How Does Change Happen?

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How Does Change Happen?

Change doesn’t just happen overnight. There are stages of change that occur as part of the Trans-theoretical Model of Behavior Change, created by Prochaska and DiClemente in 1983. Pinnacle Recovery will go through the process of how change happens, as related to substance use disorders and other mental health issues. 


In the pre-contemplation stage, there is no intention for change by the individual. In fact, they may be unaware that there is a change to be made. If they are aware there is an issue, they are not ready to make a change. They do not even intend to take action toward change. During this stage, individuals may be resistant or just plain unmotivated. In terms of substance use, an individual with the addiction doesn’t even realize that they are having issues with a substance.


In the contemplation stage, the individual knows there is a problem. They still, however, are unable to commit to making a change. No immediate action is occurring in this stage. The individual does intend to change over time, but just not yet. They are aware that there are benefits to changing their behavior, but they are also very aware of the negatives to changing their behavior. In terms of substance use, the individual with the addiction realizes they have a problem with a substance, but they are unwilling to stop using the substance.


In the preparation stage, the individual intends on making a change to their behavior in the near future. They want to make a change or correct a problem, but they just have to take that leap of faith. They may have already done the minimal activity to get ready for the change, just not making the actual change. In terms of substance use, the individual addicted to the substance is getting ready to make a big change. This could even be signing up for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) classes.


In the action stage, the person is actively making the change! They are modifying their behavior and making lifestyle changes. The actions they are completing are observable by others. You can really see the changes that are being made by the individual. In terms of substance use, the individual is actively not using in order to end the addiction. 


In the maintenance stage, the change has already occurred. The individual has started a new behavior that is taking the place of the old behavior. In this stage, the individual is working to prevent a relapse from occurring. They do not have to work as hard as they did in the action stage, but small changes must still be made to keep moving forward. In terms of substance use, the individual consciously makes the choice each day not to use. This helps defend against relapses. 

If you are sitting in the contemplative stage, but you are having trouble taking that next step toward preparation, Pinnacle Recovery can help. Call now at 1-866-301-0573 to see how we can help you make a change to your lifestyle. We can’t wait to speak with you!

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