|Workshop design and facilitation by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, CGP, MT|
Contemplation (Getting Ready) Contemplation is the stage in which people intend to change in the next six months. They are more aware of the pros of changing, but are also acutely aware of the cons. In a meta-analysis across 48 health risk behaviors, the pros and cons of changing were equal (Hall & Rossi, 2008). This weighting between the costs and benefits of changing can produce profound ambivalence that can cause people to remain in this stage for long periods of time. This phenomenon is often characterized as chronic contemplation or behavioral procrastination. Individuals in the Contemplation stage are not ready for traditional action-oriented programs that expect participants to act immediately.
Preparation (Ready) Preparation is the stage in which people intend to take action in the immediate future, usually measured as the next month. Typically, they have already taken some significant action in the past year. These individuals have a plan of action, such as joining a gym, consulting a counselor, talking to their physician, or relying on a self-change approach. These are the people who should be recruited for action-oriented programs.
Action. Action is the stage in which people have made specific overt modifications in their lifestyles within the past six months. Because action is observable, the overall process of behavior change often has been equated with action. But in the TTM, Action is only one of five stages. Typically, not all modifications of behavior count as Action in this Model. In most applications, people have to attain a criterion that scientists and professionals agree is sufficient to reduce risk of disease. For example, reduction in the number of cigarettes or switching to low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes were formerly considered acceptable actions. Now the consensus is clear—only total abstinence counts.
Maintenance. Maintenance is the stage in which people have made specific overt modifications in their lifestyles and are working to prevent relapse; however, they do not apply change processes as frequently as do people in Action. 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%." ****
Applied Improvisation deals with moment-to-moment shifts in live interaction between individuals or people in a group and is an ideal training ground for examining the often subtle ways that readiness-or lack thereof-to receive and consider an idea is communication. This workshop explored some of the subtle ways that emotional states and mind set are communicated, through vocal inflection, attitude and movement.
APPLIED IMPROVISATION is grounded in 3 fundamental principles- beautifully explored in a blog post by the wonderful San Diego-based improviser Amy Lisewski - that are extremely useful for adapting in the moment to whatever other people present, and for accepting others exactly where they are psychologically and emotionally:
- Let Go
- Notice More
- Use Everything
THE STAGES OF CHANGE ENACTMENT
- Provide a visual and experiential view of the stages of change
- Explore a fictional change through a realistic lense
- To explore the physical, vocal and other nonverbal ways that emotion and intention are communicated;
- To explore the diverse meanings that a single word or idea can carry;
- To provide an experience for looking at subtle cues in communication and what they might signal;
A word is chosen from the list. Each member in turn says the word with a different emotional tone or intensifying the emotional tone that someone else expressed. First rounds are just listening to each person's take on the word. Subsequent rounds can branch into discussion of what the listeners perceive when hearing the word. Different perceptions of the same emotional expression are common. Discuss what images come up hearing the word spoken in different ways, and the subconscious patterns that might be expressed through nonverbal cues.
To explore how a story can be created with 3 just 3 lines being spoken;
To experience initiating a scene using one word and receiving a partner's interpretation of it without judgment;
To practice thinking on one's feet and working with the unexpected in relating to others;
In pairs, particiapnt A starts a scene using a 1-word sentence. Partner B responds with a complete sentence. Partner A completes the scene with a 1-word sentence, e.g.
Person A: Great (sighing)
Person B. It looks like we're going to be here awhile so lets order some food.
Person A. Okay (resigned)
Insult - Compliment - Threat
Explore how the same statement can be perceived as an insult, threat or compliment based on the receiver's mindset;
Explore the way it might feel to perceive information as a threat or insult that is not intended that way (which can happen with people struggling with change that challenges long-standing ideas or relationships);
Have fun with learning not to take other peoples' preconceptions personally;
Facilitator prepares index cards that have "Compliment" "Insult" or "Threat" written on it. These are handed out to participants. Participants pair up, one with a card and one without one. The person with no card says any random statement. The person with a card must respond from the mindset of the word on the card:
Person A: This place doesn't take reservations.
Person B: You must think I'm a real loser. (card says 'insult)
Person A: I'm pretty sure they don't take reservations from anyone, not just us.
Person A: This place doesn't take reservations.
Person B: Thank you!! You know I only go to places so high end you can't get a reservation.(card says "Compliment")
Person A: Well really its because they're not that fancy but I'm glad you're happy about it.
I AM A TREE -
- Develop a story moment-to-moment;
- Replace over-thinking and planning with moment-to-moment responsiveness;
- Collaborate with others to create a story without planning or over-thinking;
- Focus awareness on emotions;
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Click here for a list of books by James Prochaska that deal with The Stages of Change model in psychotherapy and addictions work.
6 Reasons Why Improv Class Can Improve Your Confidence on Elite Man Magazine website
How Laughing Leads To Learning, website of the American Psychological Association.
Amy Lisewski's new book Relax! We're All Just Making This Stuff Up: Using The Tools of Improvisation To Cultivate More Courage and Joy In Your LIfe
Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, CGP, MT is a trainer/consultant and writer/performer. She designs and facilitates creative, experiential workshops and classes for personal and professional development, and is President of Lifestage, Inc, an approved provider of Continuing Education for social workers in NYS, Provider #0270. She is host/creator of (mostly) TRUE THINGS a storytelling show that features true stories - with a twist. Follow her on twitter