Problem gambling can have devastating consequences.
It can put everything important in the problem gambler’s life at risk: financial security, personal relationships and career; in fact everything that a gambler values is on the line.
The common behaviours and symptoms of problem gambling include:
- Constantly thinking about gambling
- Trying to gain back losses by gambling even more (called chasing losses)
- Needing to bet more often and/or higher amounts to get the same level of excitement
- Lying to family and friends to hide the extent of your gambling
- Resorting to fraud, theft, or other illegal acts to get the money you need to gamble
- Asking other people to provide money so you can gamble
- Using gambling as a way to escape from problems and improve your mood
- Increased irritability and restless feelings when you attempt to cut back on gambling
- You can’t stop gambling even when it puts your relationships, job, or other opportunities at risk
As with all addictions, in order to be successful, gambling addicts have to work though negative emotions and beliefs that are not available to the conscious mind. The underlying reasons why the gambler gambles to excess have to be uncovered and dealt with.
But these reasons, like the emotions and beliefs referred to above, do not lie at the level of conscious thought and understanding. Often they have been forgotten at the conscious, logical level of thinking and remembering.
But the subconscious remembers.
No gambler really believes that he or she will become rich through gambling. It’s what the gambling does to the mind that is the motivation. The subconscious is using the gambling to meet a powerful need.
Using hypnosis, and working at the subconscious level, I help the problem gambler uncover that need and develop other, more productive and harmless strategies for meeting the need.
Hypnotherapy is extremely useful for the treatment of addictions. Relaxation techniques can help access an individual’s unconscious mind and uncover the root cause of the addiction. Understanding why gambling has become a problem and learning techniques to replace the destructive behaviour can often help those who gamble to excess. Using hypnosis to re-examine an individual’s lifestyle can lead to better coping strategies and create different attitudes towards gambling.
Once the root cause has been identified, dealing with it on a permanent basis can begin.