In 1984 the International Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC) program was developed to promote a competency-based certification program for professionals treating problem and pathological gamblers and their families. The International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB) oversees the credential. IGCCB contracts with the International Council on Problem Gambling to administer this program.
There are two levels of certification, ICGC-I and ICGC-II. Counselors must demonstrate a specific number of hours in gambling-specific training, clinical experience treating gamblers, and successful completion of the Certification Examination for Gambling Counselors. A third designation, BACC, denotes ICGC-II counselors who have acquired sufficient training, clinical experience, and supervision skills and are approved to provide supervision to ICGC applicants.
ICOGS: In 2015 the IGCCB introduced the International Co-Occurring Gambling Specialist Certificate (ICOGS). This new certificate aims to increase the capacity of substance use and mental health treatment programs and counselors to address gambling problems in their clients. The ICOGS is specifically designed to be relevant to counselors working with clients with primary substance use and mental health disorders who have co-occurring gambling problems.
CLERGY: A new program in 2014, the initial Clergy/Lay Minister Training was implemented in New Jersey by the American Compulsive Gambling Counselor Certification Board. With the 2016 merger of the International and American Boards, the Clergy/Lay Minister Certification (Non-Clinical) is now included with the new merged Board. Training are currently in progress in Kentucky.
The International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB) provides a process for recognizing and certifying clergy and other faith-based workers who are proficient in gambling addiction prevention, education, awareness, and supportive outreach, non-clinical care. With specialized training leading to national certification, knowledgeable clergy/faith-based workers, can offer guidance, educational materials, support, hope, spiritual care, and other resources, and help lead people to certified gambling counselors and recovery support groups. The IGCCB Clergy / Lay Ministers Certification is designed to provide basic knowledge about gambling addiction and treatment and recovery resources, to enhance the clergy person’s skills at recognizing compulsive gambling, and to provide information for the gambler’s family on dealing with their loved one’s addiction.
The “Clergy/Lay Minister” Certification prepares those working and serving in parish settings to provide, for persons seeking help for problem gambling (directly and/or indirectly affected), initial intervention through education, referral assistance, support group referral and enhancement, and spiritual support (specific to gamblers and their loved ones). All four Modules of the Clergy/Lay Ministers Certification include workable and practical application for parish outreach (and in-reach too). Examples of this parish onsite approach are sermon topics, study groups, devotionals, materials for the parish on addiction and problem gambling, 12 Step information and the practical application of these Steps to Recovery, a “script” for initial contact with a gambler (and/or loved ones of gamblers), workshops, guest speakers for parish programs, etc. Moreover – and very importantly – this Certification will equip clergy/lay ministers to serve as the best First Responders to persons seeking help for problem gambling. They will be able to provide knowledgeable consultation, be able to adequately refer individuals to Certified Gambling Counselors and Support Groups (specific to gambling issues), and provide (again) knowledgeable outreach and education to persons within (and outside of) the parish. They will, also, be equipped to serve persons in a problem gambling-specific supportive way during the individuals’ processing through recovery.
For detailed information on becoming a International Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC) please click on Certification Criteria.