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Gambling Counselling



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Gambling may feel like the answer to your money worries

Posted on February 24, 2018 at 5:00 AM

Clients are often anxious about money and debt problems, The blog will not replace the help you would receive from a specialist debt advice agency or the support and guidance available from seeing a Gambling Counsellor or attending a support group.

Tackling your gambling

• Gambling may seem like the answer to money difficulties but in reality the chances of a big win to pay off accumulated debts or meet regular expenses are quite small.

• Be honest to yourself and share your problems with friends and family, Their support may help you to seek help for your gambling problem and advice about your debts.

• Try to stop gambling. We can help you to understand the causes of your gambling behaviour,

Contact all your creditors


• Let them know about your financial difficulties and that you are seeking help to tackle the problem.

• Ask then for information, including copies of agreements and terms of repayment. Use this information to make a list of all your creditors and the amounts you owe.

• If you ignore your debts, they won’t go away. Ignoring them is more likely to make the situation worse and to make you more anxious.

• Treat court papers and disconnection notices as urgent and seek specialist advice.

Work out your budget

• List all your income, including earnings from employment and benefits.

• List all your expenses, including rent and mortgage payments and rates. Be honest about your household expenses and include realistic amounts for food, clothing and travel.

• Take a look at your spending. Could you make any savings?

• If you have no money after you have done your budget and you think your circumstances are unlikely to improve, there is still available options and seek the help of a specialised money adviser and they can take you through your options.


If you ignore your debts, they won’t go away

Take heart

The path to clearing your debts can take time and you will be faced with all sorts of pressures along the way. There will be times when you feel desperate to gamble – don’t! You can call one of the free Helplines or one of our Counsellors or a friend or family and talk about these feelings.

Taking steps to understand your gambling will eventually help you stay out of debt in the future.


How we can help women with a gambling problem

Posted on October 6, 2017 at 8:05 AM

Why do I have this problem?

Many women find it hard to understand why they gamble, and why they are unable to just make themselves stop when it causes so many problems. Do you tell yourself you gamble ‘for the money’? Is this really true? Perhaps, even if you win, you find yourself continuing to play.

For many women, the need to gamble may be influenced by difficult emotional experiences in the past. We provide specialist counselling for anyone experiencing difficulties resulting from a gambling problem, such as debt, relationship difficulties or stress and anxiety. Our specially trained and experienced counsellors can give you the safe, confidential space you need to work through the issues and situations connected to problem gambling in your life, and we will work with you to find the best methods of dealing with these situations going forward.

I’m finding it hard to talk

Sometimes it can feel like keeping your gambling a secret is the only option. It is very common to feel the need to hide a gambling problem, and particularly when online gambling is so accessible it can be easy to hide the habit. We know that for women considering getting help for a gambling problem, talking to someone can be very hard. 

As a woman, you might imagine that treatment for a gambling problem is aimed at men and delivered by men. In fact this is not the case.

Don’t lose heart

• Be kind to yourself. This can help reduce your need to gamble.

• Gambling problems can be overwhelming, but there is hope – it is possible to break a gambling dependency.

• It can take time to change. Remember, you don’t have to do it all on your own.

• If you feel the urge to gamble, it might help you to speak to someone on the phone for immediate support we provide.

• If you gamble online, you can access blocking software to help you avoid gambling sites. Examples are or

We can help you with one call to us.

Talking to a problem gambler

Posted on May 31, 2017 at 9:50 PM

Sometimes, family and friends will spot the problem first, because the gambler might be convincing him or herself that everything is fine when really it isn't.

Let the gambler know the reason you're concerned is that you care about them. It's also helpful to use positive communications rather than being confrontational or critical. You could try talking about how you're feeling by using 'I' messages to lessen defences and keep lines of communication open. Below are some examples, but it's important to be genuine and talk to the gambler in a natural way. 

"You're my friend and I'm upset because I see you doind things that are really risky"

"I can see you're not happy at the moment and it upsets me. I want to help"

"I love you and I don't want you to hurt yourself. Talk to me about what's going on"

Once you've started the conversation, listen carefully to their response. Don't jump in or cut them off mid sentence, as this might drive them back into their shell or make them defensive. Being calm and caring is really important, but don't allow them to make excuses for their gambling and certainly don't help them out with money, as this could make the problem much worse.

For more help and advice about talking to a problem gambler, please contact us and all correspondence is treated in strictest confidence. 

Problem Gambling: A Guide for Families

Posted on May 28, 2017 at 9:05 AM

Since you are reading this you are probably already worried that gambling is harming your family.

Trust your feelings. Families often know something is wrong—but not what is wrong.

People with gambling problems may cover up or lie when you ask where they have been, or where money has gone. This makes problem gambling hard to identify.

Here are some common signs of gambling problems. The more clues you see, the more likely that gambling is a problem.

Money clues

•Money is missing from the house or from bank accounts.

•Your family member is secretive and bad-tempered about money. He or she hides bank and credit card statements.

•The person borrows money through credit cards, through bank loans or from family and friends.

•Bills are piling up, payments are missed and creditors are calling.

•Insurance plans are cashed in, or payments are not made.

•Valuables disappear and reappear.

•Your family member takes on extra jobs,but you don’t see any extra money.

•The person is always short of money.

•The person juggles money to gamble or pay debts.

Emotional clues 

•Withdraws from family and friends

•Seems anxious or far away, or has difficulty paying attention.

•Has mood swings and sudden outbursts of anger

•Sometimes feels good about himself or herself (when the person is winning)

•Complains of boredom or restlessness •is depressed and/or suicidal.

Time clues

Your family member:

•is often late for work or school

•is gone for long, unexplained periods.

Changes in behaviour

Your family member:

•stops doing things he or she used to enjoy

•changes patterns of sleep, eating or sex

•Doesn’t do as he or she says, or makes excuses

•Doesn’t take care of himself or herself, orignores work, school or family tasks

•Uses alcohol or other drugs more often

•Doesn’t take proper care of the children

•Misses family events

•Thinks and talks about gambling all the time

•Changes friends (particularly with teens)

•Has more health or stress problems (e.g., headaches, stomach and bowel problems)

•Lies about gambling

•Doesn’t want to spend money on anything except gambling

•Cheats or steals for money to gamble or pay debts

•Has money conflicts with other people

•Has legal problems over gambling.

There is Help if you think a friend or family member has a gambling problem. Over the next few weeks we will look at the help available.

Is remote gambling getting in the way of the life you want to live?

Posted on May 20, 2017 at 3:20 AM

Remote gambling refers to any form of gambling accessed either through the internet, using a mobile telephone or wireless handset or through interactive television. Whilst still new compared to traditional ways of accessing gambling, we know that remote gambling has just as much potential to cause problems and that the 24/7 nature of its avaiability may cause futher difficulty.

People who have contacted me, who are sufferring through remote gambling problem, often reflect on the following:

  • Loss of a sense of reality regarding time and money spent gambling
  • The speed at which they have lost money and the ability to chase losses immediately
  • Difficulty in avoiding access and exposure to remote gambling opportunities
  • That they didn't fully understand how gambling remotely worked or were overwhelmed by the speed

How can I stop remote gambling?

There are a few strategies you can consider to help you make accessing remote gambling more difficult, but keep in mind that physical barriers may only be part of the solution.
It may be necessary to explore the reasons behind why your gambling became a problem in the first place.

We can help you to find these strategies and look behind the reasons gambling became a problem.