Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 21–42 | Cite as

A psychodynamic approach to the treatment of pathological gambling: Part I. Achieving abstinence

  • Richard J. Rosenthal
  • Loreen J. Rugle


A psychodynamic approach emphasizes the meaning and consequences of one's behavior. After a brief review of the literature, the authors present the first of a two-part model for psychodynamic psychotherapy with pathological gamblers. In this first phase, the immediate goal is abstinence, and five strategies for obtaining it are discussed. These consist of 1.) breaking through the denial 2.) confronting omnipotent defenses 3.) interrupting the chasing cycle 4.) identifying reasons for gambling, and 5.) motivating the patient to become an active participant in treatment. An argument is made for integrating a traditional psychodynamic approach with an addictions model.


Pathological Gambler Active Participant Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Addiction Model Psychodynamic Approach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Rosenthal
    • 1
    • 3
  • Loreen J. Rugle
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos Angeles
  2. 2.Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical CenterBrecksville
  3. 3.Beverly Hills

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