How are you with change? What degree of changes can you easily handle?

People’s ability to deal with change varied enormously. To some people change is an opportunity for adventure and growth, for others its an inconvenience and more like having the ‘rug pulled from beneath them’

In my 20’s I worked for a company that were making a big change by moving building, to a new high tech building. Some of the staff had worked at the same desk for nearly 30 years, they had parked in the same car parking space and knew the building inside out. The new building was to be base din the city centre with limited parking, desks were going to be arranged open plan, and personal kettles, printers, toasters and under desk heaters were a big no-no. Some people embraced the change, it was closer to home and nearer to public transport. Other staff went off sick with the stress of moving, some took early retirement and many moved over to the office vowing to re-create the ‘old office culture’. 


The above-cited model shows a variety of stages that one can expect to go through when modifying behaviour.  Prochaska & DiClemente’s model (1983) indicates that a person at any given time during this process is in a certain stage.

Although the word “Relapse” may suggest that this model applies to drug/alcohol treatment, this model applies to all types of desired change, whether it is as trivial as ceasing to bite your fingernails or as serious as controlling one’s anger.


As you can see, there are various stages of the model (and the behaviour expected of the person experiencing change):

Pre-contemplation: A logical starting point for the model, where there is no intention of changing behaviour; the person may be unaware that a problem exists

Contemplation: The person becomes aware that there is a problem, but has made no commitment to change

Preparation: The person is intent on taking action to correct the problem; usually requires buy-in from the client (i.e. the client is convinced that the change is good) and increased self-efficacy (i.e. the client believes s/he can make change)

Action: The person is in active modification of behaviour

Maintenance: Sustained change occurs and new behaviour(s) replaces old ones. Per this model, this stage is also transitional

Relapse: The person falls back into old patterns of behaviour

Pre-contemplation: The person may be unaware that there’s a problem, thus there is no intention to change behaviour

The team at Citizen Counselling can provide one to one counselling g and coaching for change in person, from our Counselling Centres in central Birmingham and Jewellery Quarter or via secure phone or video  link. We use a secure web based service similar and as easy to use as Skype but with additional security and encryption features.

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