• Home
  • >Addiction Recovery Agency

About us

ARA Gambling Service is a GamCare Partner and is the National Gambling Treatment Service provider throughout Wales, Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Weston Super Mare, Stroud and Swindon. We provide therapeutic services for people who are experiencing gambling related harms as well as affected others. Services include information and advice, individual counselling and relapse prevention.

Ara are specialists in the field of problem gambling and all of our counsellors are trained in supporting you and those that are affected.

Counselling can take place face to face in our offices located throughout, or if you prefer we offer telephone counselling also.  Some of our counsellors are fluent in both English and Welsh.

Counselling is free

Training, qualifications & experience

ARA is  a registered charity formed in 1987 by an enthusiastic group of volunteers and has been providing a gambling support service since 2008.  We are a GamCare Partner and form part of the National Gambling Treatment Service.

All ARA's counselling staff are qualified.

Member organisations *


British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.

Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.

All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

We have verified that at least one professional at this organisation is registered with the relevant professional body.

Areas of counselling we deal with

Therapies offered

Photos & videos


Additional information



Office Hours 9.00am - 4.30pm

Counselling sessions are flexible and may include evenings

Further information


Help for problem gambling

What is problem gambling?
Making the odd bet or playing the lottery can be fun, but when gambling gets to risky levels it can become a problem.

Why do some people gamble?
To forget about responsibilities
When they feel depressed or sad
Are bored, especially if not working
When they drink or use drugs
When they get angry with others or themselves
If they start gambling very young
Simply don’t feel able to control their gambling
Have one or both parents who have problems gambling

Friends and family
Being a partner of someone with a gambling problem – or being their parent or child – is hard and can be distressing.Loved ones often try to hide the size of the problem. Sometimes they feel their only options are to borrow, lie or steal to pay off debts.

Friends and family need support. Help is available for them too.

Do you need help?
Have you or someone you know…

… bet more than they can really afford to lose?

… been criticised for betting or told that they have a gambling problem, regardless of whether or not they think it is true?

… felt guilty about the way they gamble or what happens when they gamble?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions help is available.

Top 10 tips to take control
Pay the priorities first, such as mortgage, rent, council tax, food.
Leave credit and cash cards at home when you go out to gamble.
Set how many times a week you will gamble. Be specific and name the days.
Take a time-out. Gambling companies must offer short breaks from 24 hours to 6 weeks, or longer options for a minimum of 6 months.
If you use gaming machines or a betting account including online casinos, ask for a time and spending limit.
Think of gambling as entertainment rather than a way of making money. Always be prepared to lose – if you win, know that it is chance.
Never spend your savings or investments on gambling.
Ask friends and family not to lend you money if you ask them.
Spend more time with people who don’t gamble.
Talk to others about your worries or concerns rather than ‘bottling’ them up.

83% of people we help make significant changes

Credit: Gambling Commission, Gamble Aware, NHS England, Royal College of Psychiatrists

King Street


Type of session

In person

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

During the COVID 19 Pandemic we are currently only offering telephone based counselling

Additional languages



Addiction Recovery Agency

Addiction Recovery Agency