Now that we understand the basic structure that’s common to both reframing processes, we can more easily understand and appreciate the differences between them i.e. what differentiates a context reframe from a meaning reframe.
Remember of course that both of these types of reframing ultimately change the meaning, they just do so in slightly different ways.
Context reframing acknowledges the fact that any sensory representation is valid - given the appropriate context.
A context reframe takes the ‘problem’ experience and places it in a context in which it is no longer a ‘problem’ or where that experience actually has a useful or positive benefit or even becomes an asset or a skill.
For maximum effectiveness in the delivery of a successful reframe we also need some means of knowing which type of reframe will be most appropriate at which time. Paying attention to the language structures a person uses when stating the ‘problem’ experience can provide the means by which to choose between a context reframe and a meaning reframe.
A context reframe can be usefully delivered in response to a comparative deletion – where a comparison is being made with some unknown quantity or a characterisation is made such as:
- He’s too mean with his money
- She’s slow
- It’s expensive
If we were using the Meta Model we would tend to challenge these comparative deletions / characterisations directly i.e.:
- Too mean according to who?
- To slow for what purpose?
- Expensive compared to what?
To respond to these comparative deletions / characterisations with a context reframe rather than a Meta Model response, ask yourself what other context(s) exist in which this characteristic or behaviour would be considered more appropriate or useful or an asset or a skill?
Appropriate context reframes for the above examples could include:
- He’s too mean with his money – And it’s that very skill which has allowed him to pay for a very fine education for each of his children.
- She’s slow – And when you find yourself absorbed in one of her books not only will you appreciate every single second she poured into it, you’ll also understand exactly why they fly off the shelves.
- It’s expensive – What would be really expensive would be buying the other one which costs 10% less but lasts half as long. This one – by comparison, is an absolute bargain!