Monthly Archives: December 2010

christmas in new orleans – not so wordless wednesday

The holidays hit New Orleans Square

as i’m going back to working on my “magnum opus” novel, i thought i’d get back into the swing of things by evoking some images of louisiana, seeing that’s where the majority of the story takes place.

why “not so wordless wednesday”? as some of you may know, i used to put up an image every wednesday, without words. so it’s in the same tradition – but different, because the way to keep traditions alive is by changing them up a bit, let them grow with the times.

the picture is by loren javier.

energy audit

i just participated in another wonderful chat about mental health and social media. the topic this time was stress. one of the things i mentioned is that i have been inspired by tony schwartz to do a daily energy audit at work. two people asked if i could post about it so here it is.

in the summer my energy dropped somewhere into the basement, and when i was assaulted by a bad back for the first time in my life, i knew i had to do something. so i sat down and asked myself what impinges on my energy, and what feels important for my energy. here are the questions i came up with:

– how hopeful am i that i will get through the day?
– are there any resentments or other gremlins crowding my mind?
– what’s my physical energy like?
– what’s my emotional energy like?
– how “buzzy” do i feel? (feeling ungrounded, or “buzzy” zaps my energy)

i put the whole thing on a spreadsheet and assign a number to each question. 1 means i feel lousy, 10 means i feel great. i also make little comments that explain some of the numbers. and because i like statistics, i like to pour over the numbers the way a tea leaf reader pours over a cup of darjeeling and glean some wisdom. for example, i’ve noticed that on some questions, i fluctuate a lot and on others only a little.

here is a screenshot of a recreated spreadsheet. what do you think? would this be useful for you? what questions would make sense to you?

a spreadsheet to measure the energy level throughout the day

psychology dailies

a few months ago, some people in switzerland came up with, a program that organizes links shared on twitter into an easy to read newspaper-style format. newspapers can be created for any twitter user, list or #tag. (there is a fun little wordplay to the name: the “li” at the end, a sort of diminuitive, is a hallmark of switzerdeutsch, the swiss version of german.)

i think this is a neat idea. here are some examples:

the psychology daily
the mental health bloggers daily
and one i put together: the world changers daily

on god’s sweet leash

Tichvine Mother of God Russian late 17th century Egg Temperua on wood panel with gold leaf Detail 2

i breathe god in and breathe god out
eat god and shit god
drink god, piss god,
taste god, smell god, sweat god, hear god
see only god

god weaves through me and whispers me
god boils my blood and cools my voice

my walk is god’s, my hands are his,
my eyes are hers, my lips belong to it,
my mind treads the mysterious paths
of gods, goddesses, allah, angels
and of those gods who lie,
crossless, prayerless,
enshrined in science and in emptiness

i breathe god in and breathe god out
and like a little poodle
i walk along on god’s sweet leash

this poem is dedicated to my friends n. and a.  it came to me as i was waking up this morning. and then i went to my first quaker meeting.

creativity and mental health – a twitter chat

today i had the honour of moderating the weekly mental health and social media chat (“#mhsm”) on twitter. these are always such interesting conversations! our topic today was “creativity and the arts”. here is a slightly abridged transcript:

moritherapy: welcome to the weekly #mhsm chat about #mentalhealth and social media. today’s topic: creativity and the arts #mhsm

moritherapy: Q1 how does “consuming” the arts (listening to music, watching movies, looking at paintings, etc.) help with #mentalhealth? #mhsm

moritherapy: my father, who struggled with addiction and bipolar disorder all his life, always said “there’s nothing more soothing than music” #mhsm

KerisWithaK: Consuming and contributing to the arts is incredibly healing! #mhsm

stephintoronto: A1: Consumption of the arts, movies, theater, ballet, opera… are an escape for me from my #mentalillness #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: Q1. Music is for most a highly effective means of clearing the mind, taking your emotions to a different place #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: A1 Music that is uplifting to me, helps boost my mood. #mhsm

Kidsider: @moritherapy We’re partially here great topic tonight! Arts are a healthy outlet when coping with the side affects of recovery #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: A1: Certain movies, or TV programs help me focus on other things besides negative things that might be going on. #mhsm

stephintoronto: A1:think that the consumption of arts helps to stimulate my brain outside of its regular zone,which is gr8 for helping #mentalillness #mhsm

PeacefulBaker: #mhsm I love calming music for anxiety. Feels like it regulates my heartbeat somewhat.

