Advertisement

The Complexities of Lifestyle Changes


Advertisement


STAGES OF CHANGE

Prochaska and DiClemente hypothesized that there are different stages of change (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984). A person doesn’t typically wake up one day, decide to change a behavior and then successfully maintain that change until the day he dies. Typically, an individual moves through stages. These stages of change are part of a behavior change theory known as the transtheoretical model (TTM). While the TTM was developed around the same time as MI, they are quite distinct. TTM is a theory, whereas MI was developed from within practice; it is not a theory but a style and method for assisting others to make changes (Miller & Rose, 2009). However, it’s useful to understand the stages of change that your clients experience in order to more fully grasp and appreciate the efficacy of MI. There are five stages of change presented by the TTM: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Each stage is characteristic of certain thought patterns and behaviors.

Precontemplation. An individual in the precontemplation stage is either unaware or in denial that a change is necessary or warranted. In the nutrition and fitness counseling world, a client in precontemplation
may open an appointment with, “I’m just here because my doctor made me come. Please don’t take away my favorite foods. I’ve given up smoking and booze, and food is my last vice. You’re going to take it away from
me, aren’t you?”Contemplation.

An individual in the contemplation stage is aware that a change needs to be made, but has mixed feelings about making the change. A client in this stage of change might say something like, “I probably shouldn’t eat out every day for lunch, but I just get lazy in the morning and I’m always running late, so I hardly ever pack a lunch.” The client has no plans to change and is on the fence about whether doing so would be worth the effort.

Preparation. In the preparation stage, the client is expressing a desire to make a behavior change within the next month and is seriously considering how he or she might go about doing so. A client in the preparation stage of change may state, “I know when I do try to eat more fruits and vegetables, I will need to go to the store more often so that I have fresh produce on hand.”


Advertisement

SHARE


Advertisement

2 of 12
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse