International Journal of Cognitive Therapy

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 140–157 | Cite as

Socratic Dialogue and Guided Discovery in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Modified Delphi Panel

  • Nikolaos KazantzisEmail author
  • Judith S. Beck
  • David A. Clark
  • Keith S. Dobson
  • Stefan G. Hofmann
  • Robert L. Leahy
  • C. Wing Wong
Special Issue on Socratic Dialogue


Published guides for the practice of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) include a range of recommendations for the use of Socratic dialogue (or Socratic questioning) and guided discovery. While it is accepted that a specific dialogue process can be useful to support the way a therapist develops a cognitive case conceptualization (or case formulation), structures a session, or uses techniques, the stylistic aspects of Socratic dialogue remain unclear. In particular, the role of collaboration in the dialogue process has not been clearly articulated in the literature to date. Reaching expert consensus on the ideal conditions for the use of Socratic dialogue can guide further empirical study, including the design of a much needed complete and accurate assessment of therapist skill in its use. This article summarizes the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of a second expert panel on these specific features of Socratic dialogue in order to guide further empirical study.


Cognitive behavioral therapy Socratic dialogue Socratic questioning Delphi panel 


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Copyright information

© International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaos Kazantzis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Judith S. Beck
    • 2
  • David A. Clark
    • 3
  • Keith S. Dobson
    • 4
  • Stefan G. Hofmann
    • 5
  • Robert L. Leahy
    • 6
  • C. Wing Wong
    • 7
  1. 1.Cognitive Behavior Therapy Research Unit, School of Psychological Sciences and Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical NeurosciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior TherapyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.University of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada
  4. 4.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  5. 5.Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  6. 6.American Institute for Cognitive TherapyNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.The Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong

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