The Transtheoretical Model, better known as the “Stages of Change” began in 1977 by researchers, Carlo C. DiClemente and J. O. Prochaska.

ViewPoint Center’s Clinical Director Britten Lamb, LCSW, explains the Stages of Change.

  1. Precontempating Stage: Many individuals in the precontemplation stage come to therapy because they are pressured by other parties such as spouses, employers, parents or court. They are resisant to change. In conversation, if the topic of their problem comes up they may quickly change the subject. They place responsibility for their problems on factors such as genetic makeup, addiction, family society, destiny, the police, ect. They feel that their situation is hopeless.
  2. Contemplation Stage: Contemplators acknowledge that have a problem and and begain to think about solving it. Contemplators struggle to understand their problem, to see its causes, and wonder about possible solutions. Many contemplators have indefinite plans to take action within the next few months.
  3. Preparation Stage: Most people in the preparation stage are planning to take action and are making the final adjustments before they begin to chenge their behavior. They have not yet resolved their ambivalence and still may need a little convincing.
  4. Action Stage: This is the stage where people overtly modify their behavior and their surroundings. They will make the move for which they have been perparing. This stage requires the greatest commitment of time and energy. The change in this stage is more visible to others than previous stages.
  5. Maintenance Stage: Change never ends with action. Without a strong commitment to maintenance, there will surely be relapse, usually to the precontemplation or contemplation stage. The most successful self-changers may go through the stages three or four times before they make it through the entire cycle of change without at least one slip up. Slipping up gives individuals an opportunity to learn more about their struggles.


ViewPoint Center, a mental health hospital for teens ages 12-18, is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.

With the program lasting 6-7 weeks, ViewPoint Center provides comprehensive, mult-disciplinary process that involves psychaitry, therapy, medical stabilization, strong milieu, academic and psychological testing to creat a comprehensive assessment. Clients receive 30 hours of weekly therapeuic programming including psychiatric care, individual, group, music, recreation and family therapy and 24-hour nursing support.