Reflections On Reframing

Agency staff learn more about the importance of reframing and positive thinking.

Michael and Rachael showing three of the exercise’s “thought bubbles.”

Tuesdays are staff meeting days at Adoption STAR, and today’s meeting included a training on the concept of reframing (a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives). Shannon Boeheim (Adoptive Parent Social Worker and Family Advocate), Erin Hutchison (Adoption Counselor and Family Advocate), and Rachael Metz (Adoptive Parent Social Worker and Family Advocate) were co-presenters/facilitators for the training itself.

The co-presenters did an excellent job of

  • Defining reframing;
  • Deconstructing the processes that build into the negative beliefs, thoughts or emotions that need reframing;
  • Engaging staff in a dialogue about reframing and its benefits on both a personal and professional level.

Shannon, Erin and Rachael also guided staff in an activity that allowed everyone to practice a bit of reframing (for the benefit of both themselves and their and colleagues). Each staff person was given a paper “thought bubble” in which they had to write down a negative statement that was pertinent to a recent real life experience (“I am never going to get all this work done by 4pm,” or “I never get enough sleep,” or “I don’t think I can handle this,” as examples). Then, with the help of some masking tape, staff members had to place their thought bubble on his or her own back. They then collectively milled about the room, read each others’ “thought bubbles,” and wrote down examples of reframing in the bubbles (“Break down all the work you have to do into smaller pieces and you might be surprised by how much you can get done,” or “Having toddlers is hard – talk to your husband about finding time for naps during the course of the week,” or “Who do you have in your life that can help you handle this,” for example).

The training was very well received and wonderfully delivered. Adoption STAR’s Founder/CEO Michele Fried is a big proponent of reframing, as evidenced by her recent article in the September edition of Adoption STAR’s E-Newsletter:

Michele has also written an article about reframing for her new blog, which you can find here:

In order from left to right: Michael Hill, Kim Bundy, Zack Fried and Sue Shaw line up to assist each other with reframing messages.
Rachael Metz and Sue Reardon
Lisa Geiger and Lori Craig