What is the Miracle Question? Miracle Question Worksheet Included!

What Is The Miracle Question? (Instant Access to The Miracle Question Worksheet Right Here)

Miracle Question Worksheet

The miracle question is a therapeutic tool used in solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) to help clients envision a desirable future without the problems they face.

Developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, this approach focuses on the exploration of client strengths, resources, and exceptions to the issues they face.

By asking the miracle question, therapists encourage clients to imagine a scenario in which they wake up one day, and their problems have miraculously been solved.

This powerful question allows clients to focus on what they truly desire, highlighting the positive changes they wish to see in their lives.

By engaging in this imaginative exercise, clients are provided with a safe space to explore their goals and dreams without judgment.

When applied effectively, the miracle question can help individuals unleash their inner motivations, identify their preferred future, and develop a plan for achieving their desired outcomes.

Key Takeaways

  • The miracle question is a therapeutic technique used to help clients envision a future without problems and identify their goals.
  • This approach, developed in solution-focused brief therapy, highlights client strengths and resources, focusing on exceptions to the issues they face.
  • Applied effectively, the miracle question can motivate individuals, assist them in clarifying their desired future, and develop plans for achieving their goals.
What Is The Miracle Question?

The Miracle Question: Origin

Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg

The concept of the miracle question was developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, both pioneers in the field of psychotherapy.

Their work in the late 20th century focused on creating innovative and forward-thinking approaches to problem-solving and helping their clients find solutions to their issues.

The miracle question presents a hypothetical scenario where the client’s issues have disappeared overnight, and they are then encouraged to consider how their life would be different as a result.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

The miracle question is a key component of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). SFBT is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy that focuses on the client’s strengths and resources, rather than on their problems and weaknesses.

By asking the miracle question, therapists encourage clients to envision their desired future and identify the steps needed to achieve it.

Brief Therapy

SFBT is a subtype of brief therapy, which is characterized by its time-limited nature and emphasis on finding solutions to specific problems.

Brief therapy encourages clients to focus on their abilities and successes, rather than dwelling on problems and past failures.

The miracle question plays a crucial role in brief therapy, as it helps clients to visualize a better future and concentrate on the changes they can make to reach their goals.

What is the Miracle Question?

Understanding the Miracle Question

A Tool for Goal Setting

The miracle question is a therapeutic tool used by some counselors and therapists to help clients set goals and envision a better version of themselves.

It is a simple yet powerful question that encourages clients to think about their ideal future and articulate what they would like to change in their lives.

The question typically goes something like this: “Suppose that tonight, while you are sleeping, a miracle happens, and all the problems in your life are resolved. How will you know the miracle has occurred when you wake up tomorrow? What would be different?”

By asking the miracle question, therapists can help clients identify their goals and develop a clear vision of what they want to achieve.

This can be particularly useful for clients who struggle with goal-setting or who lack a sense of direction.

A Focus on the Future

One of the key aspects of the miracle question is its focus on the future.

Unlike some therapeutic approaches that delve into a client’s past experiences, the miracle question encourages clients to look forward and imagine a world where their problems no longer exist.

This can help clients shift their perspective from dwelling on past issues to envisioning a more positive, hope-filled future.

What is the Miracle Question?

Specific and Detailed

The miracle question is designed to elicit specific and detailed responses.

When clients answer the question, they are encouraged to discuss the tangible changes they would notice if their problems were resolved.

This allows the therapist and client to identify concrete actions or milestones that can serve as indicators of progress.

Using the miracle question, therapists can open up new lines of conversation and unlock potential solutions that may have otherwise remained hidden.

In a casual and non-threatening way, it provides a valuable framework for clients to explore their desires, motivations, and dreams for a better life.

Applying the Miracle Question

Couples Therapy

In couples therapy, the miracle question serves as a powerful tool to help partners envision a shared future together.

By asking each person to imagine waking up tomorrow with all their relationship problems solved, the therapist encourages them to communicate their desires and expectations, fostering understanding between both parties.

This approach allows couples to explore common ground and devise practical steps toward achieving their mutual goals.

What is the Miracle Question?

Family Therapy

Utilizing the miracle question in family therapy can be an effective way to help family members uncover their individual strengths and identify shared values.

The therapist would ask each family member to explain their version of a perfect day and discuss how this might look within the family context.

In doing so, the family is encouraged to collaborate on creating a new, shared vision for their future together, promoting improved communication and understanding among all members.


When working with groups, the miracle question serves as a means to facilitate discussions and generate solutions to shared problems.

