A Narrative Analysis of Help-seeking Behaviour and Critical Change Points for Recovering Problem Gamblers: The Power of Storytelling

Elaine Nuske, Nerilee Hing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Proportionately few problem gamblers seek formal help for gambling problems. However, research into gambling help-seeking behaviour is limited, especially qualitative studies capturing experiences of recovery. This paper conducted narrative analysis of in-depth interviews relating the help-seeking behaviour of 10 recovering problem gamblers. A common temporal sequence moved from self-help, professional and nonprofessional help, then returned to self-help, in a journey that emphasised the importance of their sharing of narratives. Key themes in the plot structures were: self-loathing and loss of identity; fear of failure, of the loss of the gambling experience, and of being judged; negotiation of control, being in control, and needing to be in control; changing based on insight, cognitive behavioural interventions, or integrative interventions; and finally, the shared narrative. The findings highlight the need for policy makers and practitioners to acknowledge the power of narrative and to open the door to a broader community awareness of problem gambling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-55
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Social Work
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

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