Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of mental health treatment which involves talking about your problems to change how you think and subsequently how you act. It is a commonly-used method to help people tackle various issues with the help of a counsellor. You may be referred to these services by your GP, which can be free, but you can also opt for private sessions in your area if it is affordable.
CBT does require work and commitment on the part of the person receiving the sessions, but research has shown that it can be very effective for people suffering from a variety of issues, from depression and anxiety to those struggling with a gambling addiction or a compulsive disorder. Those with gambling problems can take advantage of CBT services from a trained professional either on a one-to-one basis or as part of a group.
Sessions are designed to help you understand your negative thought patterns, and there is a practical element as well, as the therapist will set tasks to complete before your next meeting to try and help you learn new behaviours. You may be asked to describe your feelings about a negative event to help you recognise your patterns of thought and how you dealt with the experience. The idea behind CBT is that behaviours are learned and can therefore be unlearned, meaning that it is possible to break out of negative cycles of thought and find new ways of coping to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.
It is beneficial for problem gamblers to find other ways to occupy their time while receiving professional help, and there are many ways in which you could consider changing your behaviour by taking up a hobby or doing activities with friends and family. Therapy is a good way for sufferers to learn these mechanisms for long-term recovery, and there are many specialist services ready to provide support.
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