Course Summary

Practice Level: Intermediate

Never has there been such expansion of legalized gambling in the United States as there has been in the past 5 years. Yet, this expansion has not been accompanied by the same rate of growth in services as has occurred for mental health and addiction treatment or prevention. Mental health providers do not receive adequate training in gambling disorders in their graduate programs and are likely to be unprepared to provide gambling disorder treatment when they enter the field. This course provides education in multiple areas related to the identification and treatment of gambling and gambling disorders. The purpose of this course is to prepare social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and counselors to identify signs and symptoms of gambling disorders and any ethical standards that apply in clinical practice. When working with clients with gambling disorder, clinicians may perceive some situations as ethical dilemmas when in fact they are clinical challenges. Once identified as such, clinical challenges can often have a direct set of steps to follow. Case examples presented in this learning material therefore focus on both ethical considerations and clinical challenges and include possible resolutions to these issues when working with clients with disordered gambling. These case examples consider ethical and clinical practices that can resolve common concerns for clinicians who are treating problematic gambling.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF) and a practice test.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain current trends of gambling in the United States. 
  2. Identify presentations and clinical considerations of gambling disorders and their effects on individuals and families. 
  3. Describe elements of ethical practice and ethical dilemmas common in the provision of treatment for gambling disorders, including issues related to confidentiality, informed consent, and competence. 
  4. Describe evidence-based treatment and intervention approaches for gambling disorders. 
  5. Recognize ways gambling, gambling disorder, and the legal system may interact. 

Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Overview of Gambling in the United States
    • Legalization Across the United States
    • Types of Gambling
    • The Gambling Industry
  • Presentations and Clinical Considerations: At-Risk, Problematic, and Disordered Gambling
    • Signs and Symptoms
    • Gambling Disorder in DSM-5-TR
    • Risk and Protective Factors for Gambling Problems
    • Gambling Screening and Assessment
    • Suicide Risk and Gambling Disorder
    • Comparison of Substance Use Disorder and Gambling Disorder
  • Ethics and Gambling Disorder
    • Decision-Making Model for Ethical Concerns
    • Informed Consent
    • Confidentiality
    • Duty to Warn
    • Professional Competence
    • Cultural Competence
  • Evidence-Based Treatment Approaches for Gambling Problems
    • Psychotherapies
    • Specific Interventions for Gambling Problems
    • Pharmacological Considerations
    • Self-Help and Peer Support
  • Gambling Problems and the Legal System
    • Gambling-Motivated Crime
    • Diversion Courts
    • Referral Considerations
  • Summary


Jody Bechtold, LCSW, ICGC-II, BACC

Jody Bechtold, LCSW, ICGC-II, BACC is a gambling addiction expert working extensively across the globe. She is the co-author of The Gambling Disorder Treatment Handbook: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals (2021) and wrote two chapters on gambling and gaming disorders in the Social Work Desk Reference, Fourth Edition (2022).  In 2019, Jody was a TedX speaker who spoke on the rise of gambling. She serves on the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board’s emeritus committee. In addition, she is an advisory board member for several organizations focused on the prevention, intervention and treatment of gambling and gaming disorders. Jody received the Joanna Franklin Annual Award for Direct Service from the National Council on Problem Gambling in 2022, the Distinguished Alumni Award in Direct Practice from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work in 2020, and the Person of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Council on Problem Gambling in 2011.

Accreditation Approval Statements is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., provider #1115, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 08/08/21-08/08/24.

Social workers completing this course receive 4 ethics continuing education credits.

NBCC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6991. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. CE4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material.

Course Reviews

No Reviews Found!
Show more reviews
What's your experience? We'd love to know!