Change - Not Always Straightforward

Prochaska put forward the stagemodel of change. The models sets out a number of stages that are passed through in the process of behaviour change. The first stage is the Pre-contemplation stage. At this stage the person doesn't see any problem with the way things are and isn't motivated to attempt to change. The second stage is contemplation, the person is thinking about change, they may fluctuate between wanting to change and not, they may look around for information about what it is they want to change, they may put off taking action. The next stage is preparation (getting ready) the person has made a decision to do something and is making arrangements such as joining a gym to get fit, or joining a slimming club to lose weight. This is followed by action, the person is going to the gym or has started their diet. Finally, there is maintenance, they are keeping it up.

This is a cyclical model, you can slip up and move back a number of stages, in fact it sees this as likely and doesn't view this as failure, it just means you can resume the process of change, get back on track.

The stage model of change allows the coach to determine where the client is in the process. By contacting a coach it is likely that the client is in the contemplative stage and wants to change something, they may have taken action in the past but given up and move back to pre-contemplation. Different strategies can be applied by the coach, dependent on the current stage of the client in the process, to help them move to the next stage.

So when it comes to change a straight linear progression is not the only way to achieve the desired outcome. Of course some people do move smoothly toward their goal. For others it can be 2 steps forward and 1 back. Knowing that this is quite normal, and doesn't indicate failure, can remove negative feelings that a client may experience if they don't always go forward.

What stage are you at?

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