Many tools exist to assist people in recovery from addiction. Licensed psychologists and clinical social workers implement many of these tools in therapeutic settings. The Change Analysis is one tool utilized by professionals working with addictions. This tool utilizes a nonjudgmental approach while allowing clients to assess, analyze and perhaps change behaviors. Let’s take a look at this tool to find out what it is, how it works and what benefits it provides for persons in recovery from addiction.
A “Change Experiment” is an effective, practical tool including in methods of overcoming substance use issues. A person who does not believe a problem exists or is unwilling to face it is the main focus of this tool. An individual is asked to try abstinence for a set period of time (a week or two, depending on circumstances) only on a trial basis. During this time, whether abstinence was upheld or not, the counselor or therapist can then use the outcome of the Change Experiment to develop insight-building ideas for discussion.
If, for instance, a substance user cannot abstain during the trial period, challenges and barriers to success can be discussed. Were the person to be successful, the discussion would focus on how it felt not to be using substances, what worked and how to build on that success.
A “Change Analysis” is the next step following a “Change Experiment.” The purpose of this analysis is to open conversation with the person struggling with addiction about what is going on mentally and where help is needed. A person can still choose to be disingenuous but the Change Analysis reviews things from many perspectives which serve as a guideline for generating honest conversation, where possible, in a genuine and nonjudgmental manner. Three perspectives are considered in a Change Analysis:
The Actual – what is really happening in life right now and where is the person at today.
The Ideal – what is the best case scenario or outcome and what is commonly considered ideal.
The Real – what are you most likely going to do when no pressure is on and people are not watching what is happening. This helps the individual think about choices in a realistic manner.
The Change Analysis tool can help get individuals talking about change which is always a great place to start. Open, honest communication is needed if an individual is ever to overcome the challenges recovery brings. This tool can offer a new way of viewing existing issues which might, with the help of a social worker or counselor, lend some perspective which can prove helpful for the individual now and further down the road of recovery.
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