gamblers have other problems that are part of the reason they gamble.
These may include depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders. It
is not known whether one problem causes the other. It is more important
to get a clear picture of the individual. This is why a complete
evaluation is recommended.
Problem gambling must be treated on several levels at the same time. We
assess psychiatric, behavioral, financial and family problems associated
with problem gambling. Some people are referred to psychiatrists
directly connected to the program who can help with medication when that
The therapists at the Rhode Island Gambling Treatment Program use the
assessment to work with gamblers and help them design treatment goals.
Goals are individual to each person and are not based on a "one size
fits all" model.
Treatment goals may include:
Reestablishing trust and communication in relationships.
Learning about the triggers that are associated with gambling.
Learning how to cope with strong urges.
Addressing feelings related to gambling:
Excitement - incredible euphoria
HALT - hungry, angry, lonely, tired
Developing support networks and new activities ("filling the
Individualized treatment options
Therapists are familiar with legal and financial issues people
often have when they enter treatment. They have worked with
probation officers and financial advisors.
They also have a working relationship with Gamblers Anonymous
that will help ease the transition for people who are new to
Therapists can help individuals exclude themselves from casinos
without visiting casinos during therapy.
Treatment for couples is available.
therapy guided by treatment professionals is available.
Treatment for family members is available whether or not the
gambler is in treatment. This may include:
individual counseling for family members.
education on problem/compulsive gambling.
coping with anger and loss of trust.
education on financial protection for the family.