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reframing (family)

This refers to a therapeutic strategy that effects an alteration in a client's or family's internal model of the world (paradigm/model/map). This model or "frame" directs behavior, feeling, and thinking. As such, it is comparable to the rules of a game or a code that makes it possible to gather information and create patterns of meaning out of phenomenal events (see Goffman, 1974, p.7). When reframing is effective, a change in behavior is to be expected.


Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)