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ISSN 1805-7225





Cognitive reframing in psychotherapy and health care

Prim. MUDr. Karel Nešpor, CSc.


Cognitive reframing means different conception of reality and finding new possibilities of conceptualizing these facts. Besides the term “cognitive reframing”, also the term “cognitive restructuring” is used. Cognitive restructuring refers rather to a therapeutic techniques and cognitive reframing to the process that occurs in the mind.

Cognitive reframing and cognitive restructuring in psychotherapy

These methods are widely used in cognitive behavioral therapy. Numerous examples can be also found in the work of M. H. Erickson and his followers and in other psychotherapists. According to Steigerwald and Stone (1999), cognitive restructuring occurs even at AA meetings. In this context they mention the 12 steps of the AA program. Even in insight-oriented psychotherapy, the cognitive reframing can become one of the effective steps. The cognitive reframing also occurs when working with motivation. Using appropriate questions, the therapist helps the patient become aware of e.g. the problems caused by tobacco smoking and the advantages of non-smoking. Things that were once seen as positive become disadvantageous when shown in a different light.

Negative and positive cognitive reframing

The negative changes in relational frame often occur in depressed patients or after experiencing a stressful life event. It is also one of the factors that increases the risk of suicidal behavior in adolescents (Chagon, 2007). During therapy, the aim is to induce a positive change in relational frame.

Volume 2 Issue 3/2013 Full text pdf

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