The Struggle Within

Author Professor Kirby


“We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.” ― Mark Lawrence, King of Thorn

There is a biblical text that states, “when I want to do right I do wrong” (Zondervan, n.d.). Ok, so where am I going with this discussion? No one perfect….. Yes, surprise not one person falls into the perfect category. So, now, that the playing field is leveled; let’s play, shall we.
Butts and Rich (2018) introduced us to Behavior Health Theories (BHT) and emphasized how advanced practice nurses utilize these theories to evoke change in their patients (p. 244). There are many BHT, but these few are the most popular: Behavioral Health Model, Social Cognitive Theory and Theory of Reasoned Action and Theory of Planned Behavior (Butts and Rich, 2018, p. 242). Although, we will not go into depth discussing the difference in the theories; it’s important to know nurses can use a single theory or a combination of theories to achieve desired results (SImpson, 2015, p. 5). Graduate and doctoral level nurses use BHT to promote healthy choices when caring for their patients and at different stages, different strategies may be needed. We are leaders in clinical education and applying best practice. Nurses are educators by nature. It’s part of the job! How can you care for someone and not explain to them how to care for themselves? If this happens, we are doing a great disservice to our patient.
According to Dr. Simpson (2015), BHT and models can help clinicians design a successful plan that identifies lifestyle challenges for a community (p. 1). There are a variety of internal struggles, but none is uncommon to man. Smoking, obesity, opioid addiction, bulimia, anorexia, alcoholism, reckless sexual behaviors, self-destructive behaviors, and abusive behaviors toward others are all difficulties encountered by humans. We’re humans because we are flawed. However, flawed is never the goal; advancement to a better you is the aim.
The struggle begins with behavioral modifications and ends consistency.
Changing a person’s behavior starts with identifying social, economic, and cultural barriers to develop a realistic plan. This step makes adherence more feasible. Moreover, when the change takes place often people have a difficult time with maintaining that change (Rich and Butts, 2018, p.258). Could this possibly be the cause of stats successful individuals resorting to old behaviors? For example, losing significant weight only to regain it years later, or quit smoking and restarting again due to stressful circumstances. According to Rich and Butts (2018), biobehavioral factors play a significant role in maintaining some changes (p.258). Often, judgment calls by bystanders on the outside looking in point to lack of discipline which could be a contributing factor. Nevertheless, physiological symptoms play a large play in the maintenance stage of behavior modification. Also, Rich and Butts (2018), emphasize developing self-management and coping skills are necessary for positive change (p. 258).

By Charlene aka The Art of Nursing

Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. (2011). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Lawrence, M. (N.D.). King of thorns. Retrieved from

Simpson, V. (2015, March). Models and theories to support health behavior intervention and program planning. Purdue University, Retrieved from

Zondervan. (n.d.). Bible gateway. Retrieved from

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