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Learning, Living and Leading Stages of Change in Recovery

How do we support changing stages in recovery in our roles of recoveree, ally and family member?

By Arthur H. Woodard

This HUBLOG offers an opportunity to identify how I utilize the Stages of Change model in supporting an individual's learning and living a process of changing in recovery. This way of HELPing is a key resource that I share with recoverees to ACT as a guide for a process of change. This resource intends to Keep It Simple and is presented as:

  • Precontemplation is not seeing a problem, resisting change and DENIAL (Don't Even Notice I Am Lying or Limited).

The individual questions and states, "What problem? Don't bug me" and demonstrates no intent to change or is unwilling to consider change. In my own percontemplation response I found my self lacking confidence to change due to numerous failed attempts and believing I was in control of my drinking.

My Humble Efforto Lead Pathways to Recovery and support an individual's movement from Precontemplation to Contemplation involves HELPing them to tell their truth without blame or judgment of themselves or from me. I enCourage and guide discussions and teachings about truthfulness, authenticity and integrity in this effort to HELP.

  • Contemplation is seeing a problem and considering whether to ACT on it. The individual struggles to understand the problem, to explore its causes and wondering about solutions. I describe contemplation to individuals as Getting Over Denial. Individuals state or seem to contemplate "I want to change, but then I don't". Although I was becoming increasingly distressed by my toxic and dysfunctional relationship with alcohol, in contemplation I was challenged to initiate or engage in any change.

HELPing individuals move from Contemplation to Preparation involves paying attention to what has heart and meaning for the individual and introducing them to becoming more open and engaging in recognition and acknowledgement of the problem, care, love and gratitude.

  • Preparation is making concrete plans and adjustments to changing behaviors. The individual may still need some convincing and may state, 

"I know I need to change, but how?" In getting ready to change the behavior, in attitude and behavior, I needed support in making goals and objectives to achieve change.

HELPreparing recoverees move from Preparation to ACTion involves enCouraging them to be open to prACTicing working on their change without being attached to the outcome of their efforts. In our conversations that matter we achieve wisdom and objectivity through communication and information.

  • Action is doing something toward making a change through changing behavior and surroundings. Recoverees will state, "I'm working on changing" as they are ACTively making changes to behaviors and attitudes. Being open and not attached to outcomes allowed me to be objective and accepting.

ing recoverees move through the maintenance stage of change involved their building skills to lead their lives well. The way of the leader is being present, living their power, and communication. Leadership skills that HELP maintain recovery include being honorable, respectful, responsible, disciplined and accountable. Recoverees are encouraged and supported in Leading their Lives vs. Living their lives.

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Monday, 26 September 2022