Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Education

Education Coordinator:  Nan Nally-Seif, LCSW, TEP

The following information and ideas come from John’s Fisher process of personal change, which is on can be found on  Fisher’s article talks about change and transition, which we are always going through.

His ideas of change can be used for:

1)      For personal change

2)      For managers  and organizations who help employees deal with company changes (education, information and support).

Fisher’s feels that there phases of personal transitions.  He lists the various phases:


1)      Anxiety  

a)      extent of change is outside of one’s understanding

b)       unable to picture the future because of change

c)        bewilderment  –  “can I cope with this change of transition?”


2)      Happiness that things will change, and not continue as before.  At last some things are going to change.  This operates whether the past has been perceived as positive or negative.  There are feelings of anticipation and excitement due to the possibility of improvement. At this stage, people are usually expect the best.  They believe they will get more from the  change.

Individuals  or organizations need to manage this phase to ensure unrealistic expectations are managed and redefined without alienating individuals.

This phase can feel good – “at last things are changing” or “my involvement has an impact”.


3)      Fear – What impact will it have?  How will it affect  me?  Fear that one needs to act differently causes people to resist change.

4)      Threat – unsure how to act or react to new situation

5)      Guilt and shame – negative opinion of others if I do not act correctly

6)      Depression – “Who am I in all of this?”  The uncertainty of what the futrue holds, and no clear vision of how to operate (lack of motivation and confusion).

7)      Gradual acceptance – making sense of the change

8)      Moving forward – an individual is able to exert more control and make more things happen in a positive sense.

9)      Disillusionment – feeling dissatisfied with the change, and feeling unfocused and unmotivated.

10)   Hostility – ignoring the change and operating the old way.  This can be undermine a transition.

11)   Denial  – “Change, what change?”  An individual acts as if change has not happened.  They ignore evidence that the change is positive and eliminates problems.

12)   Anger – associated with moving through transition

13)   Complacency – person survives the change, and makes sense of the new reality.  This can be positive, and I can see myself gradually accepting it.


Question of the Day

Which phase of transition provides a challenge for you?