Prayer and ADHD: Challenges and Coping Strategies
Keywords:ADHD, Concentration in prayer, SET Therapy
Coping with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) concerns many areas of life, including those related to functioning with Torah and Mitzvot. This article reviews the challenge of praying among children, youth and adults with ADHD. The article aims to clarify the various sides of the challenge, and proposes practical coping strategies for the individual, family and community.
In order to pray properly, one has to employ attention and concentration skills, self-management abilities, an ability to create an emotional bonding with God, and a capacity to express his/her inner-subjective world in the outer-objective frame of the prayer. These requirements are challenging for anyone, but the challenge intensifies for people with ADHD due to their tendency to prefer essence and freedom over framework and subordination.
The article has three parts: the first part presents the unique challenges ADHD poses in the field of prayer. The second part presents a new approach for understanding the inner world of individuals with ADHD, based on existential and Salutogenic approaches (Salutogenic Existential Therapy – SET) (Antonovsky, 1998). The third part focuses on Salutogenic theory implementations for the field of prayer, based on Jewish and professional sources.