A Swedish Mutual Support Society of Problem Gamblers

  • Per BindeEmail author


Mutual support societies for problem gamblers have existed in Sweden for 20 years. They have helped more people with gambling problems than any other institution inside or outside the Swedish health care system. This paper outlines the background of these societies and describes the meetings of one of them. Data come from interviews with members of a local society and participation in mutual support meetings. It is argued that these mutual support societies provide help in a variety of ways and in all phases of recovery from gambling problems. In particular, they help people form personal narratives about the origin, progression, and resolution of their problems, narratives that give insight and guide recovery. These mutual support societies are valuable complements and alternatives to professional treatment.


Problem gambling Self-help Mutual support Treatment Narrative psychology 



This paper presents results of a study financed by the Swedish National Institute of Public Health and the Swedish Inheritance Fund, transferred by the Society of Gambling Addicts in Gothenburg, Sweden. I am grateful for the invaluable help and assistance received from members of the Society, in particular from the counselor Mattias Ekenberg and the assistant Gustav Sundgren, who shared their knowledge of mutual support and allowed me to participate in meetings.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Global StudiesUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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