By Carlo C. DiClemente
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Extra resources for Addiction and change : how addictions develop and addicted people recover
Processes of change seem to make sense only in the framework of the stages. Markers are related to specific processes of change and appear differentially important at different stages of change. Accomplishing stage tasks, engaging in appropriate processes of change, and shifting markers toward change are affected by the unique constellation of contextual factors. STAGES OF CHANGE By definition, the end-state of an addiction is a well-established way of behaving that is consistent, stable, and resistant to change (see Chapter 1).
2 How does one move through the stages of change? Each stage has important tasks that need to be accomplished at least to some degree before there is movement into the next stage. The more specific question is how individuals accomplish the tasks of each stage in order to move from one stage to the next. PROCESSES OF CHANGE Processes of change represent the internal and external experiences and activities that enable individuals to move from stage to stage. The processes are the engines that create and sustain the transitions through the stages and facilitate successful completion of the stage tasks.
Although behavior change does not always appear to be a rational or logical process, human beings need a compelling rationale to leave the status quo. The Contemplation stage involves a process of evaluating risks and benefits, the pros and cons of both the current behavior pattern and the potential new behavior pattern. This evaluation involves not only generating rational considerations but also an emotional weighing of each consideration. If change is to move forward, the evaluation process results in a decisional balance that supports change (Janis & Mann, 1977).