Problem gambling affects almost 1.4 million people in the UK. Yet only 3% of problem gamblers seek support. Online sites have increased accessibility to gambling, as well as traditional betting shops. This makes it harder to break the habit and learn how to stop problem gambling.
Gambling is considered an impulse-control disorder. In the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual), problem gambling can negatively affect psychological and physical health. This disorder also affects the livelihood of family and those around the gambler.
Gambling is a form of addiction. Despite the negative consequences, there is no sign of stopping — this is when it becomes a problem. At some point, family members or the gambler themselves will seek professional support to stop this addiction.
The aim of therapy and addiction counselling is to establish a productive and alternative lifestyle, without the need for problem gambling.
Through addiction counselling, I have successfully assisted many individuals to stop problem gambling. My methods are to help problem gamblers foster ways of coping through understanding possible underlying issues, whilst recognising and addressing connected issues that are causing harm. Together, we can understand and create adaptive ways for problem gamblers to regain control over their life.
Family Members of Problem Gamblers
Families of the problem gambler also suffer. With financial strain or arguments and tension, the environment can become hostile.
I also provide counselling support to family members of a problem gambler. Exploring coping behaviours, strategies, social support, options of further specialist help will increase awareness and understanding.