Transtheoretical Model of Change ~ Overview
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The transtheoretical model of change answers the simple question of: How do people change?
It is a model of looking at the process of change as is applied to people with addictions or "any unhealthy habit." The model describes various stages but it is important that there are no solid boundaries between them. Each stage is more of a snapshot of where the person and their thinking, feeling, and behaving is at now; rather than a movie of where they have been or where they are going.
This model supports the process theory of treatment and the philosophy of this site: The Journey is the Destination! But also supports and is used with a large number of other treatment models including the biopsychosocial spiritual and harm reduction models.
Biopsychosocial ~ What is this?
The term is a combination of three words: biological, psychological, and sociological.
The biological aspect looks at the addictiveness of the drug itself, the effects on the brain and body and what is generally considered to be "physical addiction."
The psychological aspect incorporates the mental pull of addiction, and the addictive behaviors that may persist long after the actual substance abuse has stopped.
The sociological aspect of addiction incorporates elements that may draw someone into an addiction as a way to cope such as loneliness. The sociological aspect also includes all the elements of social support that is so very necessary to help a person recover and achieve a stable (non-using) life.
Many people in active addiction "try out" different recovery approaches such as 12 Step fellowships (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, Sex-holics Anonymous, and so forth). While some people are "OK" with the religious aspects of these programs, other people consider them "cultish." An example would be Jack Trimpy who founded Rational Recovery and the spin off program - Smart Recovery. (Alternatives to eh, eh...)
This website takes a client-focused approach and supports what ever model "works" for the individual. It does however, strongly support a belief that as humans - we are social beings and need a relationship with ourselves, with other people, and with something more expansive (God, spirituality, the universe, source energy, etc.). This idea is summed up in the statement: "Our greatest blessing, and our greatest curse, is that as humans we need each other."
The harm reduction aspect of addiction does not approve of illicit drug useit just tries to help users minimize the harmful effects to themselves and others while they are in active use, and strives to guide them into a recovery program. In the simplest termsharm reductionis about keeping people alive. Dead addicts do not recover!
The model of change can also be used in conjunction with the Self-Assessment Bell Curve, the Major Life Areas Assessment, and almost any form of inpatient or outpatient treatment. The model of change can also be used in conjunction with the Assessment Bell Curve, the Major Life Areas Assessment, and almost any form of inpatient or outpatient treatment. This website also has an assessment tool that looks a the substance user's major life areas (mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual) as the possible reasons or causes of the initial and ongoing substance use; and the belief that achieving healing in these areas will contribute to the process of change and foster permanent recovery behaviors.
If you can understand the Model of Change; you can better understand where the drug user is at in terms of their: 1) willingness to make changes, 2) what their needs are, and 3) how to match treatment techniques to client needs. Change is anything that helps the user modify their thinking, feelings, or behavior.
If YOU are the drug user, use this model of change to help you understand the Recovery Process and to encourage you to reach out and get help. Your GOAL is to ultimately help yourself - after all it is your life and your responsibility!
Remember both USERS and HELPERS: It is always better to stop harmful behavior sooner than later.
Stages of Addictions Treatment
Breaking the addiction cycle. Breaking the addiction cycle involves three steps: an exploration stage, an understanding stage, and an action stage.
Virtual Counseling & Virtual Support
This website also offers Virtual Support and Virtual Counseling (to members) as an adjunct for tradition forms of treatment and for those for not able or not willing to access or utilize traditional forms of treatment.
A good treatment program builds on the strengths of the individuals and helps to identify where problems exist for that person. It must recognize the importance of self-determination in the individual, and encourage personal development through self-empowerment.
The remainder of this article is in the member's section...
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