Gambling Disorders 360°

Exploring the latest news, issues and research relating to gambling disorders and responsible gaming

“Crash Course” Webinar on Gambling Disorders for Addiction Counselors Now Available for Online Viewing

by: NCRG Staff | Apr 26, 2011

The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) presented the first installment of the 2011 NCRG Webinar Series to more than 250 participants in March – one of the highest attended sessions for the NCRG. Led by Dr. Jon Grant, M.D., the webinar was titled “Gambling Disorders: What Addiction Professionals Need To Know” and cosponsored by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.  Visit the NCRG website for an archived version of the presentation.

Dr. Grant, a board-certified psychiatrist and principal investigator of the NCRG Center for Excellence in Gambling Research at the University of Minnesota, presented what he described as a “crash course” on gambling disorders for an audience that included many health care providers who specialize in drug and alcohol counseling. Dr. Grant discussed the nature and prevalence of gambling disorders (GD), vulnerable populations, comorbidity of GD and other mental health conditions, similarities between GD and other substance use disorders, and screening and diagnosis of GD as well as treatment options.  

During his discussion of treatment options for gambling disorders Dr. Grant emphasized the variety of techniques that are currently being used to treat GD. Among these are several that are well-known to counselors and therapists, such as casino self-exclusion programs, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing.

Dr. Grant also discussed less well-known techniques such as cue exposure therapy (CE). This therapy is based on theories of classical conditioning that hold that a person can learn to control cravings to gamble by being repeatedly exposed to situational cues in a therapeutic setting and learning to monitor and control their emotional and mental responses to each cue. CE therapy uses pictures and audio and video media related to gambling situations to trigger urges to gamble in clients, and teaches clients how to respond to these feelings. 

If you missed the live presentation, you can access it and other past sessions free of charge in the Webinar Archives section of the NCRG website. If you attended the NCRG Webinar in March, we would love to hear your feedback to improve future sessions. As always, we welcome your thoughts and questions, including suggestions for webinar topics, in the Comments section below.

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