What Stage Of The Problem Are You In? | Counseling | Therapy

What Stage Of The Problem Are You In?

Alex , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

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What stage of the problem are you in?

Pre-contemplation (what stage of the problem)

You do not believe that there is an actual problem. Thus, you are not ready to consider the idea that you may need to change. You may be reading about the problem on the Internet to determine if you do have a problem or not. Chances are, if you think you might, then your probably do! . Sometimes talking about your concerns with others can be helpful. If you can not talk to your friends or family members consider seeking the help of a professional.

Contemplation (what stage of the problem)

You have mixed emotions about whether or not you should, would or could address the problem that is bothering you. However, you are considering the possibility of doing something different to change the situation. At this juncture – as evidenced by researching the issue on the Internet, and possibly talking to friends you are evaluating the positives and negatives about the issue that you are experiencing. Many people seek therapy at this stage to help them more effectively evaluate the situation and develop a plan of action.

Preparation (what stage of the problem)

During this stage you have already determined that you need to make some changes in your lifestyle habits. Thus, the focus is on determining exactly what those changes will be. During this stage, sharing your thoughts with friends and family can be particularly helpful. This way they can become part of your team. Please note, sometimes friends and family members are afraid of the pending changes (it may make them feel insecure), and if this is the case, then sharing your desires may not be helpful.

Action (what stage of the problem)

You have taken the first behavioral steps of change. Your day to day actions are different. You are beginning to turn your thoughts of change into action. Can you write down every day the literal behavioral change that you made? What did you say differently? What did you do differently? And how do you feel?

Maintenence (what stage of the problem)

During this stage you have already accomplished the initial steps of change. Thus, the focus is on how to maintain the changes you had made. Here, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

* Are the lifestyle changes that I made sustainable for a lifetime? What am I giving up?
* How do I feel now that I have made these changes? Who in my life supports them? How can I surround myself with people, jobs or situations that will reinforce these positive behaviors?
* How has my life changed now that I have made the changes? What are the pros and cons of this change in lifestyle?
* Can I list all the things that I have done to get myself in this new situation? And how can I incorporate these changes into my life so that eventually it does not have to be a daily struggle to maintain them.

Knowing what stage of the problem you are in can be helpful in terms of understanding what your tasks at hand are, and what you need to do to fully resolve the situation.


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