Intensive short-term residential psychotherapy: a top-down approach for gambling disorder and behavioural addiction treatment

Abstract

Gambling Disorder (GD), currently considered as a behavioural addiction (BA) and in-cluded in the chapter on Substance Related and Addictive Disorders in the fifth edition of the DSM (APA, 2013), is characterized by a
serious lack of control on impulses and by the presence of affective dysregulation. Dissociative symptomatology is also often in-volved in GD and, if associated with alexithymia, could have a major role in explaining
the severity of GD (Zerbetto, Schimmenti, Poli & Caretti, 2012). Other BAs that still lack sufficient data to warrant inclusion in the above mentioned chapter of the DSM are widely recognized as conditions bearing resemblance to and overlapping with substance related disorders and aforementioned GD (Grant, Potenza, Weinstein & Gorelick, 2010). Since 2007, the team of Progetto Orthos (Project Orthos) has provided multimodal intensive psychotherapy programmes for gamblers, going through a constant fine-tuning of tech-niques specifically tailored to address biopsychosocial aspects that are well known to be critical in addictions. The three-week intensive treatment programme will be described below and followed by insights on the actual possibility to extend the methodology to the broader spectrum of BA.

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