Making Changes

Making Changes

Depression and anxiety can, at times, be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, or think that you might be, it is always critical that you book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible to discuss it in more detail. Your GP will be able to ask you some key questions, may ask you also to complete a form, and will be able to give a clear sense of what is going on and what help you might want to consider.

While your GP might recommend anti-depressants (depending on your circumstances), there are also lots of other different things they might suggest instead of anti-depressants, or in addition to. These might include, counselling or psychotherapy, mindfulness, group work, bibliotherapy (self-help books), online courses, and so on.

While the strong recommendation is that you always seek the help and advice of a professional, there are also some things that you might be able to do for yourself that can make a big difference to how you feel.

We can helpfully think about change in terms of stages. Norcross et al (2011) talk about five key stages of change:

  • Pre-contemplation (not yet ready for change, and/or not realising that change is required)
  • Contemplation (thinking about the changes we want or need to make)
  • Preparation (getting ready to make the change, including putting things in place)
  • Action (making the change)
  • Maintenance (keeping the change in place over time)

The information in this section will help you think about the types of changes you might need or want to make and help consider the foundations you will need in place (contemplation and preparation) to do so.

Source of Information
Norcross, J.C., Krebs, P.M., & Prochaska, J.O. (2011). Stages of change. In J.C. Norcross (Ed.), Psychotherapy relationships that work (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford.