Stages of Change Therapy

Written in Treatment Therapy, Uncategorized On September 13, 2016

Stages of Change Therapy San Diego

APEX Rehab


We work with patients on their road to recovery using a 6-step stages of change model. We realize that change doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process that includes various steps that build upon each other to create lasting change. Because everyone progresses through these stages at their own rate, we work alongside our patients to provide support, encouragement and motivation every step of the way.

Recovery is premised on the motivation to change. The difference between those who succeed in changing and those who don’t is motivation. As the process of change unfolds, the motivation of the patient goes through transformations. The Stages of Change is a 6-step framework model developed by two psychologists in the mid-nineties. This model outlines the specificities and challenges of every step of the change process and it is widely accepted in addiction treatment.

According to the model, change starts with the individual being too inert or indifferent to change and concludes with the individual who has adopted new behaviors and achieved the desired change. The stages are: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination.

It is important to note that individuals who successfully change typically go through the stages a few times before they complete the cycle without a slip. However, like in Relapse Prevention Therapy, slips are seen as opportunities to learn. They can reveal valuable information and contribute to preventing the patient from committing them again.

It is very common for addicts to enter the treatment while they are at stage one – still disinterested in change. This is the crucial value of this model – therapists have the position of “agents of change”. Before this model was developed, addicts were often denied treatment if the therapists considered they lacked sufficient motivation.

Depending on the stage the patient is in, the therapist adapts the techniques and therapeutic models. For example, for someone who is still strongly ambivalent about change and is in stages one or two, Motivational Interviewing works best. However, if the patient is in stages four or five and is actively seeking change, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is excellent. In the stage five, maintenance, it’s important to apply Relapse Prevention Therapy.

APEX Rehab is a San Diego alcohol and drug rehab center that staffs world-class therapists who lead the industry with their expertise and innovation. We pride ourselves on the variety of our resources that allows us to build personalized recovery plans that are tailored to the patient’s unique needs and background. We go the extra mile to maximize our patients’ chances for success.


Stages of Change Therapy