The New England 4G framework for the treatment of a common health concerns: A gambling case analysis

Abstract

Approaches using self-help have proved successful at treating a range of mental and physical conditions. Guidance by a trained worker enhances the effects of self-help materials, in particular those based on Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. In the United Kingdom, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) program was introduced to provide better outcomes for people experiencing mild or moderate anxiety and depression. This stepped care approach included low intensity, guided self-help offered by a newly trained workforce of Psychological Wellbeing Workers. The IAPT program has been extensively evaluated and shown to be cost effective and leads to positive treatment outcomes. This paper describes how the IAPT model has been adapted for use in Australia with gamblers. Two case studies illustrate the application of this guided approach to systematically accessing existing self-help treatments for problem gamblers. Assessment information is gathered, before a plan of action, including a problem statement and achievable goals, is agreed upon by the worker and the person with the gambling problem. The worker then gives the person options based on self-help CBT interventions and, once an option has been chosen, the worker guides the person as they work through various activities. The benefits of this approach are discussed.

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