Gamblers Counseling Center


Resources


 

HELP FOR

COMPULSIVE GAMBLERS

An Outline of the Opportunities for Help
Gamblers Anonymous

Written by Ed Looney, CCGC, Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. See Below
Professional Therapists
Written by Charles F. Vorkoper, M.S.S.W., C.G.C.
Consultant,  National Gambler Counselor Certification Board, Inc.

Updated as of April 1, 2003

Gamblers Anonymous helps the Compulsive Gambler in Five Significant Ways That Professionals are not able to Help

1. IDENTIFICATION

A new member entering the Gamblers Anonymous fellowship for the first time will likely identify with other members by the similar shared thoughts, feelings and experiences.

2. ACCEPTANCE

Gamblers Anonymous meetings are the catalyst to breaking the isolation and loneliness and allows the member to feel he/she is not alone with the problem and that others will understand them.

3. PRESSURE-RELIEF GROUP MEETING

The Pressure Relief Group Meeting Committee will show the member through abstinence and total honesty how one can achieve a less stressful lifestyle.  The committee will address all pressures including financial, legal, employment and personal. 

 

4. THE TWELVE STEPS OF RECOVERY

These steps practiced one day at a time are the foundation of personal growth and recovery for the member.

5. PEER SUPPORT

Gamblers Anonymous offers peer support, sponsorship, telephone contacts between meetings by a member are another important peer support that is available to all members.  A member can feel “at home” in any Gamblers Anonymous meeting. 

PROFESSIONAL THERAPISTS HELP COMPULSIVE GAMBLERS IN WAYS THAT GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS IS NOT ABLE TO HELP

1. Interrupt family patterns that encourage addictive living

Many psychotherapists are attuned to the family patterns that support the destructive life-style expressed in addictions like Compulsive Gambling.  Family therapists are especially attuned to these issues and can help the whole family system stop their support for addictive patterns.

2. Enrich the Compulsive Gamblers Experience in Gamblers Anonymous

Psychotherapists attuned to the 12 steps regularly assist the recovering Compulsive Gambler in deepening their work on each step.

3. Offer the Compulsive Gambler Hope That Change Is Possible

Psychotherapy challenges the gambler to change and offers the hope that this is possible.

4. Psychotherapy Offers a Safe Place

There are ideas, feeling, thoughts, experiences in the lives of compulsive gamblers that are frequently so threatening that the protected environment of the psychotherapist becomes a safe haven for the compulsive gambler.

5. The Knowledge and Training of a Psychotherapist

The knowledge and training required to do psychotherapy well offers the compulsive gambler a rich mine of experience and information.

6. Provide Specialized Intensive Treatment Programs

Sometimes compulsive gamblers, early in their recovery, need intensive programs such as special outpatient and hospital programs.

7. Professionals Make Available Drug and Other Therapies

Some drug therapies are showing promise in helping compulsive gamblers maintain abstinence.

Ed Looney is the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc., 3635 Quakerbridge Rd., Suite 7, University Office Plaza One, Hampton, NJ 08619 – Phone: (609) 588-5515 Fax: (609) 588-9338. HelpLine: 1-800-GAMBLER, Web Site: www.800gambler.org, e-mail: ccgnj@800gambler.org.