6 Stages for Behavioral Change – Role of Online Counselling

6 Stages for Behavioral Change – Role of Online Counselling

Habitual behaviors are automatic when they are repeated repeatedly. Driving is a good example. It takes conscious effort to remember and learn the correct steps when you learn how to drive. As time passes, these actions become habits. When you practice them enough times that they become automatic, this happens. Because our brains are prone to get stuck in certain patterns, successful behavioral change can be difficult. However, the same mechanism that fixes problem behavior as mental habits can often be used to change them.

The Tran theoretical Model of Change, (TTM), was created in 1977 by James Prochaska of the University of Rhode Island and Carlo Di Clemente (Prochaska & Velicer 1997). The TTM is a theory that explains healthy behavior adoption. It outlines the progression of this change through six stages: pre-contemplation to contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.

TTM is more than one method of change. It’s a model that combines four key constructs with a temporal dimension. This can help clients understand behavioral transformation.

6 stages for Behavioral Change

The transtheoretical model for change suggests that there are six stages to behavioral change.

1. Stage of precontemplation

People aren’t aware at this point of their negative behavior and need to change it. They don’t view their behavioral as a problem, and they are not interested in seeking help. If someone pressures them into changing, they may get defensive. They may avoid reading, talking, or even thinking about the subject. They might also be exposed to information about the problem by family members, friends, and media but they won’t act until they perceive it as problematic.


  • Client awareness should be raised about the need for change.
  • Discuss with them the potential risks associated with their current behavior.
  • Encourage the client to think about the possibility of changing.

2. Stage of contemplation

People are at this stage aware of the potential problems and negative consequences. They are not ready to change their unhealthy behavior. However, they do begin to think about it. They are aware that it is necessary to make changes but they are not ready. They may weigh the benefits and drawbacks and decide if the long-term rewards outweigh the effort. This stage may last for a few days, or a lifetime depending on the person.


  • Take into account the pros and cons of existing behavior.
  • Consider the pros and cons of the new behavior.
  • Identify the obstacles that need to be overcome.

3. Preparation or determination stage

This is when a person is ready for change. They are committed to making a change and they are motivated to do so. They learn, discuss, and gather information about the problem. Preparation is key to successful behavior change. This stage is crucial to your success.


  • Increase client commitment.
  • Write down the goals of your client.
  • Develop a change plan.

4. Act now

This stage is where people apply the strategies learned from the previous phase to create new healthy behavior. It takes willpower and there’s a high chance of failing and falling back into old habits and behaviors. This can be a way to resist temptation from the outside and reward yourself for reaching intermediate goals. This stage is where you need the support of others.


  • Follow the plan.
  • If necessary, revise and revise your plan.
  • Be strong and overcome any difficulties.
  • Recognize your successes.

5. Maintenance stage

This stage is where people are making progress and realizing the benefits of change. While they know that change is difficult, they also recognize its importance. They devise strategies to avoid relapse and make the new habit a natural part of their lives.


  • Be consistent in your behavior in all situations
  • Continue integration into life.
  • Create coping strategies.
  • Regression or relapse to old ways is not recommended.

6. Stage of Relapse

This is the stage where people fall back into old habits and behaviors. Relapsing can be a natural part of the change process. It is important to pinpoint the cause of the failure and find new, better ways to deal with it. When you start the stages of the change process, it is important to remember the benefits.


  • Identify triggers that can lead to relapse.
  • Reaffirm your commitment to change
  • Re-examine the tasks related to the stage that the client has returned.

Who could benefit from Behavioral counselling?

People with mild to severe mental disorders can benefit from behavioral counseling. People who seek behavioral therapy are usually those with depression, anxiety panic disorders, stress, and anger problems. Online behavioral counseling can also be used to treat eating disorders, addictions, PTSD, Bipolar Disorders, ADHD, OCD, and self-harm.

You can connect with the Top Psychologist in India from the comfort of your own home by clicking a button or talking to them via phone, email, or chat. TalktoAngel is an online counseling platform that connects you with them.

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