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Socratic Questions

Step 1 of 6

Sacratic questioning also helps the client to break out of their closed system of rigid patterns of thinking into a more flexible and open way of looking at their own experiences. It is important for CBT therapist to restrain themselves from doing too much of the thinking for the client. The idea of CBT is that the client is encouranged to work, to reflect on their own beliefs, and to figure out for themeselves what they are doing wrong, rather than being spoon-fed answer by the therapist.
One of the most typical questions posed by CBT practitioners about the negative thoughts is: "What evidence is there for the belief?" Socratic questions are sometimes divided into three broad categories in CBT:

1. What is the evidence for and againts that belief?
2. What are the alternative interpretations of the event of situation?
3. What are the real implications, if that belief is correct?

Below is an anthology of Socratic Questions, taken from the CBT literature and other sources. (As per classroom handout)