A Client's View of Gambling Addiction Counselling
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Mark Dempster Counselling
18th August, 20130 Comments
An inside peek into the steps and process for beating gambling addiction. This case study illustrates the threefold approach to creating a successful outcome for ‘David’, an anonymous portrayal of a client’s addiction, treatment, and counselling.
David was 38 years old when he came for counselling. He was a senior manager at an international bank.
David had been gambling since he was 14. It started with fruit machines in arcades and by the age of twenty-five he had had 16 bookmakers and accounts with 18 casinos.
Despite being a high earner, David was losing every penny to gambling. His job was compromised: leaving work to go to the bookmakers five times daily, spending half the working day preoccupied by gambling. He had a fiancée – but sold her engagement ring to fund his addiction when he ran out of cash. He went from thinking about committing crimes to get money to suicidal ideations.
By the time he came to therapy, David was desperate for help. The following paragraphs show real-life exercises in the threefold approach he and his counsellor adopted.
Bottom Line Behaviours:
- Established the triggers – people, places, things, feelings
- Created a treatment plan including self help support (Gamblers Anonymous)
- A strategy for each potential trigger
- Agreement of the bottom line behaviours – what David will not do and how he will not do it.
Financial Trust and Accountability:
- Established the size of the problem – how much, who to and where are the gaps in information
- Where possible, communicated with family
- Made a realistic base line budget and agreed strategies for the management and transparency of finances.
Re-building the Internal:
- Examined the impact of gambling addiction on David’s life and those around him
- Examined loss of relationship with gambling
- Addressed psychological recovery (self-esteem, self-concept), behavioural recovery (behavioural patterns), social recovery (social relationships) and physical recovery (nutrition, sleep, exercise).
David successfully recovered from his gambling addiction, bar one slip. He is now married, has his own consultancy business and has a substantial deposit saved to buy a house.
If you or a loved one, family or friend, is suffering from the grips of gambling addiction, contact a counsellor today to determine the best course of action for your situation.
Addiction moves quickly - take this one step now.
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