MelissaMashburn: A1: I have always enjoyed art, especially painters from the impressionist era. Something about it is very soothing. #mhsm

moritherapy: @stephintoronto interesting – you call it “escape”. sometimes that word has a negative connotation. what do you think? #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: Art and creativity has the power to heal, center & empower people out of hopelessness. #mhsm

mySahana: Q1: Dancing creates a total body experience instead of being limited to just the head and cerebral processes. #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: I think escape is an accurate word for the feeling that it gives me sometimes. #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: It certainly can replace the stuff in my head for a while, that is escape #mhsm

GermanInAlabama: Does the same for L RT @MelissaMashburn: I think escape is an accurate word for the feeling that it gives me sometimes. #mhsm

moritherapy: @mySahana oh, i love what you say about dancing – incredibly healing, isn’t it? #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: @moritherapy @stephintoronto Escape from suicidal thoughts could never be negative. For players/listeners, music can also be grounding #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: I am not sure if this counts as “art and creativity” but sometimes I like to look around for inspiring quotes to lift my mood #mhsm

GermanInAlabama: It provides an escape from an otherwise seemingly hopeless world at times #mhsm

johnalchin: A1. The arts have the ability to mood-alter. Appropriate music can take the edge off a hectic day or motivate when feeling flat #mhsm

stephintoronto: @moritherapy i agree that “escape”has a negitive feel,but so does feeling crappy w #bipolar & #mentalillness 🙂 #mhsm

mySahana: @moritherapy Oh absolutely! It just shifts your whole experience and emotions to a different, almost tangible place #mhsm

Kidsider: @MySahana I think the arts in all forms really works towards mindfullness by stimulating all the senses in such a positive way. #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: I also find writing very theraputic #mhsm

mySahana: @kidsider Definitely true! I personally have had most experience with dancing but you’re right. Music, dancing, drawing it’s profound. #mhsm


moritherapy: Q2 do you consider yourself a “creative”? how does your own expression of creativity help with #mentalhealth? #mhsm

GermanInAlabama: For L writing music also gives him a chance express feelings he otherwise has trouble getting out #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: As a student of music, playing helps me deal w/ emotional + mental pain, puts things in perspective, gives access to accomplishment #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: A2: I think I am very creative. In the past it took the form of fabric arts, now it is almost exclusively writing. #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: Even if I do not write about stuff going on in my head, just the process of writing feels healing to me. #mhsm

mySahana: A2: I’m very creative too and use it mostly to choreograph dances, to write and to create new experiences for myself #mhsm

stephintoronto: A2: i don’t consider myself a “creative” but i have come to realize that I need artistic outlets to help deal w #mentalillness #mhsm

Kidsider: @moritherapy I think through blogging and SM I would call myself a “creative” we’re all being creative now in breaking stigma #mhsm

bentsinister: @moritherapy A1: I find nothing feeds my soul & makes me feel less alone than great art – especially music & poetry. #mhsm

GermanInAlabama: Here is a video of him singing and playing one of his songs a few months ago #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: Art starts in the mind #mhsm

