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On the last track, we discussed the three aspects of the problems with intense feelings and distorted senses that ADHD adults face. These three aspects were an Intense Emotional Roller Coaster, the Bottomless Pit of Needs and Desires, and the Time Tyrant.
On this track, we will discuss the Five Steps of Memory. I have found that the Five Steps of Memory are Acquisition, Registration, Storage, Access, and Transfer. Sound interesting? Let’s look at how this information helped Derek.
Derek, age 35 diagnosed with ADHD, had always had problems remembering things. But, Derek felt that the problem he had with remembering might have gotten out of control more recently. Derek stated, "When I was younger, my friends used to joke about me having Alzheimer’s disease because I forgot things so often. Last week, though, was probably the worst thing I’ve ever forgotten. My wife’s brother-in-law called to say that her sister had died. My wife wasn’t home, so I took the call. By the time she got back, I had forgotten that he even called. Two days later, I remembered the message. I had to figure out a way to tell my wife that, by the way, your sister died a couple of days ago."
Derek sighed, and continued, "I wish I understood why everyone else’s memory works. That part of my brain just seems to be missing sometimes."
I explained to Derek that memory is a process, not a part of the brain. I stated, "ADHD symptoms usually impact the process of memory. Would you like to hear how?" Derek nodded and stated, "My wife has another sister and a brother. I can’t afford to make a blunder like that again."
Step # 1 - Acquisition
Step # 2 - Registration
Step # 3 - Storage
I explained, "Your active working memory works like a computer. While you work on a computer, what’s on the screen is held in temporary storage. If the computer overloads before you save your work in a permanent space, you lose that work. Similar to the computer, your active working memory can shut down if you overload it."
After instant recall and active working memory, I explained to Derek that the third storage system is short term memory. As you know, short term memory functions as a temporary storage and is limited with a maximum of five seconds or seven items. Finally, I explained to Derek the fourth storage system for memory, long term memory. I stated, "Your long term memory is your permanent, seemingly unlimited storehouse."
Step # 4 - Access
Step # 5 - Transfer
Derek nodded and stated, "OK, I guess that all makes sense. I can even see why I might have more memory problems than other people. But how do I get better at remembering things? I mean, if I get a phone call tomorrow that my wife’s other sister died, what do I do?"
"Record to Remember" Technique
Do you have a client, like Jerry, whose ADHD causes him to forget important things? Would your Jerry benefit from hearing about the five steps of memory or the "Record to Remember" technique? If so, would you consider replaying this track before your next session with your ADHD client?
On this track, we have discussed the five steps of memory. The five steps of memory are Acquisition, Registration, Storage, Access, and Transfer.
On the next track, we will discuss the ADHD adult’s two types of controlling methods of coping with the ADHD diagnosis. These two types of controlling methods of coping are Manipulation and Blaming.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Alderson, R. M., Hudec, K. L., Patros, C. H. G., & Kasper, L. J. (2013). Working memory deficits in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): An examination of central executive and storage/rehearsal processes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122(2), 532–541.
Kofler, M. J., Singh, L. J., Soto, E. F., Chan, E. S. M., Miller, C. E., Harmon, S. L., & Spiegel, J. A. (2020). Working memory and short-term memory deficits in ADHD: A bifactor modeling approach. Neuropsychology, 34(6), 686–698.
Kofler, M. J., Soto, E. F., Fosco, W. D., Irwin, L. N., Wells, E. L., & Sarver, D. E. (2020). Working memory and information processing in ADHD: Evidence for directionality of effects. Neuropsychology, 34(2), 127–143.
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