Group members may be asked to envision a miraculous change in their lives or the group dynamic. Once each member has shared their ideal outcome, the group can collectively identify patterns, common themes, and opportunities for collaboration.

In this way, the miracle question not only fosters an open and supportive environment but also helps group members develop practical strategies to address their current challenges.

What is the Miracle Question?


For individual clients, the miracle question can help them identify their own aspirations for personal transformation and growth. By asking clients to imagine life after their problems have been resolved, therapists can encourage introspection and self-discovery.

This exploration allows clients to better understand their own strengths and motivations and identify concrete, actionable steps they can take to realize their ideal future.

The casual, imaginative nature of the miracle question makes it an impactful tool, empowering clients to steer their own journey.

The Importance of Exceptions

Finding Control

In solution-focused therapy, exceptions play a key role in helping individuals regain a sense of control in their lives.

These are the moments when the problem does not occur or is not as severe as usual. By exploring exceptions, the therapist encourages clients to discover their own strengths and resources that help them overcome or manage the issue at hand.

In a casual tone, the conversation might go something like: “Hey, can you think of a time when this problem wasn’t so bad or didn’t happen at all? What was different about that situation?”

This kind of question helps people realize that they have some control over the problem, as there are times when it doesn’t fully manifest.

What is the Miracle Question?

Identifying Growth

When discussing exceptions, the focus shifts towards the positive aspects of a person’s life rather than dwelling on the negative issues. This paves the way for identifying areas of growth and potential.

For example, a therapist can casually ask: “On those better days, what did you do differently, and how did it make you feel?”

These questions prompt clients to analyze their own actions, behaviors, and thoughts that helped them during the exception times.

In turn, recognizing these positive elements can facilitate self-improvement and personal growth, ultimately leading to a more balanced and emotionally healthier life.

Follow-Up Questions and Scaling

Exploring Possibilities

What is the Miracle Question?

In the context of the miracle question, follow-up questions play a crucial role in helping clients explore possible solutions and envisage the desired future.

After the initial miracle question, therapists continuously engage clients with casual, yet thought-provoking inquiries to encourage them to think beyond their current limitations.

These follow-up questions enable clients to identify valuable resources and reveal hidden strengths, ultimately guiding them to form their unique path.

Scaling questions, on the other hand, offers a simple and effective means to measure progress.

Therapists ask clients to rate aspects of their lives or challenges on a numerical scale, which creates a structure for evaluating both current states and desired outcomes.

These instances often cultivate a sense of achievement, even for small successes, and reinforce the overall therapeutic process.

What is the Miracle Question?

Measuring Progress

Using scaling questions in conjunction with follow-ups, clients can track their progress over time, ensuring they keep their goals in sight and maintain momentum.

Regular check-ins with clients to discuss their experiences, successes, and struggles are vital in fostering a positive and casual atmosphere.

It’s essential for therapists to employ a casual tone of voice when asking about progress, as it creates a comfortable and non-judgmental environment for clients.

This approach encourages open communication, increasing the likelihood of clients embracing the process, remaining engaged, and achieving their desired changes.

In summary, follow-up questions and scaling in the miracle question framework facilitate clients in exploring possibilities and measuring progress on their journey to change.

The casual and supportive environment promotes honest communication, ultimately helping them tap into their strengths and reach their ambitions.

Benefits of Miracle Question Intervention

The Miracle Question intervention has been known for its various benefits in addressing different aspects of an individual’s life. This section will discuss its impact on improving mental health, overcoming obstacles, and building motivation.

Improved Mental Health

The Miracle Question intervention, derived from Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, helps individuals shift their focus from their problems to potential solutions.

This can lead to an improved sense of well-being and better mental health. By imagining a life without their issues and visualizing the steps to get there, they can gain new perspectives and feelings of hope.

This shift in mindset can decrease the negative thoughts associated with their problems and improve overall mental health.

Overcoming Obstacles

Implementing the Miracle Question intervention can aid individuals in overcoming obstacles they might face.

By envisioning their life without their current issues, they can recognize the factors that contribute to those problems and seek ways to eliminate or address them.

The Miracle Question encourages people to think about possible solutions instead of dwelling on the intricacies of their problems, empowering them to take immediate steps to overcome the obstacles in their lives.

What is the Miracle Question?

Building Motivation

Another advantage of the Miracle Question intervention is its ability to inspire and build motivation. When individuals picture their ideal future and the changes they would like to see, they can develop a sense of excitement and motivation.

