Stages of Change: Preparation
The person is intent upon taking action soon and often report some steps in that direction. Thus, this stage is a combination of behavioral
actions and intentions
This is a relatively transitory stage that is characterized by the individual's making a firm commitment to the change process.
There may already be some initial steps taken towards change, but even if not, most clients will make a serious attempt at change soon (i.e. one month).
Things to Consider
Despite making a decision to alter behavior, change is not automatic. Ambivalence, though diminishing, is still present. The decision-making process is still occurring and pros and cons are still being weighed.
• Assess strength of commitment. Strong verbal statements may be a sign of weak commitment. A realistic evaluation of problem area and a calm dedication to making this a top priority are good indicators
• Examine barriers and elicit solutions (what will t he first week be like?)
• Build coping behaviors
• Reinforce commitment but provide words of caution where enthusiasm may outdistance actual skills
Ask key questions. Assist client in building an action plan and removing barriers. Some examples of key questions are:
• What do you think you will do?
• What's the next step?
• It sounds like things can't stay how they are now. What are you going to do?
One structure for a change includes six elements:
1. Specific statement of changes to be made
2. Why these changes are important
3. Steps in making these changes
4. Inclusion of others in the plan
5. A method for evaluating the plan
6. Identification of possible barriers to the plan
The client is making clear change statements and has an action plan in place.