Chapter title: Mindfulness and Problem Gambling

Author: Peter Chen, HSC, CPGC, B.Ed.

Affiliation: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada

Author: Farah Jindani, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Affiliation: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada

Author: Nigel Turner, Ph.D.

Affiliation: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health/University of Toronto, Canada

Author Biographies:

Peter works as a Community Health and Education Specialist with the Gambling, Gaming and Technology Use (GGTU) program (formerly the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario, PGIO) at CAMH, where he has worked since 1993. He started as a gambling counsellor in 1995 when treatment resources for problem gambling was first funded by the Ministry of Health following the opening of the first Ontario casino in Windsor in 1994. For over 20 years, he counselled people with gambling problems and their family members. Peter also spent several years working as an Older Adult and Gambling specialist at the PGIO. His current work involves the development and delivery of educational resources/courses related to problem gambling and technology used for addiction and mental health service providers. These resources include online courses, webinars, face-to-face workshops and published material. He is also the chair of the Canadian Problem Gambling Certification Board and his area of specialty is in the integration of mindfulness meditation and clinical practice. He introduced mindfulness to the Problem Gambling and Technology Use Treatment Service at CAMH in 2010 and has led Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention groups for the clients for ten years. He has also facilitated mindfulness workshops for addiction and mental health service providers. Peter is also a published author in the area of Mindfulness and Problem Gambling Treatment.



Farah Jindani, Ph.D. (University of Toronto), M.S.W. (University of Toronto), MPhil. (University of Cambridge), BA (University of Waterloo) is an Academic Program Coordinator and Professor at Seneca College’s Bachelor of Community Mental Health and Mental Health Intervention programs. She has worked as a trainer and clinician in the addictions/mental health field for over 15 years at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) with a specialization in problem gambling. Farah developed a personal interest in mindfulness/yoga practices prior to 2010 and has since integrated these practices in her clinical, teaching and research work. She has developed various professional training programs that are offered at post-secondary institutions and in the community. Farah is a regular trainer for various organizations in areas of trauma-informed interventions, criminal justice and the intersectionality between mental health/addictions and the social determinants of health. Farah has conducted extensive research in the area of mind-body interventions, gambling and mental health. Her research and teaching interests include wellness-based mental health, areas of collaborative knowledge exchange, innovative curriculum development including simulation training, trauma-informed interventions, mind-body interventions and positive psychology. She is also a certified yoga teacher and trainer of Breath-Body-Mind.



Dr. Nigel E. Turner is a well-published researcher in the field of gambling studies. He has extensive experience in a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods including experiments, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and content analysis. In addition to numerous research publications and conference presentations, he has helped develop and evaluate prevention material for problem gambling (Turner, Macdonald, & Somerset, 2008). This problem gambling prevention program is available for free (see Turner, Macdonald, Ballon, Dubois, 2010). He is one of the leading researchers in the psychology of electronic gambling machine technology and has published papers on the interface between the psychology of the player and the mathematics of gambling technology (Turner, 2011). In this study, it is shown how electronic gambling games are designed to provide a high level of positive reinforcement in the short term which encourages continued play, but very few long-term winners.