This shift in focus from problems to solutions ignites a drive in them to work towards their desired outcome by setting realistic goals and taking actionable steps. This newfound motivation can keep them resolute, even when faced with setbacks.

The Miracle Question and Psychotherapy

Goal-Oriented Approaches

In goal-oriented approaches to psychotherapy, the Miracle Question fosters hope and motivation by highlighting the desired outcomes.

By focusing on specific, positive changes, clients gain insight into their values and preferences, which can help guide the therapy process.

The question can be adapted to match clients’ cultural backgrounds and preferences, ensuring it resonates with their unique experiences and beliefs.

Treatment of Depression

The Miracle Question can be especially beneficial when addressing depression. It prompts clients to explore aspects of their lives that bring them happiness, pleasure, and meaning.

This can help counterbalance the negativity bias often present in depression.

By identifying potential steps toward their ideal lives, clients may find a renewed sense of purpose and motivation to engage in activities that could alleviate depressive symptoms.

Relationship Difficulties

In cases of relationship difficulties, the Miracle Question can serve as a valuable tool in uncovering unmet needs and desires within the relationship.

By envisioning an ideal situation, clients can gain clarity on their expectations, values, and boundaries.

This information can then be used to facilitate open communication and guide the therapy process in addressing underlying issues.

Ultimately, the Miracle Question may help clients move toward healthier, more satisfying relationships.

Resources and Further Reading

What is the Miracle Question?

Books on Miracle Question and SFBT

There are several books available that discuss the miracle question and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Some prominent titles include “1001 Solution-Focused Questions” by Fredrike Bannink and “Doing What Works: Solution-Focused Brief Therapy” by Bill O’Hanlon.

These books provide insights into the art of implementing miracle questions and SFBT techniques in therapy sessions.

The information contained in these resources can equip readers with a better understanding of the miracle question as a key tool in shaping clients’ perspectives and helping them find solutions to their problems.

Skill Development and Coaching

Developing appropriate skills is crucial for effectively utilizing the miracle question and SFBT techniques during therapy sessions.

Therapists and coaches can enhance their skills by attending workshops, webinars, and training programs focused on SFBT. Some of these events include “Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association” and “Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy“.

By participating in such programs, professionals can brush up their knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of the miracle question’s application, along with other SFBT techniques.

This helps them to maximize the benefits of these tools in addressing clients’ problems and guiding them towards a more fulfilling life.

In conclusion, learning about the miracle question and SFBT through books, training, and skill development can significantly improve a therapist’s or coach’s ability to help clients.

These resources offer valuable insights and opportunities for growth in the field, making them essential for those aiming to become proficient in applying these techniques.

The casual approach of these tools might seem counterintuitive for some, but their effectiveness is undeniable, as they have helped countless individuals find better solutions and a more fulfilling life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the miracle question differ in family therapy?

In family therapy, the miracle question is tailored to address issues related to the entire family unit instead of just an individual.

The question is asked to help family members identify and visualize a realistic solution to their problems, leading to a more collaborative and solution-focused approach in therapy sessions.

What is the connection between scaling questions and miracle questions?

Both scaling questions and miracle questions are tools used in solution-focused therapy.

Scaling questions help clients to measure their progress and feelings on a scale, whereas the miracle question encourages them to imagine a world where their problems have been resolved.

Combining both types of questions can facilitate useful insights and encourage goal-setting in therapy.

What are some criticisms of the miracle question?

Some criticisms of the miracle question include its hypothetical nature, which can be difficult for certain clients to engage with or may seem too simplistic for complex issues.

Additionally, some therapists argue that it may not suit all therapeutic approaches or be appropriate for all clients, especially those experiencing severe psychological distress.

How is the miracle question used in CBT?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on identifying and modifying unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.

While the miracle question is not a typical component of CBT, it can be incorporated to help clients think about their desired outcomes and explore potential cognitive and behavioral changes to achieve those goals.

Using the miracle question in CBT can foster a sense of hope and optimism.

What is the purpose of the miracle question in motivational interviewing?

In motivational interviewing, the miracle question serves as a catalyst for clients to consider their motivations for change and explore their values and goals.

This can help clients overcome ambivalence and develop increased motivation to pursue specific goals, thereby facilitating lasting change.

What comes next after asking the miracle question in solution-focused therapy?

After asking the miracle question, the therapist and client would jointly explore the client’s responses, focusing on positive aspects, resources, and potential solutions.

The conversation may include exploring exceptions to the problem, small achievable steps toward the desired outcome, and ways to cope with lingering challenges.

The overall goal is to build a positive and actionable plan for the client based on their unique strengths and resources.