7 Precursors of Change

Precursor does not mean that you must have these prior to therapy, rather this means that these must be present to achieve the desired therapeutic change.  A strong, competent counselor will assist in developing the missing precursors and will strengthen the existing ones.

Interestingly enough, if all the precursors are present, therapy is rarely needed.  Below you will find a list of the precursors with a brief description.  This is really unjust, but to provide the full understanding requires a book.  (Fred Hanna, Professor at University of Toledo, has already written it. This is from his research.)

1.      A sense of necessity is a felt sense of urgency or need on the part of the client that change take place.

2.      A willingness or readiness to experience anxiety or difficulty is the client’s recognition that he or she is willing to feel the discomfort that comes with change.

3.      Awareness is knowing that a problem exists and having a good sense of what that problem or issue is, as well as of the thought, feelings and behaviors connected with it.

4.      Confronting the problem is the culmination of awareness but is not the same.  Confronting is the steady and deliberate attending to and observing of anything that is intimidating, painful, or confusing, in spite of the inclination to avoid, shun, or act out.

5.      Effort or will toward change indicates action actually taken toward solving the problem.  It is the expending of energy as well as the movement made.  It also involves the will in the sense of making a commitment, coming to a decision and initiating action.

6.      Hope for change is the client’s realistic expectation that change can, and will probably, occur.  The hopeful client sees the possibility of change and the pat to accomplish it.

7.      Social support for change consist of being engaged in confiding, supportive relationships that are dedicated to the well-being and improvement of the client.