Transtheoretical Model of Change

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Many methods of behavioral change focus on only one dimension of the problem, for example, social factors or psychological issues. However, with the transtheoretical model, a combination of the most effective techniques is used to more successfully facilitate a change in behavior.

In addition to the six stages of change, there are nine different processes that can be used to facilitate moving through the stages of change. Learning and understanding these nine processes helps us greatly in the movement through self-change. Note that not every process will be important to assist with every change and not every process is helpful in every stage of change. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your own stage of change and apply these processes accordingly during addiction treatment.


Process Definition layman’s definition
Social Liberation increased awareness of the availability or acceptability of a change by society this is possible and okay (in society)
Helping Relationships any relationships that encourage or support movement through the stages of change my people help me change
Self-Reevaluation evaluating who you are and who you want to be know yourself; know your worth
Consciousness-Raising becoming more aware of the potentiality and reasons for change could I and how could I?
Commitment choosing and persisting in change I’m doing this
Emotional Arousal an emotional response that motivates change I feel x, so I should do y
Countering substituting new behaviors and thoughts in place of the behaviors and thoughts we are working to change replacing behaviors and thoughts with new behaviors and thoughts
Stimulus Control (aka Environmental Control) adjusting one’s environment to reduce availability of old behaviors and increase the availability of new behaviors changing your surroundings to support change
Reinforcement Management (aka Rewards) instituting a reward for a change change gets me stuff that makes me happy


While these nine processes can be used at any point in change, research shows that they are most effective when applied during the below stages of change.


Precontemplation Contemplation Preparation Action Maintenance Termination
helping relationships
social liberation
emotional arousal
environmental control

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