I grew up in a small neighborhood in Dearborn Michigan, surrounded by auto factories. My father worked on the assembly line and my mom was a part-time waitress. I learned to appreciate the wisdom of ordinary people whose avocations including catching fish and frogs shared with the neighbors, talented seamstresses, auto mechanics, barbers, cooks, parents and storytellers.
It was extraordinary folks like these who taught me about the stages of change that were not in any of the 300 theories of psychotherapy and counseling. Following 1,000 smokers and ex-smokers for two years revealed to us how they progressed from one stage to the next and how they regressed.
These teachings transformed my life. With only seven publications and no grants in my first seven years on the faculty in Psychology at the University of Rhode Island, I was fortunate to be tenured. In the past 40 years, with more than 250 different coauthors, I have more than 400 publications and have had a fortune in research grants.
I am also fortunate to have a wonderful wife who could lead a start-up company into generating world-class research and programs. Together we continue with our mission of enhancing the health and happiness of as many people as possible. A special treat was to coauthor Changing to Thrive which builds on our breakthroughs for not only reducing the small number of habits that are the biggest threats to health, but also increase physical, emotional, social, financial, and purposeful domains of well-being.
James O. Prochaska, Ph.D.
Director, Cancer Prevention Research Center
Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology
University of Rhode Island
Founder of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
James O. Prochaska is Director of Cancer Prevention Research Center and Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He is the author of over 400 publications, including four books, Changing to Thrive, Changing for Good, Systems of Psychotherapy, and The Transtheoretical Approach.
He is internationally recognized for his work as a developer of the stage model of behavior change. He is the principal investigator on over $80 million dollars in research grants for the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. He is the founder of Pro-Change Behavior Systems.
Dr. Prochaska has won numerous awards including the Top Five Most Cited Authors in Psychology from the American Psychology Society, an Innovator’s Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is the first psychologist to win a Medal of Honor for Clinical Research from the American Cancer Society. Dr. Prochaska has recently been recognized as one of the top three most preeminent clinical psychologists.