Understanding The Cycle Of Change


cycle of change

  • In pre-contemplation the person does not acknowledge a problem exists. They are ‘uninformed’ in the sense that no personally convincing reason for change has been presented as yet.
  • In contemplation the person is ambivalent - they are in two minds about what they want to do. Sometimes they feel the need to change but not always.
  • In action the person is preparing and planning for  change. When they are ready the decision to change is made and it becomes all consuming.
  • In maintenance the change has been integrated into the person's life. Some support may still be needed through this stage. In maintenance lasting change is learned, practised and becomes possible. When we are able to maintain what we have achieved we exit the cycle entirely.
  • Lapse is a temporary return to ‘old’ unhelpful thoughts, feelings or behaviours.
  • Relapse is a full return to the old behaviour.
  • Lapse and Relapse are viewed as intrinsic to the Cycle Of Change and do not infer failure. It does not mean that lapse or relapse is desirable or even invariably expected. It simply means that change is difficult, and it is unreasonable to expect anyone to be able to modify a habit perfectly without any slips. When relapse occurs, several trips through the stages may be necessary to make lasting changes. Each time the person is encouraged to review, reflect and learn from their slips. C
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“Change comes more from managing the journey than from announcing the destination”
William Bridges

“The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you live by you will change your world”
Blaine Lee