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6-Step Reframe [N-Step Reframe] Wonderful technique for change

6-Step Reframe [N-Step Reframe] Wonderful technique for change

How does the 6-step reframing technique work? With this technique you usually work with the positive intention of undesirable behavior, obstacle or symptom. Take a quick look at the steps of the technique…

What kind of technique is this?

There are thousands of reframing techniques, such as context reframes, intention reframes and time reframes …. What reframing technique are we actually talking about when we talk about the 6 step reframing?

This most commonly used formal reframing technique uses the ‘lateral chunking’ of positive intentions . So when talking about 6-step reframing, it is usually about lateral chunking of the positive intention.

However, the 6-step reframing technique can also be applied to other reframing methods, such as context reframing. In this article, we focus only on the most commonly used formal variant: reframing the positive intention.

What is the core idea behind the 6-step reframing of the positive intention?

You go from a behavior to the positive intention of that behavior (upchunking) and then generate new behavior for the same positive intention (downchunking, but via a different ‘column’).

If you want a full explanation of (lateral) chunking, read this article.

You don’t always have to go through all 6 steps. Sometimes there are more, and sometimes less. That’s why the name has been changed to the N-step reframe – invented by John Grinder, among others. Moreover, the N-step reframe does not work with ‘parts’ of a person, because a person is really only one consciousness.

Moreover, thanks to New Code NLP, more work is done with the subconscious. This technique used to prescribe that you would determine new behavior with your conscious brain, but nowadays we leave this to the subconscious. You will see it naturally in the steps of this technique …

The Six Step Reframe Technique – All steps

  1. Identify the unwanted behavior : “What behavior or symptom would you like to change?” Describe this behavior in the third observation position . Then step in to feel it associated too. Also feel the sensations in your body as you do so.
  2. Start the communication with your subconscious , possibly by starting with a Betty Erickson trance induction ( the steps for this are in this article about the subconscious mind ). After that trance induction, you turn in and ask your subconscious, “Please give me a yes signal as soon as you want to communicate with me.”
    These can be internal words, internal feelings, internal images or gestures as a signal from the subconscious. Note: this is an unconscious signal. So don’t force it, so don’t make it conscious. If we have to wait a while for the signal, we wait.
    When the subconscious mind doesn’t want to communicate, you can ask, “What is your positive intention of not wanting to communicate with me? If you have it, give a signal.” Then ask, “Generate 4 new choices for the positive intention of not wanting to communicate. When you have the 4 choices, give a signal.”
  3. After the unconscious yes-signal has been established, you will consciously try to reproduce it again . If that works, then it was not an unconscious signal, so step 2 has to be done again.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for a no signal.
  5. Ask the subconscious, “Is there a positive intention for {unwanted behavior or symptom}?” “What is your positive intention with this behavior? What are you trying to convey to me? If you have it, give a signal.”
  6. Express appreciation for the subconscious.
  7. Optional step: Do a conditional close: “Subconscious, if you can have new choices in behaviors that fulfill this intention better than the unwanted behavior, would you be willing to do that?”
  8. “Ask your subconscious: create 4 or more other, new choices that can also accomplish the positive intention, while not having the unwanted aspects.” You do not have to consciously know what the new choices are. Your subconscious says: I generate them!
    Now you are actually done, but for the sake of completeness we also do the last two steps.
  9. “Ask your subconscious: give me a signal as soon as you accept the new choices , while it is also acceptable to the life and environment of {the client}.”
    If one or more choices are not acceptable, go back to step 4, or identify which of the choices are not acceptable.
  10. Apply the choices: “Turn inward and ask the subconscious to give a signal as soon as it is willing to take responsibility for applying the new choices in the near future . ” This is actually a kind of future pace . Optionally, you can ask the starting date: “Subconscious, give a signal if you are willing to apply new choices within a week.” If no: “Does it take less than a week? Does it take longer than a week? Does it take a month?” Etc.

What did you use the 6-step reframing for? Let me know in the comments.

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!


  1. N. Bhuvaneswari


  2. Naomi Silverman

    This was excellent!

  3. J. Cromwell

    Hello. Great article. Question:
    Most NLP trainers have said for years that the Six Step Reframing process is outdated and retired in favor of newer, more efficient techniques. Can you comment on this? What newer techniques specifcally? Thank you.

    • Robert G.

      J. Cromwell: ‘Most NLP trainers,’ ‘more efficient techniques’ Do you know how to apply the Meta Model with regards to unspecified nouns?