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Group Workshop Barriers

What are some strategies when trying to quit or cut down? What works for you?

Group Workshop Barriers

Postby JPsych » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:10 am

Hey there,
I am a psychologist who is working with problem gambling exclusively. I am wanting to develop a therapeutic group workshop for problem gamblers. This group would run weekly for approx 6-8 weeks and use clinical techniques to help gamblers reach their goals of either abstinence or harm reduction.

The big issue that I have found is that problem gambler's have difficulty in actually presenting to counselling sessions (either group or 1-1 setting). So I am wanting to hear from the experts. Could anyone please provide some of the reasons why attending counselling is a barrier, and also how might we overcome this?

For example, I have heard clients say in the past that as this is largely a secret addiction, physically attending a service makes them feel vulnerable to being found out by loved ones. So how might we address this?

I would be very grateful for any ideas and suggestions, as I really want to provide a service that will work and meet the needs of problem gamblers, rather than providing a service that just misses the mark. Thank you all in advance.
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Re: Group Workshop Barriers

Postby JPsych » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:43 am

Hey guys,
Still hoping someone would be able to provide me with some insight into this. Please there are no bad suggestions, even if you think that a group will not work at all, I would really appreciate hearing from you.
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Re: Group Workshop Barriers

Postby Suzy1 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:18 pm

I think we prefer to be anonymous through this forum. You may be able to advertise at venues or even when people are being taken to court if they've gone overboard they might want to participate to show contrition and improve their case.
For me personally I've been pokie free for 8 months so the forum is working for me. I wasn't keen on CBT if that's what you're doing. I have thought about pokies anonymous group therapy but my reason is I wouldn't like to be recognised by my friends or workmates. Given the deceptive nature of problem gambling I feel deeply ashamed of my past actions and it's very hard to face this with strangers although other gamblers would understand this feeling more than my family can. If I felt open enough to share fave to face with others I would've started my own support group, a place where we could meet and share companionship.
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Re: Group Workshop Barriers

Postby pamela » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:21 am

Well saidcSuzy....As much as I want to beat this demon.there is still a lot of stigma attached to a pokie addiction..I get more benefit from this forum than I would sitting in a group that would make me uncomfortable anyway.I would like a group where you could just chat.and one day I might be able to help someone else..but for now I will stick with my one on one counselling and this fforu..
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Re: Group Workshop Barriers

Postby JPsych » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:14 am

Thank you so much for your responses, I truly appreciate your suggestions.

I understand the secrecy of this addiction and the fear of being identified is a huge barrier and one that many do not feel they can overcome.

I wonder what could be done in order to minimise the risk of being seen and identified as a problem gambler? If this risk was minimised would that alleviate some of these problems?

Or do you think these barriers are too great for a group to work?
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Re: Group Workshop Barriers

Postby pamela » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:39 pm

Some people may get benefit from group therapy but there is still a lot of stigma involved,and I think I personally would find it depressing listening to a lot of similar stories
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Re: Group Workshop Barriers

Postby Suzy1 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:06 pm

I don't think you can avoid being seen as a problem gambler once you are. It's a difficult situation. The people who feel OK to open up will do but I prefer not to
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Re: Group Workshop Barriers

Postby JPsych » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:10 am

Thanks again for your replies. It is very helpful and it is clear that maintaining anonymity is very important to people.

The point you made Suzy1 particularly stood out for me, in regards to the ones that are comfortable will attend, and those who aren't - won't. I guess these types of groups are really only beneficial for those who are at that stage.

Thanks again for helping me out with this. It will definitely help in my development of these groups.
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