Cycle Of Changes

Help your client understand the stages they will go through while overcoming their addiction and provide additional support with our cycle of changes template. 

By Patricia Buenaventura on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is the Cycle Of Changes?

The , also known as the stages of change, was created by Proschaska and DiClemente in 1983 to understand how people change when dealing with an addiction problem. The circle of change has six stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation or decision, action, maintenance, or laps and relapse.

Here’s a quick 101 on the stages of the cycle of change.


During this stage, the patient doesn’t usually recognize their problem, leading to either wanting to change due to pressure from loved ones or not making any plans for at least the next six months.


Here, the patient has recognized that they have a problem and may have a plan to change within the next six months. However, the course of action is still vague, or they’re still unsure what next steps they must take.


At this point, the patient is sure they want to change, but they’re still unsure how to proceed. At most, they have a plan they must follow within the next month.


The patient has smoothened out the details of their plan and tries to follow it. They are expected to stay in this stage for at least six months before moving to the next one.


If the patient faithfully sustains their new behavior beyond six months, they can move on to this stage. At this point, they’re aiming to avoid lapses and prevent relapse.

Lapse or Relapse

Lapses or relapses can happen especially if this is the patient’s first time. It’s important during this time that you, as the practitioner provide the comfort or motivation they need to accept what has happened and to try again.

After lapse or relapse, it’s expected that the patients move from one stage to the next and repeat the cycle at least three times or until they overcome their addiction.

Printable Cycle Of Change

Download this Cycle Of Change to help clients work their addiction.

How does it work?

If you work with patients struggling with addiction and require a valuable tool to guide them through the process of change and help them achieve their goal of overcoming addiction, we have created a custom template specifically for you. Continue reading to learn how to obtain a copy and integrate it into your practice.

Access and Download the Template

Access and download our printable cycle of change template by either:

  • Clicking the “Download Template” or “Use Template” button above
  • Searching for the “Cycle of Change” template in Carepatron’s template library on our website or app

Explain the Template

It’s best that you explain the cycle of change to your patient and how to answer the questions provided that may help them on their journey. 

Fill Out the Template

Once you’ve explained it, you may give your patient a copy and have them fill it out. Assure them they can take as much time as needed and can ask you questions should they need assistance. 

Securely Store

Since the template carries sensitive information, you must securely store the completed template in a physical location or right on Carepatron, a secure EHR that can store your documents for easy access in the future. 

Cycle Of Changes Example (sample)

We created a Cycle of Changes PDF sample template filled out by a fictional client. We provided this example so you can give your client an idea of how to complete the worksheet and so you have an idea of what your client may write down in the template. 

Feel free to download our example for educational purposes or as an offline reference by clicking the “Download Example PDF” button above or viewing the example below.

Download this Cycle Of Change Example:

Cycle Of Changes Example (sample)

When would you use this Form?

Mental health practitioners such as therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors may use the cycle of changes template while:

  • They’re deciding the type of therapy or treatment plan depending on the stage their patient is at.
  • They’re identifying the stage the patient is at to provide them with techniques to help them move from this stage to the next.
  • They’re caring for patients dealing with substance abuse, are on the road to recovery from their addiction, or want to swap out any harmful habit - no matter how trivial - with better ones.
  • They’re helping a patient experiencing stress due to a momentous change in their life. 

On the other hand, patients can use this form when they need motivation to power through a stage or a guide on how to go to the next stage.  


Track Progress

The free cycle of change template can be used to track the patient’s progress in accomplishing their goals to build better habits or overcome their addiction/problems. 

Encourages communication

It is advised for them to engage in open communication with their referring physician to determine their current stage. In case of any difficulty or hesitation, the physician can refer to the patient's written responses or utilize the questions provided in the template as a starting point for discussion.

Effective treatment planning

Having the template will aid in tracking and formulating an effective treatment to help the patient go from one stage to the next. 

Build Better Habits

With a physical reminder - in the form of a cycle of change template - of the stages, a patient may go through as well as the problems they may face, the reason why they want or must deal with their problems, or how to power through on their journey, they are effectively building better habits.

Why use Carepatron as your  Cycle Of Changes app?

It’s because the Carepatron app is used by mental health practitioners such as therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists to access and download the cycle of changes template for themselves and their patients. And you can be one of the many medical professionals who can benefit from our templates of helpful resources for patients and features to help you increase the caliber of your practice today.

With the Carepatron software, you can do more than grab a copy of the cycle of changes template like:

  • Have your client complete the cycle of changes template form on any gadget they have on hand, access it whenever they want on the patient portal, and securely store a completed copy on our HIPAA-compliant EHR 
  • Have the client you’re caring for schedule appointments independently to see their progress or in case of concerns
  • Teleconsult with the client in case of an emergency using our integrated video call solutions
  • Set up reminders and an automated payment system for ease of payment for your client

This is just a glimpse of the many things you can do on Carepatron and resources you can access for free that can streamline clinical processes and automate tasks with your practice, no matter your specialty. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on the chance to sign up on Carepatron today!

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Who uses the Cycle Of Changes?
Who uses the Cycle Of Changes?

Commonly asked questions

Who uses the Cycle Of Changes?

Patients who are developing positive habits, especially those who are overcoming addiction, and the mental health practitioner caring for them can use and benefit from having a cycle of changes template on hand. 

When do you use the Cycle Of Changes?

The mental health practitioner and the patient can use the cycle of changes template at any point of their journey. However, it is recommended that the patient is educated on the cycle of change and that they fill out the template during their first session. 

How is the Cycle Of Changes used?

It can be used however the practitioner and patient deem fit. Usually, it’s used as an educational resource and reference. 

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