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What Are the Stages of Change?

a man works toward positive change in treatment for addiction

Change is a constant in life. Whether it’s small habits or major life events, we are always adapting and evolving. However, when it comes to making significant changes in our lives, it’s not always as easy as flipping a switch. The stages of change model was developed by psychologists Carlo C. DiClemente and J. O. Prochaska in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a way to understand how people go through the process of making lasting changes in their behavior.

If you’re ready to make lasting changes in your life, Skywood Outpatient can help. Call 248.617.6237 or contact us online for more information about our addiction treatment programs in Royal Oak, MI.

What Are the Stages of Change?

The stages of change model proposes that there are six different stages individuals go through when making significant behavioral changes:

  1. Precontemplation – In this stage, individuals are not yet considering making a change and may not even be aware that there is a problem.
  1. Contemplation – In this stage, individuals become aware of the need for change but are still weighing the pros and cons and may feel ambivalent about taking action.
  1. Preparation – In this stage, individuals have made a decision to change and are taking steps to prepare themselves for the change.
  1. Action – In this stage, individuals actively engage in behaviors and strategies to make the desired change.
  1. Maintenance – In this stage, individuals have successfully made the desired change and are actively working to maintain it.
  1. Termination – In this final stage, the desired change has become a permanent part of the individual’s lifestyle and they no longer have to actively work to maintain it.

By understanding the stages of change, individuals can better recognize where they are in the process and what steps they need to take next. It also allows for a more tailored approach to creating lasting change, as different strategies may be more effective at different stages. For example, someone in the precontemplation stage may benefit from education and awareness about their behavior. In contrast, someone in the action stage may need more support and accountability to maintain their progress.

Making the Decision to Change by Entering Addiction Recovery

Before entering recovery, it’s essential to assess your readiness for change. Recovery requires a significant amount of effort, time, and dedication. It’s crucial to ask yourself if you are truly ready to make these changes in your life. You may also want to consider seeking professional help to determine where you are on the readiness scale and what steps you need to take to prepare for recovery fully.

It’s also very helpful to find motivation and support from others. This can come from family, friends, therapy, or a support group. Surrounding yourself with people who understand your struggles and are supportive of your decision can provide the necessary encouragement and accountability to stay on track.

To make lasting change, it’s crucial to set realistic goals. Recovery is a journey, and it’s essential to acknowledge that it may not be easy or happen quickly. Setting achievable goals can help you stay motivated and track your progress. It’s also important to remember that setbacks may occur, but they don’t mean failure. Recovery is not a linear process, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Continuously reassessing and adjusting your goals can help you stay on the right path toward long-term recovery.

Access the Help You Need Today at Skywood Outpatient

Recovery is a journey that requires a commitment and determination to make positive changes in one’s life. It involves making the decision to change and taking steps towards a healthier and happier future. No matter the reason, the decision to enter recovery is brave and courageous.

Skywood Outpatient can guide you on this path to change. Call 248.617.6237 or contact us online to learn how we can help.