Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

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.

Collaborative Effort

The problem gambler’s relationship with a therapist is central to such sessions as CBT is a collaborative effort where you work together and are both involved in how well you progress as time goes on. At the start, you will discuss why you opted for therapy and what you hope to get out of the sessions. The therapist will then help you consider the feelings and attitudes which may have triggered your gambling issues and suggest healthier, more logical ways to address these emotions.

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.

Moving Forward

The homework tasks set by the therapist will be discussed in your next meeting so you can talk about how useful you found it, allowing you to have a greater say in how sessions are structured. Cognitive behavioural therapy may last for a few weeks or months, with a session at the same time every week, and by the end it is hoped that the sufferer will have taken on a leading role at meetings so they are able to carry on without the help of a counsellor once the meetings have ended.

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. on Facebook

You first need to login to Facebook to view this page because it contains age restricted content.

Go to Facebook and Login