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
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.