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Being Socratic in short sessions

Taf Kunorubwe

20 Mar 2024


Described by Padesky (1993) as “the cornerstone of cognitive therapy” Socratic Questioning is a key therapeutic competency with CBT / Low-Intensity CBT. In essence, it allows the collaborative enquiry into points of view and the development of new understandings or outlooks. This is very different to the misconception of CBT / LICBT that you are convincing the client that their thoughts are faulty, or they must adopt the therapists point of view.  

Utilizing a sensitive and curious Socratic Questioning style, clients are encouraged to use what they know, to discover alternative views and solutions for themselves, rather than the therapist suggesting them. However, we can encounter challenges in utilising this in LICBT / brief sessions that can lead to the apprehension of utilising this competency or even an assumption that in don’t do that.

The event will be equivalent to 1.1/2hrs of CPD.


This webinar will:
• Provide a brief introduction to Socratic Questioning
• Outline the Role of Socratic Questioning in brief CBT / LICBT sessions
• Consider use of Socratic Questioning in brief Sessions
• Consider common difficulties when using Socratic Questioning in brief CBT / LICBT sessions and how they can be overcome

Learning Objectives

By the end of the webinar and associated resources participants will:
• Be able to describe Socratic Questioning
• Outline the role of Socratic Questioning within brief CBT / LICBT sessions
• Plan when Socratic Questioning may enhance assessment, formulation, and interventions in brief CBT / LICBT sessions
• Identify and respond to barriers to Socratic Questioning

Training Modalities

The session will include lecture content, Q&A, and polls

Key References

Braun, J.D., Strunk, D.R., Sasso, K.E. and Cooper, A.A., 2015. Therapist use of Socratic questioning predicts session-to-session symptom change in cognitive therapy for depression. Behaviour research and therapy, 70, pp.32-37.
Kazantzis, N., Beck, J.S., Clark, D.A., Dobson, K.S., Hofmann, S.G., Leahy, R.L. and Wing Wong, C., 2018. Socratic dialogue and guided discovery in cognitive behavioral therapy: A modified Delphi panel. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 11(2), pp.140-157.
Rutter, J.G. and Friedberg, R.D., 1999. Guidelines for the effective use of Socratic dialogue in cognitive therapy.
Morrison, J. and Browning, A., 2018. Engagement and assessment within low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy for children and young people presenting with anxiety: principles and practice. Journal of Applied Psychology and Social Science, 4(1), pp.22-38.
Westbrook, D., Kennerley, H. and Kirk, J., 2011. An introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy: Skills and applications. Sage.
Padesky, C.A., 1993, September. Socratic questioning: Changing minds or guiding discovery. In A keynote address delivered at the European Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies, London (Vol. 24).

About the presenter

Taf Kunorubwe is a BABCP Accredited CBT Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer. He has experience working and supervision within IAPT services as a PWP and High-Intensity Therapist. He currently works part-time as the Course Lead for the PGCert in CBT Skill at the University of South Wales. As well as working in private practice, with a special interest in improving access and outcomes for clients from diverse backgrounds.

Who should attend

This event is designed for practitioners delivering brief CBT interventions including Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, Enhanced Psychological Practitioners, Low intensity Practitioners and CBT Therapist delivering brief Interventions.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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