- Rate each item in the questionnaire according to its importance in deciding to take action.
- Rate each item as accurately as you can.
1 = Not important
2 = Slightly important
3 = Somewhat important
4 = Quite important
5 = Extremely important
|I would be healthier if I change|
|Some people around me would feel better if I change|
|Changing would make me feel better about myself|
|I would function better if I change|
|I would be happier if I change|
|I would worry less if I change|
|I don’t get any benefits from my current behaviour|
|Changing takes a lot of time|
|I am concerned I might fail if I try to change|
|Some people would think less of me if I change|
|Changing takes a lot of effort|
|I would have to give up things I enjoy|
|I get benefits from my current behavior|
|Some people would be uncomfortable if I change|
- What was the sum of scores of the pro change questions?
- What was the sum of score of the contra change questions?
In which of the stages described by Prochaska et al. do you see yourself according to your scores of the questions?
Suzan has many talents. She speaks several languages, has trained in early childhood education and has also been working as a travel consultant. She was about to start training to become a teacher, which had always been her dream, when her husband got a job offer to move from Europe to rural China for work. Suzan gave up her job and her plans for teacher training, to join him and move to China. She dedicated the first years to be a full time mother to her two young children. The family’s budget was always very tight and Suzan’s dream to be a teacher remained there. During a long time she was avoiding imagining her standing in front of class, trying to find excuses like she had no time to sign up for on-line teacher training, she had to take care of her children as her husband was travelling a lot. Suzan was trapped in the pre contemplation phase.
Over their second summer in China, an acquainted family from their home country is visiting. The mother of this family is a school teacher and she talks a lot about how wonderful her profession is, how she enjoys working with the kids and how she can combine her job with family life. Suzan is very happy for her friend, at the same time she feels very empty and lonely. She gets a sense of wasting her life in the countryside far away from her home, not being able to learn anymore and not moving on towards her dreams. She is unsecure after several years postponing her dream. By the time the friends have left, she settles back to her daily routine telling herself that under her current life circumstances she had no options. On her daily way for grocery shopping, she always passes the local school. She knows she will not get rid of this feeling in her stomach if she does not embrace change. But how?
A huge factor of hesitation for clients before embracing a change is their fear of doing the wrong thing or making a mistake.
Addressing the fears is a way to deal with them. We can let the client imagine the worst case scenario and let them reflect on how he/she can respond to their own mistakes. We can try to make the client consciously realize that making a mistake is not the end of the world.
We can encourage the client to think of the consequences of inaction. Hesitating means not acting, and not acting has its own consequences.
Establishing time limits together with the client can help avoid a state of paralysis. Different actions require different time limits though; they should be reasonable, but once reaching the time limit, the action should be taken.
We can encourage the client to practice the decision making process by exploring opportunities to try and do new things. Having new experiences helps learn to cope with new situations. Hesitance is often caused by not having enough experience facing certain situations. Gaining experience by being exposed to similar circumstances makes us more confident and less hesitant.
We can let the client discover and name their talents to increase their confidence and faith in themselves, in addressing and embracing change.
Think of the most recent change you have been through. On a scale from 0 (strong hesitation) to 10 (no hesitation) – rate how you felt before you were ready to move on to embrace change. How long did this process last? What would you do differently if you were going through the same change situation again? What would you do the same?
- What does change mean to you?
- Have you seen other people change? Do you believe you can change?
- What are the consequences of not committing to the change?
- When you hesitate, what is your limiting belief? How does it affect your attitude towards change?
- Can you see that this belief could actually be untrue?
- How would you describe a belief that could serve you better at this point of life?
- How do you feel about your new belief? What will you do now?
Changing for Good: Prochaska, Norcross & DiClemente (William Morrow and Co. Inc, 1992)