Sahaja Yoga Meditation as a Family Treatment Programme for Children with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
LINDA J. HARRISON Charles Sturt University,Australia, RAMESH MANOCHA University of New South Wales,Australia, KATYA RUBIA Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 1359–1045
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as a treatment for children diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is widespread, but little is known on the effectiveness of many such therapies. This study investigated meditation as a family treatment method for children with ADHD, using the techniques of Sahaja Yoga Meditation (SYM). Parents and children participated in a 6-week programme of twice-weekly clinic sessions and regular meditation at home. Pre- and post-treatment assessments included parent ratings of children’s ADHD symptoms, self-esteem and child–parent relationship quality. Perceptions of the programme were collected via parent questionnaires and child interviews. Results showed improvements in children’s ADHD behaviour, self-esteem and relationship quality. Children described benefits at home (better sleep patterns, less anxiety) and at school (more able to concentrate, less conflict). Parents reported feeling happier, less stressed and more able to manage their child’s behaviour. Indications from this preliminary investigation are that SYM may offer families an effective management tool for family-oriented treatment of childhood ADHD.