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RCCS Tidbit of the Month: Change Happens

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The following post is from our Recovery-Centered Clinical System (RCCS) Tidbit of the Month series. Each month, the RCCS Steering Committee creates practices to support our recovery culture within our programs and among staff. Click here to learn more about the RCCS.

Change Happens

A Component of the Making Choices Conversation of the RCCS

“All of the trees are losing their leaves but not one of them is worried.” — Donald Miller

So much of this year has prompted unplanned changes. The pandemic has shifted our priorities, our health practices at work and at home, our lifestyles, and our way of interacting with each other and the clients and members we serve at Telecare.

Some of us have learned new technologies and ways of providing services. We’ve taken this year to learn new hobbies or discover the blessings of staying home and spending more time with family. The people we serve have learned new skills and coping strategies. At Telecare, we have learned how our connections and relationships are critical to our resilience and the work we all do.

While some of these changes have been difficult and made us uncomfortable, we are learning that sometimes, it’s okay to be uncomfortable. New beginnings, change, and growth can be messy. Change will happen — with or without our consent. Consider this: growth only happens with our consent and when we feel ready and confident to take those necessary first steps.

In this month’s RCCS Tidbit, we focus on change and the stages of change. We explore ways of supporting others as they think about and prepare for change. We can self-assess our readiness as well as our confidence for change and growth.

Planned change doesn’t happen in a minute, nor is it linear. It can go slow with starts and stops, movement forward and slipping back. In the 1980s, Carlo C. DiClemente and J.O. Prochaska identified the different stages of change in their transtheoretical model. Those stages include:

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Click to enlarge

  • Pre-contemplation: Not yet considering a need to make change.

  • Contemplation: Starting to think about making change.

  • Preparation: Deciding that they are going to make a change, but still figuring out how and what steps to take.

  • Action: Ready to get going and taking steps.

  • Maintenance: Achieved change goals and is working to maintain and build new skills.

  • Relapse: Relapse can happen anywhere along the way, so be kind to yourself. Remember: making changes can be hard.


Think about an area in your life where you’ve considered making a change. Maybe it’s an area where others have suggested a change, or something health-related, where you live, or about a relationship in your life.

When you’ve thought of an area for change, consider these questions:

  • Why do want to make this change?

  • What will be different following this change?

  • How does this change align and support your values?

  • What stage of change (outlined above) do you think you’re currently at?

  • How do you rate your readiness for this change?

  • What’s one thing you could do to feel more ready?

  • How do you rate your confidence that you can make this change?

  • What’s one thing you could do to feel more confident?

More Information on Telecare's RCCS:

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