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.
Areas of counselling we deal with
THE GAMBLING TOOLKIT
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