Firstly the descriptive phenomenology of impulse control disorders will briefly be delineated with its focus on the heterogeneity with regard to etiology and psychotherapeutic access.
Secondly the functional findings will be reported which suggest very different categorisations and different psychotherapeutic techniques with the domains of dysfunctions characteristic for addiction, OCD, and impulse control disorder sensu strictu.
The nosological and functional heterogeneity becomes a special difficulty for forensic assessment since psychopathological context, functional underpinnings and societal attitude are very different across the category of impulse control disorders. Categorical and dimensional concepts are intermingled.
Thirdly special aspects of the phenomenological approach will be given eventually with a concluding consideration of what we can make clinically of this heterogenic cluster of disorders and what needs to be clarified by future research.