Microactions, Change and Diapercakes!

Change is good

Yes, there is a correlation between mental health, positive psychology, support systems and diaper cakes; the correlation refers to micro-actions which are small actions that we take to bring us to a larger goal. One of my favorite sayings is "You eat an elephant, one bite at a time". Sun Tzu said the greatest journey begins with a "single step".

This diaper cake is the result of a weekend when I was feeling a little down, my sister came over and sensed that I was low, so we made a diaper cake for a friend. The small action of working with someone on a small project raised my mood and primed me for the next step which was going to the mall. In this instance the journey back from sadness started with a small step of someone being there and supporting me in a positive manner.

Holistic Change: Slow and steady wins the race

Our culture places much attention and focus on the finale, the big reveal, the "ta-da" or "ah-ha" sometimes forgetting how much work goes into that "ah-ha". Most therapists that do work around change recognize that not everyone is ready for change and that we all change at different speeds. We are trained in "MI" or Motivational Interviewing Technique, we roll with the resistance to try and explore behavioral patterns that have not worked in the past and try to get our client to make changes for themselves. The stages of change are listed below:

 

Five stages of change have been conceptualized for a variety of problem behaviors. The five stages of change are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.

Precontemplation is the stage at which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Many individuals in this stage are unaware or underaware of their problems. Those who do not realize that they have a problem cannot change it.

Contemplation is the stage in which people are aware that a problem exists and are seriously thinking about overcoming it but have not yet made a commitment to take action. We are trying to figure out what we can do to change.

Preparation is a stage that combines intention and behavioral criteria. People are ramping up, getting their supplies ready and focusing on their next step; ACTIVE CHANGE.

Action is the stage in which individuals modify their behavior, experiences, or environment in order to overcome their problems. Action involves the most overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy. Action is where we see most people signalling their approval for our change.

Maintenance is the stage in which people work to prevent relapse and consolidate the gains attained during action. This stage extends from six months to an indeterminate period past the initial action. People go back and forth in this stage and must work hard to maintain their change. In this stage we have to dig DEEP, motivation is coming from internally and is driven by our AUTHENTIC desires.

 

While working on the change process, you may find it helpful to spend sometime with your support system doing something fun and fulfilling, like making a diaper cake!

About Tamara Pommells EdS. LPC. LCADC.

Holistic Behavioral Solutions is a community wellness agency, psychotherapy practice and mentoring program in Mercer County, New Jersey which supports individuals, youth and their families as they transition towards a higher level of functioning. Our team of practitioners adhere to a philosophy that values diversity and authenticity and validates the strength and experience of our client base. Services are provided within the community, in office or online for your benefit and convenience. Please call 609-752-3098 for services.
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