The term cognitive restructuring refers to the process of challenging, and changing, irrational thoughts. Socratic questioning is one technique to encourage this process. Therapists use Socratic questioning verbally by asking probing questions about their clients' irrational thoughts. As clients improve their awareness of irrational thoughts, they can begin to consciously question their own thoughts.
Use the Socratic Questioning worksheet alongside other CBT interventions to help your clients challenge irrational thoughts. We suggest that clients are allowed to select 3-5 questions for each thought, rather than completing every question. A few in-depth responses are more valuable than a lot of hasty one-word responses!
1. Clark, G. I., & Egan, S. J. (2015). The Socratic method in cognitive behavioural therapy: A narrative review. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 39(6), 863-879.