A Critical Review of the Scholarly Discourse on Gambling Disorder Treatment

Part 2


  • Iva Kosutic Partners in Social Research
  • Jeffrey Christensen Lewis and Clark College
  • Teresa McDowell Lewis and Clark College




gambling disorder treatment, problem gambling treatment, disordered gambling treatment


This article presents a critical systematic review of the literature on disordered gambling treatment, with a focus on the “how” of treatment delivery. A review of six peer-reviewed research databases was performed, along with hand searches of select journals. Peer-reviewed articles that discussed or evaluated psychological and relational treatments of gambling disorder were selected for a review and coded independently by all members of the research team. The sample for this study included 445 articles that were published in the English language over the past 50 years, through June 2019. The sample included not only evaluations and case studies (k = 231) but also descriptive research (k = 49), meta-analyses (k = 10), and literature reviews (k = 155). The results showed that face-to-face, professionally facilitated treatment of individuals has remained the primary focus of problem gambling literature during the period under study. That said, a number of alternative treatment modalities have emerged, particularly in the last two decades. This includes increased reliance on technology (i.e., internet and telephone/text) as an adjunct to face-to-face treatment or as a means for delivering stand-alone professionally facilitated or self-directed interventions. Our discussion includes the benefits of these approaches as reflected in the literature while also situating findings within discourses on Western-dominated trends toward the use of technology, prioritization of efficiency, and individual focus in mental health treatment.

Author Biographies

Iva Kosutic, Partners in Social Research

Iva Kosutic obtained her doctorate in 2010 from the University of Connecticut and is currently an evaluation researcher at Partners in Social Research. Iva has conducted a number of program evaluations, including, most recently, evaluation of the Connecticut Department or Public Health Office of Oral Health programs and a Genomics Office program. Additionally, she has served over the past 10 years as an evaluator for sexuality education programs funded through HRSA's Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Iva currently serves as an evaluator for the Connecticut Maternal Mortality Review Program. She taught undergraduate courses at the University of Connecticut, Human Development and Family Sciences Department for 10 years, and graduate courses at Lewis & Clark College, Marriage, Couples, and Family Therapy Program for 6 years. Her peer-reviewed publications pertain to youth development, evaluation of sex ed and youth development programs, gambling treatment and prevention, and marriage and family therapy.

Jeffrey Christensen, Lewis and Clark College

Jeffrey Christensen is an associate professor in the Counseling, Therapy, and School Psychology department at Lewis and Clark College. His scholarship centers on counseling student evaluations and counselor training. Prior to joining academia, he was a clinical co-director of a substance abuse community clinic and provided intensive out-patient therapy for youth in the foster care system.

Teresa McDowell, Lewis and Clark College

Dr. McDowell is professor emerita, Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. She served as faculty in the Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy program and as former chair of the Department of Counseling, Therapy and School Psychology. Most of Teresa’s scholarship has focused on equity-based, socioculturally attuned family therapy. Teresa has worked extensively with the Oregon Department of Health Problem Gambling Services and is co-founder of Lewis & Clark’s Problem Gambling Services. Dr. McDowell currently works with Partners in Social Research doing program evaluation, research, and workforce development. 




How to Cite

Kosutic, I., Christensen, J., & McDowell, T. (2022). A Critical Review of the Scholarly Discourse on Gambling Disorder Treatment: Part 2. Critical Gambling Studies, 3(1), 47–57. https://doi.org/10.29173/cgs97



Original Research Articles