Curly Martin

Curly Martin

Reframing A Clients Picture Of the Event

Book Extracts, Tips
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Reframing is a brilliant tool in allowing you to help your clients to escape from being ‘stuck in a rut of thinking’. You may be familiar with the well used saying, ‘Is the cup half empty or half full?’ Reframing allows you to move your client from seeing a half empty cup to seeing one that is half full.

It is essential that you can spot the difference between clients’ negative or positive thinking patterns. It is far more laborious working on goals with negative thinking patterns than it is to work with positive patterns. Reframing comes into its own in this field.

My first memory of reframing concerns a school prize giving. I was with my friend who was complaining that her mother and father were embarrassing. She said that she just wanted the ground to open and swallow her up. Apparently they were ‘showing her up’ because they were telling everyone what a clever daughter they had and how proud they were of her. My response was, ‘You are so very lucky to have a mum and dad who care enough about you to turn up. Neither of my parents bothered – do you want to swap parents?’ My memory is not completely reliable but I would swear that she visibly perked up following our discussion and I do recall that, shortly after, she went and sat with her parents. Little did I realise then, that this ability to reframe would become one of the most treasured of my skills as a life coach.

A client said that she thought her boss picked on her. I used a reframe by saying, ‘Yes I can see how you could think your boss is picking on you. I have another client much like you, in fact in almost identical circumstances. She believes that she is very special and that her boss thinks she has special talents that deserve developing. The boss, although not a pleasant man with a brusque approach, is helping her to develop these talents and make her a more marketable person.’

Always pause after a reframe to allow your client time to think about what you have said and to compare it with their own situation. In this example the client accepted the comparison and willingly spotted the ‘half full cup’.

Extract taken from The The Life Coaching Handbook by Curly Martin.

About curly

Curly Martin is the pioneer of Life Coaching in the UK. She is an outstanding Trainer and Coach. To book one of her training courses go to