The Maintenance Stage of Change

The maintenance stage of the behaviour change framework is the phase in which you maintain all of your new behaviours by managing the tendency to slip back into the ones.

Maintaining your gains involves recognising the difference between a lapse and a relapse and using proven strategies to deal with the temptations before or when they occur.

You cannot make personal changes or improvements without failing or making mistakes along the way.

Mistakes are a normal human behaviour and form the basis by which we learn.

Despite what many people believe, failure is NOT the opposite of success, failure is a component PART of success.

By learning how to manage lapses and avoid falling into the same traps each time temptation arises, you will give yourself the best chance to grow and change.

This is the nature of maintenance.

Man performing car maintenance oil change

Maintenance Specific Strategies

The stage-specific strategies used in the maintenance phase of change include:

  • Avoiding the significant triggers.
  • Learning how to say no to yourself and others.
  • Dealing with the initial urge to slip (the “doughnut challenge”).
  • Responding adaptively if you do slip.
  • Implementing strategies for the next slip.

Eventually, through maintaining your new behaviours and countering the lapses, you will begin to assimilate your new behaviours as automatic habits, behaviours which need little, if any, conscious control.

The aim here is to extinguish old behaviours through substitution with new more adaptive behaviours.

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Arrange a FREE initial consultation

If you’d like to find out more about the maintenance stage of change then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular problems and the potential solutions in a safe and confidential environment without you having to commit to any therapy or counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet our therapists and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.


You move into the Maintenance phase when you have adopted new behaviours but need to actively manage lapses and potential relapses.

Paul Lee BSc. MSc. Psych.

Psychologist Paul Lee in Clinic

You can contact Paul by e-mail on:

Tel: 07434 776125

Joan Lee D. Hyp. MIAEBP.

You can contact Joan by e-mail on:

Tel: 07434 776504