The Effectiveness of a Customized 12-Step Group Treatment Program


  • Hoi Fung Patrick Wu Upper Iowa University
  • Wing Winnie Yeung
  • Miu Fun Celia Wong
  • Chi Chuen Chan


Gambling Anonymous (GA) is the most commonly employed treatment model for gamblers in Hong Kong. GA participants follow the 12-Step treatment program to share their experiences and help each other recover from problem gambling. Based on the original structure of 12-Step program, we have combined the techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and group counseling, and designed a 12-lesson program. The format of the program includes sharing (telling their own gambling stories), education (informing the irrational beliefs they are holding), and actions (providing exercise and activities). The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of this program by the following criteria: i) relapse and ii) dropping-out rates. Results indicated that participants who finished this program were found to be less likely to relapse than those who failed to complete the whole program. The findings of the study provide practical implications for the significance of GA treatment design and future research. Authors: Patrick, Winnieand Celia are studying in Upper Iowa University, Hong Kong. They will be finishing this year. Dr. Chi Chuen Chan is the supervisor of this project. He is a psychologist working in Hong Kong and Macau.