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Specialist Diploma in Counselling Addiction – Gambling

Eligible for SkillsFuture Credit.

Introduction to the Programme

The programme has been designed for:

  • Participants who have no experience in counselling but are willing to gain a basic entry qualification to professional counselling
  • Professionals who wish to develop counselling skills and knowledge for application in their work areas such as in health, social services, education, customer service, human resource and supervisory work settings
  • Professionals who wish to help individuals involved in gambling addictions

The programme provides participants with:

  • A professional basic entry qualification to counselling
  • Opportunities for personal growth
  • Acquisition of crucial interpersonal skills and related knowledge
  • Specialisation in counselling gambling addiction

The programme aims to:

  • Provide a basic level of knowledge about major approaches to counselling and psychotherapy.
  • Provide training in basic counselling skills and practice
  • Introduce the ethical and professional issues faced by counsellors in human service industries.
  • Introduce a basic level of knowledge and skills in working with different client groups and specific client issues.
  • Train the participants in handling specific problems in gambling addiction.

Upcoming Intakes

Programme Features

  • Integrate the 3 areas salient to counsellor training programmes:
    • Personal growth
    • Theoretical and research-based knowledge in counselling psychology
    • Skills in counselling
  • Students are taught a range of counselling skills that can be applied across work settings and client groups
  • Focus on developing counsellor awareness including:
    • How the student’s interpersonal style affects the counselling process
    • Students will be taught to reflect and learn from their training experiences

Teaching and Assessment

The programme will be delivered through lectures, group discussions, practical demonstrations, video presentations, practical and experiential exercises, case studies, and role-plays. Students will be assessed through written assignments, projects, oral presentations, and videotaped counselling project/examination.

Programme Structure

Lecturer-Student Ratio

The lecturer-student ratio is set at 1:25 to ensure optimum teaching, learning and sharing between the lecturer and students.

Programme Duration

There are a total of 4 modules with assignments. Each module consists of 12 sessions.
Contact Hours: 144 hours
Total Duration: 6 months

Programme Delivery

Each classroom session is 3 hours, held twice a week.

Dr. John Lim – Gambling Addiction

People may begin gambling for some excitement or fun. Gambling, however, can develop into a serious problem. When that happens, gambling begins to dominate a person’s life and hurt them and their loved ones. Gambling addiction has robbed many of the joy of life and stifled their abilities to contribute to the wellbeing of their families and society as a whole. The term gambling addiction includes but is not limited to the condition known as pathological or compulsive gambling.If left untreated, problem gambling begins to grow and manifests in various forms of dysfunctional behaviors. Anyone regardless of age and gender can become a pathological gambler. Chain-smoking, depressions, alcoholism and drug consumption are often closely associated with pathological gambling. Pathological gamblers tend to have suicidal tendencies and are often anti-social. They also experience frequent uncontrollable mood swings. With the widespread easy availability of online gambling, governments’ approvals of the building of more casinos and the legalizing of gambling including soccer gambling, gambling addiction is assuming alarming proportions. It is a contagion that must be addressed by government policy thinkers and social behavior professionals. Gambling addiction behaviors cause disruptions in major areas of life including – Psychological, Social, Physical, and Vocational.

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction include

  • Spending more money and time on gambling than intended
  • Denial and Hiding of gambling from family and friends
  • Believing that money is best used and directed in gambling
  • Lost of interest in other activities except for gambling.
  • Low productivity and disinterest in work
  • Irritability and frequent outbursts of anger
  • Lying for fear of being identified as a problem gambler
  • Frequent absenteeism from work
  • Not going home as often
  • Lying to borrow money for gambling
  • Obtaining money in unethical or illegal ways to gamble
  • An obsessive belief that losses will be recuperated the next round
  • A strong sense of hopelessness because of impossible-to-pay mounting losses.

