Gambling and Gaming Problem Relapse Prevention Group

Group Objective

This group helps formulate a relapse prevention plan for gambling, gaming, and other behavioral health disorders. Participants will learn how to identify triggers that lead to relapse, develop coping strategies to interrupt, avoid or diffuse the triggers and create a prevention plan to manage potential risk of future relapse.

Sessions Outline:

Session 1 – Introduction and establish agreed upon group rules. Review how relapse prevention can provide tools to support participants from engaging in behaviors they are trying to avoid.

Session 2 – The group participants will learn to identify the various triggers that lead to relapse including internal triggers, external triggers, and sensory triggers.

Session 3 – The group participants will learn techniques to manage triggers by defusing, avoiding, and interrupting the identified triggers.

Session 4 – Principle 1: Self Regulations –
Relapse Prevention Procedure 1: Stabilization. Participants will learn to increase capacity to self-regulate thinking, feeling, memory, judgment, and behavior to decrease risk of relapse. 
Principle 2: Integration –
Relapse Prevention Procedure 2: Self- Assessment. Participants will complete a detailed reconstruction of the presenting problem and of their use history with identifying critical issues that can trigger relapse.

Session 5 – Principle 3: Understanding –
Relapse Prevention Principle 3: Relapse Education. The risk of relapse will decrease as the understanding of the general factors that cause relapse increases.
Principle 4: Self-Knowledge –
Relapse Prevention Procedure 4: Warning sign Identification. Identify the sequence of problems that led from stable recovery to relapse by reviewing and analyzing warning signs.

Session 6 – Principle 5: Coping Skills –
Relapse Prevention Procedure 5: Warning Sign Management. Participants will learn how to manage or cope with their warning signs.
Principle 6: Change –
Relapse Prevention Procedure 6: Recovery Planning. Participants will develop a schedule of recovery activities that will help recognize and manage warning signs.

Session 7 – Principle 7: Awareness –
Relapse Prevention Procedure 7: Inventory Training. Participants will complete daily inventories monitoring compliance with the recovery program and the emergence of relapse warning signs.
Principle 8: Significant Others –
Relapse Prevention Procedure 8: Involvement of Others. Participants will develop a support network of family members, 12-step program sponsors, counselors, and peers to support their recovery.

Session 8 – Principle 9: Maintenance –
Relapse Prevention Procedure 9: Relapse Prevention Plan Updating. Participants will understand how to review and update their relapse prevention plan to ensure strategies continue to be effective. Conclude group by summarizing the group’s experience and identifying skills developed.

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Marc Lefkowitz

Marc Lefkowitz ICGC-II has been a certified gambling counselor for over 20 years. Marc is a national speaker facilitating problem gambling trainings and workshops on topics including financial recovery, treatment, Gamblers Anonymous, technology and responsible gaming. In 2012, Marc received California’s Lifetime Achievement Award for working with problem gamblers and their families. He is a recovering gambler with over 38 years of recovery and recently earned the NCPG’s Jeff Beck Recovery Award. Marc is the Director of Programming for Kindbridge.