Friday 15 November 2013

#436 Readiness for Change is Pivotal

     "According to the transtheoretical model of change, readiness for change is represented across a continuum, from 
          • precontemplation (denial or minimization of a problem),
          • contemplation (considering making change),
          • action (actively engaged in change), and 
          • maintenance (efforts taken to maintain changes already made)."

     This very recent study concluded that "most (current American) veterans presenting for Veteran Affairs mental health care services attend a limited number of visits. Those who report greater readiness for change attend a greater number of mental health visits in the year following intake. Motivational interviewing interventions implemented at entry into care may increase readiness for change and enhance use of needed mental health services."

       Jakupcak M. et al. Readiness for change predicts VA Mental Healthcare utilization among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. J Trauma Stress 2013; 26(1): 165-8.

     Readiness for change is, I strongly suspect, the single most important determinant re how much participants benefit from mindfulness workshops (not to mention the obvious: the quality & quantity of their participation). "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
     Intellectual curiosity can motivate people to register, but when not actually ready to change, their efforts may naturally be directed towards ensuring that conditions suit their status quo - they naturally identify with their preferences. Unfortunately, intellect is a very common wall or boundary between "self" and real life. Softening & dissolving boundaries is very important, at a healthy pace. For some of us, seeking the assistance of a mental health professional to help unblock natural healthy evolution is a remarkably wise choice.
       Wilber K. No boundary. Eastern and Western approaches to personal growth. Shambhala, Boston, 1979.

     When one is ready to change, one is open to trying new practices that are specifically designed to help participants experience & learn about their relationship to change itself. "Only have no preference" is a very useful koan or open question.
     Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based approach that's particularly effective in addiction work. Arguably, there are only quantitative differences between addiction to substances and the average person's clinging to the momentum of their sleep-walking life - or resistance to living a more consciously evolving life.
       May G. "Addiction and Grace. Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions." HarperCollins, NY, 1988. 

     See also: 

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