Using Socratic Questioning to promote cognitive change and achieve depressive symptom reduction: Evidence of cognitive change as a mediator.

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Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 267 words

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Keywords Cognitive behavioral therapy; Depression; Cognitive change; Socratic questioning; Mediation Highlights * Socratic questioning is considered central to CBT, but evidence has been limited. * Cognitive change mediated the relation of Socratic questioning and symptom change. * Socratic questioning was particularly important for clients with lower CBT skills. Abstract Socratic questioning has long been thought to play a critical role in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression. Though use of Socratic questioning is theorized to achieve symptom reduction by promoting cognitive change, research has yet to investigate this pathway. In a sample of 123 clients participating in CBT for depression, we tested cognitive change as a mediator of the relation between Socratic questioning and symptom change in early treatment sessions. We found evidence of a significant indirect effect, consistent with cognitive change mediating the effect of Socratic questioning on change in depressive symptoms. Further analyses showed that pre-treatment CBT skills moderated the effect of Socratic questioning on cognitive change, with this relationship being stronger for clients who started treatment with lower CBT skills. These findings provide support for the view that Socratic questioning contributes to therapeutic gains in CBT through cognitive change. This study also provides initial evidence to suggest the use of Socratic questioning is particularly important for clients who begin treatment with particularly low CBT skills. Author Affiliation: The Ohio State University, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, United States * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 12 July 2021; Revised 8 October 2021; Accepted 5 January 2022 Byline: Lisa N. Vittorio, Samuel T. Murphy, Justin D. Braun, Daniel R. Strunk [strunk.20@osu.edu] (*)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A692744304