Examples of Socratic Questions

During assessment to help the client formulate problems:

  • When you felt terrified, what went through your mind?
  • What did that mean to you?
  • What is the worst that might happen?

When looking for alternative ways of thinking:

  • Is there a different way of seeing things?
    • How helpful is it to think that way?
    • Are there situations where this is not the case?
  • What would you say to a friend in this situation?
  • If you were not feeling so low, how might you interpret this?

When solving problems:

  • What else could you do?
  • What have you tried in the past?
  • How have you coped with this before?

When working out behavioural experiments to test out beliefs:

  • How could you test that out?
  • What do you predict might happen?
  • If the worst happened, what could you do?

When ending therapy:

  • What have you learned in therapy?
  • What’s been helpful, and unhelpful?
  • What setbacks might you meet?
  • What will you do then?