chapter  11
10 Pages

Reframing

Reframing is perhaps the most broadly used strategy in the systemic therapy approaches as well as psychotherapy in general. Clients often view (or frame) problems in ways that constrain them or limit their possibilities for change. Clients see their situation as problematic and seemingly intractable, leading to the refrain well-known to couple therapists, “We’re stuck.” As noted by Erickson and Rossi (1980), clients have problems because they are caught in “frames of reference . . . that do not permit them to explore and utilize their own abilities to best advantage” (p. 38). However, a therapist who can help clients reframe their situation can help clients better utilize their abilities and open doors for personal and relationship change.