For the past three years, since the start of the pandemic, NCPG has offered virtual workshops prior to its regularly scheduled annual conference. This year NCPG presented a range of speakers and topics over the course of two afternoons. One advantage of online workshops is the ability to host international speakers, who might not ordinarily be able to travel. It’s also helpful for those who cannot travel to the NCPG annual conference, providing access to excellent resources from the comfort of their computers.

Several of the presenters were from the United Kingdom, where they have been dealing with the backlash from the 2005 policies that blew the door open on gambling accessibility and are now feverishly working to increase treatment services, prevention and research.  Attendees benefited from listening to the lessons learned and hopefully can apply those lessons in their own backyards.

Several researchers presented on their most recent studies looking at the effectiveness of self-exclusion programs, the links between gambling and problem debt, the ever-evolving changes in gambling and responsible gambling language, and the value of providing peer support groups for women. We heard from clinicians and their experiences treating gambling as a co-occurring disorder and about a fairly new integrative treatment model called Congruence Couple Therapy (CCT), which has been shown to have a relative advantage over individual treatment for reducing addictive and mental health symptoms and improving emotional regulation among couples. There was also a panel discussion advocating for gambling policies to move into the national spotlight. With no federal funding, and the increased opportunities to gamble, the field of gambling disorder is behind in workforce development, research and programs regulating gambling harm.

See the full Summer 2023 Northern Light Newsletter.

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