Treatments For Gambling Disorders


Gambling is a form of entertainment in which the participants bet money or other things of value on the outcome of a game, race, or event. Whether at the casino or on the internet, gambling involves a series of decisions about what to bet and how much to risk.

Gamblers may also exhibit a number of cognitive and motivational biases that influence their preferences for certain gambles. For example, people may believe that the outcome of a particular event is more likely to benefit them than others (e.g., sports coaches betting against their own team to mitigate the financial repercussions of a losing season). Similarly, people may place disproportionate weight on past outcomes when deciding what odds they will accept for future events.

Moreover, people who are addicted to gambling often lie to family members, therapists, and others about their gambling behavior or hide evidence of it. They may even engage in illegal activities, such as stealing money to gamble.

There are several effective treatments for pathological gambling, including psychotherapy and family therapy. Psychotherapy can help people understand why they are addicted to gambling and think about their options for change. Family therapy can help people reestablish healthy relationships with their loved ones. In addition, many people find support from a peer group. Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, is one such peer group. This type of group can be a powerful source of motivation and moral support for people struggling with gambling disorder.