Tele-counselling for problem gambling: A case study


Innovative approaches to the treatment of pathological gambling are required since the number of individuals who seek treatment tend to be fewer than the prevalence studies would indicate. In this study, an innovative approach to the treatment of pathological gambling was used in order to address the common hindrances to treatment-seeking these patients face. One such approach is to offer the option of manual-guided tele-counselling. This case study reports on the progress of one individual who was treated using this modality. For reasons of privacy and anonymity, the individual in this case report preferred to address her problem gambling with the assistance of a therapist whom she never met. The client was provided with 10 weeks of tele-counselling treatment during which six treatment modules were delivered. Problems of access, privacy and anonymity were overcome with this method and the client was able to reduce their gambling behavior significantly with the therapeutic gains being maintained at the 6-month follow-up. The implications for the treatment of problem gambling using a non-traditional approach are discussed.

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