Cottonwood therapists are experienced in the process of assessment of pathological gambling, including knowledge of common differential and co-occurring diagnoses and emotional health issues associated with problematic gambling.
We also understand the neurobiology of pathological gambling – especially as it relates to the affective and cognitive aspects of the most common subtypes of pathological gambling – action (gambling activities that require a lot of decision making by the gambler: ex. hold ‘em poker, sports betting and blackjack) and escape gambling (gambling activities that require little or no decision making by the gambler: ex. slots, bingo, scratch-offs) – and the different neurobiological reward responses thought to be triggered by each of these types of gambling activity.
Cottonwood’s clinicians are also well versed in the counseling approaches and therapeutic interventions that both action and escape gamblers respond to best – in all phases of the treatment process. We understand the causes and conditions that best promote recovery from pathological gambling – including the value of abstinence from all forms of gambling and the mood enhancing benefits of positive psychosocial support. Cottonwood’s clinical team also show our gambling patients how good nutrition and moderate exercise can optimize the action of neurotransmitters associated with a feeling of wellbeing – neurotransmitters that may suffer disregulation through pathological gambling.
Addictions such as compulsive gambling often exist in tandem with co-occurring mood disorders like anxiety and depression, or with other addictions. Learn more about Cottonwood’s commitment to identifying co-occurring disorders.