Dr. James Prochaska Presents: "Breakthroughs in the Science and Practice of Behavior Change”
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"Breakthroughs in the Science and Practice of Behavior Change”
The power of stories from personal experiences will be combined with the power of science from professional discoveries. Growing up in a factory neighborhood as a free-range kid, I developed a passion for playing and for personal freedom. Becoming a full professor with tenure, I became depressed that my research was having no impact. Rediscovering my passion for personal freedom led to the discovery of the stages of change. The methods used ranged from students in a graduate seminar analyzing leading theories of psychotherapy to identifying processes of change; interviews with 50 ordinary people; cross-sectional studies on the pros and cons of changing across 12 different behaviors; and the processes of change emphasized in each stage of change. These simple methods that can be done by graduate students and faculty without funding resulted in three articles that out of 10,000 studies on tobacco were the number 1, 2 and 7 highest impact publications. They also led to more than $80,000,000 in grants and contracts. Other strategies and the breakthroughs they produced will illustrate four factors that can drive major advances in the science and practice of behavior change.