Treatment of pathological gambling using a guided self-change approach


Pathological gamblers are prone to leave treatment early and often display low levels of motivation within treatment. Use of brief treatments that emphasize reducing client ambivalence through motivational techniques may help increase the likelihood of treatment compliance. This case study describes a 5-session treatment of pathological gambling using a brief and motivationally focused cognitive-behavioral guided self-change (GSC) approach. The 36-year-old gambler in this study was treated for pathological gambling. At 1-month and 6-month follow-ups, the individual evidenced significant improvement in symptoms of pathological gambling. The client also showed considerable reductions in gambling behaviors including number of gambling episodes, length of time spent gambling, and amount of money wagered. These results support use of the GSC approach in treating pathological gamblers. © 2007 Sage Publications.

Publication Title

Clinical Case Studies