Problem and pathological gambling: Advances in psychotherapy-evidence-based practice

Abstract

Over the past 30 years there has been a dramatic increase in the availability of convenient and legal gambling opportunities. Most people can reach a casino in a matter of a few hours, lottery tickets in minutes, or an online gaming site in seconds. Accompanying this proliferation of gambling is a growing understanding that between 5% and 9% of adults experience significant to severe problems due to their gambling activities. These problems have become a real health concern, with substantial costs to individuals, families, and communities. The objective of this book is to provide the clinician - or graduate student - with essential information about problem and pathological gambling. After placing this behavioral addiction and its co-occurring difficulties in perspective, by describing its proliferation, the associated costs, and diagnostic criteria and definitions, the authors present detailed information on a strategy to assess and treat gambling problems in an outpatient setting. They go on to provide clear and easy-to-follow intervention guidelines, including homework assignments, for a brief and cost-efficient cognitive behavioral approach to problem gambling, involving stepped care and guided self-change. Means of countering problems and barriers to change and vivid case vignettes round off this thorough, but compact guide for clinicians.

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