|“The key to treating people with gambling problems,” said a leading counsellor, “is to help them see the link between their gambling and deeper problems in their lives”.|
Donna Johnson, a master's level therapist and licensed addiction counsellor, told the Montana Billings-Gazette that gamblers, like people with other addictions, tend to be self-centered, and unable to see how gambling might be masking another problem.
”Most gamblers turn to gaming as a way of escaping a death, divorce or other misfortune,” Johnson said, “but quite often they don't think about anything but gambling when those kinds of problems crop up.”
She said she tries to get her clients to understand their gambling history, so they can see the roots of their compulsion.
Then she tries to bring in someone else - a spouse, a friend, a family member, to control the gambler's finances. That's a big issue, Johnson said, because if left to their own devices most compulsive gamblers won't stop until they're broke.
Although she said she wasn't sure she would support a ban on any form of gambling gambling, she conceded that, “if you have a gambling problem, this is a difficult state to live in”.