I’ve been deep in talks with a wonderful human who is working to support people making profound realisations while leading them to resources and a path to change.
We’ve been discussing a broad range of topics. But, the topic I want to touch on today is readiness to change; readiness to change in you and assessing readiness to change in others.
Researchers have been considering this topic of readiness for a number of years but I’m still surprised by how often it’s over looked. I think many people believe that if they’re showing up for counselling they must be ready. Clinicians understand that it’s much more complicated than that.
Motivation and change are hot topics. In recent years the “personal growth” business has been spurred on by social media and tonnes of self-help coaches have sprung up. Most have little or no training and are basing their programmes on their own success…which in turn is evidenced by the sale of their story to you on the basis that it’s possible to be amazing and successful if you just do what they did.
What they don’t consider is readiness to change. The research point to are five stages:
precontemplation - I don’t have a problem that needs changing
contemplation - I have a problem with hoarding and I think I should work on it
preparation - I intent to take action and change my hoarding behaviours
action - I’m doing something about my hoarding
maintenance - I’m keeping the ball rolling but need help continuing my progress
McConnaughy, Prochaska and Velicer (1983) created the Stages of Change Questionnaire and it has been adapted for hoarding in the bibliotherapy text Buried in Treasures: Help for compulsive acquiring, saving, and hoarding but I’ve created pen and paper quiz you can do in 5 minutes to see where you are on the stages of change ladder with regard to your hoarding. The quiz is based on a couple of different measures that were originally developed for alcohol and drug abuse and adapted by Tolin, Frost, Steketee, and Muroff and I’ve added in the preparation stage as the recent research suggests it’s relevant.