The greatest challenge is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Transtheoretical Model of Change

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The Transtheoretical Model of Change


We go through a number of stages when faced with a need to change or take action.
  • Precontemplation: Unaware of problem, not thinking of or wanting to change.
  • Contemplation: Aware of problem and thinking about taking action.
  • Preparation: Getting emotionally ready. Intending to act.
  • Action: Taking the necessary action.
  • Maintenance: Keeping up the necessary action. Not backing out or slowing down.
  • Termination: Ending at the appropriate point. Not becoming 'institutionalized'.
This model is particularly applicable for such as addiction and health, where the person is not likely to be easily willing to change.


An addict starts out happily addicted, but then gradually becomes aware of the down-side addiction. They think for a long time about doing something and eventually decide they must act. There is still a while before they take action. It is difficult to keep going and many others being treated drop out and go back to addiction. With support, however, the addict gets to the end of the treatment and transitions to a new life.

So What?

Using it

When you are helping someone change, think about where they are at the moment and how to get them to the next step, not just straight into action.

See also

AIDA, Stage Theory


Prochaska (1979), Prochaska and DiClemente (1982)

The Transtheoretical Model of Change