1 PRECONTEMPLATION STAGE
- “IT ISN’T THAT WE CAN’T SEE THE SOLUTION. IT IS THAT WE CAN’T SEE THE PROBLEM”
- Precontemplators usually show up in therapy because of pressures from others… spouses, employers, parents, and courts… Resist change. When their problem comes up, they change the topic of conversation. They place responsibility for their problems on factors such as genetic makeup, addition, family, society, destiny, the police, etc. They feel the situation is HOPELESS.
- Individuals in the precontemplation stage of change are not even thinking about changing their drinking behavior. They may not see it as a problem, or they think that others who point out the problem are exaggerating.
2 CONTEMPLATION STAGE
- “I WANT TO STOP FEELING SO STUCK”
- Individuals in this stage of change are willing to consider the possibility that they have a problem, and the possibility offers hope for change.
- Contemplators acknowledge that they have a problem and begin to think about solving it.
Contemplators struggle to understand their problems, to see its causes, and wonder about possible solutions. Many contemplators have indefinite plans to take action within the next few months. “YOU KNOW YOUR DESTINATION, AND EVEN HOW TO GET THERE, BUT YOU ARE NOT READY TO GO YET” It is not uncommon for contemplators to tell themselves that some day they are going to change. When contemplators transition to the preparation stage of change, their thinking is clearly marked by two changes. First, they begin to think more about the future than the past. The end of contemplation stage is a time of ANTICIPATION, ACTIVITY, ANXIETY, and EXCITEMENT.
- They know that drinking is causing problems, and they often have a mental list of all the reasons that drinking is bad for them
3 PREPARATION STAGE
- Most people in the preparation stage are planning to take action and are making the final adjustments before they begin to change their behavior. Have not yet resolved their AMBIVALENCE. Still need a little convincing.
- Deciding to stop drinking is the hallmark of this stage of change. All the weighing of pros and cons, all the risk-reward analysis, finally tips the balance in favor of change. Commitment to change without appropriate skills and activities can create a fragile and incomplete action plan.
4 ACTION STAGE
- Stage where people overtly modify their behavior and their surroundings. Make the move for which they have been preparing. Requires the greatest commitment of time and energy.
CHANGE IS MORE VISIBLE TO OTHERS.
- Individuals in this stage of change put their plan into action. This stage typically involves making some form of public commitment to stop drinking in order to get external confirmation of the plan.
5 MAINTENANCE STAGE
- The action stage normally takes three to six months to complete. Change requires building a new pattern of behavior over time.
- Change never ends with action. Without a strong commitment to maintenance, there will surely be relapse, usually to precontemplation or contemplation stage.
MOST SUCCESSFUL SELF-CHANGERS GO THROUGH THE STAGES 3-4 TIMES BEFORE THEY MAKE IT THROUGH THE CYCLE OF CHANGE WITHOUT AT LEAST ONE SLIP. MOST WILL RETURN TO THE CONTEMPLATION STAGE OF CHANGE. SLIPS GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN.
- In this stage, people have no desire to return to their unhealthy behaviors and are sure they will not relapse. Since this is rarely reached, and people tend to stay in the maintenance stage, this stage is often not considered in health promotion programs.
Therapeutic Approach – Motivational Interviewing