INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT PROGRAM (IOP)
The Problem Gambling Center Las Vegas offers its services to all Clark County residents who suffer from a gambling problem. The initial screening assessments are performed by state certified problem gambling counselors or interns using gambling specific assessment criteria. If it is determined the individual meets the criteria for a compulsive gambler, he/she will be entered into the intensive outpatient program (IOP).
Our treatment approach incorporates three interrelated components. All of these components emphasize cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), an approach cited in the research literature as the most effective stragety for problem gambling treatment (National Research Council, 1999).
Education is the first component of treatment. Durning these sessions, counselors present the patient with the most recent scientific knowledge available in order to better understand and combat this disorder. In particular, advances in medical, genetic and societal research are emphasized. The second component, counseling, allows problem gamblers access to state certified counselors and interns. The counseling program teaches patients to take responsibility for their actions and to organize their lives in a responsible manner. It also focuses on practical stragities to avoid succumbing to urges to gamble. The final component emphasizes cognitive behavioral therapy directly and focuses on changing thoughts and behavior. Problem gamblers are taught not only about an alternative way of behaving, but also an approach to changing the thought processes which contributed to their addiction.
These three components are incorporated into an "intensive outpatient program" (IOP). The six week program consists of four, 3 hour sessions a week. The outpatient model allows patients to continue to work and live their lives, but within a structured and proven system of care.