The broad term of counselling covers a range of therapeutic approaches to mental health, and for problem gamblers there are many ways in which they can receive support from a licensed professional. Counsellors are trained professionals who offer assistance and guidance for people who wish to discuss their personal or psychological issues.
All services are completely confidential and face-to-face counselling gives sufferers the chance to privately speak about their problems with an expert, talking through how their gambling problem has escalated, what impact it has had on their relationships and the steps that can be taken to recover from their addiction. The most popular form of counselling in the UK is cognitive behavioural therapy, in which the patient and the counsellor work together to develop relevant coping strategies for the issues the patient is currently facing.
Some problem gamblers may wish to consider group counselling, where feelings and experiences are shared amongst several people who are all affected by the same issue. They may find that talking to others who share their struggle can reduce the feelings of isolation that many sufferers experience. Friends and family can also seek out counsellors for themselves to discuss their emotions and what they can do to offer support.
Choosing to enter counselling is a long-term commitment, and it will take time for positive effects to be seen as the problem gambler addresses their issues. The important thing is to keep attending sessions, even if you feel like it isn’t working.
There are a large number of trained professionals across the UK ready to help. Alternatively, there are other support systems available, such as Gamblers Anonymous which offer group-led discussions and the chance to draw strength from other sufferers who have stopped gambling and changed themselves for the better. Find a list of the services and support that can be used to combat problem gambling.
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