International Co-Occurring Gambling Specialist (ICOGS)

Research has clearly established high rates of co-occurrence of gambling problems among individuals in treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. Therefore, to increase the capacity of substance use and mental health treatment programs and counselors to address gambling problems in their clients, the IGCCB has developed a new credential. This credential 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.

The following is an outline of the requirements for certification as an International Co-Occurring Gambling Specialist (ICOGS):

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the behavioral health field such as license or certification in a recognized behavioral health field (i.e., psychology, addictions, clinical social work).
  • A International/state/jurisdiction recognized certification or licensure in case management, substance use disorder counseling, or mental health counseling or equivalent in work experience.
  • 30 hours of training on Gambling Disorder, Gambling as a Co-Occurring Disorder and the impact of gambling on substance use and mental health.
  • 100 direct contact hours addressing the issue of problem gambling/impact of gambling with clients in primary treatment for Mental Health and/or Substance Use Disorders with a minimum number of consultations with a Board Approved Clinical Consultant (BACC).
  • Signed statements from two co-workers
  • Signed statements from on-site clinical supervisor
  • Signed application form, ethical statement forms and directory authorization form
  • Payment of $185 via credit card

Education & Training:

A minimum of 30 hours of approved gambling and gambling as a co-occurring disorder specific training or education must be completed with appropriate supporting documentation as defined by the IGCCB. The International Gambling Counselor Certification Board requires a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent (as assessed by the IGCCB) in behavioral health field (e.g., license or certificate in psychology, sociology, chemical dependency, counseling, social work, etc.) to meet the behavioral education requirement for certification. A International/state or other jurisdictional licensure or certification in case management, substance use disorder counseling, mental health counseling or equivalent (as approved by IGCCB) in work experience is required.

Direct Contact Hours:

Minimum of 100 hours as a counselor delivering direct treatment which addresses the impact of gambling and problem gambling on recovery to clients with substance use disorder or mental health disorders, in a Board approved setting with an IGCCB Approved Clinical Consultant (BACC).

ICOGS Criteria for “Case Consultation”:

Minimum guidelines for approved consultation should include at least 4 hours of clinical consultation. IGCCB clinical consultation maybe done in person, by phone, by email, or as arranged between supervisor and applicant. Applicant may present properly documented past clinical work with gamblers and their family members for consideration by the IGCCB approved clinical consultant, and if accepted by the BACC (Board approved clinical consultant) and the IGCCB, these hours may be credited toward the 100 experiential hours required for ICOGS. These should include a minimum caseload as agreed to with the BACC. Clinical Consultant guidelines will include reporting forms, case presentation guidelines, and suggested minimum caseloads.

DEFINITIONS RELATED TO ICOGS 

Direct contact hours include counseling activities addressing the issue of problem gambling/impact of gambling with clients in primary treatment for Mental Health (MH) and/or Substance Use Disorders (SUD) are defined as:

  • Face to face clock hours with MH and/or SUD clients screening, assessing, counseling about gambling problems or the impact of gambling on client’s recovery, or monitoring gambling behaviors
  • Face to face clock hours with clients diagnosed with primary or co-occurring gambling disorder
  • All hours of documentation addressing impact of gambling on recovery
  1. Client chart
  2. E.A.P./employer
  3. Counselor supervisor
  4. Referral agents/other mental health workers court/parole/probation officers
  • Any lengthy telephone interventions addressing issues of gambling/problem gambling (30 min. or more, documented).
  • Preparation of discharge summaries, evaluations and/or aftercare plans for other agencies or care providers that address the impact of gambling/problem gambling on recovery.
  • Review of cases of clients for which gambling/problem gambling is an issue in their recovery to medical or clinical director.
  • Case management services to managed care providers or utilization review for gambling cases.
  • Psycho-educational sessions that address or integrate the topic of gambling.
  • ​Treatment planning sessions with the treatment team that address problem gambling and/or the impact of gambling on clients’ recovery.

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