Treatment Programs at The Problem Gambling Center
The Problem Gambling Center is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code. We do not accept insurance for individual or group therapy services. The cost of each program is a $10.00 co-pay. The Problem Gambling Center has never turned a client away for not being able to pay for treatment. We thank those in our community who have sponsored the work we do. Without their generous support, these programs would not be available.
The Intensive Out-Patient Program
The Problem Gambling Center Las Vegas offers its services to all Clark County residents who suffer from a gambling problem. The initial screenings and assessments are performed by state certified problem gambling counselors or interns using gambling specific assessment criteria. If it is determined the
individual meets the criteria for a compulsive gambler, he/she will be entered into the intensive outpatient program (IOP).
PGC's treatment approach incorporates three interrelated components. All of these components emphasize cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), an approach cited in the research literature as the most effective strategy for problem gambling treatment (National Research Council, 1999).
Education is the first component of treatment. During these sessions, counselors present the patient with the most recent scientific knowledge available in order to better understand and combat this disorder. In particular, advances in medical, genetic, and societal research are emphasized. The second component, counseling, allows problem gamblers access to state certified counselors and interns. The counseling program teaches patients to take responsibility for their actions and to organize their lives in a responsible manner. It also focuses on practical strategies to avoid succumbing to urges to gamble. The final component emphasizes cognitive-behavioral therapy directly, and focuses on changing thoughts and behavior. Problem gamblers are taught not only about an alternative way of behaving, but also an approach to changing the thought processes which contributed to their addiction.
These three components are incorporated into an "intensive outpatient program" (IOP). The six week program consists of four, 3 hour sessions a week. The outpatient model allows patients to continue to work and live their lives, but within a structured and proven system of care.
The treatment goals are to:
* Enable the individual to stop gambling
* Strengthen the individual's self-esteem
* Aid in developing alternative sources of gratification and recreation
* Help the individual to accept the need to make restitution, and assist with plans to make restitution
Graduates of the intensive out-patient program attend a weekly aftercare program for one year. Attendance in this follow-up program reinforces treatment principles and provides a continuing support system for problem gamblers and their families.
Financial counseling will be offered to all clients of the Problem Gambling Center. Through an agreement with Financial Guidance Center (FGC), clients requiring one-on-one help with their financial situations will receive referrals to FGC where they will receive, at no cost, financial counseling services for as long as they need the help. In addition, a representative from FGC will speak to the group, once every six weeks, detailing options for resolving their financial problems. Clients will receive specific program information offered through Financial Guidance Center. The Problem Gambling Center has had an ongoing productive relationship with FGC and has found the programs offered to our clients to be extremely beneficial.
Older Adult Community Care Program
The older adult community, including retirees and the disabled, appears to have a higher rate of problem gambling than previous measures of the general population in Southern Nevada (Preston, Shapiro, and Keene, in press). Yet this demographic group, whether living alone or in adult communities,
has often been the hardest population to reach when attempting to provide problem gambling treatment. Until recently, mental health problems carried a
strong stigma – especially among older adults. Because of this, many older adults are resistant to the idea of treatment for mental health problems.
Other reasons behind this resistance include physical disabilities, financial hardship, and lack of Research conducted on older adults in Southern Nevada suggests that based upon NODS, (an instrument developed for the National Gambling Impact Study Commission) 2.0% of the area’s older adults can be labeled as problem gamblers, (meaning they reach slightly sub-clinical levels of the disorder), while another 1.8% qualify as pathological gamblers, (meaning they meet the diagnostic criteria for the disorder). TheProblem Gambling Center’s senior citizen outreach program (Older Adult Community Care Program) offers treatment, transportation options, and on-site individual and group counseling for problem gamblers. The program encourages seniors with gambling problems to get help from our experienced staff of certified counselors, either at our Center or at community centers and communities in the Las Vegas valley. The program provides transportation vouchers for those seniors who are physically able to attend the intensive outpatient program at the ProblemGambling Center. The four day a week program for problem gamblers offers world-class treatment with an outstanding success rate and incredible support system. For those seniors who are physically unable to attend our facility, our dedicated counselors provide counseling services at senior community centers throughout Las Vegas.
Our family programs are based on our belief that recovery from addiction is a family process. Family participation, education, and recovery are vital to the
successful outcome of long-term sustained recovery and change for the problem gambler. Our program is designed to guide families on how to be okay emotionally, spiritually, and mentally whether the problem gambler continues in abstinence or not. We offer support, education, and assistance in identifying leverage and healthy boundaries. PGC currently offers group and individual therapy options for its family members. During 2011 PGC treated 345 family members.
Individual Counseling Program
The Individual Counseling Program provides one on one treatment for clients to experience self discovery in a private setting. Each client receives at least six sessions with a State of Nevada Certified Problem Gambling Counselor. These sessions are scheduled simultaneously with the Intensive Out-Patient program, providing additional time for the development of necessary life and coping skills. The Individual Counseling Program offers an atmosphere that
allows our clients to examine problematic core issues that may continue to hinder recovery.
 Preston, F., Shapiro, P., and Keene, J. (in press). “Older Adult Gambling in Southern Nevada: Demographic and Pathological Gambling Analyses.” American Behavioral Scientist.