Often, gambling addiction is not the addict’s real problem, but rather his perceived solution for some underlying problems. The most effective way to breaking that cycle of compulsive gambling is a change in mental conditioning

Treatments for Gambling Addiction

Counselling, psychotherapy or medications are current treatments for gambling addiction. Cognitive behavior therapy aims at replacing negative beliefs with healthy and positive ones. Support Groups are very helpful as a treatment as they can offer advice and moral support. Anti-depressant medications are often used to control and manage mood swings in gambling addicts.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the course, applicants must fulfil the following conditions:

  • Diploma holders in any field
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Mature applicants not meeting the admission requirements are invited to apply as the program recognises relevant life experiences that students bring with them
  • Application will be considered on a case-by-case basis; in some circumstances, interview might be needed
  • Introduction to Counselling
  • Counsellor Awareness
  • Counselling Skills
  • Counselling Process and Model
  • Cognitive Interventions
  • The Therapeutic Alliance

Module Description: This unit provides an introduction and basic training in the nature and processes of counselling. Counselling skills including the microskills on which counselling activity is based such as listening, asking questions, reflecting, and clarifying, will be introduced. Students will be taught how to initiate counselling interactions, develop a counselling relationship and conduct a counselling session. The unit will also introduce the focus on counsellor awareness including students developing a basic awareness of how their own interpersonal styles, beliefs and internal processes affect the counselling process.

Total Number of Hours: 36 hours

Assessment Method: 2 assignments

  • Major theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Theory-based Intervention Techniques/Styles
  • Human Lifespan Development
  • Counselling Specific Client Groups
  • Multicultural Issues in Counselling
  • Ethical and Professional Issues in Counselling

Module Description: This unit will introduce major theoretical approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. It will provide theory-based practical intervention techniques that can be incorporated in the counselling process. This unit will focus on theoretical knowledge and issues related to human lifespan development and working with different client groups such as children, adolescents and the elderly. It will also introduce students to issues related to working with clients from different cultures. Relevant professional and ethical issues and their implications for everyday practice of counselling will also be covered in this module.

Total Number of Hours: 36 hours

Assessment Method:3 assignments

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief and Loss
  • Self-esteem Issues
  • Addiction Issues
  • Relationship Issues
  • Trauma

Module Description: This unit introduces common problem areas that clients may present in counselling. Topics covered are stress, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, self-esteem issues, addiction issues, relationship issues and trauma. These specific client issues will be incorporated within the overall counselling model and process. Professional and ethical issues in counselling will be further addressed in this unit especially in relation to the specific client issues.

Total Number of Hours: 36 hours

Assessment Method: 3 assignments

  • Overview of Gambling Addiction, The Gamblers Personality
  • Special Population Gambling
  • Comorbidity of Gambling
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Motivational Interview
  • Treatment and Planning
  • Family Counselling
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Crisis Intervention and Prevention
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy
  • Financial Counselling


  • Ms Jane Eirene Santos-Kwok
  • Mr Tan Choon Hooi, Klein
  • Ms Karen Sciberras
  • Mdm Tan Lay Geok

Click here to view the lecturers’ profile

Graduation Requirements

Student must achieve at least 75% attendance for all modules and a minimum passing mark of 50 for all assignments to be awarded the Specialist Diploma in Counselling Addiction – Gambling.

Fees and Charges

Fees are payable to: ACC Institute of Human Services Pte. Ltd. 

Total after GST$6,844.79
Course Fee$6,000.00*
Registration Fee$60.00
Miscellaneous Fees $280.00
Module 1 Textbook$57.00
Total Before GST$6,397.00

*Textbooks for subsequent modules not included.
*Miscellaneous fees refer to the fees for Student Membership and 2 sessions of Personal Counselling as a Client (i.e. Student Counselling).
*Click here for Bursary and Financial Aid options.

We do not accept Cash over the counter. You may however do a bank transfer or bank deposit and forward the proof of your deposit to us at courses @acc.edu.sg. Please call us at 6339 5411 for the bank details.

Payment Option 1:
Lump sum payment by Cheque, Nets or Credit Card.

Payment Option 2:
0% interest free instalment plan with selected merchant banks

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Thank you and we wish you good success!