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The Science and Art of Asking Questions in Cognitive Therapy

  • Ian Andrew James (a1), Rachel Morse (a2) and Alan Howarth (a3)
Abstract

Background: Questions underpin all aspects of therapeutic assessment and intervention and are a vital component of the clinical process. Over recent years frameworks have started to be applied to obtain a greater understanding of questioning formats and processes. Method: This paper examines the use of questions in cognitive therapy (CT). An overview of the main types of questions identified in the literature is presented. In addition, we examine a range of client and therapist characteristics that may impact on the questioning process. Conclusions: Asking questions in therapy is a complex, yet under-taught, skill. This paper provides a set of frameworks to assist in identifying helpful and unhelpful questioning skills. Thus the article has implications for further training and research.

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Corresponding author
Reprint requests to Ian James, Newcastle Challenging Behaviour Service, Newcastle General Hospital, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6BE, UK. E-mail: ianjamesncht@yahoo.com
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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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