Classic Therapy Questions (9 Most Popular)

In this blog, we will explore the different types of questions you can expect during therapy. A therapist starts off by asking the client what outcomes they would expect from their interventions, what goals they would like to achieve and how they would like to achieve them. The therapist then moves on to exploring deeper underlying causes of the issues or dilemmas that the client may be facing. 

List of classic therapy questions

Let’s look at some of the Classic Therapy Questions:

Is this your first time seeking professional help?

Many people are hesitant to admit that they may need help due to which they avoid going for therapy as long as possible until they are no longer able to handle their emotions. For first timers, it is important to make them feel as comfortable as possible and go at a pace they are pleased with. 

For people who seek help for the first time, it may be difficult for them to open up to their therapist right away which is why the therapist needs to establish and acknowledge what to expect from the process. The therapist should also encourage the client to direct the conversation to the issue they would want to discuss. 

If the client has already been to a therapist before, they may be a bit more familiar with the process. The therapist can ask them about their prior experience in therapy and what goals they have managed to achieve. This may be beneficial for the therapist in order to establish a good rapport with the client.

What brings you here today? 

This is the most important question in Therapy. By asking this open-ended question, the therapist encourages the client to speak about what has been troubling them. The therapist can take this opportunity to actively listen and pick up keywords or phrases that they can explore further during the session.

It is crucial for the therapist to make the client feel safe by being empathic and non-judgemental. The client wants to be heard so listening intently and carefully is essential. 

How does this make you feel?

This is a recurring question that a therapist asks the client as a way of checking in on them to see if they are feeling too overwhelmed with the process. By verbalizing their feelings, the clients are able to be aware of their emotions. 

This question is often followed by, “What is making you feel this way?”. This enables the client to enhance their awareness about their feelings and emotions. The client then proceeds to process these emotions one by one with the guidance of the therapist. 

What are your goals and expectations from therapy? 

People approach therapy with certain expectations on their mind. The therapist must explore what kind of expectations the client has from the outcomes of therapy so that they both can proceed by being on the same page. This step is necessary for both the client and the therapist so they can make progress.

Together, the therapist and client set goals that the client wishes to accomplish during the therapeutic process. The therapist then creates a treatment plan on how to accomplish those goals. The aim is to accomplish those goals before the client and therapist mutually decide to terminate. 

What is your relationship like with your family members?

The client’s interpersonal relationships are crucial to determine whether they have had healthy relationships or dysfunctional ones. This also gives a brief background of the client’s upbringing. The therapist may also ask questions like:

Who are you closest to?

The client’s relationship may be strongest with one particular member of the family. Exploring the kind of bonding and support created by this attachment can help the therapist understand deeper emotions and behaviour of the client.

Who do you have trouble connecting with?

This helps the therapist understand dysfunctionality (if any) in the client’s relationships. Unhealthy relationships with family members can often reveal agonizing recollections of the past or even trauma experienced by the client, which can be explored further by the therapist. 

Who is your biggest support?

It is important to know whether the client has a support system who can help them through their difficult times. This also shows the client that the therapist genuinely cares about their well-being. 

Without a support system, the client may find it difficult to make progress as there would be no one to motivate and encourage them.

What is your parent’s relationship like?

The first relationship a child witnesses is the relationship between their parents. That could shape how they perceive most relationships as they grow up. 

Watching how parents handle conflicts can frame the mind of a child about conflict resolution which in turn affects the way they handle disputes in their interpersonal relationships.  

What was your childhood like?

Gaining insights about the client’s childhood helps identify any deep seeded unresolved issues that the client may be suppressing. This would include happy memories, sad memories, traumatising memories or even embarrassing memories. 

Childhood experiences help shape a person’s personality as an adult. Childhood memories can also help summarize the client’s overall experience in their childhood.

Whether there were signs of bullying, harassment, abuse or even self harm behaviours. It also establishes what their interpersonal relationships were like in their childhood days. 

How is your relationship with your friends and/or coworkers?

Examining the aspects of the client’s interpersonal relationships with friends and colleagues can help predict what kind of a relationship they will develop in therapy. As there would be a pattern of how they form their relationships. 

If a client maintains good relationships with their friends, coworkers, as well as family members, they are more likely to handle conflicts in a positive way. This would make their therapeutic process more productive. 

What kind of changes would you like to make in your life?

The goal is to encourage the client to make more positive changes in their lives in order to function in a productive way. Together, the therapist and client look at the changes they can introduce to the client’s routine or habits in order to live a more fruitful life.

For instance, if the client is dealing with substance abuse, the therapist can encourage the client to join a 12 step program or seek support groups or even get admitted into a de-addiction center that can motivate them to drop their harmful habits. 

Another example could be as simple as, ‘trying to be more organized’, the therapist can introduce ways which would help the client improve their organization skills. 

Do you have a role model in your life?

Having a role model is fundamentally having someone to look up to. A therapist can better understand a client by the way they describe their role model and what kind of things they look up to about them. 

A role model can be someone who is present in the client’s life, someone they knew or even a celebrity. They are intrinsically motivated by this person and try to model their personality based on the traits of their role model.


In this article, we explored and looked at the different kinds of Classical Therapy Questions that you can expect. Of course there are many more but these are the 9 most popularly asked questions in a Therapy Session.

Frequently Asked Questions: Classic Therapy Questions

What are good psychology questions?

Below are some good psychology questions that are most popularly asked:

  • Why do we have dreams?
  • Does Extrasensory Perception (ESP) exist?
  • How can we solve life’s problems?
  • How do you define ‘intelligence’?
  • What matters more, nature or nurture?

What are the questions asked in Counseling?

Some questions that are asked in Counseling are as follows:

  • How are you feeling?
  • What brings you here today? Or, How can I help you today?
  • Have you ever been to a counselor before?
  • What are your expectations from Counseling?
  • What goals would you like to accomplish through this process?
  • How is your relationship with your family, friends, and coworkers?

What is a classic method of counseling?

Some classic techniques used by Counselors are as follows:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy
  • Humanistic Therapy
  • Holistic Therapy

What should you not tell a therapist?

Here is a list of things that you should not say to your therapist as they can prove to be counterproductive and hinder the therapeutic process: 

  • “I’m sorry, I’m just rambling on”
  • “I’m always talking about myself”
  • “I’m sorry for my outburst”
  • “Therapy doesn’t work for me”
  • “I can’t believe I said that!”
  • “I’m just too emotional”