When clients first come to therapy, they often wonder: “What do I want to gain from this? How can I get help if I don’t even understand what’s bothering me?”.
Maybe they tried therapy before and it “didn’t click” or they lost motivation, or simply couldn’t find time to commit to weekly sessions. What they DO know is they need help, they just need to find out what to do.
These feelings are very common when facing a big step such as going to therapy. The understanding of our motivation is one of the essential parts of getting better – not only knowing what the issue is – also the knowing why I want to change.
What to expect from the process of change?
How fast can I move forward?
What if I fail?
Being prepared will make us more confident and less anxious about the changes and will let us navigate the process in a more mindful way.
The Stages of Change or The Transtheoretical Model of Change is a clinical theory developed in the 1970’s by James Prochaska of the University of Rhode Island and Carlo Di Clemente.
The stages can be best explained as interrelated steps we go through with our thoughts and emotions when we are confronted with a difficult situation that needs changing.
The concept can be applied to anything from quitting drinking to breaking up an unhealthy relationship to healing from grief after losing a loved one. The stages follow an order and each of them has a purpose in creating change. They also occur gradually – from initial resistance and denial, a commitment and progression is created, and relapse is an expected part of the process.