Teaching mental health providers how to navigate the managed care industry and increase cash flow

Coaching: Using the Art of the Reframe

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Coaching, Psychotherapy | 0 comments

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ID-10097414One day Karen was sitting outside of a cafe enjoying lunch with friends. Well, along comes a little boy and out of nowhere, pops her square in the back. Of course, Karen was shocked. Who was this kid and where was his mother. Since Karen was not in the mood to get arrested, she decided to ignore the boy and continue with her lunch. A few minutes later, the little boy comes back. And again, hits Karen in the back. This time Karen was less patient. And as she was about to blow her lid, an older lady at the next table spoke to the old. She said, “Young man, come here a second.” The little boy went to the table. She said”I think you like that young lady over there, don’t you?” The boy shook his head yes. The lady said, “I bet you want a hug, don’t you?” Again, the boy nodded yes. “Well I bet, if you apologize and ask nicely, she may just give you a hug.” So the young boy walks back to Karen and says, “I’m sorry. Is it ok if I have a hug?” Since Karen heard the exchange between the boy and the lady, her heart softened towards the boy and she gave him a hug.

Now what did we learn form this story? We learned about the art of the reframe. Reframing is a technique used in psychotherapy to help patients view things in new ways. While Karen may have thought the little boy was a heathen, the old lady helped her to see that the boy merely wanted to get her attention.

So how can this help in the coaching environment? When you’re working with a client, especially in the areas of confidence building and dealing with failure, reframing helps the clients see things from a different perspective. That’s important. Clients have the habit of getting in their own heads. But the coach is able to look at the situation and offer the client an alternative view. The trick is to do it effectively

Remember that clients have thinking errors and reframing is all about being objective. Reframing can be an effective tool to combat those thinking errors, because it helps to restructure the way the client thinks. If you use it enough, eventually the client begins to do it on their own. Like any technique, you have to know when to use it. I like to use it when a client is beating themselves up about a past mistake. I also like to use it when they are expressing anger or self doubt.

Using reframing isn’t very hard. You just have to be able to offer an alternative view that allows the client to see the situation in more neutral terms. For example, if your client tells you about a project that failed and they start to fall into the thinking pattern of viewing themselves as a failure, that would be a time to offer an alternative view and help the client not see themselves as a failure, but perhaps look at the situation as an opportunity for growth. Reframing works my friends. Give it a try.

If you need help using this technique or questions in general, email me at truechangelifecoach@gmail.com. If you want to get more articles by email and get a free gift to boot, sign up on the right. Until next time!




Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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