An innovative cognitive strategy to assist problem gamblers

Abstract

The clinical and research literature suggests that cognitive and behavioural therapies are particularly helpful in assisting clients overcome problem gambling behaviour. Several articles have described the efficacy of a range of cognitive interventions, especially provision of information regarding rates of return and the odds of games and the exploration of irrational beliefs and myths and misconceptions regarding gambling activity. This paper describes in detail an innovative cognitive strategy which focuses on problem gambling clients' financial status. The strategy incorporates the use of illustrations, generally using a whiteboard, to highlight how problem gambling behaviour negatively impacts on financial wealth over time. Step by step instructions are provided, together with illustrations, to allow clinicians to incorporate the strategy in treatment with their own clients.

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