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Stages of Change

1. Pre-contemplation

  • She does not recognize her partner’s behavior as abusive.
  • She does not know to be interested in change and/or she takes responsibility for causing the abuse and/or she is looking for an answer for how SHE can be responsible for change.
  • She is demoralized from trying to leave and failing.

2. Contemplation

  • She does recognize her partner’s behavior as abusive.
  • She has an increased awareness of the pros and cons of changes she can make.
  • She may not fully identify ways to stay safe and cannot imagine how she could make these changes.

3. Preparation

  • She recognizes the behavior as abusive.                                  
  • She intends to create change.
  • She is developing or has developed a plan for change.

4. Action

  • Client is actively engaged in making changes by working toward client determined goals of safety.
  • She is creating and actively using a safety plan.
  • She is developing/has developed a support system that she actively uses.
  • She is making or has made a decision about whether the relationship is right for her.

5. Maintenance

  • She no longer takes responsibility for abuser’s actions nor participates in the abuse cycle.
  • And she is able to maintain her goals.
  • Client is taking steps to engage in healthy relationships.