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Pathological Gambling Interventions for the Family
Gambling continuing education addiction counselor CEUs

Section 21
Appendix: Reproducible Client Worksheets

CEU Test | Table of Contents
| Gambling
Psychologist CEs, Social Worker CEUs, Counselor CEUs, MFT CEUs

Raising Bottom
Review CD track 3 for more information regarding this technique.
Client reviews and utilizes the following procedures to decrease the amount of loss a gambler must experience before he or she is ready to overcome the addiction.
1.  Don’t bail the gambler out.  Anytime you bear the consequences of the gambler’s actions for him, you are slowing his slide toward desperation.
2.  Continue to provide emotional support.  Though enabling behaviors should be stopped, continued emotional support is an integral part of using the client’s family in the therapeutic process. 
3.  Decide when to bail the client out.  Find the courage to refuse when you should and try to find the wisdom to know the difference.  In the end, however, bailing the gambler out only perpetuates the gambling problem.

Conducting an Intervention
Review CD track 4 for more information regarding this technique.
Client reviews and utilizes the following procedures to conduct an intervention for the gambler.
1.  The atmosphere of the meeting is not one of grievance but of support.  When you talk about the intervention with the gambler’s family and friends, advise them that they are not there to complain about what his behavior is doing to them, but to communicate to him that his behavior is affecting others. 
2.  Gambling addicts, like alcoholics, can be unreasonable if they begin to feel threatened.  Therefore, contingencies should be anticipated and planned for prior to the intervention.  For example, if the gambler gets upset and leaves, who would be the best candidate for going to get him and bringing him back?  Who is going to speak first?  Who should speak last?  What are some possible treatment plans that might work for the gambler?  Discuss these with the therapist.
3.   Consider the effective success rate of intervention.  The success rate of interventions is between thirty and fifty percent.  But that’s thirty to fifty percent that wouldn’t get help otherwise.  But keep in mind, it’s pretty much a one shot deal.  Due to the inherent drama and gravity which is characteristic of interventions, you’re pretty much limited to one chance, unless you try again years later.

Techniques That Quitters Use
Review CD track 6 for more information regarding this technique.
Client reviews and utilizes the following procedures to help choose an appropriate technique for the gambler.

1.  Cognitive Techniques for quitting a gambling addiction include consciousness raising.  If the you member provide the gambler with benefits for quitting gambling, how might that help the gambler stop gambling?  Self liberation, self reevaluation, and environmental reevaluation are other cognitive techniques.  Dramatic relief as a cognitive technique might also benefit the gambler.  What are some of the dangers associated with pathological gambling that may move the gambler emotionally?
2.  Behavioral Techniques like counter conditioning might also be a way you might help the gambler.  Could you suggest the gambler do something else instead of gambling when he or she feels tense?  And how might stimulus control be implemented with the gambler?  What information can you provide on what things remind the gambler of cards, lotto tickets, or the track? 
3.  Social or Situational Techniques may be more limited in scope and practice than cognitive and behavioral techniques, but how might the gambler benefit from the social liberation associated with stopping gambling?  What ways can you help the gambler see those benefits?  Also, what relationship benefits can be associated by the gambler regarding stopping gambling?

Staying Stopped
Review CD track 6 for more information regarding this technique.
Client reviews and utilizes the following procedures to help the gambler avoid relapse.
1.  Use the support system.  Encourage the gambler to continue going to group therapy or schedule an occasional visit with a therapist.
2.  Watch the company the gambler keeps.  If he or she is still spending time with old gambling partners, encourage the gambler to make new friends.
3.  Watch where the gambler goes.  As obvious as it might sound, avoid planning trips to places where gambling opportunities are readily available.

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