Reframing: what it is, varieties, exercises and examples

“He went beyond what was permitted” — we hear this phrase when a person has done something contrary to generally accepted rules. But, as you know, there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes you just need to go beyond. This method of solving a problem even has a name — «reframing».

What it is?

The name comes from the English word «frame», which means «frame». From here the word reframe is formed, which in various translations sounds like “insert into the same frame”, “insert into a new frame”. In simple terms, this is «change the frame.» This method is often used in NLP. With its help, you can change the thinking or perception of an event, rethink it, change patterns.

With the help of speech strategies, psychologists can influence the orientation of the individual. The «steps» on which the specialist will go will be your behavior, complexes, fears. With the help of reframing, you can get rid of anxiety, get out of a depressive state. This is achieved thanks to the fact that a person begins to look at a traumatic or sad situation or event from a different angle.

It’s like the proverbial glass: it’s either half full or half empty.

Where is it applied?

First of all, The reframing method is widely used in psychology to relieve emotional stress, change behavior, enhance personal qualities, and unlock creative potential. To do this, psychologists force the client to look at the problem or the issue that concerns him from the other side, to find positive touches in the picture, which initially seems gloomy to a person. As a result, you will go through life with your head held high.

Reframing is often used in management as well. The method is suitable when you need a business reorganization or you want to bring it to a higher level. Thus, the forms of management are changing, qualified personnel are being found, and the potential of the team is being revealed. The method is also suitable for bringing together large groups, forming in them a sense of responsibility and devotion to the cause and the company. Reframing creates a desire to improve.

Reframing also helps in sales. An experienced seller can always persuade the buyer to change his point of view. For example, if a customer is waiting for a discount on a product, you can explain to him that your store already has the lowest price in the city. If a fan of a popular brand walks into your fledgling department, you can convince him to buy from you when you explain that the firm does not spend money on expensive advertising. This means that the product, although cheaper, is no worse than the one that produces a more famous brand.

Recently, the word “reframing” has appeared in education as well. Although they used it in this area, perhaps, always. A good teacher, who cares that the student understands the subject, will definitely offer him several options for familiarizing himself with the material.. Does your child like chemistry? And if you look at this science from the other side? Take him to a museum of entertaining sciences, for example. After he sees a demonstration of various spectacular experiments there, he is very likely to go to the next chemistry lesson in high spirits.


Reframing helps to change a person’s value system. But before using this technique, the specialist must determine what exactly worries you, and only then choose how to perform this method. There are two of them.

Context Reframing

Implies the impact of the word. The specialist will change the context of the situation that worries you. It will give it a new semantic meaning, suggest why this or that behavior is impossible or, on the contrary, is suitable in each specific case.

It will help you deal with the habits that are ruining your life.


Helps a person to see a different meaning in what is happening. The accents change in his head. Attention switches from the problem or even obsession with it to its solution.


Here are the main goals and objectives of reframing:

  • removal of anxiety;
  • behavior change;
  • ability discovery;
  • identifying opportunities.

Reappraisal of events or phenomena is possible. The main thing is to choose an effective method.

Six step method

The most famous and effective among psychologists is the option calculated on six stages or steps.

  • Step 1. We formulate and voice what worries us. We designate the problem in the form of a certain letter, number, or simply paint it in a certain color.
  • Step 2 We are trying to start a dialogue with that part of the consciousness that is responsible for this situation in life. Try to call her to account. It is important to determine how you will communicate with her, what you want to receive, whether unambiguous answers like “yes” and “no” will suffice, or you are waiting for some kind of physical sensations in the body.
  • Step 3. Ask this very part of you to tell you what it achieves with its behavior. Offer her another, more acceptable solution to the problem. If there isn’t one, ask yourself if your goal is really positive.
  • Step 4 We start a dialogue with another, creative part of ourselves. We set her the task of coming up with 3 alternative forms of behavior to achieve the goal. We transfer the received data to the part that created problems for us.
  • Step 5 We sit down at the negotiating table. We conclude a «non-aggression pact» and no longer touch the previously used methods. In the event that your subconscious mind agrees to one of the proposed options, let it begin to apply these principles. If not, promise him to return to the old scheme, but only after he still tries all the proposed ways of doing business.
  • Step 6 We are looking for enemies and allies. Ask the first part of the subconscious if there are parts of your essence in the neighborhood that want to participate in the experiment. Ask about those who are against it. Enemies need to know in person.


