I was reflecting on a conversation I had with a colleague a few days ago, and the number of questions that were flying back and forth between us.

With a friend, family member or colleague, we usually ask a lot of questions – we want to know all the details.  Either because we just want to know!  Or because we are trying to work out a solution for them or ourselves.

But therapy is not really like that is it?

Of course, there are questions.  But it’s still not the same.

Generally those questions should always be about enabling the client to explore what’s important and relevant to them in the situation, not about us getting as much information as we can.

Obviously, we might be making an assessment through the process.  But the role of a therapist is very much about enabling the client to find their own way forward.

It’s absolutely not about the therapist making a diagnosis or assessment and then delivering a solution.

Even, in my opinion, in psychodynamic, CBT or analytical therapy.

The questions have to be about enabling the client to explore at a deeper level for themselves.  Creative Questioning.  Or Socratic Questioning.

But it can be very difficult to break the habit of a lifetime and not ask questions!

So next time you find your mind filling with a whole string of questions as you listen to your client, pause and ask yourself the most important question – the only question you really need to ask.......”Why do I need to ask that?”

If your answer is anything that does not focus on enabling the client to explore something for themselves, then............

Just Don’t Ask!