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RecoveryPlus Workplace

Recovery Plus: Workplace wellbeing Professor Carlo DiClemente’s Stages of Change model is feted by therapists globally as a blueprint for change. We summarise how it can support you towards action. often pressured by others to change, feeling coerced and ‘put upon’ by significant others. The characteristics of contemplators of change are: seeking to evaluate and understand their actions, distressed, desirous of exerting control or mastery, thinking about making change, have not begun taking action and are not yet prepared to do so, many previous attempts to change, evaluating pros and cons of their behaviour and of changing it. Now we come to the preparation stage, where people: intend to change their behaviour, are ready to change attitude and behaviour, are on the verge of taking action, are engaged in the change process, are prepared to make firm commitments to follow through on the action option they choose, and are making or have made the decision to change. People in the action stage have: decided to change, verbalised or otherwise shown a firm commitment to change, tried to modify behaviour and/or environment, demonstrated motivation, and are willing to follow suggested strategies and activities for change. Maintenance-stage characteristics are: working to sustain improvements to date, focusing attention on avoiding slips or relapses, feeling fear or anxiety about relapse and facing high-risk situations, and less frequent but often intense temptations to return to old habits. Motivational strategies to promote change include giving advice, practising empathy, removing barriers, providing feedback, providing choice, clarifying goals, decreasing desirability of unhealthy habits, and active helping. Clinical strategies for people in the action stage include maintaining engagement in the change process/treatment, supporting a realistic view of change through small successive steps, acknowledging difficulties, identifying high-risk situations through a functional analysis and developing coping strategies to overcome these, finding new reinforcers of positive change, and building strong support networks. Clinical strategies for people in the maintenance stage include identifying and sampling drugfree sources of satisfaction, lifestyle changes, affirming resolve and self-efficacy, practising new coping strategies to avoid a return to unhealthy habits, and maintaining supportive contact. People can move forward and backward through the stages. Their motivation, decision making, efficacy and coping activities influence the change process, with tasks accomplished quickly or slowly, more or less completely. Moving through change does not appear to be a case of doing more of the same thing, but instead doing the right thing at the right time. One advantage of the Stages of Change model is that the process of change is assumed to be the same for substance-abuse problems as for other life problems. It has been applied to changes related to many behaviours, including anxiety, medication compliance and health protection as well as smoking. The process of intentional behaviour change is central in each life, with major implications for growth and development. your library’s essential reference September 2016 51 About the author Carlo DiClemente PhD is professor and chair at the Psychology Department, University of Maryland. He is internationally recognised as co-creator, with Dr James Prochaska, of the Transtheoretical Model of Change, which identifies factors that predict treatment outcomes and allows more people to enter treatment at earlier stages of readiness. He is the author of many scientific articles, and coauthor of Changing for Good, The Transtheoretical Model, Substance Abuse Treatment and the Stages of Change, Group Treatment for Substance Abuse and How Addictions Develop and Addicted People Recover. For 30 years, he has led research in health and addictive behaviours including Project Match, the world’s most exhaustive research into the impact of alcohol treatment.


RecoveryPlus Workplace
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