Group Therapy Courses For Problem Gamblers

Programme Schedule and Content

Week 1

  • Comprehensive assessments where course participants are screened for gambling problems and other conditions.
  • Abstinence and controlled gambling approaches are discussed.
  • "Monitor Me" Gambling Recording sheets with analysis graphs and weekly goals are offered to participants.
  • Gambling in Control and Gambling Out of Control definitions are given with examples.
  • Woodlands Trust Faulty Logic Test for Gaming Machine Gamblers.
  • First section of laptop presentation "Understanding How Gaming Machines are Designed".

Week 2

  • Monitor Me Gambling Recording Sheets. Did you meet your goals on your recording sheets for last week?
  • Continuation of laptop presentation "Understanding How Gaming Machines are Designed".
  • What is the Player Percentage Return?
  • What is the Random Number Generator?
  • Jackpots... When will they go off? Is the chance of a jackpot combination coming up just as likely when the jackpot stands at $650.00 as when the jackpot stands at $980.00?
  • What can you be losing per hour placing $2.50 max bets?
  • What are the differences between gaming machines in Pubs and Clubs (Charity Gaming Machines) and gaming machines in Casinos?
  • Comprehensive theory and answers to Woodlands Trust Faulty Logic Test for Gaming Machine Players.
  • Excel budgets available for course participants who have computer access.

Week 3

  • Results of Gambling Screens and Assessments are returned to course participants. (Note: Each participant's results are kept confidential to the participant.)
  • Laptop presentation of "How Do Problem Gamblers Gamble?" This presentation is based on Woodlands Trust data on our problem gamblers. You will learn how mood states affect problem gamblers. Why does the mood-state "frustrated-angry" cost our gamblers more when they play gaming machines? What "reasons for gambling" cost our gamblers more in terms of money spent and time lost? When should you never go gambling?
  • Relationship Stress Test - Our Relationship Stress Test looks at the quality of the relationship between you and your significant other. What is your management plan towards achieving your long-term intimacy goals within that relationship? How do you deal with conflict within that relationship? How do you expect your intimacy goals to change as your relationship evolves over time? How does relationship conflict impact on loss of control in gambling?

Week 4

  • Results of Relationship Stress Test are given back to course participants.
  • Illogical/Logical Thinking Styles - How does your thinking affect your gambling? What are some irrational myths that you have in and around gaming machines? See how you score on the Beliefs Inventory and decide whether you need to make some changes.
  • Time Management - Take our test on Time Management and find out if you are meeting the most important personal objectives in your life. How stressed are you in meeting your personal goals? Where can you make improvements and how can you make improvements? What is the relationship between out-of-control gambling and procrastination?

Week 5

  • Legislation pertaining to The Gambling Act 2003 and how it impacts on gamblers. Consumer participation in the submission process: How to proceed.
  • Self-Exclusion Options. Discussion of progress on Recording sheets.

Week 6

  • Results of the Time Management Test are given back to course participants.
  • Problem Solving - Course participants complete the Problem Solving Checklist.
  • Relapse Prevention Strategies and Motivation.

Week 7

  • Individual profiles of each participant's gambling for the last 7-week period are returned for those gamblers on recording sheets. You will see positive and negative effects of your gambling and how gambling can impact on you.
  • What mood states contribute to your loss of control?
  • What reasons drive your gambling behaviour?
  • What is your gambling costing you per hour?
  • Where are you "in-control" and "out-of-control" with your gambling?

Week 8

  • Participants are given final screens to assess whether their gambling is controlled and affordable.
  • Participants receive Stress Report Cards summarising various modules completed and detailing high, medium and low stress areas.
  • Further Relapse Prevention Strategies and information about follow-up.

Week 9 and 10

  • Woodlands Trust will be offering 8 and 9-week group therapy courses in 2010 with extra financial information for gamblers being made available over the extra weeks in response to the current economic recession.


  • There will be follow-up of course participants gambling behaviour at one-month, three-month, six-month and twelve-months. This will be conducted by telephone and/or postal contact by Woodlands Trust staff to ensure participants are gambling at levels they can afford.
  • This information is confidential and required from the Ministry of Health who contribute funding towards this programme.
  • We thank you for your co-operation and assistance on this requirement.
 A Change for the Better. 
 I Wish or I Will? 

"Woodlands Trust offers New Zealanders help overcoming gambling addictions and gambling problems."