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Moving Forward: Encouraging and Achieving Positive Change in Myself and Others


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Discusses the stages that we all go through as we overcome an unwanted habit. Explores what we can do to support someone else's change process. Based on the work of Carlo C. DiClemente and J. O. Prochaska

Published in: Education
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Moving Forward: Encouraging and Achieving Positive Change in Myself and Others

  1. 1. Moving ForwardEncouraging & Achieving Positive Change in Myself and Others
  2. 2. God Creates and Recreates through Stages of Growth1. All things pass through a process in time to grow and to improve2. When we want to change ourselves, we face two needs:• To grow in knowledge, skills and maturity of attitude• To tear down and replace the patterns we have already established, and reverse the mistakes we have made
  3. 3. Personal Change Occurs in Stages, Not in One Step Change is a process, not a single event The process of change always follows certain stages We move through each stage at our own pace and may get stuck in one stage Each stage involves different tasks and challenges, and requires certain strategies No long-lasting change can be forced on us from outside
  4. 4. 6 Stages of Change1. Pre-Contemplation 4. Action “I don’t want to  “I’m changing” change” 5. Maintenance2. Contemplation  “I’ve changed” “Maybe I should 6a. Termination change” 6b. Lapse3. Preparation  “I made a mistake” “I’m getting ready to 6c. Relapse change”  “I can’t change”
  5. 5. Cycle of Change 6a.Termination 1. 5. Pre- Maintenance Contemplation 6b. Lapse 6c.Relapse 4. 2. Action Contemplation 3. Preparation
  6. 6. Overview of theStages of Change
  7. 7. Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation of Change Not thinking about change  Little or no awareness of a problem  “I’m OK--I don’t need to change”  Or too discouraged to change any time soon  “I can’t change”  Complacent and defensive  “So I do that— what’s the big  No interest in help deal?”  Defends our actions
  8. 8. Common Defenses in this Stage1. Denial 3. Blaming Or making the problem  Scapegoating small or putting the “I get into a little trouble problem on others with my bills sometimes”  “I wouldn’t do this if2. Rationalizing you were nicer to Excusing the problem me” “It relaxes me”
  9. 9. What Moves Us Forward in Stage 1A rude awakening 1. External pressures To overcome the  Family needs unawareness or fear of  Work needs change  The law Noticing the negative  Health needs results of our habit 2. Internal pressuresWhen the pain of not changing seems to Maturation outweigh the pain of Fatigue or discomfort changing Fear Guilt Feeling trapped
  10. 10. Stage 2: Contemplation of ChangeThinking about change “There may be a problem” Aware of bad results of  “I’m not sure I want to our actions change, at least not yet” Conflicted, unsettled, u  “I guess I should do ndecided something because if I Weighs the don’t…” upside and  “Sometimes it’s bad but I downside of can handle it” changing  “I want to change but I’m scared”
  11. 11. What Moves Us Forward in Stage 2 Fight discomfort to learn  Use your imagination and more about your books and movies to feel habit, from authorities the real future costs of and from people who not changing know you Notice the real consequences of your habit for yourself and others
  12. 12. Deciding about ChangeDon’t Want to Change Want to Change What do I like about the  What don’t I like about way things are now? the way things are now? What are the good points  What are the bad points about the present about the present situation, for me and situation, for me and others? others?
  13. 13. Stage 3: Preparation to ChangeMotivated, committed and  Plans for change withinmaking plans the next month or so “I want to change and I  Gathers am thinking about how to information, advice and do it” support New focus on the solution  Freely admits how bad more than the problem the problem is  Builds up momentum and confidence  Takes small steps now toward change
  14. 14. Planning & PreparationIs Needed for Successful Change  “What can I do? How can I change?”  “What do I need to help me change and keep it going?”  “What information do I need? What skills?”  “Where can I get training?”  “Who can support me?”  “What obstacles would I face? How would I cope with them?  “What do I work on first? Second? Third?”
  15. 15. What Moves Us Forward in Stage 31. Make SMART goals: 4. Review past successes specific, measurable, act 5. Set a date and write down ion- small steps to take action oriented, realistic, time- 5. Tell others to help boost based your motivation2. Expect uncertainty; 6. Make backup plans for call it an “experiment” bad days3. Don’t procrastinate; 7. Expect your life to be unbalanced at first there is no perfect time or perfect plan, and you 8. Focus on a better future, not the problem don’t have to know everything
  16. 16. Stage 4: Action to ChangeActively changing  Try new actions, skills “I’m making the effort and attitudes to change”  Adjust your environment “This is hard but it’s  Deal with discomfort and getting better” resistance within yourself “It feels good” and from other people Focused, optimistic  Keep motivated through enthusiastic short-term rewards  Overcome obstacles one day at a time
  17. 17. What Moves Us Forward in Stage 41. Remind yourself of the 5. Measure your results long term benefits and 6. Replace irrational any present rewards, to thinking with affirmations offset the sacrifices and more reasonable2. Keep your goals a thoughts priority 7. Meet your needs for3. Replace old habits with support—and help healthy new practices to someone else meet your needs better 8. Mentally rehearse or4. Use reminders and cues role play the successful to remember the actions handling of difficult or you want tempting situations
  18. 18. Stage 5: Maintenance of ChangeSustaining the change  Apply new skills and “I’m living in a new attitudes in shifting way.” circumstances “I have to keep working  Anticipate and avoid at this” temptations “I can’t give up after all  Celebrate progress and my progress” enjoy gains The change is no  Keep the change going for longer a major focus at least six months Confident, proud, until it becomes steady permanent
  19. 19. What Moves Us Forward in Stage 5 1. Reach out to help others 5. Keep learning new with the same problem information and skills 2. Vary routines to keep it 6. Be careful about interesting letting your guard 3. Devise effective refusal down skills to handle social 7. Put helpers on call pressure 8. Expect lapses and 4. Adjust your lifestyle to prepare to recover help sustain this change from them
  20. 20. Stage 6a: Termination of Change “I don’t even think  May not be possible for about it anymore” certain tendencies The new habit is now  Complacency and second nature declaring victory too soon Beyond temptation to can lead to a lapse or return to old behaviors relapse
  21. 21. Stage 6b. Lapse from ChangeSingle step backwards  “I slipped but I aminto old habits getting back on track” One mistake, caught  The challenge is to return before it was repeated to the change and not get To be discouraged expected, especially  Process goes back to when stressed Stage 4 and 5, Action and Maintenance
  22. 22. Stage 6c. Relapse from ChangeMistake repeated over and  Process goes back to over Stage 1 or 2, Pre- “I can’t change— Contemplation or it’s too hard” Contemplation Giving up and  Momentum is lost surrendering to the old  Feeling guilty, defeated, habits hopeless  Motivation must be revived and the decision to change made over again
  23. 23. What Helps Us Keep a Lapse from Turning into a Relapse1. Plan in advance how 2. Study each mistake to to respond to a learn how to prevent mistake another one Give yourself a penalty  Use a lapse to get Report to an smarter and stronger accountability ally right afterwards Allow a friend to take action to help you get back on track
  24. 24. Cycle of Change 6a.Termination 1. 5. Pre- Maintenance Contemplation 6b. Lapse 6c.Relapse 4. 2. Action Contemplation 3. Preparation
  25. 25. Helping in EachStage of Change
  26. 26. When Are the Best Times to Help Someone Change?1. Pre-Contemplation 5. Maintenance• “I don’t want to change” • “I’ve changed”2. Contemplation 6. Termination• “Maybe I should change” 6b. Lapse3. Preparation • “I made a mistake”• “I’m getting ready to 6c. Relapse change” • “I can’t change”4. Action• “I’m changing”
  27. 27. Always Respect Personal Responsibility & AutonomyDon’t try to talk someone into Wrong questions:change before they are ready  “Why don’t you want They can spend all their energy to change?” defending why they can’t or  “How can you say won’t change you don’t have a The negative attitudes and problem?” beliefs get more entrenched  “Why can’t you They forget their own doubts just…?” about their habit This only leads to They see your attack on their defending their actions autonomy as the problem instead of the real problem
