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Uncomplicated Reframing Instructions For Emotional Transformation

May 6, 2008
Reframing is a therapy technique, often used alongside EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and concerns changing our perspective on events, people or things in life, in order to change their meaning, and hence help us make sense of them psychologically.

So much of therapy, reframing, and communication in general - is about managing expectations. Thinking of the best moments in life, they are usually wonderful surprises, that we weren't expecting. And the worst moments in life are usually the opposite - nasty surprises we weren't expecting. So if we can learn to somehow reprocess events by changing the expectations around them, we can reframe them, and bring emotional relief accordingly.

Here are 4 specific ways to reframe the negative events of your life to help make sense of them and release the past.

1) For instance, would you really have internalised the trauma that you're seeking help for, so negatively, if you'd been expecting it? If you'd known it was going to happen? Imagining advising that younger you, before this event happened, that it's going to happen, and re-experiencing it, with that knowledge, can remove the negative surprise element of the situation, and help to re-process and reframe the event's meaning psychologically.

2) Or, there may be some information missing. e.g. if you imagine yourself, back then, in the morning of the day this event happened, what would you have needed to know then, in order to make it OK that this event will happen later today? Then, re-imagining that event, reminding yourself of the information you need to know to make it OK, will help to reprocess it and reframe it's meaning for emotional relief. You can also re-cycle through this process several times until completely comfortable with the result, or in order to accommodate additional needs you have to make it rational, or, at the very least, understandable, from your belief model of the world.

3) Changing the perspective, literally, can also help. i.e. re-experiencing the traumatic memory from the perspective of another individual present - seeing what they saw, standing in their shoes as it were, can help us understand what was going on for that individual, how they might have been operating out of their own limitations if we felt they were in some way responsible for the event. This can help in reframing anger or blame held against someone in the situation in question.

4) Or, there may be other additional resources that you back then needed to make this OK. Perhaps there were some elements of the situation that you, back then, was simply too young to understand. Since the older, current version of you, knows a lot more about the world and has a great deal more perspective life's situations, you can imagine go back in time and advising that younger you, back then before this happened, of whatever it is (s)he needed to understand the situation. Or maybe that you back then just needed support, a hug, or a shoulder to cry on. Whatever it was that you then needed, go back then and give it to them. Then re-imagine that situation re-happening, except with those new resources, new knowledge etc, in order to reframe and rationalise for emotional relief.

Of course all of this can be combined with the therapy of your choice and I practice all of this together within EFT.

Reframing helps therapeutically by providing a different perspective on problems in order to change the meaning of them, and therefore, rationalise them. To rationalise, means, to make rational, to make explainable, to make something "OK" within a person's pre-existing understanding of the world, their beliefs, etc.

I've covered 4 precise techniques to help you reframe and make sense of the past and move on for an emotional fresh start.
About the Author
Copyright 2008 Stewart Robertson. Polevault emotional issues with readymade reframes from Stewart's reframing book, grab his free EFT MP3, or get to the emotional cause of your symptoms.
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