Sometimes it is difficult to keep one's attention focused on something, and sometimes we are ensconced in our own little world. This happens to everyone from time to time. However, in ADD, these characteristics are so strong and frequent that they cause problems in everyday life.

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What is ADD?

ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder and means 'a mental disorder whereby a person is unable to concentrate or pay attention'. People with ADD are unable to focus their attention on something for a long time and they have difficulty concentrating. They also often have problems 'taking action'. For example, they find it difficult to absorb the specific information required for them to perform a task. In addition, they can quickly forget things, be chaotic and withdrawn.

Young people with ADD

Young people with ADD are often completely inundated with thoughts and impressions whirling around in their head and they often tend to withdraw into their own world. They are frequently told that they are quiet, dreamy or 'passive'. It sometimes seems as if they do not want to carry out their tasks, but their inaction is often simply because they are incapable of this. They cannot do it, partly because of the enormous stream of thoughts whirling around in their head.

ADD has an enormous effect on the lives of children and young people. The greatest problems arise when they are confronted with task-oriented work at school, when doing homework at home, and when interacting with peers. If any additional problems arise, such as depression or addiction, then the young person could end up in a downward spiral.

We often see that young people with ADD try to calm their maelstrom of whirling thoughts and get some peace of mind by self-medicating, smoking cannabis or using other drugs. At Yes We Can Youth Clinics, we are available 24/7 to provide warm and professional guidance. Step by step, we guide and lead these young people towards a new, positive future. Our follow-up aftercare programme continues to help and guide these young people in their recovery and further development. For example, a central part of this programme focuses on helping these young people find a fulfilling way of life.   

Characteristics and symptoms of ADD

 The characteristics of ADD differ from person to person. Often, however, there are a number of common features, such as:

  • an 'overfull head' (stream of thoughts constantly whirling around in one's head)
  • losing attention quickly;
  • difficulty in planning and completing tasks;
  • difficult in taking action;
  • withdrawn behaviour;
  • social / communication issues (sometimes);
  • slow learning pace.

These complaints cause problems in everyday life. For example, they find it difficult to keep up with school or to connect with classmates. This can cause them to develop a negative self-image. They can also suffer from mood swings, anxiety or sadness.

Treatment of ADD

At Yes We Can Youth Clinics, we help young people, whom we call 'fellows', to deal with their problems and become empowered, so that they can function well in society again. We do not look at the 'labels' they have received in the past, but rather at their talents, qualities and possibilities.


An important part of the treatment takes place in groups. During group sessions, the fellows set their personal goals under the supervision and guidance of experience experts. They also think along with each other. There is a lot of recognition during these session since both the fellows and the experience experts have (had) similar problems. The fellows work together on their recovery in an open atmosphere. Each fellow receives a workbook on 'the steps of change', which makes the process transparent, also for themselves. 

Types of treatment

During the treatment, there are daily sports and outdoor activities where fellows work together, push boundaries and put their goals into practice. Behavioural therapy and skills training are also used in the treatment of ADD. The fellows have several one-on-one sessions every week with their regular therapist, who works closely with our other (care) professionals. In this way we always know how the fellows are doing and what they need.  In addition, a lot of attention is focused on the fellow's family, by means of our family coaching and counselling programme.

Read more about our unique treatment approach here.

ADD and medication

Fellows may have already been on medication before coming to our clinic. For example, methylphenidate or dextroamphetamine may have been previously prescribed. However, here at Yes We Can Youth Clinics, we opt for treatment without medication. The idea behind this is that we want to treat 'the real fellow', instead of the fellow who is under the influence of drugs.  

Responsible phasing out

We strive to reduce any medication that the fellows are already on to zero, or to as little as possible, during treatment. We do this carefully and accurately, under the watchful eye of our psychiatrists.

The safe treatment climate at Yes We Can Youth Clinics, the positive environment and the entire treatment team that is present 24/7 to motivate, support and confront the fellows, where necessary, all ensure that the withdrawal of medication is usually successful. Even once the fellow has left the clinic and continues to work on recovery, medication is often hardly necessary anymore, if at all.

Contact us

Yes We Can Youth Clinics can effectively treat teenagers and young adults who are suffering from a wide variety of mental health issues. If you have any questions, any at all, you can always contact us. We cannot stress enough that we are always there for you, whether you sign up for a treatment in our clinic or not. 

You can reach us by phone from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (GMT +1) via phone number: +31 (0)85 02 01 222. After business hours – weekdays after 6:00 p.m. and on the weekends – your call will be forwarded. Please note that it might take longer than usual to answer your call. If we cannot answer the call right away, please leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible. You can also fill in our contact form.

Register for an intake interview

Would you like to register a teenager or young adult (aged 13-25) for a treatment at Yes We Can Youth Clinics? Please fill in our intake form and we will contact you to schedule a personal intake interview.

Intake form

Why it works

For young people aged 13-25, Yes We Can Youth Clinics offers 10 weeks intensive residential treatment. During the treatment there is also 4 days of family coaching & counselling for parents/carers. Upon completion, an extensive tailor-made aftercare programme will be devised, in collaboration with our partners all over the world.

Our unique approach