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On the last track we discussed interventions. This track covered goals of the intervention, rehearsals and contingency planning, and the effectiveness of intervention.
On this track we will discuss teen gambling. We will discuss complications unique to teens, such as lack of responsibility. We will also discuss denial and financial motivation. Finally, we’ll examine prevention. As you listen to this track, think of your teen gambling client. How might your client’s parent benefit from hearing this track?
#1 Complications Unique to Teens
How might you have responded to Ethan? I stated, "The answer to this question is complicated by Tyler’s lack of responsibility in the world. You can prevent his gambling by removing his opportunities to wager as much as possible. This would seem a worthwhile goal and in some cases it is. But in the end it is merely a temporary solution, for the root cause of the gambling remains untreated, in remission as it were. Tyler will have to get a handle on his gambling himself. He needs to face the consequences of his gambling and come to the realization that gambling is destructive and he can’t engage in it."
Also, would you agree that exacerbating this problem is a parent’s natural inclination to rescue a child? If you are counseling a parent regarding teen gambling, would you recommend that parents bail their kids out just because they’re still kids? I stated to Ethan, "The temptation to hold Tyler less responsible for his gambling is ill advised. The truth is that Tyler can overcome his gambling only by finding ways to control it."
#3 Financial Motivation
Tom Coates of Consumer Credit of Des Moines has seen kids drop out of college because, as he states, "they rack up enough debt and can’t pay ongoing school bills the family sent money for and they end up dropping out of college because of their indebtedness." If parents are involved in tuition or in any way contributing financially, consequences can be allowed to fall where they may.
At the very least, parents can install themselves as financial advisors to the child’s life, demanding periodic reviews and even tying continued financial support to the child’s willingness to cooperate."
With teens like Tyler who have already fallen into a gambling problem, education may not be as productive. I find that gathering evidence and confronting the teen with the intention of getting him or her to see the behavior as problematic is productive. What might help your client’s teen overcome a gambling addiction?
On this track we discussed teen gambling. We discussed complications unique to teens, such as lack of responsibility. We also discussed denial and financial motivation. Finally, we examined prevention.
On the next track we will discuss breaking the addictive cycle. As you know, the addictive cycle of gambling can be broken first by understanding the five stages of quitting. Next we will discuss types and examples of techniques, and finally we will discuss how a therapist might choose a technique which best fits a client.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Werner, K. B., Cunningham-Williams, R. M., Ahuja, M., & Bucholz, K. K. (2020). Patterns of gambling and substance use initiation in African American and White adolescents and young adults. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 34(2), 382–391.
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