The Simple Questions That Really Help Depressed People

Posted on May 11, 2017

A technique known as “Socratic questioning” has been found to help depressed people recover from depression by exploring refreshing perspectives on themselves and the world around them. People with depression are prone to be trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts. Socratic questioning helps these people to question the validity of such pessimistic thoughts and achieve a wider and more practical perspective.

Socratic questioning is different from “normal” questioning as it focuses on fundamental issues and concerns. For instance, in the event of a depressed person feeling like their life is a failure due to divorce, some questions to ponder would be

• Is everyone who had a divorce a failure?
• Is there anyone for whom that is not true?
• Why would you equate being divorced to being a failure as a person?
• What evidence is that that you have succeeded and thus, had not been a “total failure”?

The study’s authors have found that socratic questioning results in an improvement of depressive symptoms and that more socratic questioning actually led to a steeper improvement of such symptoms. People with depressive symptoms often are not looking at the situation holistically and may neglect information that contradicts their negative thoughts. Socratic questioning allows depressed people to question their negative thoughts and become sceptical about them.


Source material from Psyblog

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