Motivation & Change

Motivation & Change

  • Treatment and recovery are ultimately about change
  • Change is not always easy for people
    Change occurs in daily life in relation to many behaviors, with or without professional intervention Just have a personal introspection
  • What change did you make in your life (or try to make)?
  • How did you decide to make this change?
  • What people, events, or circumstances influenced your decision?
  • What steps did you take to make the change?
  • Did your level of motivation stay the same throughout the process?
    Motivation for change affects whether a person enters treatment, continues in treatment or adheres to a specific change strategy.
  • Motivation is Dynamic
  • Purposeful
  • Intentional
  • Positive, &
  • Changeable

Motivation can Fluctuates over time and in relation to different situations.
There are both Internal and External Influences on Motivation:
Internal Influences: Emotional states,  life goals, perceptions about risks and benefits of behaviours and cognitive appraisals of the situation (what you think about the situation) are some of the intrinsic factors that influences our motivation
External Influences:  Family and friends, situations and experiences & community support (or lack of community support) are some of the external factors.
Stages of Change:

It is important to understand in which Stage of Change  we are in and identify support systems to enhance motivation accordingly. Each stage brings its own motivational conflict. One such conflict in any change process is  “Ambivalence” (having conflicting thoughts and feelings). This is not a stage of denial, it is a stage of ambivalence.

Types of Change Talk:


  • Desire  (example: I wish to stop using drugs or alcohol).  
  • Ability  (example: I can quit drinking and I am going to work on it)
  • Reasons (example: I know I would feel better if I quit drinking)
  • Need  (example: I really need to stop using drugs and work on my treatment program.)
  • Commitment  (example : I will think about cutting back on my drug use)

Readiness Ruler (Developed by Stephen Rollnick)

“On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all ready and 10 is very ready, how ready are you to start talking about abstinence?”

Tell me why you chose that number?

Listing Pros and Cons of Behavior Change:

A written list can help you to quantify the factors going into any decision about change

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