Assessing readiness to change among clients seeking help for hypersexual behavior

  • Reid R
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Abstract

Mental health professionals may erroneously assume that clients seeking help for hypersexual behavior are ready to begin working on their issues at the outset of treatment. Prochaska and DiClemente (e.g., 1983, 1984) proposed the transtheoretical model (TTM) stages of change to advance their belief that clients move through several stages when attempting to alter specific target behaviors. If a clinician gets ahead of a client by administering interventions that are improperly matched with the client's readiness to change, treatment may be prematurely terminated or high levels of resistance may be encountered during therapy. In this study, clients (N = 67) who were referred for treatment in a specialty outpatient clinic for hypersexual behavior completed the Sexual Compulsivity Scale (Kalichman et al., 1994; Kalichman McConnaughy, Prochaska, & Velicer, 1983). The data collected from these measures revealed that 70% (n = 47) of clients who expressed an interest in receiving help with issues related to hypersexuality also had high levels of ambivalence about the changes they desired to make and that individuals with ADHD were significantly (chi-square, p ≤ .001) more likely to be in the contemplation stage than subjects presenting with alternative diagnoses. Implications for these finding are discussed and suggestions for future research are offered. Mental health professionals may erroneously assume that clients seeking help for hypersexual behavior are ready to begin working on their issues at the outset of treatment. Prochaska and DiClemente (e.g., 1983, 1984) proposed the transtheoretical model (TTM) stages of change to advance their belief that clients move through several stages when attempting to alter specific target behaviors. If a clinician gets ahead of a client by administering interventions that are improperly matched with the client's readiness to change, treatment may be prematurely terminated or high levels of resistance may be encountered during therapy. In this study, clients (N = 67) who were referred for treatment in a specialty outpatient clinic for hypersexual behavior completed the Sexual Compulsivity Scale (Kalichman et al., 1994; Kalichman McConnaughy, Prochaska, & Velicer, 1983). The data collected from these measures revealed that 70% (n = 47) of clients who expressed an interest in receiving help with issues related to hypersexuality also had high levels of ambivalence about the changes they desired to make and that individuals with ADHD were significantly (chi-square, p ≤ .001) more likely to be in the contemplation stage than subjects presenting with alternative diagnoses. Implications for these finding are discussed and suggestions for future research are offered.

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Authors

  • Rory C. Reid

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