The Zone, Vol 27: Prochaska’s Stages of Change

by The ParaDocs

October 1, 2020

The Zone Weekly with paraDocs

The pandemic has forced us to adapt to many changes at random. How have you reacted to these constant changes?

In Volume 27 of this guest series, psychotherapist, Dr. Francis L. Battisti, and nutritionist, Dr. Helen Battisti, help us to unpack how we have processed the changes to our lives brought on by the pandemic, using Prochaska’s Stages of Change.

For over 10 years, they have worked closely with us on aging concerns and have presented many webinars and in-person workshops. Their newsletter, The Zone, is a weekly mental health and nutrition tip sheet during times of change.

As we look across our country and the world, it is apparent that a multitude of changes are taking place and these changes are not occurring in unison.   Each person’s process of change is and has impact not only to them but also to their family, friends, and community.

As we see from Prochaska’s Stages of Change model, individuals who successfully make changes usually do so by going through a series of stages.  All of us are in different stages of change as we navigate through each day of our lives.  Obtaining a greater awareness of these Stages of Change can help us gain a better understanding of ourselves and the decisions we make.

As a brief overview of Prochaska’s Stage of Change model, the first stage is called Pre-contemplation where we may not be open to, or aware that a change is necessary.  The second stage is called Contemplation where we can see a need for the change in the next six-months.  The third stage is called Preparation where we have committed ourselves to the change and plan to act within the next thirty-days.  The fourth stage is the Action where the change has been in place for less than six-months.  The fifth stage is Maintenance which is where the change has been in place for over six-months. The Stages of Change process does not move in a straight path forward.  Rather, we move back and forth between the stages as change happens. 

A key factor in making successful changes involves assessing our readiness for the change.  The Pre-contemplative and Contemplative stages are not the time to put a plan into place, but rather a time to gather more information that will assist in moving forward when you are ready for a plan.

Key Takeaways

  • There is a process to change.
  • The process of change is not linear.
  • Often, more time is needed to gather information about a potential change before action is initiated.

Best Practices

  • Think before you leap.
  • Remember that your gut talks to your brain.  Feed it well.
  • Gather information from trusted sources.

Things to Limit

  • Acting too quickly, unnecessarily.
  • Avoiding the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Overwhelming yourself with too many changes at one time.

In summary, we all realize that decisions and changes are made every day.  Understanding the Stages of Change process can assist this process to achieve our desired outcomes.

Our next volume, XXVIII, will discuss and cover the next three stage.

Quote of the Week

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.”
-Deepak Chopra

About the author 

The ParaDocs

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P. and Chief Academic Officer and, Dr. Helen E. Battisti, PhD, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

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