Reframing by Richard Nicholls

As winter gets closer and the summer seems a distant memory, we can choose how we feel about this change in seasons. We can either recoil at the colder, damper weather, or we can appreciate the leaves changing colour, the excitement of the build up to Christmas and the ability to see the sun rise without having to get up super early!

It’s up to you – the start of winter can be a good thing or a bad thing depending entirely on the frame that you put around it.

The idea of framing can be used in many areas of life. If things don’t go the way you want them to, you can choose to moan and be fearful of it happening again, or you can learn from it and move on.

I met a woman once who, because of trauma when she was young, had decided that people were untrustworthy and that in order to avoid getting hurt, she would never trust anyone.

This frame of “people are untrustworthy” worked for a short while as it kept her safe and prevented her from getting hurt. That is until she started to get lonely.

She was an attractive, intelligent and caring woman but men just weren’t interested in her and she couldn’t work out why.

During therapy she explored the origins of her frame and began to understand how it was causing her to act cold towards men. With that understanding came the ability to reframe “people are untrustworthy” into “the people who hurt me in the past are untrustworthy but this doesn’t apply to everyone.”

This more positive frame has allowed her to let go of the past and become a happier woman.

Reframing a negative situation is something we could all do with doing from time to time. Driving to Devon in the summer I was stuck in a very nasty traffic jam, and it would have been easy to become frustrated or angry. But with a simple reframe of the situation I was able to enjoy the music I was listening to and appreciate the views of the hills and farmland around me that, had I been moving, I wouldn’t have been able to do so well.

After all, I would much rather be sitting in traffic not moving than be the cause of the jam; which was an accident further up the motorway.

It’s often said that “every cloud has a silver lining” but if you aren’t looking for that silver lining in the first place you will never see it.

Richard is available for private consultations in Nuneaton, Hinckley and Tamworth and can be contacted on 024 7639 8439. Or you can visit for further information.

©2014 Richard Nicholls