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Compulsive Gambling

Dr Vicki has specialised in treating individuals suffering from gambling – especially compulsive gaming machine gambling and has a comprehensive understanding of the uniqueness of individuals and families experiencing gambling-related harm and an expert knowledge of gambling harm in both the New Zealand context and international jurisdictions.

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What is compulsive gambling?

Compulsive gambling or problem gambling affects millions of individuals and families world-wide and is characterised by DSM-5 as:

Persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behaviour leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as indicated by the individual exhibiting four (or more) of the following in a 12-month period:


  • Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement.
  • Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
  • Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
  • Is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble).
  • Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed).
  • After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses).
  • Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.
  • Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of gambling.
  • Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling.
  • The gambling behaviour is not better explained by a manic episode.


(Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (section 312.31) 


Dr Vicki’s approach

Dr Vicki from July 1999 – August 2018 has treated thousands of individuals wishing to reduce/abstain from gambling all over New Zealand including multiple nationalities and ethnicities in both 1-Day Workshops and Group Therapy approaches.

For statistical effectiveness of Dr Vicki’s therapeutic approach for treating individuals with gambling issues please see the statistical summaries of the change in Ministry of Health (MOH) measures between the start of each Woodlands Trust One-Day educational seminar or Group Therapy course and the 1-month, 3-months, 6-months and 12-months follow-up (2004 to 2017 period).

Make an enquiry

Do you or a loved one have a problem with gambling? Dr Vicki is here to help. Contact her by following the form below: