Since November 2005 our institute has been developing a group therapy program for pathological gamblers, alternating a counselling/rehabilitation and a group psychotherapy session each week. This program was presented to the press; all of our patients knew about it from the newspapers, except for one patient, who was addressed to our service by another specialist.
Up to November 2006 fifteen patients joined the program: they are all male, their mean age is 46,8 years old, with a standard deviation of 11,7; eight of them (53,3%) are married, two are divorced (13,3%), one is separated from his wife (6,7%), one has a stable relationship (6,7%), while three of them are free (20%). Their education is generally low: one of them (6,7%) completed only primary schools, eight of them have a lower intermediate education (53,3%), five completed upper intermediate schools (33,3%), only one got a degree (6,7%). Some patients have an associated psychopathology: four (26,7%) have a depressive disorder, three (20%) have a bipolar disorder II, three (20%) have a history of cocaine abuse, one (6,7%) has a mild cognitive impairment related to a Parkinson's Disease. Seven patients (46,7%) have gambling debts or legal problems related to gambling. The most popular games among patients were betting, lotto, slot machine, videopoker and in same cases card game.