Executive Functioning

Treatment Standards

The two-pronged approach treats executive functioning disorders—psychotherapy, with behavioral modifications and pharmacological management. With psychotherapy, you improve time management and organizational skills, learn to decrease impulsive behavior and temper, develop problem-solving skills, improve self-esteem and improve relationships with your family, co-workers, and friends.

Executive functioning includes performing activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space.

People with executive function issues may have symptoms such as difficulty managing emotions or impulses, problems with starting, organizing, planning, or completing tasks, difficulty listening or paying attention, short-term memory issues, inability to multitask or balance studies, socially inappropriate behavior, inability to learn from past consequences, difficulty solving problems, and difficulty understanding or processing new information.

People with executive function can experience difficulties in performance at work or school, resulting in difficulty forming or maintaining relationships, mood issues, low self-esteem, avoidance of complicated tasks, and low motivation or loss of interest in activities.

It is essential to seek professional assistance because someone may have executive dysfunction, but that doesn’t mean ADHD.

Conditions that can lead to executive functioning disorders include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, Autism, dementia, Tourettes, and Traumatic Brain Injuries.

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury that affects how the brain works. TBI is a significant cause of death and disability in the United States. Anyone can experience a TBI, but data suggest that some groups are at greater risk of getting a TBI or having worse health outcomes after the injury. There are three types of TBI, Mild TBI (concussion), Moderate TBI, and Severe TBI.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that makes it difficult to complete some of the executive functioning tasks. In 1990 there was a sharp increase in the number of cases of ADHD. This contributed to the belief that providers could diagnose and treat with changes to diagnostic criteria and build awareness, so parents began to identify symptoms.

Adults typically have fewer symptoms with age, but some adults continue to have significant symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. An accurate diagnosis can be determined with an in-depth history assessment, and treatment is possible.

People with ADHD typically have trouble getting organized, staying focused, making realistic plans, and thinking before acting. They may be fidgety, noisy, and unable to adapt to changing situations.

Children with ADHD can be defiant, socially inept, or aggressive.