KerisWithaK: A2– I like to write for 2 reasons – advocacy (feel empowered and possibly educate) & 2 humor to lol when I’m struggling #mhsm

mySahana: I have also recently started singing classes which has been a fabulous way to find my voice and tap into new skills. #mhsm

stephintoronto: i think that many people dealing with #mentalillness and #mentalhealth issues,is that they are blessed with creativity. #mhsm

moritherapy: i feel like i’m in some sort of creativity hub, just listening and talking to you #mhsm guys 🙂 #mhsm

stephintoronto: creativity comes out for me in writing, painting, ballet, arts and crafts, poetry, photography, write comics…. #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: @stephintoronto I have found that fact very interesting. Makes me wonder if the rest of the world needs to catch up with us #mhsm

moritherapy: @mySahana i love the idea of singing to find your voice – so important in #mentalhealth #mhsm

moritherapy: RT @unxpctdblessing Writing & graphic arts are my go to things when Im stressed/upset. #mhsm

bentsinister: @moritherapy A2: I write poetry as a means of expressing those moods & anxieties that won’t otherwise be spoken. #mhsm

Kidsider: @moritherapy i’m glad I have a few minutes this week to be creative with everyone too #mhsm

stephintoronto: feel blessed that so many of you are creative and i get to be the recipiant of it everyday. #mhsm

PeacefulBaker: #mhsm Love to act in plays. It’s a real escape and you learn empathy for people through understanding your characters.

bentsinister: @moritherapy A2: I write fiction too, but I don’t find the same kind of effect from it. #mhsm

KerisWithaK: I can’t sing but loving putting sign language to music!! It’s a great way for me to”show” emotions #mhsm

stephintoronto: @MelissaMashburn I wonder if strong creativity it is our brains compensating for the part of it that is not firing on all cillinders. #mhsm

johnalchin: For me creativity comes by singing, playing guitar, web design and building, enjoying musical theatre, photography #mhsm

GermanInAlabama: There are so many ways to be creative: music, theater, written and spoken word,… #mhsm

KerisWithaK: ASL is a great way to overcome what is known as ‘flat affect’. I had to learn how to overcome flat affect. ASL & theatre were the cure #mhsm

johnalchin: A2. I too have had a love of poetry since I was a young boy. I have written poetry in the past & iit s a great way to get out my angst #mhsm


moritherapy: Q3 what do you think of the (controversial) idea that people with #mentalillness are particularly creative? #mhsm

stephintoronto: @MelissaMashburn i have wondered if it is a bit like ppl who lose there sight and their sense of smell improves to compensate. #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: @stephintoronto @moritherapy at some level, I think all “artists” thrive on conversation (with others, self and their subjects). #mhsm

stephintoronto: A3:completely agree w the idea ppl with #mentalillness are particularly creative.I wonder if there is any concrete supportive evidence #mhsm

GermanInAlabama: L tends to be most creative (and at times almost frantic about it) when he isn’t doing well (especially when manic) #mhsm

unxpctdblessing: A3: I recently looked back through my poetry from college when I was supremely depressed/ lost in grief. Intense amazing stuff. #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: A3 Its unfortunate that some artists are foremost identified with MH illness, inspiration/genius do not always have an obvious source #mhsm

mySahana: A3: I think sometimes it’s true and other times it acts as a way to “reach” to find something positive to say about them #mhsm

johnalchin: RT @stephintoronto: A3:completely agree w the idea ppl with #mentalillness are particularly creative.I wonder if there is any concrete supportive evidence #mhsm

moritherapy: there are some studies on the mental health-creativity connection but they seem to go back and forth #mhsm

Kidsider: @moritherapy PTSD victims often gain a state of hyper vigilance making them more aware of surroundings, possible creativity boost? #mhsm

HealthWorksBC: A3: i’ve worked w 100’s of acutely ill ppl w #mentalillness + 1000’s w other illnesses-rec therapist. Have not seen or read evidence #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: RT @mySahana: A3: I think sometimes its true and other times it acts as a way to “reach” to find something positive to say about them #mhsm

johnalchin: The schizoaffective family member I care for is the creative one in our family. She’s a brill singer, great fashion sense when well. #mhsm

moritherapy: example of study: creativity, schizophrenia and bipolar have similar dopamine system #mhsm

bentsinister: @moritherapy A3: For what it’s worth, I’ve seen a correlation between creativity & mental illness in friends & acquaintances. #mhsm

moritherapy: @Kidsider wow, never thought about the connection between creativity and vigilance, very interesting idea #mhsm

