How To Successfully Treat Impulse Control Disorder

A child is known to grab whatever catches its fancy. However, an adult learns how to resist and not give in to the desire. Such conditioning is, however, absent in certain people known to suffer from impulse control disorder. Behavioral therapists and counselors can help these individuals cope with the problem by helping them to think logically and in a positive way along with assisting them to learn control and build new habits.

Who Can Benefit From Counseling

There is no surefire shot for treating impulse control disorder. Counseling as well as certain behavior modifying programs can, however, reduce some of the issues especially when the affected individual is a teenager whose brain and reasoning techniques have not developed adequately. Substance abuse patients are greatly benefitted by such programs too as they learn new habits to overcome the undisciplined lifestyle that had led them to become addicts in the first place. That is not all though. Patients who had suffered from stroke and other ailments are often left with judgment impairment and counseling can make them see reason thus returning them to a normal life eventually.


The most effective type of counseling here is to condition the patient and modify his/her behavior slowly over time. There a number of techniques employed for helping the individual learn the rules for a number of given situations. The common technique of reward and practice is often used here along with imparting the knowledge about why the patient has to utilize the controls and curb his/her impulses.

The main focus of behavioral therapy is to improve the present behavior of the affected individual. The counselor emphasizes on the following while treating individuals who suffer from impulse control disorders.

  • Building and strengthening the accepted social skills.
  • Discussing and helping by providing tips on problem solving.
  • Learning to look at the bigger picture instead of focusing on instant gratification.
  • Learning to curb impulse through self discipline and self control.

This therapy has been effective in getting rid of addictions, certain phobias and eating disorders.


The different types of impulse control disorder that respond to counseling and behavior modification therapy include:-

  • Dermatillomania- self damage of skin
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder- impulse acts of anger or aggression.
  • Kleptomania – act of stealing articles of no apparent value.
  • Onychophagia – biting the nails repeatedly without control.
  • Pathological Gambling – Continuing to gamble without any thought and ultimately suffering a monetary crisis and loss of property.
  • Pyromania- An uncontrollable urge to set fire without thinking of the consequences.
  • Trichotillomania – Pulling out the hair as it gives the feeling of being in control.

    Welcome Medical Psychology Center Patients!
    We are excited to announce that Medical Psychology Center of Beverly, MA has officially merged with Family Counseling Associates effective 4/19/2024. We look forward to continuing to provide mental health care to Medical Psychology Center's existing patients and the Beverly community!