Reframing Provides Opportunity for Agreement

"Psychologists and therapists have long used a technique called reframing to assist patients with changing problem attitudes and behaviors. The idea behind reframing is 'to change the conceptual and/or emotional setting or viewpoint in relation to which a situation is experienced and to place it in another frame which fits the "facts" of the same concrete situation equally well, or even better, and thereby changes its entire meaning.'

Further, it has been stated that "‘our experience of the world is based on categorization of the objects of our perception into classes,’ and that ‘once an object is conceptualized as the member of a given class, it is extremely difficult to see it also as belonging to another class.’

With reframing, once we see ‘alternative class memberships,’ it is difficult to go back to our previously limited view of ‘reality.’” Reframing allows an idea or object to be thought of as fitting into a different category...

The role of the mediator is much like the role of the psychotherapist. Neither really possesses much power beyond that of persuading the people involved to accept the mediator’s/therapist’s frame of the problem. At the heart of this power for the mediator is not rational or logical argument. There exist rational arguments for each viewpoint.

But, the mediator can wield much influence if he or she does so indirectly in order to avoid hostile confrontation. A key element here is the ability to reframe...taking the framework that each participant in a conflict holds from one of negativity to one that focuses on the positive opportunities for resolution."

Read more in this mediate.com article from which the foregoing was excerpted.

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