reframing perceived flaws into advantages

Reframing In A Smoking Cessation Session

Reframing In A Smoking Cessation Session

Here are a couple of examples of reframing possibilities I ran across during a smoking cessation session I conducted.

1) The client talked several times about her resistance to stopping smoking, her “bite” and hinted more than once that her contrariness might make her difficult or unpleasant to work with. She readlily admitted she was a bit cranky. I believe she viewed her attitudes as a barrier to stopping smoking.

2) During the session, we discovered several different motivations with regard to smoking. It was not a classic “Parts Therapy” case with two, directly opposing parts. Rather, she had found smoking to be useful in many contexts. Each time we worked through and satisfied one aspect of her that wanted to smoke, another would come up. Obviously, having many motivations to smoke could be viewed as a problem when you’re trying to stop.

Here’s a recording of three of reframes I delivered… (1 minute)

Reframing In A Smoking Cessation Session

* In the first reframe, I frame her “contrariness” into an ability that will be useful once she turns her negative reactions toward cigarettes.

* In the second reframe, after she comments on her “edge” (that’s code for her taking off my head during the session) I talk about how people that have “bite” can more easily get things done. The hint is that, since stopping smoking is getting something done, her having an edge or bite will make it easier for her.

* Before the third reframe, we’d been finding a lot of aspects of her personality resistant to stopping smoking. While that could be seen as a negative, that’s not what I chose to do. You see, this client had tried to stop smoking many times before. What was different about this time? What was different was that we were including those aspects of her personality and making sure they got what they wanted (without the behavior we objected to–smoking).

The reframe was about how all of those parts working together to change her behavior were going to be extremely powerful. The implication was that, because none of her previous attempts to stop involved these parts working together, this time was different and it would now be easier to stop smoking.


About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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  1. Hi Keith,

    Great angle on dealing with those stubborn “parts”. People with a stubborn trait can use that same stubbornness to help in changing a behavior. Thanks for putting this up.

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