Positive Psychology 

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What  is Positive Psychology?


ARIA incorporates numerous tools and approaches from the fields of cognitive psychology, positive psychology, appreciative inquiry and motivational interviewing to help you discover your current strengths and abilities, your underlying potential, and your meaning, calling or life purpose. This strength-affirming inquiry into the Self is enhanced by the numerous activities presented in each stage to help you learn and grow.

The ARIA Model is based on the most widely researched and used models of change theory. Along with the recent developments in positive psychology, the ARIA model offers a structured approach to using your character strengths in each area of change, providing a practical way of introducing these well researched tools to increase resilience and success. This makes the ARIA methodology and model unique, as it is integrated with the current evidence-based positive psychology tools and applications. 

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The Trans-theoretical Model (The Stages of Change)

The Trans-theoretical Model (The Stages of Change)

The Trans theoretical Model TMM (also called the Stages of Change) that was developed by Prochaska and DiClemente focuses on the decision-making process we all go through in making changes in our lives. In their research, they combined the different change theories of psychology, neurobiology, social psychology and behavioral economics, integrating the current research on change, hence the name "transtheoretical model of Change." This comprehensive model is seen as the dominant model describing behaviour change to date. (wikipedia)

Why do we need to know about the Stages of Change?

In their research, Prochaska and DiClemente found that when changing a behavior or habit such as smoking or drinking, the person thinks about the problem differently based on their readiness to change. The TMM was developed for family physicians and mental health practitioners to help people make lifestyle modifications related to disease prevention, as well as overcome addiction. Using Motivational Interviewing, the information and intervention provided specifically targeted to the person based on their readiness to change. This is critical to change as awareness, acceptance, autonomy and ambiviance to change need to be addressed prior to taking any action if the changes are to be long lasting. DiClemente and Prochaska outlined four main stages a person goes through when addressing these lifestyle changes. The stages of change are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, and action. Maintenance and relapse are also also seen as additional stages. Within ARIA these stages are represented as Awareness, Resilience, Inspiration and Action, but are expanded on with the 24 character strengths. 

The ARIA model offers a structured approach to using your character strengths in each area of change, ensure that a roadmap of practical tips can be applied at any point. This makes the ARIA methodology and model unique, as it is integrated with the current evidence-based positive psychology tools and applications. 

ARIA and Change Management

In business a similar approach is used to implement a change initiative, often referred to as Change Management. The Change Curve Model is widely used in business and change management, an approach attributed to psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, for her work on with grief and bereavement. The Kübler-Ross model addressed the five most common emotions that people go through when dealing with change: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The Change Curve model is widely used in business to address the four stages of change, seen as Denial, Resistance, Exploration and Action. ARIA integrates the emotional aspect into the model as well, represented as Acceptance, Resistance, Intention and Accountability.

What if I am not Ready to Change?

Have you ever been told that you need to change something in your life, and you resisted, even when it was beneficial, or at worst unavoidable? Motivational interviewing was developed as a way to help a person resolve any ambivalence, fear or powerless powerlessness we often feel when dealing with change. By highlighting the discrepancy between what you want/need/desire, and where you are and what is happening, your own intrinsic motivation and autonomy can be tapped to elicit “change talk” self-motivational statements that will propel you into planning and doing. The aim is to increase you autonomy for what you want to do, while helping you resolve any personal roadblocks that prevent you from taking action on your personal goals. This approach activates the internal motivation that we all possess, which is much more powerful than being “told to change.”

Do I really need to change?

Once this question is embraced, the stages of change begin to unfold. As we create awareness for the why and what of change, this line of questioning introduces possibility and acceptance. Once specific actions are taken we want to learn from, and reinforce the changes that are taking place. Setting small goals and then evaluating and recognizing success provides the needed feedback and reinforcement that is necessary for long term change. It is also an opportunity to correct mistakes and behaviors that are not leading to the desired outcome. Using ARIA helps you build knowledge, skills and introduces tools to reinforce changes throughout the process of growth.

Do I really need to change?

One of the most difficult aspects of change, especially needed change is resolving ambivalence or denial of change. In therapy this is the first to addressed, and in business, change management sees a similar issue. Without first creating Awareness and Acceptance, little can be accomplished, or the changes will be temporary. To be an effective, the person must develop some amount of motivation in order to implement even a small amount to change.

Once this question is embraced, the stages of change begin to unfold. As we create awareness for the why and what of change, this line of questioning introduces possibility and acceptance. Once specific actions are taken we want to learn from, and reinforce the changes that are taking place. Setting small goals and then evaluating and recognizing success provides the needed feedback and reinforcement that is necessary for long term change. It is also an opportunity to correct mistakes and behaviors that are not leading to the desired outcome. Using ARIA helps you build knowledge, skills and introduces tools to reinforce changes throughout the process of growth.

Once I have Awareness and Acceptance, then what? 

First we need to develop Resilience - Do you have the time, energy and resources to act? This is where training new habits comes in, and a systematic way of planning out your day. This will also highlight any areas of Resistance, areas where energy may be being wasted or misused, or worse, taken by others.

Just knowing what to change doesn't actually bring about the desired outcome, it only creates activation energy, that needs to be managed. Creating a system to monitor your efforts and provide feedback of your efforts is a critical step. Just like for any approach being adopted, there must be some way to measure and ensure success.