KerisWithaK: A3- I worry abt generalizations. As a person of color ppl assume I can do things ascribed to my race. Many times I can’t. #mhsm

HealthWorksBC: a1: con’d I have not seen or heard sufficient evidence about the people w mental illness -creativity correlation. #mhsm

stephintoronto: “Biological basis for creativity linked to mental illness” #mhsm

johnalchin: Wondering if there is a link between somatisation and the arts. Creativity as outlet for felt pain/grief/psychosis, etc? Anyone know? #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: A3 Art can be a more effective way of explaining complex concepts and emotions than speech, symbols alone #mhsm

mySahana: @stephintoronto Great article! I wonder how this plays into effect considering creativity changes between childhood and adulthood. #mhsm


moritherapy: Q4 creatives & people with #mentalillness live with feeling “different”. when there’s both, does it all get a bit too much? #mhsm

Kidsider: @moritherapy I dont think its matter of apmlifying the negative issues but a symbiotic aide in the struggle of mental health #mhsm

mySahana: @johnalchin I think body centered therapy addresses the issue of holding mental illness/stress/pain etc in your bdy #mhsm

bentsinister: @moritherapy A4: I’ve dealt with far more of a feeling of difference from MI than from creativity. #mhsm

moritherapy: RT @KerisWithaK “different” is perceived as negative. Leads to a hard, lonely life until difference is embraced positively. #mhsm

stephintoronto: wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all embrace our creative sides and say screw you to the #mentalillness side? #mhsm

storiesofsommer: @johnalchin @moritherapy A4: I frequently feel overwhelmed. But am learning to deal with it. #mentalillness #mhsm

moritherapy: @bentsinister there’s stigma re #mentalillness but the creative #stigma is less, or not so visible? #mhsm

KerisWithaK: I love it when people see people for people. Acknowledging and celebrating all that IS that person. #mhsm

moritherapy: @storiesofsommer @johnalchin yeah, i think the word “overwhelm” is well placed here #mhsm

bentsinister: @moritherapy I guess the only times I’ve experienced stigma re: creativity is when I got too “out there” for most people’s standards. #mhsm

stephintoronto: i’d be ok with being the creative artsy lady that lives in “there”,but somehow that always comes w the “crazy” label as well #mhsm


moritherapy: Q5 can you recommend any social media sites or web sites about the topic of creativity and/or how the arts help with mental health? #mhsm

bentsinister: @moritherapy When that happened, though, I was probably hypomanic, now that I think about it. #mhsm

johnalchin: @storiesofsommer @moritherapy I *HATE* feeling overwhelmed. I wan’t to have sense of control at all times. #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: A4 We R all different. I think much pain comes feeling that we have to be so much like others to be loved+respected #mhsm

moritherapy: @stephintoronto yeah, the whole “crazy” connection is kinda interesting. #mhsm

storiesofsommer: @moritherapy No, but it is actually something I have been thinking about starting for quite a while now #mhsm

bentsinister: @moritherapy So I think that any stigma over creativity might be less, at least in my experience. #mhsm

