Problem gambling can wreak havoc on personal relationships, finances and careers. In severe cases, it can even lead to suicide. If you or someone you love is struggling with a gambling addiction, help is available. Several treatment options exist, from inpatient care to outpatient therapy to group-based recovery programs.
The underlying psychological issues that drive compulsive gambling are complex, and may need to be addressed in order for an individual to stop gambling. During counseling, a professional can help you identify your triggers and develop coping strategies. You can also learn to change the way you think about joker12 gambling, so you
can no longer see it as an “addiction.”
Behavioral therapies can be effective in treating pathological gambling. The most well-established approach is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing irrational thinking patterns that fuel gambling behavior. CBT is a scientifically proven technique that can be delivered through one-on-one sessions with a therapist, or in group settings such as Gamblers Anonymous and similar 12- Step programs.
Many gambling problems stem from distorted thinking processes and over-activity in the brain’s insula region. These processes cause individuals to perceive patterns in random sequences, or to continue gambling after near misses, hoping to break even or win back their losses. Similarly, people with a gambling disorder may start to believe that they can control their destiny by winning large amounts of money. In addition to addressing distorted thinking, a therapist can help you develop healthy coping skills and develop better ways to handle your emotions.
While the use of drugs and alcohol to treat gambling disorders has received some attention in the professional literature, there are few research studies that have compared gambling treatments with other psychoactive substances (McCartney, 1996). Furthermore, many published investigations have involved case reports and small samples of clients whose circumstances may not be generalizable to the larger population.
Outpatient rehabilitation treatment programs are the most common type of gambling addiction treatment. These programs are often modeled after substance abuse treatment programs and offer a mix of therapeutic interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and support groups like Gamblers Anonymous or other 12 Step programs. Some programs also include a relapse prevention component that includes education about addiction and self-help techniques.
The most successful programs for gambling addiction are those that integrate a combination of different treatment modalities, and provide intensive inpatient and outpatient services. Some programs also offer a variety of telehealth services.
Getting help for a gambling problem is not easy, but it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a problem. It’s also important to seek help before the situation gets worse, such as when you lose more than you can afford or when you start to gamble with other people’s money. Getting help can prevent serious legal, health, financial and emotional repercussions. If you’re concerned that someone you know is suffering from a gambling problem, reach out to a therapist who specializes
in addiction or mental health.