Working with gambling problems in the Chinese community : development of an intervention model : experiences of Chinese Family Life Services of Metro Toronto

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Chinese Family Life Services of Metro Toronto
Gambling in the Chinese Community first appeared around 700 B.C. Some forms of gambling have become so intertwined with one's social life that they are considered acceptable, even healthy hobbies. Culture plays a definite role in shaping one's perception of both gambling and help-seeking behaviour. Subsequently, these factors would affect an individual's readiness to change. A cross-cultural counselling framework is presented to provide some guidelines on the sociocultural factors that have to be considered in determining culturally appropriate intervention approaches and strategies. Attention is also drawn to the importance for human service providers to examine their own cultural values and to identify any differences which may affect the worker-client relationship. On a practical level, a step-by-step and incremental approach should be used for goal setting. The central role of the family is acknowledged and is considered to be a unit of change. Strategies that provide clear and concrete guidelines as well as those that have a limited timeframe are deemed to be culturally more appropriate for Chinese-Canadian clients. In addition, group work with both psycho-educational and supportive components should be used. Cultural experiences and the personal expectations of the clients are the primary factors in determining treatment outcome. Treatment effectiveness is assessed according to the client's overall sense of well-being. Apart from changes in the gambling behaviour, satisfaction in family relationships and individual mental health are considered valid indicators with which evaluation of treatment outcome and progress can be made.
Problem gambling, Chinese-Canadians, Intervention and treatment of gambling addiction