NLP Reframing Examples

Pattern: Difficult makes Client feel lack of confidence.

A: This project is really difficult.

B: What’s the difficulty?

A: I don’t feel confident in it.

B: Well, I guess the more difficult it is, it can be hard to digest. And doesn’t that mean you will be more careful and meticulous?


Pattern: An unreasonable boss never takes action on feedback provided.

A: My boss is so unreasonable.

B: How so?

A: He never takes action on things that we provide feedback on.

B: “Never” is a strong word.

A: We have never heard back from him.

B: Perhaps then he’s not unreasonable, but either overwhelmed or untrained?


Depression Help… From NLP (tadah…)

I’ll bet you encounter depression once in a while. Or, you might actually be someone who has been battling depression for some time. Maybe you have someone you’d like to help.

Next DimensionCreative Commons License photo credit: h.koppdelaney

Whatever the case, the perspective I’d put on this is that depression is normal. Yes, can be debilitating, but it’s normal. Millions of people go through it. Some people get out of it faster than others.

In recent days, especially after the announcement of major job losses in America, I’ve seen a surge in people seeking depression treatment or depression help. Somehow, many people are in a bad spot and just don’t know how to go about helping themselves.

To get out of a spot of depression, you’ll have to acknowledge that:

  • what you are going through is not your regular self;
  • it’s good to get out of the feeling of depression;
  • if you’re not doing something, you have too much time to think about things that are going wrong in your life.

Most of the time, depression comes about from inner thoughts and connections. You might not know where those thoughts came from. It’s often due to a response from observing (although unconsciously) the world around you, and then the propogation of lots and lots of thoughts associated with that.

If you have trouble expressing yourself, it might cause you to think “wait, let me sort out my thinking first, then speak”. But that might simply aggravate the sensation of depression, anxiety or anger. Or worse, all of them.

NLP has a model known as submodalities. By learning to shift our mental images, we get to change the experience we have in our head. For instance, making an image brighter or darker in our minds can help to reduce or increase the intensity of a feeling.

Test it out.

If you look at an image of yourself depressed, how about making that image brighter or darker? Which direction works for you? Then keep doing it!

Of course, it’s not easy for someone to do this who has never done it before (I know some children who do this very well, though). It’s about mental flexibility and the ability to see different perspectives. If you are able to shift your perspective, coming out with alternative, healing mental images is going to be easy.

This process, in NLP, is known as reframing. Putting on different lenses and seeing from someone else’s perspective can help you to put things in context.

If you need to process your thinking, though, drop me a message and I’ll see if I can help. 🙂

NLP Definition: Reframing

I took a look at the Wikipedia definition and realized that it was pretty inaccurate and outdated. Reframing is a common practice in psychotherapy and counseling as a technique to provide a different perspective in the mind of the client. The process of reframing constitutes the following:

  • assessing if the current mental concept, belief or value is useful in the present context
  • provide a possible perspective

To reframe it so that it “hits the nail on the head”, you need to reframe it at the level that presented the problem.

“She hates me because I’m just an office boy” -> reframe this at the level of belief.

[So I should hate you too if you’re an office boy]

“He never does anything except complain” -> reframe this at the level of behavior.

[Gee… seems like you do exactly the same thing he does]

The reframe also needs some fuel. To reframe effectively use state-based reframing. However, reframing appears to be primarily linguistic in nature. In order to create the effect of reframing where language is limited or impossible, anchoring might have to be used instead.

Also, see “Sleight of Mouth” patterns by Robert Dilts.