Welcome to Week 2 of our Interview with a Therapist Series! This week Emily sat down with Mindsight’s Community Support and Peer Support Clinical Supervisor, Charlotte Allison, to talk about reframing!
So can you tell us, what reframing is? And why is it important?
So reframing is actually a form of cognitive restructuring. It's, it's a way to challenge how we think about things and how we perceive situations.
Reframing can be really helpful, especially during our new normal right now, with COVID. And with everything that's happening, we are experiencing so much more stress in our environments, and that can be really difficult to adjust to and navigate through. We, as human beings, have this tendency to see things from a negative perspective. And we end up minimizing any positives or even neutral things about a situation. So reframing is a good way to help keep things in perspective so that you're not just focusing on the negatives of a situation. It's not going from thinking positively and ignoring the negatives. It's important to validate what's not going well, to validate what is difficult, but also then to remind ourselves, okay, what is going well for me right now, what are some of the benefits of this situation.
Another example of reframing that I use in my personal life, and something that I've worked with clients on is not thinking in such black and white terms of well, if I'm not perfect, then I'm a failure. That's a black and white thing. But acknowledging I'm not very good at these things here. And I struggle with these things. But on the other hand, I do have strengths, and this is what I'm what I am good at.
So can you talk a little bit about how we can help our kids reframe that situation and make the most of it?
Yeah, and I think, first and foremost, it's important, again, to validate the feelings of anxiety and stress over the situation. That's super important because then your kids are feeling heard, they're feeling more understood, as opposed to just coming right out and saying, well, what's positive about this? And then their feelings aren't being acknowledged. But then, after doing that, then ask even asking them what have you liked so far about this, what's different that you like? Maybe sleeping in a little bit, not having to get up early, maybe not having to spend as much time getting ready?
And things like that. So it's important to acknowledge the pity a little bit, but just not let ourselves or kids stay there.
So if people are looking for help with reframing, or looking to get more information on how to help their kids do the reframing, where should they go? What should they do?
I would encourage all parents, any parent that is struggling with this adjustment, going from not only are you now the parent, you're also now the teacher, you're also now the babysitter, that that is a really difficult adjustment. I encourage any parent that is feeling any kind of stress — which I think is a lot of us right now — to reach out and talk to a professional abou how you're coping and dealing with things and also how you can help your kids during that transition. Because how your kids are handling something can affect you as a parent. You might feel helpless in a situation and so it's really important to be able to get those feelings out and talk to a professional to navigate some of that stuff.
Charlotte Allison, LPCC
"I help people feel heard by validating their concerns while assisting them through whatever difficulties they may be facing."
— Charlotte Allison, LPCC
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