The Stages of Change Model

The transtheoretical model of change, also known as the stages of change model is a well established and useful way of considering different people's level's of motivation to change their behavior.

The stages of change model was developed by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente from the University of Rhode Island in 1977.

Understanding your situation to change by being familiar with the stages of change can help you choose tools that are right for you. The stages of change model shows that a change generally does not happen all at once, it is a process that begins with awareness about a wrong behavior and continues to eliminate old behavior and being replaced by new behavior.

There are six parts to the stages of change:

Pre-contemplation stage:
In this stage people don't know that substance use is a problem. They are in denial and ignorance.

Contemplation stage:
During the contemplation stage people become awareness that substance use is cause of their problems, but they are ambivalent about change, because they see change as giving up an enjoyed behavior. In this stage individual like change, but they fear.

Preparation stage:
In this stage people know that their wrong behavior not only is cause of many of their problems, but also it is in conflict with their values, so they begin to experiment with making small changes and begin collecting information about change and recovery.

Action stage:
People in this stage take direct action toward achieving a goal. Individuals modify their behavior, experiences or environment for changing wrong behavior and overcoming their problems.

Maintenance stage:
In this stage people begin firming new behavior, so the possibility of relapse is always present. The relapse isn't as a failure to change behavior but as an opportunity to learn from unsuccessful attempts and thus increase the chances of success in the future. Relapsing is like falling off a horse- It's not about how you falling off, but how you get back on track.

Termination stage:
The ultimate goal in the change process is termination. At this stage, people no longer find that alcohol or drug presents a temptation or threat; they have complete confidence that he can cope without fear of relapse.

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