Gambling addiction is a treatable condition. Families and friends of people with developing and persistent gambling habits tend to see the problems, and often find them selves directly problem solving or horribly affected by the consequences. Either way, Family Gambling Interventions will lift you all out of the problem and into the solution.
It will get worse if left to its own course, so Family Gambling Intervention is a simple and pragmatic approach. Help the family to discriminate between enabling and helping, thus allowing the gambler to accept help.
Recovery ACT is a therapy for gambling problems that can be delivered as an outpatient, or in some cases the person trapped and struggling with repeated gambling issues may benefit from residential therapy. Either way, the family and the gambler have a simple choice. Shall we meet with a specialist interventionist who will guide us out of addiction and into recovery?
Family (including the addict or gambler) are stuck and struggling. The struggle only seems to keep you all stuck. The efforts to solve the problems, persuade the person to stop, the unwanted feelings of shame, anger, remorse, hopelessness seem to increase, and the gambler still gambles and the family still struggle to stop it happening. The harsh reality is, that if nothing changes, nothing changes, and everything you seem to try is just another form of struggle and staying stuck.
Family ACT is the behaviours that end the struggle and expose you all to a strategy that works. Like the person who struggles in quicksand, eventually, you all realise that despite your best efforts, the struggle is now part of the problem. Paradoxically, it feels unnatural to stop struggling if in quicksand, yet that will work. Family ACT is an Intervention process built on Acceptance Commitment Therapy that works by looking at behaviours. Not if the behaviours are good or bad, but do they work? Are they workable?
We Come To You
The Intervention Service travel to you. A typical Intervention starts with a small family group (including the person who is gambling) who come together to support each other in getting well. We will spend a couple of hours looking at what you all need and want, the nature of what is happening, and a care plan for change.
Gamblers Anonymous will ask:-
- Did you every lose time from work or school due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Did gambling affect your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
- Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
- Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of your family?
- Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self destruction as a result of your gambling?
Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.
The premier example of an Impulse-control disorder listed in the DSM-IV is Pathological Gambling (DSM-IV, p.618):
Table 2: Diagnostic criteria for Pathological Gambling
A persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behaviour as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
- is preoccupied with gambling (preoccupation).
- needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement. (tolerance)
- has repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling (loss of control).
- is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling (withdrawal symptoms).
- gambles as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (preoccupation).
- after losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even [“chasing” one’s losses] (loss of control)
- lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling (continues despite adverse consequences)
- has committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling (adverse consequences).
- has jeopardised or loss a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling (adverse consequences).
- relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling (adverse consequences).
After each criterion we have appended what we consider the essential element which may be associated with an addictive disorder. It is instructive to compare this list with the DSM-IV criteria for a substance-related disorder (DSM-IV, p.181):