6 Stages of Change

6 stages of change for addiction recoveryAddiction recovery encompasses many changes that lead the individual away from the addiction to a healthier, more satisfying life of sobriety. However, the famous motto, “just do it” is rarely a recipe for successful recovery in these situations, since the changes needed in recovery are typically anxiety-provoking and stressful. Most of us need to work through those changes in a series of stages that prepare us mentally and emotionally for what lies ahead and help to ensure the lasting change that we are striving for.

Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation

There are likely problems associated with the behavior at this stage, but the person is unaware of the problems and unlikely to initiate any type of change. However, others may already see the situation differently, even in this very early stage.

Stage 2: Contemplation

At this point, the person has likely become aware of the problems linked to the behavior. However, the person may not see the value in change to address those problems. In some cases, the person may have a desire to change, but lacks confidence that change is actually possible.

Stage 3: Preparation

The person has now acknowledged that change must take place and is willing to accept the responsibility for the change. This stage usually takes some time to make a plan for change and develop the confidence needed to believe change really can take place.

Stage 4: Action

The steps of true change now begin, with self-directed efforts that may be performed alone or in conjunction with some type of support. This is typically the stage of change where treatment may begin. At this point, the person is becoming enthusiastic about change and motivated to move to the next step.

Stage 5: Maintenance

At this stage, the person is now able to sustain new behavior changes with less effort. Self-control has been established, although the person remains watchful of potentially risk situations and actively focuses on prevention of relapses. Changes made are now becoming integrated in the person’s daily life.

Stage 6: Termination

At this stage of change, the person enjoys confidence and self-control, understanding that the changes have led to a happier healthier way of life. Temptation is nearly non-existent at this point, as the person has adopted the new lifestyle as the “norm.” Relapse into previous addiction becomes unthinkable, as true change has finally taken place.

At West Coast Recovery Centers, our goal is to help our patients embrace change even as they take it in small stages. Our treatment programs are designed to support our patients through the various stages of change so they can eventually enjoy a new life of sobriety with few concerns about relapse. If you are ready to make the necessary changes to turn away from your addiction toward sober, productive living, contact West Coast Recovery Centers today at 442-333-6199.

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