The question I am answering here is how to adapt the very powerful common steps that apply for all addiction therapy to successful deal with gambling addiction.
Below you will see the how I recommend you apply this to your gambling addiction – as I have adapted these four stop addiction steps to helping my gambling addiction clients. And this applies whether your gambling is online, mainly through betting shops or on location (casino, racing etc.).
First, build confidence by beginning to get your life working better.
I want you to honestly answer this question – how much is your life outside gambling in big trouble? It could be your important relationships, the work you do and how safe and in control you feel? The important point is that the time and effort and cost of your addiction will be doing serious damage to other part of your life – right? And your failures will be impacting on your self confidence – right? And this all adds up to a situation where your willpower alone will never be enough.
My website contains plenty to get you started as you begin to consider what are the small steps could you take now that would move you in the right direction? Maybe you could take a need audit – to see where the gaps are biggest. Or listen to my Goal Setting audio here.
Second, begin to clear away the emotional responses that are feeding your gambling
It will be powerful emotions active from your primitive brain that will be fuelling your addiction and these emotional responses need to be toned down and replaced.
Again get started by asking yourself these questions. Is there a strong first memory of that first gambling triumph? How would you describe the gambling buzz? What are the stories you tell yourself to justify what you are doing? What new story might you begin to assemble of where you really want to go?
Both my Moving Beyond Addiction Programme and One on One Therapy will be asking you these questions (and more) and will be sing trance tools to access and shift the feelings that are associated with them.
Third, practice relaxation and self awareness to identify triggers.
As you calm down because your life is beginning to improve and hope is returning, you can focus on the triggers that lead to the gambling and to see what you can do. These can be places, people, times of the day or week or month. How can you change these or feel differently about them? And do you need to do so?
Fourth, know where you are on the staging posts to gambling addiction recovery.
A big part of recovery is to know yourself better. You also need to know where you are on the road to stopping.
Here are the steps. Where are you?
- Pre-contemplation: Do you believe you have a gambling problem
- Contemplation: Yes, maybe you can see that you do have a problem
- Determination: a decision is taken – something has to change
- Action: You do something about it
- Maintenance: There is real change underway and you are sticking with it
- Relapse: You learn that any likely gambling slip is not a disaster but a staging point on the road to complete cessation.
I hope this is making sense to you. And I have the tools and experience to help you.