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  • Shalice Lloyd

Stages of Change

Updated: Feb 7


Mark Twain said, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” The Stages of Change are an intrgal part of Heritage’s treatment plan. The stages are Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance. Here is a way I like to describe the Stages of Change:


Stage 1: I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.


Stage 2: I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.


Stage 3: I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I fall in...it’s a habit...but my eyes are open. I know where I am. It’s my fault. I get out immediately.


Stage 4: I walk down the same street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.


Stage 5: I walk down a different street.


As we help our students work through these Stages of Change we start to see growth and moment, however, oftentimes they regress, relapse, etc. but it’s all a normal part of the change process. If we understand their Stage of Change then we won’t be surprised by their behaviors, we can anticipate it and utilize interventions and coping strategies to help them with where they are at in the Stages of Change. Many times we get too excited and give them assignments or interventions that they are not ready for and we set them up for failure. If we can meet the student where they are, then we can help them move quickly through their treatment process.