The Four Phases of Gambling

Alex Robboy, CAS, MSW, LCSW
Individual, Couples & Family Therapy
IMAGO Certified Marriage Counselor
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor
Founder & Director of the Center for Growth Inc.

Posted by: Alex Robboy
CAS, MSW, LCSW Individual, Couples & Family Therapy IMAGO Certified Marriage Counselor AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor Founder & Director of the Center for Growth Inc.
267-324-9564

The four phases of gambling

The Winning Phase: (four phases of gambling) Gamblers experience many wins. During this phase, they feel a rush.  Typically, they are excited and have unreasonable optimism that their good fortune will continue.  During this phase the amount of money placed on a bet increases.

The Losing Phase: (four phases of gambling) Gamblers begin to lose.  During this phase, it is common for gamblers to remember their winnings, and brag about their past successes.  During this phase, gamblers tend to borrow money and sometimes obtain money illegally.  Frequently, gamblers begin to lye to their friends and family.  They often withdraw and are sad.  During this phase, many gamblers begin to plot out how they will ‘win’ the money back.  Frequently gamblers do win again. However, the win is transient, because …. Reality sets in, leading to the desperation phase.

The Desperation Phase: (four phases of gambling) Gamblers spend a lot of time gambling. During this phase when they lose money, they frequently experience remorse, guilt, blame others for their behaviors and isolate.  Out of desperation, some gamblers finance their addiction through illegal activities such as theft from family, friends and employers. In this phase, gamblers can become depressed, hopeless, and have thoughts of suicide. 

The Getting Help Phase:  (four phases of gambling) Gamblers being to acknowledge to themselves that they have a problem. They seek help. Seeking help is different for each person. Common strategies: Simply stopping, reading self-help, enlisting the support of friends and family, attending a 12-step group, and others seeking individual therapy. Some people need to hit rock bottom before they can stop, and others simply have a moment of truth where they can no longer hide from themselves.    Initially, in the getting help phase, gamblers feel a tremendous sense of relief, fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment and vulnerability.  In the getting help phase, gamblers are beginning to take control of their own life, as opposed to letting the gambling control them.

Help is available 267 324 9564 Center for Growth / Gambling Addiction Therapy in Philadelphia