Stages of Change: Contemplation
The person is aware a problem exists and seriously considers, action, but has not yet made a commitment to an action.
Things to Consider
This is a paradoxical stage of change. The client is willing to consider the problem and possibility of change, yet ambivalence
can make contemplation a chronic condition.
Clients are quite open to information and yet wait for the one final piece of information that will compel them to change.
It’s almost as they either wait for a magic
moment or an irresistible piece of information that will make the decision for them.
This is a particularly opportune time for motivational interviewing strategies.
Contemplation and interest in change are not commitment.
Information and incentives to change are important elements for assisting contemplators. Personally
relevant information can have a strong impact at this stage.
• Consider the pros and cons (from the clients perspective) of the problem behavior, as well as the pros and cons of change.
• Gather information about past change attempts. Frame these in terms of "some success" rather than change failures."
• Explore options the client has considered for the change process and offer additional options where indicated and if the client is interested. Remember that our clients are rarely novices to the change process.
• Elicit change statements.
Inquire about the “good and less good”
things of the problem behavior; explore concerns.
The client is making change statements and makes a tentative commitment to changing the behavior.