The Queens Center for Excellence (QCFE) is a program of the New York Council on Problem Gambling. QCFE is dedicated to addressing the issue of problem gambling within Queens County through increasing public awareness and connecting those adversely affected with services that can help them. QCFE is dedicated to the positive transformation of lives harmed by problem gambling.
I tend to think of the calls I receive as having a two-fold focus. One part is what you (the caller) share with me, the other part is what I (the program manager) share with you. During such calls I receive various questions about the program and how it works. One of the most common questions is “How does therapy work?” or “what does the therapist do?”
In this blog I will write a little about what we share and why.
What I usually say in reply to the above question is: ”You are gaining something like a caring, experienced coach who will focus on helping you deal with and change your circumstances.” An example might be restoring health to personal relationships or re-establishing financial stability. Sometimes I add that being in treatment is like gaining a knowledgeable confidant with whom you can openly discuss and address your gambling and the problems it has caused.
For example, if you express concern about family relationships, I would likely explain how you can discuss this with the therapist, set specific goals which aim at this, and work together using strategies that can accomplish this. The techniques learned vary, but all focus on helping you stop the problem, understand it and replace it with mental health and recovery. Put simply, treatment can help you restore health, balance and even happiness to your life and the lives of those you care about.
Regardless of the specific help needed, I typically try to focus on two related tasks:
First, I acknowledge what is at stake for the you, what is important and why. Second, I make sure to listen attentively and typically takes notes as we talk. This approach promotes engagement and deeper understanding which helps me better help you.
If you or someone you care about has been affected by problem gambling, feel free to contact us. We will gladly answer your questions and happily offer help. For more information follow the links below.
We recently received a call from an older, Spanish-speaking woman, residing in the Bronx and requesting help for the many problems caused by her problem gambling.
We can call this woman “Sophia”.
After listening to Sophia’s story, we answered her questions and eventually made an appointment for her at our Jamaica location. Although our program’s jurisdiction is exclusively Queens County, we often get calls like this one, from residents of all the surrounding boroughs. This is due to scarcity of known resources or just circumstantial concerns.
The circumstances, however, were a bit challenging.
She was an older client, stressed by personal problems, speaking limited English, a non-driver living 90 minutes away by public transportation—and (self-admittedly) not savvy with the MTA or getting directions from the Internet. To help, we mapped the trip from her location to our Jamaica office, discovering that she could take a single bus (the Q44) from her home to the office, with the bus leaving her less than a block away from the location.
On the actual day of her appointment she used these directions, but still got off a couple of stops early, leaving her several blocks from the address. At that point she called for additional guidance, a little embarrassed that she had gotten off at the wrong stop. We provided specific directions to location.
We perform this level of service for several reasons, but most simply because we think it is important.
We are glad that Sophia, who had called for help 2-3 months before but didn’t follow through at that time, eventually called back with the confession that things had gotten worse, that she was desperately in need of help and willing to travel any distance to receive it. Today Sophia has been attending treatment with a QCFE therapist for more than 6 months, has made consistent progress with her problem gambling and is much more hopeful for the future!.
If you or someone you know needs help we are here to help. For more information: