Pre-contemplation is the first stage in the transtheoretical model of change, which was developed to help us understand someone's readiness to change. During the precontemplation phase, you might not able to see your behaviors as harmful.

What Happens During The Pre-Contemplation Stage?

During the pre-contemplation stage, people are not thinking about changing and they’re not looking for help. They might not see the need for change. 

The precontemplation stage is sometimes defined by four words: reluctance, rebellion, resignation, and rationalization. 

  • Reluctant to admit the need for change.

  • Rebellion against the necessity for change. 

  • Resignation about the possibility that change is needed

  • Rationalization about their behavior 

During this phase, they are likely to ignore advice from others. 

How Long Does the Pre-contemplation Stage Last?

The length of the pre-contemplation stage of change varies. Some might spend decades without realizing they need to change, while others start to think about making a change within days. Since no two individuals are alike, there’s no way to tell how long the pre-contemplation stage will last. 

Can You Help Someone Who is in the Pre-contemplation Stage?

If you want to help, it is important to show support. It might be necessary for this person you care about to develop a better understanding of the consequences of their behavior before they can consider making a change. 

Interventions and rehabs are challenging events and may not be effective during the pre-contemplation stage. It may be that this person is not there just yet, but patience and compassion during this time may help them find the desire to change.