What are the stages of change?


By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Changing your life

Time for a life change?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do people really change?

The stages of change model comes originally from a book titled “Changing For Good” by Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente.

This model has been widely applied to substance abuse treatment but is also applicable to mental health, weight loss, or even improving test scores in underperforming schools.

We teach this model to beginning students in Substance abuse counseling programs and it is gradually becoming a part of Professional Clinical Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy training.

It is helpful for professionals to understand how it is that people change so we don’t get ahead of or behind our clients in the process of change. This model also helps predict the possibility of relapse and is applied to relapse prevention.

The Stages of Change model is not just for professionals. It is included in the Mental Health First Aid program and is now being taught to clients and consumers.

Below are the links to a series of posts I wrote on the stages of change. This is my explanation of the model and some additional insights from Ken Minkhoff at Zia Partners and my fellow Change Agents.

My apologies to Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente if I have in any way distorted their model. For their version read the book. See also materials on Stages of Change at the SAMHSA website.

Stages of Change or How Do We Change Pre-Contemplation

Stages of Change part two – Contemplation

How do People Change? Preparation

Stages of Change – Early Action

Stages of Change – Late Action

Maintenance is a Part of Change

Related posts are at:

Is Relapse a Part of Recovery?

Four Stages of Recovery

Getting some recovery – preventing relapse

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

9 thoughts on “What are the stages of change?

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