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On the last track we discussed daily self monitoring diaries.
On this track we will discuss developing a controlled treatment plan. We’ll discuss when to use controlled treatment and two steps to developing a controlled treatment plan. The two steps are establishing a peer group of counselors and making problem gamblers aware of peer counselors as a resource.
#1 When to Use Controlled Treatment
I find that despite the best treatment, some pathological gamblers are going to do what they ultimately want. Therefore, would you agree that by making abstinence each client’s goal, we short change them of the relative level of success possible through treatment? Perhaps if we can teach clients to at least have a greater sense of control over their lives, then they may have taken productive steps toward dealing with the problem.
Think of your client. Could he or she benefit more from a treatment plan with the goal of living without gambling or from a controlled treatment plan?
#2 Step One: Establishing a Group of Peer Counselors
Therefore, one of the first steps is to establish a group of controlled gamblers who are willing to share their coping skills. The gamblers who are trying to control rather than abstain would suggest help to develop appropriate gaming money management strategies. In such a program the therapist then serves as more of a consultant and teacher. Initially, the peer counselor or group, for example suggests appropriate gaming strategies.
If the gambler agrees to try the new strategy, the therapist then facilitates its implementation in the real world of gambling. For example, one peer counselor, Larry, suggested an effective strategy for moderating gambling.
--Step 1: First, you can make your money go farther by placing smaller bets. You won’t win as much, but you also don’t lose as much when you lose. And we all know you’re going to lose more than you win." Think of your client.
How might he or she benefit from placing smaller bets? Might your gambling client notice little or no difference in final money loss on an average? Larry continued to explain his strategy for moderating or controlled gambling.
Could alternative activities between bets help your client begin to moderate or control his or her gambling?
#3 Step Two: Make Problem Gamblers Aware of Peer Counselors as a Resource
Peer counselors who participate in the same gambling game a the client would be especially helpful in this process, because they are familiar with specific strategies applicable to their mutual activity. As you know, most gamblers specialize by concentrating their efforts upon one gaming activity.
Taking stock of gaming strategies can be done with reference to self control techniques such as keeping precise records of daily wagers, specifying exactly how winnings are to be distributed, and establishing a precise unit of wager. Also, peer counselors can fulfill the position of client monitoring.
Technique: Client Monitoring
Stephanie later helped Monica conclude that Monica was purchasing more lotto tickets on her way home from work than any other time. Therefore Monica began restricting her purchases to mornings and trips to the grocery store.
Think of your Monica. How might client monitoring by a peer counselor benefit your client?
On this track we discussed developing a controlled treatment plan. We discussed when to use controlled treatment and two steps to developing a controlled treatment plan. The two steps are establishing a peer group of counselors and making problem gamblers aware of peer counselors as a resource.
On the next track we will discuss exposure to gambling. We’ll examine five methods of avoiding exposure to gambling. These will include self exclusion, being near a gambling establishment, being in a gambling establishment, being alone in a gambling establishment, and receiving an invitation to gamble.
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