Assessment and Treatment of Gambling Behavior

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Although gambling is a common recreational activity, it results in harm for as many as 6% of individuals in the United States. The harm may be in the form of financial, social, or psychological. A variety of assessments are used to diagnose gambling-related harm and facilitate treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) incorporating motivational enhancement techniques and goal setting are used to treat gambling harms. The components of CBT generally include identifying triggers and high-risk situations, coping with internal and external triggers, increasing other pleasurable activities, cognitive restructuring, and relapse prevention.