One of the most basic questions that a therapist will ask is: What are you feeling right now? This may sound like a very simple question, but many people don’t realize that there is a big difference between what they feel and how they feel. Essentially, content refers to what they say and process refers to how they experience what they say. A client may say that she feels fine, but that doesn’t always match the truth, because her response doesn’t tally with the way she feels.
Another important question to ask is, “What do you want?” Usually, the therapist will ask this question at a crucial juncture in a session. This question puts the onus on the client to make changes. It can feel unfair and sound more like a “what kind of person do you want to be?”. For instance, if the client is feeling lonely, the therapist will ask, “What do you think your friends and family will think of you now?”
While these two questions are important, the third one should be used sparingly. It can be challenging to get to the root of a client’s problem without provoking conflict, so it’s a good idea to explore alternatives. A therapist should be able to determine which type of question is best for a particular client and in which session. The more options a therapist offers, the better it will be for the client.
The second question is “now what?” The “now what” question comes up at a crucial juncture in a client’s therapy, but it has a tendency to place the onus of change on the client. While the first one might seem more objective, it can be difficult for a client to answer this question because it can feel unfair and seem like the therapist is asking them: what kind of person do you want to be?
Some clients find this approach imposing. The second question, “now what,” if answered honestly, can lead to a content-based answer that resembles a question asking about a person’s feelings and goals. However, this type of question is not always appropriate for every client. For example, a patient may feel isolated and not be able to express her needs in words. A therapist can help them by focusing on the strengths of the client.
Process questions are very important to the therapeutic process. They can make or break a session. Depending on the client’s needs, the therapist will use a variety of questions in order to achieve a specific outcome. The first question, “What do you want to do? “, will invite the client to share her thoughts and feelings in an open-ended way. The second question is, “What are your hopes?”
When asked in a therapy session, a good question will provoke full disclosure. It is important to challenge the client’s assumptions, beliefs, and perspectives. The initial stages of therapy, defining the problem and creating a solution are difficult. As such, a client’s perspective can be very different from the therapist’s perspective, but good process questions will ensure that the client gets the attention they need to move forward with their treatment.
A good question is a good way to engage your client and get them to talk. It will prompt full disclosure and challenge your client’s beliefs. It will encourage them to share their experiences and opinions. The goal of therapy is to help the client move from the idea to action. A client’s experience will be valuable for the therapist and for the client. It is not a “miracle” that they can do.
Process questions are questions that challenge the client’s perspectives and assumptions. A good question encourages a client to explore her strengths, which will allow the therapist to build a strong foundation for future discussions. In a therapy session, a good question is an invitation to explore new ideas and develop a stronger connection with the other person. So, how can a therapist use a good question? By asking a question with a guiding intention, the therapist can make the most of the interaction.