From the initial interview to the maintenance of relapse prevention strategies, it is very important for the counsellor to have identified Sam’s strengths and resourcefulness in order to motivate, build confidence and uphold Sam as the primary actor in his process of change. By doing so, the counsellor strongly supports Sam’s self-efficacy, the final principle of solution- focused brief Sam decides that he “has to do something” about his gambling behaviours, he has moved into an action stage. This signifies to the counsellor that Sam is ready to work on relapse prevention strategies. Together, Sam and his counsellor come up with motivational strategies, such as pinning a Visa bill on the inside cover of his briefcase or remembering how Sam felt driving home after spending 10 hours in the casino. Discovering what actions help keep the client’s goals in mind is an essential task. Sam decides to plan a vacation for Jen and himself and sets the date for a year ahead. He decides to get his vacation brochures out and look through them rather than going to the casino. This motivates him by reminding him of his financial priorities and is also a means of practising to plan for long-term goals. Throughout the action stage, Sam may relapse once in a while or not at all. Social supports and his sense of competence are important to maintain throughout this period — a period that may last the rest of his life.
If you are unsure if your gambling has reached the point where it is a problem, these links will help you decide: