An Insider's Look into the Process of Recovering from Pathological Gambling Disorder: An Existential Phenomenological Inquiry

  • Gary Nixon
  • Jason Solowoniuk


An existential phenomenological method of study was implemented to better understand the recovery process of 11 pathological gamblers. After analysis, seven recovery themes were generated, which brought to light that recovery from pathological gambling may take place over several years and cycle through successive stages. These stages demonstrate and suggest that recovering from pathological gambling is more cyclical and spiral in nature as opposed to being linear, and is reflective of a continuous, ever evolving process. Specifically, recovering from pathological gambling may take place over several years and cycle through stages of heavy gaming, periods of abstinence, relapse, and re-commitment to recovery, with the recovering gambler gradually moving towards stability through embracing the flow of life and a new identity, and over time finding meaning through extending hope to other troubled gamblers.


Pathological gambling Recovery Existential phenomenology Treatment 



We gratefully acknowledge the research grant support of the Alberta Gaming Research Institute for this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health SciencesUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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