Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Miracle Question in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Fangzhou YuEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_1072

Name of Strategy or Intervention

The Miracle Question in Couple and Family Therapy


The miracle question is an intervention used to explore clients’ hidden resources or solutions for their present problems. When therapists ask a miracle question, they build a good story line and lead the clients to envision how different their life would be if a miracle happened over night. Clients’ answers to the miracle question usually bring insights for themselves and help define the goals of therapy.

Theoretical Framework

The miracle question, along with scaling question and exception question, are key techniques in solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), which is a goal-oriented, future-focused approach created by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in the early 1980s (de Shazer et al. 1986). One of the assumptions of SFBT is that clients are capable of constructing their own solutions to improve their current situation (de Shazer 1985; de Shazer et al. 2006). Clients are viewed as...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Counseling Department, The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Margarita Tarragona
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.PositivaMente & Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA