WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE
This informal intervention procedure may help you approach the gambler and encourage him/her to get help. These suggestions are not intended as a substitute for a professional intervention conducted under the guidance of a counselor, psychologist or other health care professional. If you suspect that the gambler needs inpatient treatment, seek the advice and assistance of a certified compulsive gambling counselor (a list of professionals is available on this website or by calling the Arizona Council).
Information about Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon meetings in Arizona is also available on this website. You may wish to have this information available at the time you discuss the problem with the gambler.
As you list the gambler’s behaviors and identify your feelings in the Documentation step, you will recall past pain, losses, anger and resentment. Depending on your history, doing this without the support of a professional or a support group could be devastating. A counselor who is trained in intervention can help you prepare for confronting your loved one. The Arizona Council can help with referrals. We also recommend Mary Heineman’s booklet, When Someone You Love Gambles, available through Hazelden.
Sometimes, no matter what you do or don't do, the gambler will continue to gamble. If none of your efforts encourage the gambler to stop gambling or seek help, it is important that you avoid becoming an "enabler."
Seek professional counseling for yourself and join Gam-Anon where available.