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Woman to woman...

24th March 2017

GamCare hosted a dedicated chatroom for women dealing with gambling problems today, thinking about why it may be more difficult for women to reach out for support. Catherine summarises the discussion.

Many women tell us they are put of attending problem gambling therapy or support groups because they are male-oriented, and they don’t feel comfortable or able to share what they are thinking and feeling. We wanted to give chatroom participants a female-only space to explore this issue today – problem gambling is not just experienced by men!

As one participant commented: ‘Denial was my main enemy’. She questioned whether some women were nervous because a room might be full of men, or if they feared what might happen if they really did stop gambling? The question to ask is whether gender really is a barrier to you finding support, or are you simply putting one more barrier in place before you have to tackle what’s really on your mind?

If gender is genuinely a concern for you, for whatever reason, services can adapt to support you better. At GamCare, if you would rather attend counselling sessions with a female counsellor, we can definitely accommodate this. Our service is here to support you as an individual – we focus on what will be helpful for you, in response to your personal circumstances.

One point emphasised today is that as women, however much we may want to deny this, we tend to focus on others and their needs before our own. It may be a sweeping generalisation, but there is undoubtedly a ring of truth there. If we are struggling with gambling, do we let the problem continue to grow because there is always someone else we could be focussing on instead?

Reading and posting in the GamCare Forum is often a great recovery tool because you can give and receive support. Reading about others’ experiences and sharing your own can be really cathartic.

In the chatroom today, participants emphasised that the Forum is a safe space where you can share as much or as little as you prefer. Their advice was not to stress about what you post – if you’re nervous about starting off, just say hi!

Woman to woman, our moderator pointed out that women do tend to minimise what they are going through because they don’t want to be a burden on others. We would always encourage you to share whatever you’re comfortable with, but also to recognise that you can only see results from therapy or support if you really engage with it and are honest about what you think and feel, and why that might be. We’re here to help you reach the goal(s) you set yourself, so please do feel free to open up and ask for the support you need.

Find out more about GamCare support services >>