Gambling Addiction Counselling

Hello, my name is Michael Batkin. Welcome to my gambling addiction web page. Please also visit my home page. Here you can learn more about my approach and other specialist counselling interests.

There are thought to be over half a million people in the UK experiencing problem gambling or in gambling addiction. Gambling for some can be very addictive; the adrenaline rush associated with the possibility of pulling off a big win is often described as an unbeatable feeling. It is now easier than ever before to gamble, with a huge number of online betting shops and games sites enabling people to gamble 24 hours a day.

Most people can control the desire to gamble and if they start losing, they will stop. However, for some, the possibility of a win is extremely enticing and they will carry on going until they win, regardless of how much money they lose and the associated consequences. This could lead to dependency issues or the person being on a path to this destination if untreated.

Do you have any of these gambling addiction symptoms?

  • Is gambling on your mind a lot?
  • Are you always trying to find ways to get money for gambling?
  • Have you been secretive or deceitful about your gambling?
  • Have friends and family questioned you about your gambling habits?
  • Have you ever borrowed or stolen money?
  • Do you try and convince yourself and others that you do not have a gambling problem?
  • Do you gamble despite the impact on your relationships?
  • Do you gamble even when you financially can’t afford to lose?

If you answer yes to one or more of the above, this would indicate problem gambling or gambling addiction.

Debt: Is gambling affecting your finances?

Are you:

  • Spending more than you would like on gambling?
  • Struggling to find the money for bills?
  • Taking out loans or credit cards to cover debts?

A common issue of problematic gambling is debt, and yet debt is also used by many gamblers as a reason to continue this behaviour. The gambling can at least in part become driven by an attempt to recoup the debt. It plays a contradictory role at the heart of the gambling experience for many problem gamblers.

Gambling addiction counselling

In counselling it is important to explore both past and present situations that may hold relevance to your gambling problem. In counselling, I  take a holistic and integrative approach, working thoroughly to identify and work through issues that influence engagement in impaired control, or out of control gambling. The focus of the work is on the thoughts and feelings that motivate the behaviour.

Problem gamblers often experience low self-esteem, stress, anxiety and depression. These symptoms can also be mirrored by a partner or other loved ones of the gambler, often also accompanied by anger. The gambler usually carries a weight of shame due to having loss of control and how this affects others.

My preferred way of working is to initiate sessions on a weekly basis. As the work progresses and the behaviour changes this can change to fortnightly, three weekly and monthly before ending. To have a progressive ending by tapering off the support I find best practice, particularly when working with addictive behaviour.

If you require gambling addiction counselling in Stoke-on-Trent please feel free to contact me by way of your preferred method. This could be by way of a telephone call, email or text.

“I count him braver who conquers his desires than him who conquers his enemies for the hardest victory is over self”. Aristotle