Counselling Myths & Facts

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When you think of counselling, what comes to mind? Check out common counselling myths that can keep people from getting help.

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Myth: It costs money to see a counsellor in the Program.


Services are provided free of charge to all British Columbians.

Myth: Only gamblers can attend counselling.


If you are affected by a family member’s gambling, free support services are available to you through the Program.

Myth: You have to stop gambling if you want to attend counselling.


There is no requirement that you stop or quit gambling before, during or after attending counselling. You decide what your counselling goals are.

Myth: Counselling is only offered in English.


Services are multi-lingual. Services may be available in Punjabi, Mandarin, Cantonese, German and French, depending on where you live. If the counsellor in your area does not speak your language or dialect, free interpretation services will be arranged.

Myth: Only people registered in the Voluntary Self Exclusion (VSE) Program can access free services.


Services are available to anyone in BC who is concerned about their own or affected by a family member’s gambling.

Myth: If I go to see a counsellor about gambling, everyone is going to know about it.


All services are confidential. Most counsellors work out of private offices; options to meet in a neutral setting may also be arranged.

Myth: I can’t get counselling because I work full time.


Services are flexible; your counsellor can arrange evening or weekend counselling to meet your needs.

Myth: If I go to see a counsellor about my gambling, I’m going to have to talk about other things I don’t want to talk about.


Counselling provided through the Program is gambling focused. You determine what your goals are, what you want to talk about, and what you hope to gain from accessing services. You and your counsellor will decide together what will or won’t be addressed in counselling.

Myth: Only seriously ill or troubled people need counselling.


Most who attend counselling are regular people who happen to struggle with their own or a family member’s gambling.

Myth: I know there is no Program counsellor living in my community. I guess that means I can’t access services.


The BC Responsible & Problem Gambling Program is a provincial program. Services will be arranged for you, regardless of where you live. Counsellors can provide outreach services to remote communities or telephone services when travel isn’t possible. Contact the BC Problem Gambling Help Line at 1.888.795.6111 (24hrs) for a referral to counselling and support. We are here to help!