Cognitive Reframing: A Valuable Tool

Posted by: Maritza Rodriguez on September 16, 2011 1:47 pm

Most of us have incessant chatter in our heads and the majority of the time we are even unaware of it. If you take time and consciously listen to the steady stream of thought processes, you will probably be shocked at all the negativity and limiting beliefs that you will encounter. Even positive people that see the glass as half full are bombarded by an unconscious stream of negative thought processes.

Where does this come from? It is thought that most of this negativity comes from messages we picked up as children. Children are sponges, especially up to the age of 5 or 6. Good intentioned parents, teachers, caregivers tell children “Don’t climb the tree because you will fall.”, “You can’t go on the fair ride because you are too short or young.”, “Get in line and listen to my instructions!”, “Be quiet, you talk too much.”  We all heard messages like these and have even repeated them to children in our lives. Since we tend to focus on the negative rather than the positive, these messages get “stuck” in our subconscious stream and impact our self-esteem, goals and motivation in all aspects of our lives. There is a correlation between the frequency and intensity of the messages we experienced and the impact on our thoughts.

The good news is that we are able to change our thoughts by becoming conscious of them and “reframing” them. Reframing means thinking about a situation with a new perspective; spinning a positive twist on a situation. This is a very empowering tool. It is very simple and an effective stress reliever. It allows the person to change the meaning of a particular event, thus decreasing anxiety or even suffering associated with those thoughts. A qualified counsellor can teach you this tool.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

2 comments on “Cognitive Reframing: A Valuable Tool”

  1. shahnawaz Mushtaq says:

    I am in need of a cognitive reframing therapy detailed step wise manual

  2. Karina says:

    Dear Maritza,

    This is an interesting concept. Do you have any sources that you recommend as a starting point? Do you have any suggestions in how to go about “re-framing” negative experiences effectively?

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