Leone Centre Glossary

Guided Discovery

Guided Discovery

Guided discovery in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a collaborative process where the therapist helps the client explore and understand their thoughts and beliefs. This approach aims to uncover underlying assumptions and develop new perspectives.

Understanding Thoughts

Many individuals struggle with automatic thoughts that influence their emotions and behaviours. Guided discovery helps identify these thoughts and assess their validity.

Exploring Beliefs

Guided discovery involves asking open-ended questions to facilitate deeper understanding. This method encourages clients to reflect on their thought patterns and consider alternative viewpoints.

Benefits of Guided Discovery

  1. Enhances self-awareness
  2. Promotes critical thinking
  3. Facilitates cognitive restructuring

How it Helps

This process aids in identifying irrational thoughts and replacing them with more balanced and constructive ones.

How it Works

Therapists use strategic questions to guide clients through their thought processes, encouraging them to question and reframe their beliefs.


What is guided discovery in CBT?
Guided discovery is an approach used in CBT to help clients explore and understand their thoughts and beliefs through a series of structured questions.
How does guided discovery benefit clients?
It enhances self-awareness, promotes critical thinking, and aids in cognitive restructuring by challenging irrational thoughts and encouraging alternative perspectives.
Can guided discovery be used in group therapy?
Yes, guided discovery can be adapted for use in both individual and group therapy settings.


  1. The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses
  2. American Psychological Association: What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
  3. Verywell Mind: What Is Guided Discovery in CBT?
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision