The Socratic method is a way of teaching philosophical thinking and knowledge by asking questions. It was first used by in ancient times by the Greek philosopher Socrates who taught his followers by asking questions; these conversations between them are known as Socratic dialogues. In this methodology, no new knowledge is taught to the individual; rather, the individual is guided to remember and rediscover what was formerly known through this process. The main method used in cognitive therapy is guided discovery. There are various methods of guided discovery in cognitive therapy. The form of verbal exchange between the therapist and client which is used during the process of cognitive behavioral therapy is known as socratic questioning. In this method the goal is to make the client rediscover, with a series of questions, a piece of knowledge which he could otherwise know but is not presently conscious of. The Socratic Questioning consists of several steps, including: identifying the problem by listening to the client and making reflections, finding alternatives by examining and evaluating, reidentification by using the newly rediscovered information and questioning the old distorted belief, and reaching a new conclusion and applying it. Question types used during these procedures are: questions for collecting information, questions revealing meanings, questions revealing beliefs, questions about behaviours during similar past experiences, analytic questions and analytic synthesis questions. In order to make the patient feel understood, it is important to be empathetic and summarize the problem during the interview. In this text, steps of Socratic Questioning-Guided Discovery will be reviewed with sample dialogues provided for each step.
Socratic questioning, guided discovery, cognitive therapy
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