KerisWithaK: My mom used to say I had multiple directions- couldn’t see “one way”. Now that’s called lateral thinkers! The new leaders! #mhsm

moritherapy do you guys know about the ikarus project re mental health and creativity? #mhsm

storiesofsommer: Unfortunately, here in the states, I think we’re way behind on mental health resources. I’ve seen more progress in european countries #mhsm

moritherapy: @storiesofsommer yes, it does look like particularly the UK are making great strides in the area #mhsm

moritherapy: another great resource: @soundtherapyrad does internet radio shows about creativity and mental health #mhsm

johnalchin: @KerisWithaK Yes, I say that my abstract random learning style means my mind is a lot like the world wide web. #mhsm

moritherapy: there’s the creativity and conflict people #mhsm

ReachOutinUSA: Oof! Im getting all shaky from the excitement/vibes in tonight (and a small amount of coffee). Can you feel it?! #mhsm

storiesofsommer: This may have been asked already but which comes b4: the creativity or the mental health issue? #mhsm


moritherapy: as we’re closing, please let us know your blogs and websites so that we can support each other as a resource #mhsm

MelissaMashburn: My blog is Sugar Filled Emotions #mhsm

moritherapy: RT @storiesofsommer; life questions and how my depression/bipolar plays a part plus other random bits #mhsm

moritherapy: RT @MelissaMashburn: My blog is Sugar Filled Emotions

ReachOutinUSA: – a place 4 teens, young adults to share stories on tough times in their lives & how they got through, MH expert vetted #mhsm

johnalchin: I’ve just added a Mental Health section to my website at which I will be adding to over summer (in Oz) #mhsm

GermanInAlabama: Been slacking lately but really want to get back to blogging #mhsm

mySahana: Thank you for an amazing discussion! Please see our site addressing mental health issues in the South Asian community #mhsm

stephintoronto: i write about #mentalhealth #migraines #bipolar disorder…. when i feel up to it… #mhsm

moritherapy: thanks all for participating in the #mentalhealth and social media chat. please come again, same place same time next week! #mhsm

change questionnaire, part 2

part 2 of the change questionnaire. let me know what you think – it’s really just an adapted draft at this stage.

17. Please rate these areas of your life on a scale of 1-10. 1 would be very poor, 5 would be acceptable and 10 very good.

a. Finances ___
b. Relationships ___
c. Work ___
d. Emotions ___
e. Motivation ___
f. Spirituality ___
g. Physical Health ___
h. Mental Health
i. Recreation / Down Time / Fun ___
j. Other ___

I. Change History
What has been your own response to change in the past?

18. Changing the way I DO things – e.g. a change how I do things at work, or a change from eating lots of carbohydrates to eating more vegetables.
a) No problem
b) A few difficulties but not many
c) Not so easy
d) Almost impossible
e) No experience with this kind of change

19. Changing the way I COMMUNICATE – e.g. how I communicate with my spouse, children, coworkers, relatives, friends, etc.
a) No problem
b) A few difficulties but not many
c) Not so easy
d) Almost impossible
e) No experience with this kind of change

20. Changing the way I THINK – e.g. how I talk to myself, how I think about others, etc.
a) No problem
b) A few difficulties but not many
c) Not so easy
d) Almost impossible
e) No experience with this kind of change

21. Changing ROLES – e.g. from single to married, from parent to empty nester, or a change in your role at work?
a) No problem
b) A few difficulties but not many
c) Not so easy
d) Almost impossible
e) No experience with this kind of change

22. A CAREER/WORK change – e.g. becoming unemployed, changing careers, starting work after university
a) No problem
b) A few difficulties but not many
c) Not so easy
d) Almost impossible
e) No experience with this kind of change

23. A change in _________________________________________________ (a significant change in your life)
a) No problem
b) A few difficulties but not many
c) Not so easy
d) Almost impossible
e) No experience with this kind of change

24. Have you experienced any changes which normally would have bothered you, but which did not disturb you? Describe what the change was, and what the factors were that made it worthwhile for you to change.


