Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Behav Cogn Psychother. 2010 Jan;38(1):83-93. doi: 10.1017/S135246580999049X. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

The science and art of asking questions in cognitive therapy.

Author information

  • 1Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, UK.



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.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Cambridge University Press
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk