The importance of pleasant activities

Every day we do things because we have to. Think about it… a lot of our day is often filled up with tasks such as our job, grocery shopping, filling the car with petrol, mowing the lawn, vacuuming the house…the list goes on! While these things do need to be done, they are not rewarding … Continue reading The importance of pleasant activities

Supporting others

If you have experienced problem gambling, or maybe still are, it is likely you have experienced a wide range of distressing consequences. This may include, to name a few: financial hardship, feelings of depression and anxiety, and relationship problems. Perhaps one (and likely the only) advantage of having suffered through this is that you are … Continue reading Supporting others

Why should I understand the poker machines?

An understanding of the ways in which the poker machines operate is an important part in treatment of problem gambling. We may assume we understand how these machines work because we play them often or because ‘people have told us how they work’. However, an accurate understanding of the poker machines must include an understanding … Continue reading Why should I understand the poker machines?

What is Return to Player?

If you are a regular pokies player, you’ve probably heard of something called the 'Return to Player Percentage'. It is something often talked about but not always well understood. It is important to clarify what Return to Player Percentage is, as misunderstandings can lead to problem gambling. By law, every poker machine in Australia must … Continue reading What is Return to Player?

Losing big

Professional Golfer John Daly has always been a maverick in a sport known for its conservative image. He is also a bit of a gambler. In a recent media interview Daly revealed he lost a staggering $55 million between 1991 and 2007. For a long time Daly didn’t know how much he’s lost. He thought … Continue reading Losing big

What have you got to lose?

“What’s the point of getting treatment for my gambling? Why would speaking to a complete stranger about it help? What would they know that could possibly make a difference? And besides, I don’t want to anyone to know about my gambling. I’d hate to show my face at one of those clinics.” Have you ever … Continue reading What have you got to lose?

Inside the counselling room

Despite Hollywood portrayals, counselling is not lying on a long leather couch talking about your mother.. Did you know that only one in ten people who experience problems with gambling are in treatment at any given time? That’s a very low percentage, especially given the many negative consequences of problem gambling. It got me thinking … Continue reading Inside the counselling room

The signs of relapse

Gambling can be a very difficult thing to stop - it is a process that takes time, energy and often there are bumps along the way. However people do get there and often feel relieved after going a considerable period of time without gambling. This sense of relief from ceasing gambling activities can come with … Continue reading The signs of relapse

Acceptance and commitment – Part II

In Part I, I talked about acceptance - acceptance of what cannot be changed in life and of our imperfections. Today I want to talk about how to commit to taking action on what we can change, so that we can live a richer and more meaningful life in line with our values. What are … Continue reading Acceptance and commitment – Part II

Acceptance and commitment – Part I

It’s 5pm, knockoff time. You just got paid today. You are thinking of dropping into the club on the way home and going for an hour on the pokies. You’ll withdraw $100 and if you lose that, that’s it. There’s a little voice at the back of your head saying you won’t be able to … Continue reading Acceptance and commitment – Part I