Socratic Questioning Workshop

Can be taken as an individual course or as a part of:

Approved by the British Psychological Society for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

2 days 9:30am – 4:30pm 14 CPD hours

Course Brief

Socratic Questioning is a psychotherapeutic key tool for both understanding a client’s perceptions and subsequently helping them to change them.

Described by Padesky as “the cornerstone of cognitive therapy” it was first given centre stage psychotherapeutically by Adler in the early 20th century, who in turn greatly influenced Carl Rogers. The technique has also been compared to the characteristics of Circular Questioning used in Family Therapy and has been utilised within the personal coaching field.

This course is part of the training programme that enables you to complete the BPS Approved Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. You can build up gradually your CBT training portfolio by attending all the courses within the programme at the pace that suits you. All your training hours will be calculated, recorded in an individual validated log and accumulated towards your full Diploma.

Socratic Questioning is a psychotherapeutic key tool for both understanding a client’s perceptions and subsequently helping them to change them.

Described by Padesky as “the cornerstone of cognitive therapy” it was first given centre stage psychotherapeutically by Adler in the early 20th century, who in turn greatly influenced Carl Rogers. The technique has also been compared to the characteristics of Circular Questioning used in Family Therapy and has been utilised within the personal coaching field.

As a result, it is a key skill for all therapists (CBT and otherwise) to develop. It enables both therapist and client to engage in the process of “guided discovery” to make sense of the client’s internal and external world which they have the knowledge to answer. As a result the client initiates their own perceptual and cognitive changes.

The technique is especially useful in assessment and formulation, changing unhelpful cognitions, exploring new ways of thinking about things, problem solving and devising behavioural experiments. It also acts as a useful counter balance to any therapist tendencies towards “psycho-bulldozing” (Westbrook 2007). It helps develop therapist skill both in making no assumptions whatsoever about the client’s experience (until the client has told you) and fine-tuning the therapist’s curiosity about the client’s view of things.

This workshop provides both an outline of what Socratic Questioning is, along with a preliminary structure (CARPIS Questions) for using it. It will give delegates ample opportunity to observe it being used as well as practicing it themselves. Delegates will also receive gentle feedback on how to fine tune their skills further and develop their newly discovered expertise after the course.

Issues covered include:

  • What is Socratic Questioning and what can it offer to therapist and client
  • The use of CARPIS Questions
  • Using Socratic Questioning in problem formulation
  • Key “Dos” and “Don’ts” in Socratic Questioning
  • Socratic Questioning and challenging NATs
  • Using Socratic Questioning in Problem Solving and alternative Perspectives and Outcomes

SDS Accreditation Levels for CBT Training

SDS Accreditation, Level 1 (CBT Practitioner, Foundation Stage) is the level of accreditation you obtain by attending the CBT: Introductory Course, completing the relevant Evidence Reading Module and passing the online test.

This level of accreditation gives you a BPS Approved Certificate, access to the CBT Introductory course resources online, and enables you to state in your CV that you have Level 1 (Foundation) Accreditation as a CBT Practitioner, and use PCBT (Foundation) qualification in your title.

Your accreditation currently lasts for 3 years, after which you cannot make the above statements and access course resources.

This level of accreditation is renewable by sitting an online refresher course or attending a live course/webcast on the original topic. Should you renew your accreditation within these 3 years, your access to these refresher courses is discounted by 50%.* Should you let your accreditation lapse, you pay the full price for the refresher training.

SDS Accreditation, Level 2 (Master Practitioner in CBT, Assessed Academic Competence) means you have completed all the hours required by SDS Master Practitioner Diploma in CBT and also passed all the online exams.

You obtain this level of accreditation by completing SDS’ modular Master Practitioner Diploma in CBT, by completing the relevant Evidence Reading and Case Formulation modules, and by passing all the online tests associated with the Diploma.

This level of accreditation gives you a BPS Approved Master Practitioner Diploma in CBT, as well as access to the course materials and other resources. It also enables you to state in your CV that you have Level 2 (Assessed Academic Competence) Accreditation as a Master Practitioner in CBT and use MPCBT (AAC) qualification in your title.

Your accreditation currently lasts for 3 years, after which you cannot make the above statements and access course resources.

This level of accreditation is renewable by sitting an online refresher course or attending a live course/webcast listed as a suitable refresher course. Should you renew your accreditation within these 3 years, your access to these refresher courses is discounted by 50%.* Should you let your accreditation lapse, you pay the full price for the refresher training.

SDS Accreditation, Level 3 (Master Practitioner in CBT, Clinical Proficiency) is as Level 2, with the addition of:

  • A work-based assignment set by SDS of between 4,000 and 5,000 words. The assignment is designed to help you demonstrate your ability to apply the learning you have proved at Level 2 to a clinical situation in a considered way. You receive feedback on the case you submit, regardless of whether or not it reaches the required standard.
  • a written statement from your Clinical Supervisor confirming the regularity and duration of your supervision with them and your Competence as a clinician practicing CBT. Your Clinical Supervisor should meet our qualification criteria. The purpose of this statement is to confirm your clinical Competence as a CBT practitioner and to ensure that your practice is regularly supervised and meets required standards.

This level of accreditation gives you a BPS Approved Master Practitioner Diploma in CBT, as well as access to the course materials and other resources. It also enables you to state in your CV that you have Level 3 (Clinical Proficiency) Accreditation as a Master Practitioner in CBT and use MPCBT(CP) qualification in your title.

You will also be given an option to be listed in the SDS Register of CBT Practitioners – our Network of Qualified CBT Practitioners.

Your accreditation currently lasts for 3 years, after which you cannot make the above statements and access course resources.

This level of accreditation is renewable by sitting an online refresher course or attending a live course/webcast listed as a suitable refresher course and by submitting a new supervision statement. Should you renew your accreditation within these 3 years, your access to these refresher courses and the written assignment is discounted by 50%.* Should you let your accreditation lapse, you pay the full price for the refresher training.

Course Tutor

Prof Paul Grantham
Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Professor of Clinical Psychology at PSMedUniv, Director of SDS Seminars

Paul Grantham, is a clinical psychologist with vast clinical and training experience. He is the founder and Director of SDS Ltd and one of the most popular and inspirational tutors in the field of psychological skills training. Paul is the author or clinical lead for over 34 psychotherapy training films, an author of 2 books and, as a Director of SDS Seminars Ltd, he commissions and provides training in a range of contemporary psychotherapy fields. Paul is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, a Senior Associate of The Royal Society of Medicine and is an Accredited CBT Therapist, and an Honorary Professor of Clinical Psychology. An extremely informed, clinically experienced and humorous speaker he is known for his emphasis on the practicalities rather than just the theory of client-based work.

Recommended Materials

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Socratic Questioning (Essential CBT Skills Series) - 4 DVD Set - 4 CPD Hours

DVD by Dr. Fiona C. Kennedy, Paul Grantham, Julia Budnik

Despite its origins being nearly 2500 years old, Socratic Questioning (SQ) in therapy generally and specifically in CBT remains somewhat a mystery to many practitioners. SQ is based on the practice of disciplined and thoughtful dialogue that, on the first sight, appears simple, but in fact – is intensely rigorous. Despite lots of references to SQ as a cornerstone of cognitive therapy (C.Padesky, 1993), there is very little, almost nothing, written about it and how to conduct it. This DVD set is an attempt to give practitioners clear explanation of SQ process and guidance about its use.

Exclusive offer for SDS delegates: Save 15% on this DVD
Use this code on the checkout: SDSDVD