Doing nothing about ABSA and the consequences
If we carry on doing the same things we will keep getting the same results.
So, if we change nothing………nothing changes
This section will help you to understand why making changes can be a really important part of supporting the management of anxieties and worries. Change can seem very scary and the young person may feel trapped and unable to move forward. With support, small steps forward can be made that will eventually allow the situations to be better managed.
The four steps below provide an outline that support you in thinking about making changes.
Step 1 UNDERSTAND more about what is going on
Step 2 THINK about and DECIDE what it is that you want to change and why you need these changes to happen
Step 3 Thinking about what might SUPPORT you in making those changes
Step 4 Motivating you to make those initial steps towards ACTION and CHANGE
Easier said than done? Perhaps, but ask yourself this 'how can things possibly change if you do nothing?'
'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'. Lao-Tzu.
The Cycle of Change
To make positive changes to our behaviour, we go through a series of stages. Researchers Prochaska and DiClemente suggest these stages are:
- Precontemplative (not even thinking about change): Here, we are unaware that there is a problem; we can't see the need to change and have no intention of making any changes. Example: A student who avoids school believes this is a good strategy to avoid anxiety and it works.
- Contemplative (thinking about it): We are now aware that we have a problem and understand that we probably need to change. We start to become aware of some of the options that may help us to change. Example: The student can begin to understand how avoiding school does not help them in the long term with their school work and their ability to cope and manage their anxieties and fears.
- Preparing (getting ready): We now understand that there is a problem and have made a decision to change our ways. We start to take the teps necessary that will allow us to change. Example: The student may at this stage be investigating and planning strategies to support them in regularly going to school and managing their fears.
- Action: (doing it): We now start the doing part of change. Starting to make the changes to behaviour that will allow us to change. There is a chance of relapse here and the key is to start again and keep at it. Example: The student puts into action their plan and strategies for change.
- Maintenance (keeping it going): Keeping the changes going and having done so successfully for at least six months, the changes become a very real part of our life. Example: The student carries on attending regularly and continues to use the strategies they have learnt to help them manage at school. The student may find this hard at times, but is able to manage these setbacks through the strategies they have developed. In time the student will feel the benefits of regularly attending school and soon going to school will become established as a habit (a good one).