Miracle Question Definition in Psychology

glossary of psychology

Glossary of Psychology Terms and Definitions

Miracle question technique is an imagination exercise used in therapy sessions, mostly in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. 

The psychotherapist asks the client this specific question:

“If a miracle happened overnight and this specific problem you have is solved, how would you know that the problem is solved? What would be different in your life?”


Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim came up with this technique. They are also the pioneers of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. It was developed in 1980’s.

Aim of the Miracle Question

This question helps setting goals in the therapeutic process to make this best case scenario happen. It is an intervention method that helps clients reach hypothetical solutions to problems and dream the life they want to see after the therapy process.

When you reach hypothetical solutions, you also start to take real-life actions to solve the problems.

This imagination exercise also helps the client to be more hopeful, feel more confident and secure. 

Miracle question helps clients to be more open to future possibilities. Clients consider a life where they don’t dwell on this specific problem; and by imagining this world, they can start taking the steps required to reach it. 
The question also helps the client by preventing them to look into the past and drown in regrets. 

The miracle question might be very beneficial when used in family counselling and marriage counselling. The individuals answer this question, stating their ideal lives and the ideal world. However, a couple might have different ideas of this ideal world. Family members can have different expectations of the future. They might even hear the others’ ideal outcome for the first time. Therefore, the miracle question can lay out differences and can give a shared basis to work on.

To learn more about Miracle Question and SFBT, check here:

Miracle Questions
Secrets of the Miracle Question in Counseling: Part I

Check other mental health posts here:

Stress Management Techniques
Irrational Beliefs – Cognitive Distortions

Check this book on SFBT:

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
A Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice

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