Through Therapy and Training, Impulse Control Is Possible

A new study has used brain monitoring to show that through training and therapy, we can strengthen our ability to control our own impulses. Many people who pursue therapy and counseling for addiction, attention issues (e.g. ADHD), and eating disorders (especially binge eating) struggle to fight impulses, even when they know those impulses do not represent behaviors that they want for their lives. The new study shows that “mind over matter” is not just a cliché. Through cognitive behavioral therapy and repetitious practice, we can in effect re-wire our own brains and become stronger than the impulses themselves. This study provides further scientific proof of just how effective therapy can be in treating not just emotional issues, but practical behavioral issues as well.

© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • 10 comments
  • Leave a Comment
  • Chloe.d

    Chloe.d

    September 28th, 2010 at 3:42 AM

    So,it is true after all-if you put your mind to it,anything is possible! This is also the rule most successful people live by and it is not too difficult to see why!

  • Kensington

    Kensington

    September 28th, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    So true. One of the last lessons I had to understand in recovering from my own ed is that of impulse control. Telling myself I had to wait X amount of time before doing something (eating after I was full was a big one) got me to thinking about how parents teach kids to deal with impulse control. Sometimes we have to teach ourselves or give ourselves reminder lessons as adults.

  • roger

    roger

    September 28th, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    to all the people who say they just can’t help but do a certain not-so-great thing or they say they cannot get rid of a bad habit – it definitely is in your hands and these kind of excuses will not work, guys! so get on your feet and start to work towards making things happening.

  • Austin

    Austin

    September 28th, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    kind of sounds like dog training to me- is this what we have been brought to?

  • nolan

    nolan

    September 29th, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    it is important for us to keep our impulses under control because they can really land you in a soup at times…everything needs regulation and impulses are no different…

  • PAULINE

    PAULINE

    September 30th, 2010 at 3:41 AM

    Being an adult is no easy task-there is no one to question what you do and you are free to do what you please.This leads to a problem wherein you are not able to keep your habits under control and end up doing things that you know you should not be doing.

    This sounds like a nice technique to control your impulses and I would be glad to find out more about this.

  • Kensington

    Kensington

    September 30th, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Is it what we’ve been “brought to”? By the time someone has an ed, they’ve been “brought to” all sorts of things they never would’ve thought possible.

  • cole

    cole

    September 30th, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    it should be lauded that we now have methods to actually control our instincts that are not too helpful and its juts great that therapy and related methods have come to our rescue yet again in this regard.

  • CleanLiving87

    CleanLiving87

    October 7th, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    In this situation, “Mind over Matter” is clearly more than a cliche. Of course it’s easier said than done, but with the right wiring of our brains, it’s definitely achievable. Accepting there is a problem is already shows the willpower that something needs to be done to fix the problem. With finer tuning in your thinking and behavioral patterns, you will get keep taking those steps closer to recovery!

  • Joyce Hall

    Joyce Hall

    February 5th, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    Impulse Control is so hard, but I definately believe in “mind over matter,” but also using distractors and coping skills can be important.

Leave a Comment

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's Terms and Conditions of Use.

  Notify me when new comments are added.

  Subscribe me to the GoodTherapy.org public newsletter.

* Indicates required field.

 

Advanced Search

Search Our Blog

   
GoodTherapy.org is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on GoodTherapy.org.