25. Rate your general readiness to change
a) Prepared to give all the time and energy it takes to succeed.
b) Prepared to put in quite a bit of time and energy to support the change.
c) Prepared to commit a modest amount of time and energy to support the change.
d) Prepared to support the change, but don’t have time to give.
0) Not prepared to actively support the change right now

26. Rate the readiness to support the change on the part of the important people in your life
a) Prepared to give the time and energy it takes to succeed.
b) Prepared to put in quite a bit of time and energy to support the change.
c) Prepared to commit a modest amount of time and energy to support the change.
d) Prepared to support the change, but don’t have time to give.
0) Not prepared to actively support the change right now

J. Dealing with the Stress, Loss and Trauma of Change
People often go through certain stages in dealing with change, sometimes even loss and trauma. By assessing where you stand with this, we can look at how best to support the change with the least pain

Difficulty accepting: Sometimes we find it hard to acknowledge that things need to change (or are already changing). We sometimes minimize the need for change or the fact that things are already changing. Sometimes people know things are or will be changing (e.g. at work, upcoming work shortages; in personal life, deteriorating health or relationships) but look the other way.

Disagreeing with change. E.g. We don’t take steps to prepare for change; fail to look at important signs, facts or information; search for even small evidence that “everything is ok”; actively resist change that is already occurring; react negatively to people associated with the change

In the pit: We acknowledge the inevitability of change and feel hit emotionally by
it. We don’t defend against the change anymore and may experience feelings of confusion, helplessness, lack of motivation, sadness, or perhaps even depression. The emotional and physical immune system is under a lot of stress. Sometimes we become ill; people tend to get more colds in these situations, or certain pre-existing physical or mental health conditions may flare up.

Coming to terms: Accepting the change emotionally, including the losses involved. The perception of the situation, maybe even of the “big picture” changes and begins to include the circumstances/feelings/actions which have changed. We begin to make the best of the change and look for alternate ways of meeting
our needs and become involved again. We become open to rational problem solving (thinking about/accepting alternatives, looking for/accepting information, etc.).

Adapting and coping: A stage of learning, growing, and active problem-solving. We mobilize energy and commitment to deal with the change, to overcome what problems and barriers are amenable to effort, and to develop the skills, attitudes, beliefs and perceptions helpful in dealing with the change.

27. Where are you in the change sequence? We go in and out of the different stages and are often in more than one stage at once. Please rate on a scale of 1 to 10 where you are in each stage.

a. Difficulty accepting change ___
b. Disagreeing with change ___
c. The Pit. ___
d. Coming to terms with the change ___
e. Actively adapting and coping with the change. ___

K. Change History 2
Your change history gives valuable clues to how you are likely to respond during the next change. If you have frequently undergone major change, you will probably deal with change more easily than someone whose life has been stable for a long time. On the other hand, if you have experienced a number of traumatic changes in the recent past, you may feel particularly vulnerable.

28. How frequently have you undergone significant change during the past five years?
a) Change is a way of life for me
b) Several major changes.
c) One or two major changes.
d) No major changes.

29. What has been the dominant effect of these changes on you?
a) The changes have been energizing and stimulating.
b) The changes have been coped with without overt effects on the people.
c) The changes have been stressful, physically and/or emotionally, but I have
d) I can’t take any more change!

30. What lessons can you draw from your response to past change efforts? Give
attention to such areas as
• The way the change was introduced, the kind and amount of information given about the change.
• The degree to which you were able to participate and be involved in planning and implementing the change.
• The timing and pacing of the change.
• Other people involved in the change.

L. Assessing the Level of Pain
Optimum pain for change exists when people recognize that significant aspects of the way their life are not working; they believe that if they knew a better way to operate they could adopt it successfully; and you can find the resources of time, money, support and energy to invest in making improvements while at the same time continuing to meet current demands.

The level of pain is suboptimal for change when people generally feel things are working well enough. They perceive the costs of change to outweigh the gains.

When a person is in continual crisis, and is using all their resources just to meet current demands, they are probably in too much pain to undertake substantial change. Since change requires learning, nearly every significant change results in an initial decrement in “performance” while being “on the learning curve.” In such cases, diversion of resources to manage the change process may well reduce the current performance below the level required for survival. A person can only afford to adopt “quick fix” improvements which require little basic change. It “can’t win for losing.”

