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The Use of Questions in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Identification of Question Type, Function and Structure

  • Ian A. James (a1) and Rachel Morse (a2)

An exploration of trainees' abilities to identify question types, their function and the process of questioning was carried out with 25 trainees who were studying for either a Diploma in Cognitive Therapy or a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The results showed that trainees were best at determining the functions of questions, but were poor overall at identifying the different elements of questioning. This study highlights the absence of terminology for breaking down therapeutic dialogue into its component parts. It is concluded that research is needed to explore ways in which the components of questioning can be better articulated and conceptualized so as to aid our ability to reflect on questions in a meaningful way.

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Reprint requests to Ian A James, Centre for the Health of the Elderly, Newcastle General Hospital, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 6BE, UK. E-mail:
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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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