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Interventive Interviewing: Part II. Reflexive Questioning as a Means to Enable Self-Healing



    1. Family Therapy Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive, N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.
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  • I would like to express my appreciation to the numerous friends and colleagues who contributed to the development of this paper, especially to Luigi Boscolo, Doug Breunlin, Gianfranco Cecchin, Humberto Maturana, Sallyann Roth, Max van Trommel, and Michael White.


Reflexive questioning is an aspect of interventive interviewing oriented toward enabling clients or families to generate new patterns of cognition and behavior on their own. The therapist adopts a facilitative posture and deliberately asks those kinds of questions that are liable to open up new possibilities for self-healing. The mechanism for the resultant therapeutic change in clients is postulated to be reflexivity between levels of meaning within their own belief systems. By adopting this mode of enquiry and taking advantage of opportunities to ask a variety of reflexive questions, a therapist may be able to augment the clinical effectiveness of his or her interviews.