While the social work exam may
not refer to the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), there's a pretty
good chance you'll encounter an exam question about the Stages of
Change. The Stages of Change, part of the Transtheoretical Model,
were proposed by alcoholism researchers, Carlo C. DiClemente and J.
O. Prochaska. You've most likely encountered them before, but
here's the list (via
- Precontemplation (Not Ready)-"People are not intending to take
action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their
behavior is problematic"
- Contemplation (Getting Ready)-"People are beginning to
recognize that their behavior is problematic, and start to look at
the pros and cons of their continued actions"
- Preparation (Ready)-"People are intending to take action
in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward
- Action - "People have made specific overt modifications in
modifying their problem behavior or in acquiring new healthy
- Maintenance - "People have been able to sustain action for a
while and are working to prevent relapse"
- Termination - "Individuals have zero temptation and they are
sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of
The easiest way for licensing exam writers to test you on this
material, is with a question describing a addicted client's level
of readiness to make change. Something like this:
A social worker sees a client who has been addicted to
pain killers for several years. The client has read some Narcotics
Anonymous literature, but so far has not attended any twelve-step
meetings. Which of DiClemente and Prochaska's Stages of Change BEST
fit the client?
Right now, with the list in front of you, it's easy enough to
dart your eyeballs around and come up with the right answer. Let's
see...has taken some steps (reading N.A. lit)...not quite
Action...sounds more like "small steps"...that means Preparation!
During the exam, you won't have the list in front of you, but
you will have the sweet memory of having read this post. Smile to
yourself once you're there, get that answer checked correctly, and
move on. Next thing you know, you're licensed. Congratulations in
For more practice questions about the
Stages of Change and lots more, sign
[Post by Will Baum, LCSW]