Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

"Helping You, Help Yourself"

The Cycle of Change

The Cycle of Change by Brittany Starrantino{2:24 minutes to read} Progress is challenging for individuals to recognize within themselves, when they are continuing to experience conflict. Often times, the immediate response, if conflict still exists, is to feel that progress is not being made.

This is a fairly common theme, but we can help clients understand that progress is made by introducing them to the 6 stages of the Cycle of Change. Those stages are:

  1. Precontemplation;
  2. Contemplation;
  3. Preparation;
  4. Action;
  5. Maintenance; and
  6. Relapse.

In the Precontemplation stage, the individual may have no intention of changing his/her behavior. In the Contemplation stage, the individual is aware that a problem exists but makes no commitment to action. That changes in the Preparation stage, when the individual intends to take action to address the problem. Obviously, Action is the active modification of behavior, while Maintenance is sustained change where the new behavior replaces the old behavior. The final stage is Relapse, when the individual may fall back into old patterns of behavior.

With my clients, I point out that, even when they feel progress is not being made, it’s either moving slower than they would like or they are “blinded” by the conflict that continues to exist.

Relapse is an important part of the change process. Once the relapse occurs and negative consequences take place, the individual recognizes that the positive validation from their changed behavior feels much better. Although relapse is an important aspect of the change process, therapists need to be careful to approach this so that the client does not use the relapse to justify engaging in old patterns of behavior.

As a therapist, it is important to provide this information to a client, because it allows them to become empowered towards change rather than disheartened by continued conflict, which will allow past behaviors to resurface. It also allows the client to recognize that they are moving forward rather than remaining stagnant and unchanged.  

Brittany Starrantino, LMSW, CASAC
CBT Psychological Associates
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 345
Commack, NY. 11725
(631) 486-5140

2017-09-20T18:32:26+00:00 By |0 Comments

About the Author:

Brittany Starrantino, LMSW, CASAC
CBT Psychological Associates
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 345br> Commack, NY. 11725
(631) 486-5140

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