Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Stages of Change in Couple and Family Therapy

  • James O. ProchaskaEmail author
  • Janice M. Prochaska
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_704

Name of Concept

Stages of Change


Readiness; Transtheoretical Model; TTM


Stages of change were discovered as part of a pursuit to integrate a field that had fragmented into more than 150 theories of psychotherapy. Through interviews, a group of ordinary people revealed the stages of change they had experienced in their struggles to get free from smoking, the most deadly of addictions. The concept of stages was not in any of the 150 theories, but was recognized as a missing link that could integrate change processes identified in a comparative analysis of 25 leading theories.

Theoretical Context

Leaders at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) sounded an alarm that increasing fragmentation in what they labeled the Psychotherapy Jungleplaced the field in harm’s way. NIMH did not know which theories should be funded for outcomes research. More importantly, insurance companies were becoming increasingly confused over which therapies were fads and fashions...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical and Health PsychologyUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  2. 2.Prochaska Change ConsultantsMill ValleyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HarfordUSA