Counselling is free to anyone affected by problem gambling, not just the person who gambles, but partners, family, friends, children. In most areas, you’’ll find at least one agency that offers counselling for problem gambling. Phone (1800 858 858) and online counselling www.gamblinghelponline.org.au is also available using either email or instant chat. These services are available 24 hours a day, every day.
Problem gambling counsellors are specially trained to understand your difficulties. There is no shame in seeking help. It’s the first step to regaining control of gambling and working to solve problems gambling has caused.
Financial counselling or credit and debt counselling services, legal help, family counselling and other resources are also available.
Some centres offer evening and weekend appointments for face-to-face counselling. Counselling can be one-on-one, or with your partner or family. Group counselling may also be available.
Counselling is confidential. Before counselling begins, your counsellor will tell you what you can expect from counselling, and what will be expected of you. You’ll decide with your counsellor how often you want help and what you want to talk about. You can find details of the Gambling Help centre closest to you clicking here
How Can Counselling Help Me?
People often wonder if they will have to stop gambling to begin counselling. You don’t. You’ll decide if you want to cut down on gambling or quit. Your counsellor will not pressure you to make changes before you are ready.
Gambling affects people in different ways. Problem gambling counsellors give you information about gambling including the odds of winning and how different kinds of gambling works.
They’ll help you look at various options so you can decide what will work best for you.
With a counsellor you might decide to take a break from gambling. Starting by setting a goal to be gambling free for a week. It might include setting a gambling budget and managing money to prioritise essentials, bills and debt repayments.
Some people know what changes they want to make through counselling and what action they want to take. Others aren’t sure. Either way, counselling will help you think about how gambling affects you, and support you until you are back in control.
Gambling counselling is a learning process
Gambling is easily misunderstood and many people have misconceptions about gambling, how easy it is to win, things you can do to improve your chances of winning, how with a win our life will change etc. Many of these ideas are not based on fact. They’re beliefs we’ve developed around systems or superstitions that lead to spending more to win more or chasing losses. In most cases, the end result doesn’t support our beliefs around gambling – we just lose more and losses can lead to debt, financial stress and a lot of other problems.
With new information, counselling can help you make good decisions – informed decisions – about the likely outcome of gambling.
Counsellors can also help you better manage some of the things that might have led you to problem gambling like boredom or stress.
Learning different ways to handle stress, healthy relaxation techniques, extending your social network, finding other things to do with your time are some of the areas counselling can help with.
Financial counselling can also help you put your finances in order. Financial counsellors can advocate on you behalf with creditors, help with debt consolidation and budgeting.
Counselling generally helps with getting your life back in balance, dealing with your urges to gamble and supporting you so you don’t slip back into problem gambling behaviours. In supporting you to take control of you life, counselling can also help heal relationships damaged by the mistrust and feelings of betrayal often associated with gambling.
Give counselling a try, it’s about specialist support, no one will judge you. All Gambling Help services are free and confidential. Counsellors are experienced and understand gambling, call 1800 858 858 to speak with a counsellor and for referral to free face-to-face counselling services near you or enter your postcode into the search box on the homepage at www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au for service details.
Perhaps begin with emailing or instant chatting with a counsellor click here to start talking to an expert www.gamblinghelponline.org.au