Getting Help With Gambling Addiction - Therapy
you looking for information regarding finding help with gambling
addiction for a loved one? If you haven't already visited the
for Gambling Addiction
intro page where I talk about Gamblers
Anonymous, please feel free to read that first. In my
non-professional experience and mind, I truly believe that GA (Gamblers
Anonymous) is not a full solution to recovery. I believe that
can be tremendously valuable in helping problem gamblers enter
abstinence, however, I honestly believe that truly entering a path to
recovery requires a multi-faceted approach, which includes the
I classify therapy as individual, one-on-one sessions with a
professional therapist. Why is therapy a potentially
element in the recovery process related to getting help with gambling
addiction? Again, this is my non-expert
opinion, however, from my experience, and research, I believe that
gambling is actually not the problem. Gambling is a symptom
another underlying problem(s) in the same way that bleeding is not an
injured person's problem. Bleeding results from an underlying
wound, a cut, a bleeding organ, tissue damage, etc. Stopping
bleeding does not heal the
underlying damaged organ in this analogy.
therapist should be able to dig more deeply into the gambler's mental
health, history, and experiences to address what's truly the source(s)
of pain. There are no doubt many many different underlying
reasons why someone might be drawn to gambling (and become a problem
gambler); here are some examples to help you understand what experts
have articulated as possible causes:
- Childhood trauma such as:
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
- psychological abuse
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from a trauma that
occurred at some point in one's life
it's extremely rare to find a compulsive gambler who has not
experienced some type of ailment or trauma in their lives.
you may be thinking that this excuses the gambling behavior.
don't believe these findings are meant to excuse such behavior, but
rather simply to help explain what emotional or psychological
experiences might drive someone to find escape, control, or otherwise
some type of pleasure from gambling. More on this topic later.
Word of Caution About Therapists
your gambler agrees to see a therapist, it's highly worthwhile for them
to interview a number of them before selecting one to see regularly in
getting help with gambling addiction impacting their life.
I'm told by therapists that it's not unreasonable to request
just 15 to 20 minutes to meet with them at no cost. Even if
they're covered by insurance, they shouldn't have to pay the co-pay fee
for the initial interview. Consider that if your gambler
them as a therapist, they will either be billing a fair amount of money
over the coming months/years to insurance, or be paid directly.
In other words, they should be willing to meet with
an initial free interview.
Why interview therapists?
Many therapist have experience with addictions, however, they
often don't have direct experience providing help with gambling
They simply bundle gambling along with everything else with
rationale that all addictions are the same. While there are
certainly many similarities amongst addictions, gambling is considered
to be unique enough that it can't simply be lumped together with other
addictions. Also, even a therapist with direct and extensive
experience treating problem gamblers, may not be a good fit.
therapist that I saw described this as "the therapeutic alliance".
about a regular relationship. You may meet someone who is
attractive, smart, funny, and meets all of your criteria on paper,
however, when you meet them and spend time with them, there's just
something about the rapport, or chemistry, that just doesn't feel
comfortable or right. The relationship with a therapist is
equally important to find a good fit, or therapeutic alliance.
Even though it may be time consuming and a pain to go through
interview process, in the long run, it could mean the world of
difference between recovery and relapse. Needless to say (but
will say so anyway!), getting help with gambling addiction is not an
easy process, and requires time, patience, and perseverance.
Also consider a related question about when is a good time to start
therapy on the What
Is Early Intervention
Return to Help With Gambling Addiction Homepage
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