Tibor Magyar, Ph.D.
(aka Russell C. Davis, Ph.D.)
Reframing is a simple but potent technique that may be used by a therapist to gain resolution to “unfinished” issues which continue to traumatize a client/patient. Although the term “reframing” came into the vocabulary of therapists through the work of Bandler and Grinder in the late 1970s and early 80s, the author points out that the technique itself actually was being used in some form or other much earlier. One example cited involved the use of reframing by a Veterans Administration therapist who was using this technique when working with Vietnam veterans who were hospitalized for PTSD.
The Magic of Words
Of all the words of tongue or pen,
none is more sad than these:
“It might have been.”
There is magic in words and their meanings. With the exception of English, most of the world’s major languages still retain a full subjunctive mode of expression which allows the speaker to express a thought or idea which is clearly contrary to fact. Unfortunately for the speaker of modern English, there are only small remnants of this mode of expression still to be found, such as “If I were king.”
Alas, these, too, are rapidly disappearing and it has become acceptable in all but the most formal of circumstances to say “If I was king…,“ further blurring the distinction between what actually did occur and what you wished had happened. Still, we generally understand the intent of the speaker, though because English lacks this fully developed and separate mode of expression, we often fail to fully appreciate the emotions and implications which underlie that utterance.