The rise in awareness of Women affected by gambling harm over the past 12 months has been very welcome but it also highlights the fact that Women are underrepresented in terms of treatment available for gambling addiction especially, for those at the more severe end of the spectrum. Gordon Moody has extensive experience in treating women through our Retreat and Counselling programme as well as specialising in residential treatment for gambling addiction which outs us in a unique position to design a residential programme specific to the needs of women. With our first pilot starting in November, we caught up with service manager Harp and her team.


How will the programme differ from the men’s residential?

Unlike the men’s model of 12 weeks the women’s service will be much shorter at 4 weeks long. Based on focus sessions held by our existing women’s treatment team we consulted with lived experience as well as leading experts in the field of women’s gambling harm a shorter more intense programme was believed to be more suited to women’s needs. 28 days allows us the opportunity to have a structured programme whilst still allowing our clients time to spend on themselves “a respite from their reality” which for many would be chaotic.

For many of our clients their day-to-day life is dominated by a purpose to support others whether that being caring for dependants or work responsibilities we often hear that their gambling is “the only thing they do for themselves” a form of self-medication. Our programme will break this cycle and dispel some of these negative core beliefs.

Whilst the length and content of the programme differs to our men’s residential treatment, women accessing this programme will also receive the pre and post treatment support given to all those who access any of our programmes.

Why a Women’s Service?

What can service users expect to experience during the programme?

The 4 weeks will represent a journey, each session within the 4 weeks will focus on different areas of recovery including trauma, confidence building, mindfulness, negative core beliefs, budgeting and safer internet use. Across 30 sessions and weekly 1 to 1s as well as a weekly cohort meeting and daily wellbeing check ins the programme will provide a holistic approach to our service user’s needs.

Each week will bring a different theme starting with awareness of the gambling issues as well as wider issues such as trauma, mental health, coping mechanisms and self-medication that may present in our service users. We will explore the needs of our service users and begin to explore negative behaviour patterns and core beliefs so that our clients can begin to challenge their own narrative replacing a self-defeating belief system with positive thought.

Our service users will become empowered learning practical tools to stay gambling free exploring alternatives to gambling, building confidence, skills and knowledge.

As the programme concludes, we will support our service users in building resilience ahead of re-engaging with their community looking at relapse prevention and putting a plan in place to cope with triggers and trapdoors as well as supporting with relationships, budgeting and ongoing needs which can be addressed in their ongoing post-treatment support.

What advice would you give to women suffering from gambling harm?

Simply that there is hope. Women suffering from gambling harm often feel alone and isolated. We are here to show women that they are not alone and that with the right treatment people can and do recover from addiction and go on to live fulfilled and positive lives.

We would urge any woman affected by gambling harm to reach out to Gordon Moody and take their first steps towards recovery. Together we can tackle gambling addiction.


Meet the team…..

Harp – Women’s Residential Service Manager

Harp has worked in the addictions therapy field for over 11 years and has provided counselling and psychotherapy sessions to an array of different women who have presented with different physical, mental, social and environmental needs. Harp is passionate about driving services to provide holistic, safe , therapeutic environments such as the one we provide here at Gordon Moody.

Steve – Therapist

Steve has worked in residential and community addictions services since 2006. Having studied addictions counselling and treatment studies Steve ensures effective evidence-based practice can be provided to service users and their families providing the opportunity to develop a life free from addiction.

Davina – Therapist

Davina has over 18 years’ experience, skills and knowledge in providing emotional and practical support as well as tailoring targeted interventions in various fields such as Addictions, Crime and ASB, housing, Mental Health, Health, Modern Slavery and Domestic Violence.

Karen – Therapist

Karen’s passion is to make positive changes to peoples lives. Karen has worked as a counsellor for people from various backgrounds and hopes to create an open and supportive environment for women to overcome their gambling addictions at Gordon Moody.

Gordon Moody

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