Ironically the first stage of change doesn't involve much change at all. Clients in this phase are usually not happy campers. For the family members and the interventionist, this period is dedicated to the preparation for change. During this phase, we are planting seeds, NOT HARVESTING. Although it may feel frustrating, we need to put emotions aside and engage with strategic compassion. The bonding that happens between the interventionist and the client is paramount during the initial conversations. The way in which the interventionist approaches the client during the pre-contemplation phase is a delicate process and requires strategic planning. Interventions are NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL. It is essential to the process and the effectiveness of the interventionist to establish reliability and trust in the beginning stage; if these two critical elements are not present, they will have little to no influence on the client's motivation to change.
THERE ARE FOUR TYPES OF PRECONTEMPLATORS
The "Four R's":
These clients lack awareness of the severity of the problem, and they have not recognized the consequences in their life to be related to substance use.
The Approach: The Reluctant client is likely to respond to subtle and sensitive feedback about how substance use may be impacting their life. [Note: Emphasizing the word MAY rather than IS delineates a question rather than an accusation. ] Telling a person at this stage that their substance use is causing an adverse impact in their life is not effective. Creating an environment in which the interventionist and client discover together that substance use is having a negative impact is a step in the right direction.