31. Rate your degree of pain
a) Little or none; relatively content
b) Some: low level unease and disquiet.
c) Substantial: definite unhappiness with the way things are.
d) Overwhelming: the organization is in crisis and can barely cope.

M. Picking the Right Place to Start Change
Many changes have failed because they got bogged down in the first place they were tried. It is important to choose the part of your life where the change is initiated carefully. Here are some factors to consider in making this choice.
• It is not normally a good idea to institute change “across the board.” Not only does it create a lot of stress, but the change resources are then spread too
thin. You lose the advantage of trying a change in one area, learning from your mistakes, and revising your approach the next time.
• Look for optimum pain (see above)
• Look for where the “free energy” is. This can be found in areas of your life that are not already overwhelmed by current demands and that have the resources necessary to take on the overload required by the change.

32. Given these considerations plus any other criteria that seem valid to you, what areas in your life seem like good candidates for beginning the change? Give your criteria for choosing them.

N. Looking at the Downside of Change
Even though the change may be desirable, there are inevitable losses and possible negative consequences to any change. It is important to be aware of these, so they may be planned for.

33. What do you personally stand to lose if the change takes place as proposed?

34. How would you deal with these losses?

35. What do you stand to lose if the change does not take place?

36. How would you deal with these losses?

37. If applicable: What do others in your life (work, family, etc.) stand to lose if the change takes place as proposed?

38. What do others in your life stand to lose if the change does not take place as proposed?

Now is a good time to return to your original formulation of your plan for change, and update it in the light of your work on the organization’s readiness for change. You may also want to reexamine and possibly revise your change goals.

change questionnaire

i am currently playing with an adaptation of the readiness for change questionnaire for personal changes.  there are 50-odd questions (i’ll probably pare it down to about 35, 40 – less, hopefully, with your help!).  as i’m doing this i’m interested in all the different angles change can be looked at, and am also thinking of maybe turning this into a little research project.  after all, this blog is called change therapy!

i would love to have your thoughts.  are these useful questions?  what do they make you think of?  how might they help YOU make changes?

ok, here starts the adaptation  (in capital letters, of all things!  jan, are you reading this?)

The questionnaire is comprehensive and is intended to provide a way for people

desiring change to scan and evaluate the many factors that may influence

change readiness. It can be used to identify the factors that will support

and facilitate a given change, as well as to flag possible pitfalls and difficulties.

Some of the questions may not apply to you: leave them blank.  Some may seem to apply, but they seem “off” in some way, not phrased just right for your situation. Please answer these questions, but make a note as to how the question should be rephrased to apply to your situation.

A. This questionnaire assumes that you either see a need for change, or that someone else has proposed a change. Whichever is the case, take a moment to define for yourself what change you have in mind as you go through this questionnaire, and describe it very briefly below.



1. What is your likely relationship to the change? Check as many items as apply to you.

a. I want to change.

b. I think I should change but I am not 100% enthusiastic about it.

c. I have been told it would be good to change, or that I should change.

d. I have been forced to change.

e. I think there is some change happening in the future, and I think I should/want to prepare for it.

2. How much information do you have about the proposed change?

a) I am fully informed.

b) I have some information.

c) I have little information.

d) I have no information.

0) No change has yet been proposed.

B. The need for change.

3. Is there a need for change?

a) Yes, definitely.

b) Probably; I think so.

c) I’m not sure; I don’t know.

d) No, not at this time.

4. What circumstances tell you that there is or might be a need to change?



5. What are your personal experiences, thoughts or feelings that tell you there is or might be a need to change?



6. In relationship to the needed or proposed changes, which statement best reflects the current situation?

a) I know exactly what to do, have a plan for doing it, and am currently

implementing the plan.

b) I know exactly what to do, have a plan for doing it and haven’t begun to

implement the plan.

c) I know exactly what to do and have no plan for doing it yet.

d) I have a general idea of what to do, have a plan for doing it, and am currently

implementing the plan.

e) I have a general idea of what to do, have a plan for doing it and haven’t begun to implement the plan.

f) I have a general idea of what to do and have no plan for doing it yet.

g) I don’t know what to do but am experimenting with some things anyway, such as ___________________

h) I don’t know what to do.

i) Even if I knew what to do, I wouldn’t know how to plan or implement it.

