Stages of Change

The Stages of Change model was originally developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente. The model has been applied to a broad range of behaviours including weight loss, employment, overcoming alcohol and drug problems, among others. The idea behind the model is that behaviour change does not happen in one step. Rather, people tend to progress through different stages on their way to successful change.

There are six stages that are part of the change process:

  1. Pre-contemplation (when a participant is not considering change because of no perceived need for change).
  2. Contemplation (when the participant is thinking about making changes).
  3. Preparation (when the participant is preparing for or becoming determined to make changes).
  4. Action (when the participant is actively making changes).
  5. Maintenance (when the participant is consistently making changes and maintaining the changes made).
  6. Termination (when the participant no longer needs to attend to the task of maintaining the change)