Video transcript: Sophie Vasiliadis on the pathways to informal recovery from gambling problems

[Sophie Vasiliadis, senior research officer at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, discusses the two pathways to informal recovery at a Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation seminar]

[At times Sophie speaks to camera, there are audience shots and Sophie speaks at podium and in front of the screen projecting her presentation.]

It was a really interesting and novel finding of the study. We found that there were two pathways of recovery. They were distinguished by the level of personal agency that the recovering gambler demonstrated through recovery.

The first pathway, I suppose, is the self-directed recovery pathway. We called it that because they took initiative and self-managed their recovery processes and their use of strategies throughout that whole process, and demonstrated a great deal of personal agency. These people also had a vision of where they wanted to be at the end of recovery, so, for them recovery from gambling meant leaving behind their old identity as a gambler. They no longer identified with that and felt that the consequences of gambling meant that they were unable to achieve the goals that they wanted, you know, their ambitions for themselves.

So they tended to be driven in their recovery towards pro-social activities, such as purchasing a property or establishing a long-term relationship, setting up a family, going overseas, advancing in their career.

Then the externally directed pathway was the pathway that demonstrated a much lower level of personal agency through their recovery, and they depended quite heavily upon the support of other people, so an actual interventionist approach from others. Where the other person was required to step in and take over, you know, the financial situation of that person, be really, really supportive in their monitoring of the person's behaviour, providing a lot of positive reinforcement of their behaviour and their advances in recovery. And their goals were primarily just to reduce or extinguish the negative consequences of gambling.

Over time, with the support of others, some of those externally directed participants actually did demonstrate that they were starting to work towards pro-social activities like going on a holiday and that sort of thing, reconnecting with family.

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