6 (Six) Step Reframe

Many problems or behaviours people have are being controlled at a subconscious level. We are not aware of processes of the brain, the mind, what it is going through, or the reason why we are doing what we are doing, it just happens.

The behaviour seems to be out of control of the conscious mind, no matter how hard you try to change the behaviour, the behaviour continues as your unconscious has control.

We have two minds, the subconscious and the conscious mind. Where they are, I do not know, but we know they are there. We talk to ourselves and are aware of our feelings, thoughts, the smells and tastes and the environment around us with the conscious mind, yet working away in the background is the subconscious mind, the automatic mind, the mind we are unaware of.

This subconscious mind is non questioning, black and white, takes things literally, unlike the conscious mind that questions, reasons if this is right or this is wrong, the mind that criticises, the critical mind.

It is believed that the subconscious is getting a secondary gain from creating an unwanted behaviour. Perhaps a client is crying all the time. Is there a secondary gain to get attention from others?

By removing the secondary gain people often say that they will have to substitute another secondary gain, for example, :-

     “if I give up smoking, I will put weight on, because it is said I will have to replace cigarettes with sweets.”

It has never been proven that giving-up cigarettes means people take-up eating sweets. If you believe that by removing one behaviour, then another will be put in its’ place, then think of something better to be the replacement behaviour, more sport, take-up a new hobby, etc.

Using the Six-Step Reframe (read the process) of NLP, enables you to find a positive intention that is more ecological, to give a better gain.

Because the Six-Step Reframe is working at the subconscious level, it is not necessary for the conscious mind to know what the new way is, the new process, what the new behaviour is. So be aware that change will happen.

The basic structure of the Six-Step Reframe is given here, but by using the Eyes Closed Process, hypnosis, and the imagination, results I have found are far stronger.


1. Identify the problem. What is the problem or behaviour you wish to change? To give-up smoking, stop biting the nails, procrastinating, etc. 

2. Establish a connection or communication with the unconscious mind that is responsible for the behaviour.  Gain a signal from the unconscious mind, (in NLP it is referred as the or a part), that you will be aware of, which will be one of the modalities (V,A,K,o,g), at a conscious level, it could be a thought like “YES”, a certain feeling.

3. What is the intention of the unconscious mind (part). We assume that each and every action at a subconscious level has a positive intention, so what is the positive intention of the behaviour, what is it trying to do? Separate it from the behaviour, so “Smoking” is the behaviour, the positive intention could be to “Relax”.

4. Ask the subconscious to find new ways to give or fulfill that positive intention. Everyone can be creative or has a creative part of them, ask the subconscious to find at least three new ways, that are more positive and beneficial than the old ways, noticing any signals given by step 2. when found. Often the conscious mind is unaware of what those three or more new positive and beneficial ways are.

5. Ask the subconscious mind, the part at step 3. that it will use one of the new ways in the future. Notice the feedback or signal given which was established in step 2.

6. Future pace or conduct an ecology check. Imagine yourself, or in NLP terms future pace, doing this new behaviour in the future. Do you feel OK, is it correct for you, have you any objections? If yes, then go back to step 4. to find a new way to fulfill the intention, and keep doing this loop until all objections have been removed.

Secondary gains can be replaced by the Six-Step Reframe, so that new behaviours can be generated. This process can be difficult to undertake by ones self, so it is better to get someone else to talk you through the process, and as previously mentioned, it is better run whilst in a relaxed, hypnotic state.


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