The Stages Of Change: A Treatment Model

The Stages of Change is a treatment model that is often used in treating substance abuse disorders because it provides a framework for helping patients to make beneficial changes, usually in the context of substance use. It can be used to help practitioners assess their patient's readiness and willing to make lifestyle changes that contribute to their health. Individuals often seek acupuncture treatments to address problems such as chronic pain, obesity, smoking, substance abuse, digestive disorders, or emotional issues. Many of these patients need to make positive lifestyle changes to truly address these issues, but may not be in the frame of mind to take the necessary steps. Acupuncturists can use the Stages of Change model to help patients move along the continuum; from being unwilling to change, to making decisions about implementing interventions that will help them in the healing process. These interventions can include a change in diet, a cessation from smoking/alcohol/drugs/sugar, beginning an exercise program, or seeking help from a professional therapist. In addition, they can learn Motivational Interviewing techniques to help them effectively communicate with patients and ask questions that will motivate them to begin thinking about making changes.


Course Outline 

The general concept of the Stages of Change model

Motivational interviewing

The five stages of change

The mindset of patients in each stage

Understand and implement intervention techniques that can be used at each stage to help patients move along the continuum