Poster on Stages of Change and Recovery Now Available

MC partner, The Institute for Safe Families, (ISF) incorporated the Stages of Change model into trainings on family violence prevention for over ten years. It is a useful theory about what we all go through when we decide we want to change a certain behavior.


The Stages of Change Model was originally developed in the late 1970's and early 1980's by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente at the University of Rhode Island when they were studying how smokers were able to give up their habits or addiction.


The idea behind “Stages of Change” is that behavior change does not happen in one step. Rather, people tend to progress through different stages on their way to successful change. Also, each of us progresses through the stages at our own rate. 


We have always loved poem by Portia Nelson, “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk,” and feel it epitomizes the Stages of Change. At ISF’s request, graphic artist, Peter Camburn, took the poem and created color and design to go with it.  Click here to see the poster.

The stages of change are:

  • Precontemplation (Not yet acknowledging that there is a problem behavior that needs to be changed)
  • Contemplation (Acknowledging that there is a problem but not yet ready or sure of  wanting to make a change)
  • Preparation (Getting ready to change)
  • Action (Changing behavior)
  • Maintenance (Maintaining the behavior change) and
  • Relapse (Returning to older behaviors and abandoning the new changes)

The "There's a Hole in My Sidewalk"  poster is available in 11" X 17" from the Health Federation of Philadelphia.  Click here to order posters for your organization.