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  • Sam DiFranco

Stages of Change.


This model was introduced about 20 years ago by alcoholism researchers Carlo C. DiClemente and J. O. Prochaska, to help professionals understand their clients who had addiction problems and help them to change. It is based on personal observation of how people went about changing problem behaviors like smoking, drinking, and even over eating. 

The stages of the model are:

  1. Precontemplation. Individuals in this stage don’t believe they have a problem, they think everyone who tells them that they have a problem is exaggerating. Precontemplators don’t want to be told what to do, they have given up hope about changing, and have no inertia to even consider change. 

  2. Contempation. These individuals are willing to consider the possibility that they may have a problem. They are still walking the fence when it comes to change but are interested to learn about their problem and treatment. 

  3. Determination/Preparation. They have decided to stop their problem behavior. Most individuals in this stage will make a serious attempt to stop in the near future, they are prepared and committed to action.

  4. Action. This is the stage where individuals put their plan into action. This stage typically involves making some type of public commitment to stop their problem behavior in order to get external confirmation of the plan.They may have agreed to counseling, AA, or some other form of treatment. Making public commitments not only helps them obtain support that they need to recover, but also creates external monitors. 

  5. Maintenance, relapse, and recycling. The action stage normally takes three to six months to complete. You have to build a new pattern of behavior over time in order for change to be successful. In this stage your life free of problem behaviors is being established and the threat of the behavior coming back is becoming less and less. Although the possibility of relapse is always present, those who relapse learn from the relapse and returning to sobriety strengthens a persons determination to stay sober.

  6. Termination. Although termination is not apart of the stages of change model, it is the ultimate goal. At this stage the individual no longer find the problem behavior to be tempting or a threat to their sobriety. They have extreme confidence that they can cope without the fear of relapsing. 

If you or someone you may know needs help with their alcoholism, smoking, or some other problem behavior then get them the help that they need. Our counselors at Star Point Counseling Center are well experience and prepared to help you or your loved one get through all of these stages and begin living a happier ad healthier life.  

Live the life you know that you deserve! (813)244-1251

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