Are you asking: “Can people change and if yes, how?”

Yes, they can change!

See below for the how.

As a clinician in practice since completion of my Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1995, I have been implementing The Transtheoretical Model (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983; Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992). It is an integrative, biopsychosocial model to conceptualize the process of intentional behavior change. Whereas other models of behavior change focus exclusively on certain dimensions of change, the TTM seeks to include and integrate key constructs from other theories into a comprehensive theory of change that can be applied to a variety of behaviors, populations, and settings—hence, the name Transtheoretical.

The Stages of Change:

The Stages of Change lie at the heart of the TTM. Studies of change have found that people move through a series of stages when modifying behavior. Certain principles and processes of change work best at each stage to reduce resistance, facilitate progress, and prevent relapse. Those principles include decisional balance, self-efficacy, and processes of change. Only a minority (usually less than 20%) of a population at risk is prepared to take action at any given time (source:

Here are the Stages of Change:

Therefore, you are here at this web site trying to find an Interventionist to support change for your loved one. Most likely you are concerned about their addiction and mental health, addictions that can be addressed via an intervention and The Stage of Change include but are not limited to: hoarding, drugs (illicit and licit), alcohol, pornography, social networking, food, shopping, and even domestic violence.

Precontemplation (Denial)

He or she does not recognize a problem, their addiction has consumed them and they are blind to all the consequences. They are continuing to self-medicate and numb via their drug of choice (alcohol, prescription medications, illegal and/or legal drugs, shopping, pornography, social networking, hoarding) so they do not have to see and feel the pain.



At this stage one may have some level of awareness but not completely motivated to learn how to change. There may still be fear around failure, low self-worth and lack of support in order to begin to work on change. Hence, they are still most likely abusing their drug of choice. However, they are aware of the pros and cons of change and therefore “contemplating” it.



In this stage, change is already happening, they are preparing to embrace sobriety. The research has begun, the person is finding resources, ready to engage in some kind of support and/or treatment. They are now aware that they need help and therefore open to guidance and care.



At this stage one is active in recovery from their addiction and sober. They have committed to some kind of treatment, joined a 12 step model, found a sponsor, changed their environment, made new friends, perhaps found spirituality and overall had a life style change and is abstinent from their drug of choice. Relapse can happen in every stage; however, in Action, they are more likely to be recovery focused and committed to change.


While in the Maintenance stage, people are less tempted to relapse and grow increasingly more confident that they can continue their changes. Based on self-efficacy data, researchers have estimated that Maintenance lasts from six months to about five years. While this estimate may seem somewhat pessimistic, longitudinal data in the 1990 Surgeon General’s report support this temporal estimate. After 12 months of continuous abstinence, 43% of individuals returned to regular smoking. It was not until 5 years of continuous abstinence that the risk for relapse dropped to 7% (USDHHS).

If you are on this web site than most likely your loved is either stuck in Denial, unaware that their addiction is interfering with life functioning, or stuck in Pre Contemplation. Therefore, an Interventionists, such as an experienced, licensed professional like Belina Fruitman, she can successfully facilitate movement from denial into the next stage, Pre Contemplation. Please call as soon as possible to begin this process of intervention. If you are on this web site most likely the addiction has been in full blown mode for years.

At that meeting the team (loved ones, colleagues and the Interventionist) have the addict share the pros and cons of changing and why others see the need for treatment. The addiction can cloud one’s judgement as well as change their neuroscience to the point that they need to be coaxed into treatment. Once the client is preparing for change with the appropriate supportive networks, he/she may not be as fearful and resistant.