Your First Step to Change: A Gambling-Free Weekend

Each May, we host a free weekend retreat for problem gamblers in early recovery and a loved one (approximately 20 people total) who are struggling with gambling addiction and who demonstrate an interest in recovery. Workshops are facilitated by trained problem gambling specialists and peer leaders. Topics addressed include:

The beautiful host of the Weekend Retreat, The International, in Bolton MA

  • Decision-Making
  • No Betting No Matter What
  • Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Support Systems
  • Whose Problem is it Anyway?
  • Money and Debt

Meditative activities, yoga, and self-help meetings are also offered. To get a better idea of the event, view the 2016 Weekend Retreat Agenda and Workshop Descriptions.

Why Participate in the Weekend Retreat?

It may seem overwhelming to dedicate and entire weekend to discussing gambling disorder and recovery, but participants can tell you the Weekend Retreat can be life-changing. Peg and her husband, Leonard, have been

Peg and her husband, Leonard

involved with the Council since 2014 when they attended “The First Step to Change” weekend retreat for people with gambling disorder and their loved ones. Read about Peg’s experience attending the retreat in the 2016 Spring Newsletter. As Peg notes, “it can take many, many ‘first steps’ to feel that one has actually arrived at the starting point” of the recovery process, but the retreat can be an important part of early recovery because it provides tools not just for the people struggling with gambling disorder, but for their supporters.

How to Apply

There are a limited number of full scholarship for the Weekend Retreat, valued at $2,500, which covers the cost of the room, all meals, workshops and clinical consultation. Check back for the application, or contact Recovery Support Coordinator Jodie Nealley with questions. All participants will be asked to sign the Weekend Retreat Guidelines.

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