Practical questions that can be easily used by counselors, coaches, teachers, managers, parents, mentors, friends, etc. in helping someone! This list is borrowed from Solution Focused Therapy, an action-driven, forward-looking counseling approach that is all about strengths, goals, and empowerment.
  1. Exception Questions: What have you tried so far? What have you already done, or what are you doing now, that might help you find a solution?
    Helps identify strategies that the individual can use.
  2. The Miracle Question: Imagine that a miracle happens and all of your problems suddenly come to an end. What would that look like for you? What would you be doing that's different?
    Gets at clarifying the goal and envisioning what it might take to get there.
  3. Coping Questions: I see that things have been really difficult for you (empathy), yet somehow you still manage to ________ (e.g. wake up each morning and get the children off to school). How do you do that?
    Helps uncover the individual's strengths and resources.
  4. Scaling Questions: On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the solution and 1 is you at your lowest, where do you stand today? What has changed, even a little, since the last time we spoke?
    Can be used periodically to see how the individual is progressing.