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Problem Gambling Program

Is gambling hurting your relationships with friends and family?
Are you concerned about a loved-one’s gambling?
Are you losing control to gambling?

At ASYR we focus on you, not just the addiction. You are bigger than your addiction. You are not defined by your addiction.

Problem gambling is not just about losing money. Gambling problems can affect a person’s whole life.

Gambling is a problem when it harms your physical and mental health. If it causes problems with family and friends, causes problems with work, school or social activities, or causes financial/legal problems and damages your reputation, it’s time to make a change.

The Problem Gambling Program (PGP) is dedicated to serving individuals who struggle with gambling issues and their families. We also provide comprehensive referrals to ensure effective and successful recovery. It is our goal to provide clients up to date information about gambling issues and comprehensive counselling on their way to recovery.

We provide confidential, client centred counselling services that are readily accessible and culturally sensitive to the needs of our community. 

Recognizing Problem Gambling

  • Excessive time gambling and frequent thoughts about gambling
  • Increasing bet sizes and growing debts
  • Lying about or hiding your gambling
  • Ignoring important family and social occasions to gamble
  • Relying on a potential big-win to solve your financial problems

As part of the PGP, ASYR will:

  • Assess community and client needs
  • Provide comprehensive problem gambling assessment
  • Provide referrals to appropriate services in the community
  • Provide information and education about gambling and recovery
  • Provide individual counselling
  • Provide counselling support to family members of someone who is struggling with excessive gambling
  • Provide group counselling
  • Provide couple and family therapy
  • Accommodate internal referrals from other ASYR programs

The PGP is a counselling program that provides intensive support to individuals who struggle with gambling issues.

  • It offers comprehensive clinical assessment for gambling related issues
  • It takes a client-centered approach which motivates and empowers clients to take charge of their recovery
  • It results in clients reducing their engagement in problem gambling, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Program Philosophy

To offer each client:

  • The shortest possible service wait time
  • The highest level of professional, ethical, and clinical services
  • The highest level of respect, value and acceptance
  • Efficient referral process to collateral community services

To provide a team of counsellors that:

  • Is supportive
  • Encourage and supports each members clinical and professional development
  • Provide a safe environment to discuss cases and share professional knowledge

Treatment Modality

Modality Used

The implementation of the service is assessed by administering client experience questionnaires as well as reviewing the treatment plan with the client. Treatment modalities used include Cognitive Brain Therapy (CBT), Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy.

Target Population

The target population includes residents of York Region. The program is voluntary with clients referring themselves. Referrals from other community agencies are accepted with the client’s consent.

Population Served

The Problem Gambling Team services clients who are 16 years and older. The PGP will provide education and counselling to clients. The program will provide intensive support to individuals who have complex service needs related to problem gambling, not including other behavioural addictions.

Credentials of Staff

Staff members vary in their credentials. Some have a college diploma in addictions. Others have a Bachelor’s degree in social work, sociology, or psychology. Additionally, some staff members have earned a Master’s degree in counselling, or couple and family therapy. All staff members are either qualifying or belong to a regulatory body such as a professional college. The two main colleges are the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

To access this service:
Contact an Intake Coordinator at 905-841-7007 ext 322
or 1-800-263-2288 ext. 322
Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday - Thursday 9am - 7pm
Friday 9am - 4:30pm

The following groups can be accessed through the Adult Program:

Who We Help

Our Problem Gambling Program helps those who:

  • Are preoccupied with gambling
  • Unable to cut back or control gambling behaviour
  • Gambling with increased amounts of money
  • Chasing losses
  • Want to control this behaviour

How We Help

In the adult program we provide four types of counselling:

  • Individual
  • Couple
  • Family
  • Group

Where We Help

ASYR services all of York Region. Offices can be found in:

  • Aurora
  • Markham
  • Vaughan