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  1. Cory F. Newman1,
  2. Marci G. Fox2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0784

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Newman, C. F. and Fox, M. G. 2010. Reframing. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

  2. 2

    Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The cognitive technique known as reframing is perhaps most closely associated with the broader category of technique called rational responding, in which clients learn to spot the automatic thoughts that are causing their undue emotional distress and then use a series of questions to prompt themselves into generating more hopeful, constructive ways to look at themselves and their problems. Rational responding can be an extensive process in which the client uses automatic thought records (cf. Beck, 1995) to document a series of troublesome thoughts across a number of problematic life situations, perhaps leading to the identification of negative themes or schemas (Young, Klosko, & Weishaar, 2003) in the client's habitual ways of thinking. By contrast, reframing is more discrete, often pertaining to one automatic thought or a circumscribed area of concern. In addition, whereas rational responding is performed largely by the client (e.g., as part of their homework assignments), reframing is often done by the therapist, in session, as a way to model the process of rational responding as well as to demonstrate empathy.


  • alliance;
  • automatic thoughts;
  • empathy;
  • hopefulness;
  • rational responding