Socratic Questioning in Couple and Family Therapy
Guided discovery; Socratic method
Socratic questioning ascribes to an ethos of prioritizing discovery. The goal of Socratic questioning is not to change the client’s mind to a desired result but to guide the client’s own discovery. This is true for both appropriate and maladaptive thoughts, and it benefits the client to promote the discovery of their own conclusions rather than throwing therapist constructs at the client and seeing what sticks. Socratic questioning allows a client to devise their own plan and distinguish what makes sense emotionally from what does not. Socratic questioning can be instrumental in changing dysfunctional beliefs and helping individuals discover the adaptive beliefs that make sense for them (Padesky 1993).
Socratic questioning is used most in cognitive behavioral therapy. Within this model, guided discovery helps structure the therapy as therapist and client work together to confirm or disprove client beliefs or...
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