Socratic questioning in psychotherapy: A history of crossed purposes

Timothy Carey, Richard Mullan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ambiguity characterises many aspects of the Socratic method as it is described in the psychotherapy literature. This is particularly so when the purpose for employing the technique is considered. The chronological inclusion of the Socratic method into psychotherapy is traced in an attempt to understand what the original purpose for adopting this procedure might have been. Authors who write about Socratic questioning in psychotherapy, however, provide few clues as to their interest in the technique. We conclude by suggesting that defining questioning techniques by the purposes they are used for might provide opportunities to clarify important aspects of psychotherapy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Psychological Society, Counselling Psychology Section: Counselling Psychology Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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