Cognitive reframing will help you change the way you view events that you consider negative. You will begin to relate to them more positively or even change your view of them.

Most of us tend to exaggerate. That’s why you need to learn to see the charms even in the most unpleasant. Don’t self-flagellate. Before saying that it is hopeless, try to find internal reserves, they certainly are. In the end, after the black stripe always comes the white one, our task is not to go astray under the influence of despondency. Don’t give up.


Think about what makes you angry. Try to learn how to stop her seizures. Does it piss you off that your more experienced colleagues are constantly teaching you something? Treat talking to them like free lessons. Or, on the contrary, do you get pissed off by young stupid colleagues? So try to treat them like your little children — sooner or later they will be grateful to you for the lessons. Anger is not the best helper. Change it to mercy by changing your attitude to what is happening.


Try to think logically. No need to substitute concepts, just find more positive explanations for them. For example, you are tired of endless business trips, but you managed to read so much on the road! Or you often change the situation, but this is good for the psyche, you are practically freed from household chores, you do not need to cook dinner.

Even if what happened to you is terrifying and it is impossible to find any positive moments in this, remember that this experience will definitely come in handy for you in the future.


Positive reframing is used to inspire optimism in a person. It will help a person who has lost meaning in life to find goals and go towards them. Here one should replace one concept with another. For example, treat a problem as an opportunity to change something.

Find words to tame your unwillingness or inability to achieve anything. Instead of “I have to,” say to yourself “I want,” instead of “I really hope” — “I know for sure”, instead of “oh, horror” — “this is a chance to get a new experience”, and so on.

Method of negative qualities

Many of us may feel that we are a whole bunch of problems, and all because we are not able to cope with some of our own character traits or some habits. Try to look at them differently. If you think that you are too demanding of yourself and others, then you may have set the bar too high and do not want to lower it.

Do you think that you are too dry and emotionally stingy in relation to loved ones? But it may also be that you give them something more when you take the whole company to nature or buy your daughter a doll that she so dreamed of. You just do not say, but do, and this expresses your feelings much more than just words. Now you have already begun to smile, which means that reframing is working.


If you decide to reframe the organization, then remember that you will have to overcome not only your fears and concerns. You have to defend your point of view in front of the team. So, stock up on words that will make even the most violent opponents of reforms assistants and allies. Name people first the positive changes that await them, and only then move on to what will have to be done for this and what will have to be lost.


There are a lot of techniques showing how you can change your attitude to the situation and to yourself. Here are just a few of them.

«I’m too…»

This exercise can be performed without the help of a specialist. Take a piece of paper and write down 5 of your qualities that seem negative to you. Each one starts with the words «I’m too.» For example, «I’m too greedy», «I’m too cranky», «I’m too boring», «I eat too much», «I’m too serious». Now let’s look at these qualities of yours in a different way.

Enter the result in the next column. You are not greedy, but economical, therefore, unlike your neighbor, you never borrow money before salary. You are not capricious, but demanding, and as a result you always get what you want. You do not eat much, but tasty and healthy and you have no problems with appetite, as well as with sleep, by the way. You are not so much serious as ambitious and purposeful. Therefore, you do everything on time, unlike most of your colleagues.

«Black White»

This exercise can be performed independently, but it is better to organize such a game in a company of several people. The task of everyone is to come up with a positive epithet for a person who is initially characterized negatively. For example, a «bore» does not waste time in vain, clearly follows his goal, knows how to resist temptations. “Arrogant” is a person who knows his own worth, experienced, and therefore has the right to give advice, a person who has achieved a lot in life.

The more minuses you can turn into pluses, the more positive your mood in life will be.


To do this exercise you need at least two people. One says some unpleasant word to the other, the task of the second is to quickly put him in his place. For example, you were called fat. Your answer is “but men like curvy shapes.” Or you hear that you are lazy. The answer may be the following: “but I don’t know what fatigue is.”


Let’s look at a few examples of how to apply reframing in your own life.

  • Your boss is too demanding. You are afraid of every conversation with him. Look at it the other way: consider your leader as your mentor, who, like a teacher at school, strives to ensure that you get the maximum amount of knowledge.
  • You have stayed in one place while your colleagues are running up the career ladder. But you do not stay up late at work, and spend the weekend with your family.
  • Even you yourself call your children robbers. They don’t sit still for a minute. But they are unlikely to ever have complexes, they are not threatened with excess weight, they are more developed. And you help to get it.

Оставьте комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован.