EARLY YEARS: ADHD Counseling and workout classes all now under one roof in Roanoke

The new location is on Brambleton Avenue in Roanoke County
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 5:54 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - ADHD Counseling in the Roanoke Valley and LostBoys Strength & Conditioning are now under one roof.

“So, they’re coming in and they’re doing a bunch of cardio for about five minutes, just to kind of get the wiggles from school out,” says licensed professional counselor and owner Gabriel Villarreal.

Getting the wiggles out is crucial for kids and teens with ADHD. Villarreal has designed a special routine for his young clients that includes exercise and breathing techniques, along with traditional therapy.

Having ADHD himself, Villarreal discovered the importance of exercise when he was in graduate school.

“Along the way, I realized that there’s a link between exercise and mental health that when I work out, I feel better. I handle stress better or I handle anxiety better,” says Villarreal.

Since then, it’s been his mission to share that discovery with others.

“I have ADHD, and I realized that there is a big need for parents and clients that need support,” says Villarreal.

Kettlebells, weights and cardio help Villarreal’s clients use fitness training to better manage their ADHD.

“We find that is particularly helpful for clients who just don’t do well in a traditional talk therapy setting, that might be resistant to counseling. And once they get moving, once they feel good about themselves. Once they see it’s not a stuffy office, they really open up,” says Villarreal.

No stuffy office here.

Posters of Superman decorate the walls, symbolic of what Villarreal calls the “superpower” of ADHD.

“Because I really do think ADHD’ers have superpowers that other neurotypical people don’t have,” says Villarreal.

Super powers like the ability to hyper focus on things they find interesting, along with resiliency and empathy. Harnessing these strengths will hopefully lift the burden that ADHD’ers often feel.

“I thought of this idea my first semester of graduate school, and so it’s all kind of surreal, putting it all together, but it feels close to mission accomplished,” says Villarreal.