Motivation – to change or not to change?
Before engaging actively with change, clients may often spend a significant amount of time in what has been termed as ‘pre-contemplation’ - that is they may not even beware they have a problem behaviour that needs changing - even despite the best efforts of those around them!
On the other hand, they may know that they have a need to change, but may remain either unwilling or in some way feel discouraged from wanting to change.
Whilst hypnotherapists can best support clients with people who are motivated to change, they can also be of use in helping clients overcome resistance.
The work that a therapist can do in these situations, will depend on the nature of the resistance:
Reluctant pre-contemplators are those who can’t see the need to change or may suffer with inertia.
In these cases information, education and explanation can be of use. For example might include the health costs of smoking, the lost earnings potential of not studying or the effect on future self-esteem of not participating in a sport they can excel at.
Rebellious pre-contemplators have normally invested a great of effort in building, and are determined to stick to the position they have established.
This kind of resistance can often be likened to the insecurities of adolescents, who need to be supported and encouraged without being challenged.
Resigned pre-contemplators are those that have given up and feel that the situation is hopeless.
In these cases, the therapists role is to instil hope and build confidence, re-assuring the client that whilst change maybe difficult and hard work, it is not impossible.
Rationalised pre-contemplators are those that have establishes a clear, logical (that is non-emotional) set of arguments, to support why change is not needed.
Such clients just need a good listening to as often as they speak out aloud, hear their own arguments and given the space to build up their own ‘change talk’. It can surprising how quickly that takes hold.
No situation needs to ever be totally hopeless, it just needs patience.
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