GAMBLING ADDICTION HANDBOOK

Symptoms, Theories and Therapy - A Self-Help Manual

I became interested in gambling and video gambling addiction in 1992, because for the first time in my clinical career clients with gambling addiction problems asked for my services. All of these clients complained about addiction to video gambling. The material in this book is based on my knowledge of applied and experimental psychology, my review of the relevant literature, my observations and interviews with players at video gambling machines (electronic slot machines), in-depth investigation of my clients who were pathological gamblers, and my discussions of gambling with professionals and concerned citizens. In this book I attempted to answer the following questions:

  • What is pathological gambling?
  • How did this behaviour originate?
  • What maintains and reinforces this behaviour?
  • How can this addiction be treated?

This book is divided into three sections. In the first section I discuss pathological gambling and related issues. In the second section, I present various hypotheses or theories pertaining to the etiology and possible causes of pathological gambling. In the third section which is a self-help program for a person with pathological gambling, I list suggestions regarding what can be done about this disorder. I hope that this book will be useful to victims of pathological gambling who try to recover, and to the family and friends who try to understand and help the pathological gambler. This book will provide counsellors with explanations and treatment plans. Researchers in this area may wish to test some of the hypotheses. Persons who want to have a better understanding of this phenomenon will also find this book of value. While the focus of this book is video gambling addiction, I believe that with very few modifications, many of the treatment ideas can be applied to other forms of gambling addiction.