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Reframing in Therapy

Reframing in Therapy

The basis of reframing is to separate intention from behaviour.

Two Major Types of Reframes:

CONTEXT REFRAME:   “I’m too ….”  -or-  “He’s too …. ”

Think of a different context in which the person will respond differently to the same behaviour.

MEANING REFRAME:    “Whenever ‘X’ happens, I respond ‘Y’.”

Ask yourself, “What else could this behaviour mean?”  or internally think of an opposite frame or a different meaning.  “What is it that this person hasn’t noticed (in this context) that will bring about a different meaning, and change his response?”


Reframe “I failed the exam because I am not good enough, and I never will be” to “I failed the exam because I believed I would, so didn’t work hard enough. Next time I will do the work and I will pass”.

Reframe “He said I was fat so I must lose a stone within two weeks” to “He said I was fat and I felt hurt. I don’t know whether he was meaning to be insulting or helpful, but what matters is how I think. I will ask other’s their opinion, and decide for myself whether I need to lose weight and tell him his comment hurt me.”

Reframe “No man can be trusted” to “I have met some men who cannot be trusted, but I have also heard of some who can. I will be careful, but not presume.”

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