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The NLP Cognitive Six-Step Reframing Technique

(Parts Auditorium)

This is a commonly-used technique, developed by NLP founders John Grinder and Richard Bandler after studying the cognitive therapy techniques of Aaron T. Beck, to help a subject eliminate an unwanted feeling, behavior or response.

This is a cognitive technique, meaning there is no need to specifically elicit beliefs established in early childhood.

Step 1. Clearly identify the unwanted behavior. For instance, "when I get off work, the first thing I do is reach for a beer. I can't seem to stop doing that." It is not necessary for the subject to tell the programmer the exact details, as long as the programmer can discover by the subject's physiology that an understanding of what's unwanted is quite clear and up front.

Step 2. Establish a context - typically inducing a light hypnotic trance - in which the subject can communicate with the 'part' of the subconscious that is creating the unwanted behavior. It can be very useful to allow the subject to build a metaphorical environment. For example, you may have your subject imagine being in a meeting hall or auditorium. The subject is onstage, behind a podium with a microphone, with big, slightly musty-smelling curtains to the sides, and calls to order a meeting of all the parts. The subject may imagine the parts having a certain look, they may all be the same, or all different. They may like like anatomical items, or animals, or delegates at a convention. They may be sitting neatly in rows, or all over the place, hanging from ceiling lights, and so on. The subject is often instructed to address all the parts with great deference, since the subject will be asking for some changes that the parts may not initially want. Such change is much easier to bring about in a calm, respectful atmosphere, even and especially if among the parts of one's own subconscious. By making a rather big point of this politeness, the subject is much more likely to stay in the metaphor.

Step 3. After establishing communication with the part that's causing the unwanted behavior, discover that part's positive intention. Remember, that behind every action is a positive intention. It may not be an intention that is currently useful in the big picture, but for that part, at one time, the intention had a positive value.

Step 4. Assure the subject that s/he has creative parts, and ask those parts to help out by coming up with three alternative ways to accomplish the intended outcome.

Step 5. Set up a discussion in which the part that created the unwanted behavior, can find one of these solutions acceptable. You might have the subject tell the part that it's not being fired, eliminated, or demoted. It's just being given an opportunity to try something different that might be a delightful new way to maintain participation, with options besides the one that caused the unwanted behavior.

Step 6. Check for ecology, and then future pace. Bring the subject out of the metaphorical trance. Ask the subject to imagine a time in the near future - to really step into the the time with feeling, seeing, hearing, maybe even smelling and tasting, and determine how it seems. Watch the subject's physiology. This may complete the process. Or, you may need to creatively repeat steps 2 through 5 until the subject's outcome is resolved.

Much has been written on the Internet about Six Step Reframing. You might enjoy reading:

The Six Step Reframe Technique

6 (Six) Step Reframe

NLP Six Step Reframe

Wikipedia- Cognitive Reframing

NLP Technique - Six Step Reframing