Nurse behavioural psychotherapy and pathological gambling: An Australian perspective

B Tolchard, M Battersby

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Nurses have been employed as behavioural psychotherapists for over 25 years. The first training in this field was established at The Maudsley Hospital ( Marks et al. 1977 ). Since then there have been a number of courses producing many specialist nurse behavioural psychotherapists (NBTs) ( Duggan et al. 1993 ). Nurse behavioural therapy is taken to mean nurses working as behavioural psychotherapists. This title does not mean they are practising a separate form of therapy from other professionals such as psychologists. In Australia there is no such training, with nurse behavioural psychotherapists working here having trained first in UK. Initially NBTs were trained to treat people with anxiety disorders. Over the past 25 years this emphasis has remained, but many NBTs have gone on to provide help to people with other problems. This paper will demonstrate the practical application of behavioural psychotherapy with problem gamblers, and how specialist trained nurses can provide such treatment. The paper will look briefly at nurse behavioural psychotherapy from its initial inception to its current status in Australia. The outcomes of the treatment programme carried out at Flinders Medical Centre for Problem Gamblers will be discussed with a view to nurses carrying out therapy. Finally, the future of nurse behavioural psychotherapy in Australia and how nurses can apply such skills across a wide range of problems, including gambling, will be reviewed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


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