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The Stages of Change in Therapy

Stages of Change

The Stages of Change in Therapy

Many people seek professional help to achieve one goal: positive change. This is supported by the fact that appointment bookings for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) grew by 177% over the past year. This type of therapy helps people change their thinking patterns, which can benefit the rising number of people seeking help for addiction and alcoholism.


CBT is effective for many people who are stuck in bad habits, from working professionals to criminal offenders. A research study revealed that cognitive behavior therapy can reduce self-reported drug selling, thefts, and robberies by as much as 50%. This goes to show that therapy is an effective solution for people seeking positive changes. With the support of well-trained professionals, patients can experience the following stages of change through therapy:





This stage is one of the hardest parts of therapy because many people are still unaware of the consequences of their negative/addictive behavior at the start. For them, the cons of change outweigh the pros. Well-trained therapists are crucial in this stage because they can increase pre-contemplators' awareness through consciousness-raising therapy. Through therapy intervention, these individuals can acknowledge their bad habits and avoid experiencing adverse life circumstances.





With a bit of help, patients can reach the contemplation stage. At this stage, they become aware of their problematic behavior and start considering changes. People become more receptive to hearing information about their negative behaviors and finding solutions to correct them, which is why it’s essential to encourage patients to turn their motivation into action.





In the preparation phase, people are starting to gather information to help them make the needed transition. With the help of therapists or counselors, patients can find the right books, group programs, or even lifestyle changes that can put a stop to their negative behaviors. Thorough preparation is needed in this stage, so people are well-informed as they spring into action and make the changes happen.





Now that people have the resources that they need, they can finally make changes happen. People are willing to receive more assistance and support from professionals, which is why the adverse behaviors are well-controlled in this phase. It is also important that these people receive positive reinforcement from their therapists and their loved ones to sustain the change in their habits.





Change isn’t easy. Sometimes, people can relapse and go back to their old habits, which is why maintenance is necessary. After the action stage, people should continue working with professionals to learn new health psychology concepts that can prevent them from relapsing. Working closely with a professional will make it easier for people to maintain the goals they have already achieved.



Change does not happen overnight. While patients may want to skip some of these stages, they are all important phases that can ignite and sustain positive change in therapy.


To book an appointment and start your journey through the stages of change, click on the chat box on the bottom right of your screen!

Beatrice Connor Guest blogger for Wellness Road Psychology.

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