C. The Approach to Change

7. How do you think you might go about making the needed changes?



D. The Urgency of Change

8. How urgent is the need for change?

a) It is imperative that I change now.

b) I need to change soon.

c) I will need to change in the foreseeable future.

d) The need is not urgent.

9. How long can the change be put off before it gets intolerable for me?

a) The current situation already has seriously impacted me

b) ___ Weeks.

c)____  Months.

d) A year or more.

10. How long can the change be put off before it gets intolerable for my family?

a) The current situation already has seriously impacted my family

b) ___ Weeks.

c)____  Months.

d) A year or more

e) It doesn’t matter because ______________________________________

E. Magnitude of Change Required:

11. What is the magnitude of change needed to make a substantial improvement in the current situation? (Check as many as apply.)

a. A small/medium/large amount of change in finances, most importantly from __________ to ____________

b. A small/medium/large amount of change in some/many/all of my relationships, most importantly from _________________ to ______________________

c. A small/medium/large amount of change at work, from __________ to ____________

d. A small/medium/large amount of change in my behaviour, most importantly from __________ to ____________

e.  A small/medium/large amount of change in my thoughts, most importantly from __________ to ____________

f.  A small/medium/large amount of change in my feelings, most importantly from __________ to ____________

g.  A small/medium/large amount of change in my motivation, most importantly from __________ to ____________

h.  A small/medium/large amount of change in my spiritual life, most importantly from __________ to ____________

i.  A small/medium/large amount of change in my physical health, most importantly from __________ to ____________

j.  A small/medium/large amount of change in  ___________________________, most importantly from __________ to ____________

F. Criteria of Successful Change

12. How will you know that the needed change has occurred? (Please give as concrete examples and indicators as you can.)

a. I will know ___________________________________________ has changed when ___________________________, _____________________________, and _______________________

G. Resources

Change sometimes requires extra resources. How available are the following resources for carrying out the change?

13. Support from people:

a) People who and are already supporting me or have indicated they are eager to support me, e.g. ____________________________________________  ________________________________________(list as many as you can think of)

b) People who I think are willing to support me, e.g.  ______________________  ________________________________________(list as many as you can think of)

c) People who could possibly support me, e.g.  ______________________  ________________________________________(list as many as you can think of)

d) No-one

14. Information

a) I have all the information I need.

b) I still need to find out more about ___________________ and I can get it from  ___________________________

b) I still need to find out more about ___________________ and don’t know where I can get it

c) I’m not sure whether I have all the information.  However, I do know ______________________________________________________________

d) There’s lots I don’t know and I have no idea where to start.

15. Skills

a) I have all the skills I need.

b) I need to beef up on  ___________________ and am already committed to doing  ___________________________________________________ about it

c) I need to beef up on  ___________________ and could do  _________________________________________________________ about it

d) I need to beef up on   ___________________and don’t know how to go about it

e) I need to learn how to   ___________________ and am already committed to doing  ___________________________________________________ about it

f) I need to learn how to   ___________________ and could do  _________________________________________________________ about it

g) I need to learn how to  ___________________and don’t know how to go about it

h) I don’t have a lot of skills to deal with the change.  One skill I DO have is ________________________________________________________________

i) I have no skills whatsoever to deal with the change.

j) I have a feeling there is/are skills that I need to deal with the change but I have no idea what it is/they are.

16. Money

a) Readily available.

b) Available if I work on it a bit

c) Pretty tight.

d) None whatsoever.


I will post part 2 very soon.