thinking by posing a problem and hearing not only the candidate’s solution but how he/she arrived at that solution. They may ask for situations in the past that required sustained analysis resulting in a successful outcome. In an article entitled Bosses Seek Critical Thinking, but What Is It? (Wall Street Journal October 22, 2014), writer Melissa Korn cited a Harris Interactive Survey consisting of 2001 U.S. college students and 1,000 hiring managers. 69% of students felt they were “ very or completely prepared” for problem-solving tasks in the workplace. Fewer than half of the employers agreed.

The good news is that critical thinking is a skill that can be taught and improved upon. Enhancing one’s working memory is a good place to start. A most effective tool for increasing one’s working memory is Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT), available at the Hallowell Center. CWMT is a five week, do-it-at home, computerized training program coached by Rebecca Shafir, a speech/language pathologist and seasoned Cogmed coach at the Hallowell Center in Sudbury. If critical thinking could make you more competitive or more competent at your job, consider Cogmed Working Memory Training as a first step. For a free inquiry session contact Rebecca Shafir at 978 287 0810.

November 11th, 2014

Dr. Hallowell Comments on His Latest Book, Driven To Distraction at Work

In this “Note from Ned” I am over-the-top excited to announce the publication of my new book, Driven to Distraction at Work, published by the Harvard Business Review Press. You can order it off Amazon.com now, even though its official publication date is January 6, 2015.

The reason I am so excited is that this book hits a bullseye. It brings together, in one place for the first time, a comprehensive plan to fix one of modern life’s most frustrating and challenging problems: the lack of focus most of feel as we are pulled in a thousand directions all at once every day, peppered with messages and plagued with unplanned interruptions. Delivered to Distraction at Work offers practical solutions you can use right away.

This new book is not about ADHD; as you know, I’ve dealt with that elsewhere. But I do bring to bear my 30+ years of experience and knowledge as a “focus doctor” to offer a plan to treat the uniquely modern condition I call Attention Deficit Trait or ADT. While perhaps 5% of the population has ADHD, I’d guess from 50% – 75% of us feel as if we have true attention deficit disorder as we struggle to focus every day and master our own ADT.

Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed, distracted, pulled off course, if not all the time, at least often enough that we’d say sustaining focus is a chronic challenge in our lives?

In the book I define 6 different patterns of ADT, each deriving from your own situation and individual psychology. There is an online quiz you can take to determine which type you are.

For example, chapter 1 addresses perhaps the most common type of ADT, that of the “screen-sucker, the person who can’t break the habit of excessive use of screens of all kinds. Another type is the person who is distracted by excessive worry; another the person who is excessively conscientious and is distracted by a chronic need to do for others first. Taken together the 6 types cover the most common patterns of distraction at work.

Most people can see themselves in one or more of the 6 types. With each type I offer a set of practical solutions to solve the problem, regain focus, and get back to a more productive daily routine.

I urge you to take ADT seriously. If you don’t, you risk falling into the common, modern trap of being frantically busy without being innovative, deep, or as productive as you otherwise could be.

In this new book I address ADT head-on, a problem that tens of millions of people face every day without even naming, let alone solving.

The solutions I offer are practical, individualized, time-tested, and rooted in current scientific research from various disciplines.

With this note, I am hoping to get your help to get this new book off to strong launch. As the readers of my newsletter, you are my most loyal and well-informed audience. I know you as a group, and I am sure this book will prove to be both useful and enlightening, as well as entertaining. If I am correct, please tell others, as books depend upon word of mouth. If Driven to Distraction at Work does sound interesting to you, please order it–at a discount–on Amazon.com, and tell your colleagues and friends to do the same.

Thanks for your help. Have a bountiful, joyful, and harmonious Thanksgiving.

With warm wishes,



November 10th, 2014

Anxiety and School Success

Why Emotional Control is an Important First Step to School SuccessAnxiety can overcome a student during an important assignment. Rebecca Shafir from the Hallowell Center Sudbury led a CHADD of Northern Virginia and DC/Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center webinar on emotional control. View the entire webinar here.

November 10th, 2014

Driven to Distraction Named in Time’s Top Ten ADHD Books

Honored that Driven to Distraction is on the Time.com list of Top Ten ADHD Books for the distracted parent!

See the entire list at Time.com.

November 4th, 2014

Hallowell Seattle Center Grand Opening

The Seattle Center, in addition to the three centers in New York City, San Francisco, and near Boston, has just opened. Dr. Hallowell himself has ADHD and dyslexia, and wants Seattle patients to be treated in a way that reinforces the strengths of the conditions rather than making them feel like defects.

Read more in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

October 31st, 2014

Seattle Hallowell ADHD Center Grand Opening

November Please come to the grand opening and tour the Seattle center, speak with Dr. Hallowell and gain more information about services offered.

Complementary refreshments will be served. Come at any time between 5 and 8 pm PST.

Learn more at the Hallowell Todaro Center


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