Psychodynamics of Impulsive Behavior

  • Gerald Adler


In discussing treatment of patients with impulsive disorders, we can take one of two positions: (1) that we know too little and are thus helpless to treat many of them successfully (based on recidivist and outcome studies); or (2) that we know more than we realize and our failures lie in the complexities of applying what we know. The actual situation most often lies somewhere between the poles of these two views, but for purposes of discussion I want to examine, support, and perhaps overemphasize how much we know and how much our theoretical knowledge is gradually increasing. I shall also attempt to provide a theoretical framework for treatment of impulse-ridden patients in a variety of settings and ask why it is so difficult to apply what we know effectively to clinical situations.


Impulsive Behavior Private Office Armed Robbery Borderline Patient Object Constancy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Adler
    • 1
  1. 1.Tufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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