Gambling counselling.

Gambling counselling internationally.  Do you want to change gambling problems?   Brian Dennis Counselling.

I practise counselling via the internet to clients who have gambling problems and want to stop gambling.  I am a professional counsellor practising in UK and worldwide by internet.

Many gamblers do not easily accept that there is a problem with their gambling. There will often be an external input that will 'define' a problem.  That 'external' input will commonly be: -  a bank problem, e.g. a bounced cheque / unpaid bills / etc; a family member realising that bills have not been paid / cash machine refusing withdrawal / etc.

This indicates that some, or many, gamblers need the external influence or information to shift them into the phase of wanting to change the gambling habit.

Gambling can be a fun occupation for many people. Other people find that their gambling evolves to be a severe problem. Gambling may seriously damage, or destroy, relationships, family trust and friendships; as well as having a destructive financial impact on the gambler's and others' lives.

Stopping gambling can be a one-time change of life. It will involve considerable personal effort and some costs. Gambling is an emotional decision then an action, which is why counselling can be effective.

Private counselling implies a cost; however people who invest their time, emotional effort and personal cost are more likely to value those efforts and result in changing their lifestyle of gambling.

If you wish to stop gambling, I can help you. I cannot garantee you will stop; that will result from your efforts and  your decision. We will work towards developing your efforts to stop.

We will work on the phases of change: understanding the existing situation, understanding where you want to be, developing motivations for that change and the tools to make that change. There may be relapses - which can be considered as bumps in the road, not a total car crash.

Problem gamblers will often have many excuses for not stopping. Those may include:  "its only a little bet", "it is not often", "it doesn't do any harm", "I usually win", etc. Those gamblers are negating, distorting, or denying the almost certain results of gambling.

For many partners and family, the efforts of having continuous fear of the probable results of gambling is often not worth any benefits of the relationship; then the relationship stops, at some or all levels.

In some ways 'gambling', or taking a chance, is natural and inherent to humans - it is how primitive mankind survived. Humans tried various foods and lifestyles;  if they guessed correctly they survived, if incorrectly they might not. Examples of those necessary guesses, or gambles, were: which berries are good or poisonous, which cave is safe or dangerous, which animals can be hunted and considered as food, which animals were dangerous.

Gambling is an industry which, cleverly, appeals to many people. Gamblers know that they are more likely to lose than to win, however they fool themselves into believing that they will win - against the odds. The industry encourages that self-deception and lack of reality. Disassociation is the overall ambition of the gambling industry - they are good at getting it.

The gambling industry uses many techniques and tools to influence people towards making irrational decisions to gamble, or continue gambling. The industry has fine-tuned the gambling attraction process during many years, it continues to do so. 

Nobody was born as a gambler. Therefore, it is a habit which was learned. Accepting that learned habits, including gambling, can be changed is often a large part of the process of stopping gambling. One useful example of habits for many people is the way they fold their arms - a simple habit, learned at a young age. Many people will find it difficult to change the way they fold their arms to the other manner, yet it is only a habit. Realising that people can change that habit opens the possibility that they can change, and stop, their gambling habits.

In counselling we work to understand the gambling habits and tendencies. We work towards building motivations to stop gambling. Changing the habit of gambling can be difficult for many people, they may be battling against a long-term habit which is also an inbuilt natural tendency. Every gambler is different, their habits are different, their motivations are different, their resolve and dependance levels are different. Those individual differences mean that a common 'menu' of how to stop gambling is unlikely to work for most gamblers, it is why individual counselling is most effective in changing the individual person to be a non-gambler. We then work towards developing motivations so that the client can use rational judgement as to the activity of gambling.

When a person is stressed, anxious, worried, has fear, etc. they are more likely to go back to a habit which the brain remembers as a comfort place. Often that brain memory will be selective; remembering the reward centre of winning, whilst not including the losing a relationship or career, other opportunities as well as other associated negative aspects.  It is why a person who made efforts to give up smoking may have a cigarette before a big exam or test.

Stopping gambling is possible, if the motivation is there and the counselling is really used and engaged with by the client.   

Additional information is available at my other website:

For a prompt appointment, call or text: 07757 233386 (UK). I may be with a client, or otherwise occupied, in which case please leave a message with your contact number. I will respond promptly.   Or email:        Or use the contact page to send me an email.