Therapy of pathological gambling [Hungarian]


Background: The availability of different types of gambling games are constantly growing in Hungary. Most people try out at least once time some gambling game during their life and there are ones who play regularly and some of them became problem gamblers and unable to stop gambling. Fast and efficient help should be taken for them due to the progressive nature of gambling problems. There is a significant gap in the gambling treatment literature in Hungary and in the most cases gambling treatment that occurs is based on the treatment directions of chemical addictions. Experts taking part in the treatments regarded gamblers as a homogeneous group in spite that experiments emphasize the heterogeneous nature of the gamblers population. Experts must face many difficulties in the treatment of gamblers: lack of the gambling treatment literature, lack of compliance, presence of comorbid disorders, and long lasting treatment. Currently there is no work on a comprehensive treatment model which proved to be efficient in the treatment of gambling. Aims: The aim of present paper is to introduce the main treatment models, to critically summarize literature about gambling therapies, and to publish some of our experience about gamblers' therapies. Results and conclusions: The different therapy approaches can present some positive results regarding the treatment of gambling problems. It is worth mentioning that therapy efficacy studies may be characterized by methodological problems in the most cases, therefore unambiguous conclusions can not be subtracted from their results. The significance of cognitive-behavioral therapies and self-help groups may be emphasized beside the beneficial of psychodynamic therapies. We rely on few studies regarding the process of spontaneous remission which attract attention to the high frequency of this phenomenon among gamblers. According to the therapy efficacy studies, cognitive-behavioral therapies are the most successful in spite the fact that the number of therapy sessions are limited and clients' work is often based on work books and instruction materials.

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