Can a brief gambling telephone intervention reduce co-existing depression?

May 15, 2018

The 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference will be held this month over Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May with optional workshops on Wednesday 30 May at the QT Gold Coast.

Ms Mary Allan, Clinical Lecturer Addictions Part Time. Salvation Army Bridge at Otago University joins us at the Conference to discuss ‘Can a brief gambling telephone intervention reduce co-existing depression?’


It is now widely accepted that recovery from addiction is a long-term process that typically follows a chronic relapsing course. Sellman D (2010). Why then do we expect that clients in residential treatment will not lapse? And if they do then discharge them prematurely from treatment?

The Salvation Army Bridge programme in Wellington accepts that addressing relapse prevention creatively is fundamental to recovery and is the core business of addiction work. We view lapses as a potential opportunity for new learning. This poster will outline the way that the Wellington Bridge programme responds to lapsing using a process of functional analysis that assists clients to more fully understand the triggers and cravings that perpetuate their addiction. Within our programme we work in a manner that is consistent with what we currently know about what works in addiction treatment.

The ‘Testing the Bridge’ study Patterson et al (2015) Evaluation of the SAB programmes model of treatment provided strong evidence for the programmes overall effectiveness. A recommendation from that study was that the issue of clients lapsing during the programme be further explored.

Our programme teaches clients a variety of skills and strategies within a group process that reduces the likelihood of relapse and allows adequate time for these skills to be integrated. I am passionate about using action methods (psychodrama) as an interactive group work tool when teaching clients relapse prevention skills. This can allow clients to practice in a safe “Recovery Culture” what they need to address in the real world. Using a Community Reinforcement approach supports the development of a wider recovery culture that makes addiction everyone’s business. This also involves improving the coordination of care for our clients in the interface between health, justice and based services.


Mary Allan is an Alcohol and Drug Counsellor and part-time Clinical Lecturer in Post Graduate Addictions Studies. She has a Masters in Social Work and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences with Otago University and NAC in 2001. Mary has extensive experience working in Corrections and Adult Mental Health and Addictions. Mary’s current role is as a group facilitator and alcohol and drug counsellor at the Salvation Army Bridge programme in Wellington. She has had 3 years training in Psychodrama and enjoys the challenges and rewards of group work.

For more information on the upcoming 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference please visit the conference website.



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