Often, when a client books a session of hypnotherapy for gambling addiction, they don’t turn up on the day. Mostly, they don’t even cancel in advance. I assume two things here – they’ve spent the money and can no longer afford the appointment; and they are too embarrassed to say. Colleagues have reported the same experience.

How to apply hypnotherapy for gambling when it’s urge driven

Understanding the driving force is central to resolving this addiction. From the gambling clients I have seen, the motivation is usually that one or both of the following:

  • The client has a compulsive urge and is constantly seeking a reward
  • The client has uses gambling as a device for personal time and personal space where they can relax and where no-one else can bother them.

The idea of gambling for relaxation might seem like a contradiction when you consider the rush that a lot of people experience when they gamble. When they win they’re high and when they lose they’ get depressed they’re low.

By far, a majority of the clients I have seen for gambling have a problem with urge control. They may also have other compulsive behaviours that go along with it, and that might include OCD or obsessive compulsive behaviour.

With urge control I use an anxiety technique to interrupt the pattern of the urge. I may also do a timeline regression to break patterns relating to their initial interest in gambling. There are several NLP techniques which can assist in making the client feel differently about gambling also.

Using hypnotherapy for gambling involves leading the client to envisage a different future, one where s/he is free of the addiction. The hypnosis will include the benefits of being free over the bind of being in a state of addiction and brig the client to an internal realisation of the choice. It’s one thing to know logically that they would be better off not gambling, and another thing to know internally.

Hypnotherapy for gambling when it’s used for relaxation

In clients who gamble as ‘time out’, where they can be away from others and let loose, gambling can be just as addictive as gamblers who chase the rush. Relaxation gamblers don’t avoid that high and that low – it’s a fun ride and that’s why they’ve chosen it. The difference is that they’re typically not motivated by the urge, they are motivated by the need for ‘me time’.

With these gamblers the hypnotherapy emphasis is centred more on finding alternative behaviours for them to do in order to get that ‘me time’. For them it’s just a bad habit rather than an urge. If time out is a really strong driver, these clients might also be experiencing anxiety. (Needless to say, losing doesn’t do much to help anxiety.)

There are some very good NLP techniques I use to find these alternative behaviours. Basically, at the end of a losing streak, you’re not going to feel that you’ve had your time out because you’re going to be depressed or stressed. Even when you win, you know you’re just going to lose it. That’s the irony – the appeal is the chance, the possibility, the hope, and that’s what makes it fun for this group, yet it’s a certainty that they’re going to lose. If not today, tomorrow.

Using hypnotherapy for gambling, in both categories, requires that you have enough to lose. That’s not an issue for most people. The stakes need to be fairly clear. If there is a safety net and the lost money is not enough of a deterrent, you have to think about what else you lose, such as the respect of someone you care about. There needs to be a reason to stop.

If you would like to quit and want to try hypnotherapy for gambling, we can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast.