Title

A narrative analysis of help-seeking behaviour and critical change points for recovering problem gamblers: the power of storytelling

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Nuske, E & Hing, N 2013, 'A narrative analysis of help-seeking behaviour and critical change points for recovering problem gamblers: the power of storytelling', Australian Social Work, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 39-55.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2012.715656

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Proportionately few problem gamblers seek formal help for gambling problems. However, research into gambling help-seeking behaviour is limited, especially qualitative studies capturing experiences of recovery. This paper conducted narrative analysis of in-depth interviews relating the help-seeking behaviour of 10 recovering problem gamblers. A common temporal sequence moved from self-help, professional and nonprofessional help, then returned to self-help, in a journey that emphasised the importance of their sharing of narratives. Key themes in the plot structures were: self-loathing and loss of identity; fear of failure, of the loss of the gambling experience, and of being judged; negotiation of control, being in control, and needing to be in control; changing based on insight, cognitive behavioural interventions, or integrative interventions; and finally, the shared narrative. The findings highlight the need for policy makers and practitioners to acknowledge the power of narrative and to open the door to a broader community awareness of problem gambling.