  28. 28. Help Them Find & Strengthen Their Own Motivation to Change1. They are 2. Listen to highlight their own empowered only reasons to do something by their own differently conclusions 3. Help them clarify: Others’ views are  Disadvantages of the irrelevant until present situation they want to  Advantages of change change  Optimism for change  Intention to change
  29. 29. Helping in Stage 1: “I Don’t Want to Change” IEncourage them to move towards considering achange— gently, if possible1. Don’t nag 2. Don’t criticize They’ll view you as the  Trying to make problem someone want to They’ll tune you out please you by insulting Actions are usually them does not work better than words 3. Don’t enable  Don’t soften the damage that their problem brings to them
  30. 30. Helping in Stage 1: “I Don’t Want to Change” IIRequest a change without being 3. Declare what youjudgmental or demanding will do if it persistsRather than telling them what to  “I will leave thedo, tell them what you will do in room.”response to unwanted behavior 4. Reaffirm your 1. Ask for the change you want respect for their  “Please speak to me autonomy respectfully”  “You are free to do 2. Explain what is unacceptable what you like but I  “Do not call me insulting will not listen to names” disrespect.”
  31. 31. Helping in Stage 1: “I Don’t Want to Change” II1. Express empathy 2. Highlight differences Show you between desires and results understand their  Help them explore the gap view without between what they say they criticism or judgment want and what they see they Reflect back their are getting mixed feelings of both liking and  Don’t point it out; support their disliking the habit own observations But don’t try to “fix”  Bring out their own motivation their problem. to change, not yours
  32. 32. Helping in Stage 1: “I Don’t Want to Change” III3. Roll with resistance 4. Support self- Expect resistance effectiveness Change tactics; avoid  Affirm they are direct opposition responsible for change Ask permission to share a  Express confidence that different view they can change if they Don’t argue and cause ever decide to try them to defend why they  Let them take the lead in don’t want to change finding solutions Don’t alienate yourself  Show unconditional love from them so it is safe to fail
  33. 33. Helping in Stage 2: “Maybe I Should Change”1. Tell them you know that 4. Acknowledge their mixed they are in charge of feelings about changing deciding if and when 5. Convey, “I will love you they change no matter what”2. Acknowledge that they 6. Offer information are only considering it 7. Give observations rather and not ready yet than confrontations3. Help them clarify their 8. Reassure them that the views on the pros and next step would be cons of change preparation, not action
  34. 34. Helping in Stage 3: “I’m Getting Ready to Change”1. Offer information and 4. Relieve anxiety by suggestions as much as reminding them you will they seem receptive appreciate their courage2. Tell them you’re proud of even if all does not go them for making the well change 5. Let them know you’d3. Offer to help if they look celebrate even a small overwhelmed change
  35. 35. Helping in Stage 4: “I’m Changing”1. Offer ongoing praise and 3. Follow their lead to other rewards for their control their environment effort 4. Don’t nag, preach, scold2. Make it easier by joining or embarrass them them in some of their unless you have changes or at least permission removing temptations 5. Forgive them for being irritable or other faults during this stressful time
  36. 36. Helping in Stage 5: “I’ve Changed” 1. Acknowledge how far they have come, to help them not to take the change for granted without nagging them 2. Don’t monitor their behavior unless invited to 3. Offer support; make it safe for them to confess a lapse
  37. 37. Helping in Stage 6:“I Made a Mistake” or “I Can’t Change” 1. Help them acknowledge the effort and the progress they have made 2. Convey your respect for how hard it is to stay on course over a long period 3. Help them see this not as failure but as a natural part of learning and developing skills
  38. 38. Resource• Prochaska, Norcross and DiClemente, Changing for Good (New York: Harper, 1995)