Socratic intervision method


Use for

Second-order learning; formulating/deepening a vision in heterogeneous teams.


The Socratic intervision method is based on the experience that through persistent questioning and research participants come to understand the principles, patterns and mechanisms of joint and professional action. The structured, joint reflection during the intervision process can lead to a new, shared vision

What do you do?

In the intervision method, there are three alternating types of discussion:

  • 1. a case discussion, in which a problem is studied in depth
  • 2. a meta discussion, an interview about what actually happened in the case interview
  • 3. a strategy discussion, about the progress being made with the intervision session, including discussion of a particular case (or subject).

To start with, you and the participants choose a central case that is recognisable to everyone and that incorporates issues/problems that you and others are struggling with. You then reconstruct the case with them, discussing what happened; the people's emotions; what incentives or motives people had to act as they did. This reconstruction is followed by reflection, when you consider the questions: what is going on here, what is the essence of the situation?

A lot of the strength of the Socratic intervision method lies in the step-by-step approach: reconstruction, reflection, analysis, solution and application. Completing the various phases provides insight into the underlying principles, mechanisms and patterns.


  • An intervision session takes around six hours (or three two-hour sessions, for example)
  • The session should be chaired by an experienced person

The session must be carefully prepared. A comfortable location is also important, preferably outside the workplace

More information

(in Dutch) Hoek, M. (2008). De Socratische intervisie Methode. Scoop trainingen.

Used by

Among others: