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Switching the lens: Using a relational stance to see beyond the disorder

Kaufman, Anna (2015). Switching the lens: Using a relational stance to see beyond the disorder. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


The recent relaxation in gambling laws, combined with an increase in availability of gaming facilities online and on high streets, plus increased advertising has been linked to a rise in problem gambling in the United Kingdom. Researchers assert that gambling support services often do not meet the needs of people seeking help for their gambling problems. In particular, the gender-specific needs of males and females are neglected. Previous studies have found significant differences between males and females with gambling problems, indicating differing treatment needs, yet the majority of research is quantitative and mainly focuses on male samples. In response to the deficit of qualitative research in this area, this study has investigated the lived experience of female problem gamblers who have presented for treatment at a clinic in London. Participants were eight women who received individual cognitive-behavioural therapy treatment at the clinic. Three main themes emerged from the interview data: 1) running from the pain of loss; 2) the conflict of seeking treatment; and 3) negotiating relationships. The findings provide insights into women’s perspectives on the experience of seeking and receiving treatment, including the internal and external barriers that they face and some of the challenges they must overcome throughout their treatment journey. A compelling relational dimension emerged from their accounts, and their experiences were found to be fundamentally founded on their experiences of relationships. This supports the notion that more attention should be paid to the interpersonal aspect of treatment and the therapeutic alliance. The implications of the emergent themes are discussed with particular reference to informing Counselling Psychologists and service providers about how to improve treatment intervention as well as informing policy makers.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
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