Leone Centre Glossary

Socratic Questioning

Socratic Questioning

Socratic questioning is a type of guided questioning that helps individuals explore and challenge their thoughts. This approach encourages deep reflection and insight, promoting personal growth and understanding.

Understanding Thoughts

Many people struggle with negative or unhelpful thoughts that impact their mental well-being. Socratic questioning helps individuals identify and examine these thoughts, providing clarity and promoting healthier thinking patterns.

Exploring Approaches

Key aspects include:

  1. Encouraging self-reflection and insight
  2. Challenging unhelpful thoughts
  3. Promoting critical thinking and problem-solving
  4. Enhancing communication skills

Defining Socratic Questioning

Socratic questioning involves a series of structured questions designed to help individuals reflect on and examine their beliefs and thoughts.

Fostering Insight

Through Socratic questioning, individuals can gain greater awareness of their thought processes and identify underlying assumptions.

Guided Exploration

Therapists use Socratic questioning to help clients to uncover and challenge irrational or harmful thoughts.

Common Questions

What is Socratic questioning in CBT?
Socratic questioning is a method used in CBT to encourage individuals to examine and challenge their thoughts through guided questioning.
How does Socratic questioning benefit individuals?
It helps individuals develop critical thinking skills, challenge unhelpful thoughts, and gain deeper insight into their thought processes.
Can Socratic questioning be used outside of therapy?
Yes, it can be a valuable tool for self-reflection and personal growth in everyday life.


  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Socratic Questioning in Cognitive Therapy
  2. Psychology Tools: Socratic Questioning
  3. Verywell Mind: What is Socratic Questioning?
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision