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What Is Therapy Homework?

Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

what is homework therapy

Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and a professor at Yeshiva University’s clinical psychology doctoral program.

what is homework therapy

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Types of Therapy That Involve Homework

If you’ve recently started going to therapy , you may find yourself being assigned therapy homework. You may wonder what exactly it entails and what purpose it serves. Therapy homework comprises tasks or assignments that your therapist asks you to complete between sessions, says Nicole Erkfitz , DSW, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker and executive director at AMFM Healthcare, Virginia.

Homework can be given in any form of therapy, and it may come as a worksheet, a task to complete, or a thought/piece of knowledge you are requested to keep with you throughout the week, Dr. Erkfitz explains.

This article explores the role of homework in certain forms of therapy, the benefits therapy homework can offer, and some tips to help you comply with your homework assignments.

Therapy homework can be assigned as part of any type of therapy. However, some therapists and forms of therapy may utilize it more than others.

For instance, a 2019-study notes that therapy homework is an integral part of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) . According to Dr. Erkfitz, therapy homework is built into the protocol and framework of CBT, as well as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) , which is a sub-type of CBT.

Therefore, if you’re seeing a therapist who practices CBT or DBT, chances are you’ll regularly have homework to do.

On the other hand, an example of a type of therapy that doesn’t generally involve homework is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR is a type of therapy that generally relies on the relationship between the therapist and client during sessions and is a modality that specifically doesn’t rely on homework, says Dr. Erkfitz.

However, she explains that if the client is feeling rejuvenated and well after their processing session, for instance, their therapist may ask them to write down a list of times that their positive cognition came up for them over the next week.

"Regardless of the type of therapy, the best kind of homework is when you don’t even realize you were assigned homework," says Erkfitz.

Benefits of Therapy Homework

Below, Dr. Erkfitz explains the benefits of therapy homework.

It Helps Your Therapist Review Your Progress

The most important part of therapy homework is the follow-up discussion at the next session. The time you spend reviewing with your therapist how the past week went, if you completed your homework, or if you didn’t and why, gives your therapist valuable feedback on your progress and insight on how they can better support you.

It Gives Your Therapist More Insight

Therapy can be tricky because by the time you are committed to showing up and putting in the work, you are already bringing a better and stronger version of yourself than what you have been experiencing in your day-to-day life that led you to seek therapy.

Homework gives your therapist an inside look into your day-to-day life, which can sometimes be hard to recap in a session. Certain homework assignments keep you thinking throughout the week about what you want to share during your sessions, giving your therapist historical data to review and address.

It Helps Empower You

The sense of empowerment you can gain from utilizing your new skills, setting new boundaries , and redirecting your own cognitive distortions is something a therapist can’t give you in the therapy session. This is something you give yourself. Therapy homework is how you come to the realization that you got this and that you can do it.

"The main benefit of therapy homework is that it builds your skills as well as the understanding that you can do this on your own," says Erkfitz.

Tips for Your Therapy Homework

Below, Dr. Erkfitz shares some tips that can help with therapy homework:

  • Set aside time for your homework: Create a designated time to complete your therapy homework. The aim of therapy homework is to keep you thinking and working on your goals between sessions. Use your designated time as a sacred space to invest in yourself and pour your thoughts and emotions into your homework, just as you would in a therapy session .
  • Be honest: As therapists, we are not looking for you to write down what you think we want to read or what you think you should write down. It’s important to be honest with us, and yourself, about what you are truly feeling and thinking.
  • Practice your skills: Completing the worksheet or log are important, but you also have to be willing to put your skills and learnings into practice. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and open to trying new things so that you can report back to your therapist about whether what you’re trying is working for you or not.
  • Remember that it’s intended to help you: Therapy homework helps you maximize the benefits of therapy and get the most value out of the process. A 2013-study notes that better homework compliance is linked to better treatment outcomes.
  • Talk to your therapist if you’re struggling: Therapy homework shouldn’t feel like work. If you find that you’re doing homework as a monotonous task, talk to your therapist and let them know that your heart isn’t in it and that you’re not finding it beneficial. They can explain the importance of the tasks to you, tailor your assignments to your preferences, or change their course of treatment if need be.

"When the therapy homework starts 'hitting home' for you, that’s when you know you’re on the right track and doing the work you need to be doing," says Erkfitz.

A Word From Verywell

Similar to how school involves classwork and homework, therapy can also involve in-person sessions and homework assignments.

If your therapist has assigned you homework, try to make time to do it. Completing it honestly can help you and your therapist gain insights into your emotional processes and overall progress. Most importantly, it can help you develop coping skills and practice them, which can boost your confidence, empower you, and make your therapeutic process more effective.

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Conklin LR, Strunk DR, Cooper AA. Therapist behaviors as predictors of immediate homework engagement in cognitive therapy for depression . Cognit Ther Res . 2018;42(1):16-23. doi:10.1007/s10608-017-9873-6

Lebeau RT, Davies CD, Culver NC, Craske MG. Homework compliance counts in cognitive-behavioral therapy . Cogn Behav Ther . 2013;42(3):171-179. doi:10.1080/16506073.2013.763286

By Sanjana Gupta Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

How to Design Homework in CBT That Will Engage Your Clients

Homework in CBT

Take-home assignments provide the opportunity to transfer different skills and lessons learned in the therapeutic context to situations in which problems arise.

These opportunities to translate learned principles into everyday practice are fundamental for ensuring that therapeutic interventions have their intended effects.

In this article, we’ll explore why homework is so essential to CBT interventions and show you how to design CBT homework using modern technologies that will keep your clients engaged and on track to achieving their therapeutic goals.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will provide you with a detailed insight into positive CBT and give you the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching.

This Article Contains:

Why is homework important in cbt, how to deliver engaging cbt homework, using quenza for cbt: 3 homework examples, 3 assignment ideas & worksheets in quenza, a take-home message.

Many psychotherapists and researchers agree that homework is the chief process by which clients experience behavioral and cognitive improvements from CBT (Beutler et al., 2004; Kazantzis, Deane, & Ronan, 2000).

We can find explanations as to why CBT  homework is so crucial in both behaviorist and social learning/cognitive theories of psychology.

Behaviorist theory

Behaviorist models of psychology, such as classical and operant conditioning , would argue that CBT homework delivers therapeutic outcomes by helping clients to unlearn (or relearn) associations between stimuli and particular behavioral responses (Huppert, Roth Ledley, & Foa, 2006).

For instance, imagine a woman who reacts with severe fright upon hearing a car’s wheels skidding on the road because of her experience being in a car accident. This woman’s therapist might work with her to learn a new, more adaptive response to this stimulus, such as training her to apply new relaxation or breathing techniques in response to the sound of a skidding car.

Another example, drawn from the principles of operant conditioning theory (Staddon & Cerutti, 2003), would be a therapist’s invitation to a client to ‘test’ the utility of different behaviors as avenues for attaining reward or pleasure.

For instance, imagine a client who displays resistance to drawing on their support networks due to a false belief that they should handle everything independently. As homework, this client’s therapist might encourage them to ‘test’ what happens when they ask their partner to help them with a small task around the house.

In sum, CBT homework provides opportunities for clients to experiment with stimuli and responses and the utility of different behaviors in their everyday lives.

Social learning and cognitive theories

Scholars have also drawn on social learning and cognitive theories to understand how clients form expectations about the likely difficulty or discomfort involved in completing CBT homework assignments (Kazantzis & L’Abate, 2005).

A client’s expectations can be based on a range of factors, including past experience, modeling by others, present physiological and emotional states, and encouragement expressed by others (Bandura, 1989). This means it’s important for practitioners to design homework activities that clients perceive as having clear advantages by evidencing these benefits of CBT in advance.

For instance, imagine a client whose therapist tells them about another client’s myriad psychological improvements following their completion of a daily thought record . Identifying with this person, who is of similar age and presents similar psychological challenges, the focal client may subsequently exhibit an increased commitment to completing their own daily thought record as a consequence of vicarious modeling.

This is just one example of how social learning and cognitive theories may explain a client’s commitment to completing CBT homework.

Warr Affect

Let’s now consider how we might apply these theoretical principles to design homework that is especially motivating for your clients.

In particular, we’ll be highlighting the advantages of using modern digital technologies to deliver engaging CBT homework.

Designing and delivering CBT homework in Quenza

Gone are the days of grainy printouts and crumpled paper tests.

Even before the global pandemic, new technologies have been making designing and assigning homework increasingly simple and intuitive.

In what follows, we will explore the applications of the blended care platform Quenza (pictured here) as a new and emerging way to engage your CBT clients.

Its users have noted the tool is a “game-changer” that allows practitioners to automate and scale their practice while encouraging full-fledged client engagement using the technologies already in their pocket.

To summarize its functions, Quenza serves as an all-in-one platform that allows psychology practitioners to design and administer a range of ‘activities’ relevant to their clients. Besides homework exercises, this can include self-paced psychoeducational work, assessments, and dynamic visual feedback in the form of charts.

Practitioners who sign onto the platform can enjoy the flexibility of either designing their own activities from scratch or drawing from an ever-growing library of preprogrammed activities commonly used by CBT practitioners worldwide.

Any activity drawn from the library is 100% customizable, allowing the practitioner to tailor it to clients’ specific needs and goals. Likewise, practitioners have complete flexibility to decide the sequencing and scheduling of activities by combining them into psychoeducational pathways that span several days, weeks, or even months.

Importantly, reviews of the platform show that users have seen a marked increase in client engagement since digitizing homework delivery using the platform. If we look to our aforementioned drivers of engagement with CBT homework, we might speculate several reasons why.

  • Implicit awareness that others are completing the same or similar activities using the platform (and have benefitted from doing so) increases clients’ belief in the efficacy of homework.
  • Practitioners and clients can track responses to sequences of activities and visually evidence progress and improvements using charts and reporting features.
  • Using their own familiar devices to engage with homework increases clients’ self-belief that they can successfully complete assigned activities.
  • Therapists can initiate message conversations with clients in the Quenza app to provide encouragement and positive reinforcement as needed.

The rest of this article will explore examples of engaging homework, assignments, and worksheets designed in Quenza that you might assign to your CBT clients.

what is homework therapy

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Let’s now look at three examples of predesigned homework activities available through Quenza’s Expansion Library.

Urge Surfing

Many of the problems CBT seeks to address involve changing associations between stimulus and response (Bouton, 1988). In this sense, stimuli in the environment can drive us to experience urges that we have learned to automatically act upon, even when doing so may be undesirable.

For example, a client may have developed the tendency to reach for a glass of wine or engage in risky behaviors, hoping to distract themselves from negative emotions following stressful events.

Using the Urge Surfing homework activity, you can help your clients unlearn this tendency to automatically act upon their urges. Instead, they will discover how to recognize their urges as mere physical sensations in their body that they can ‘ride out’ using a six-minute guided meditation, visual diagram, and reflection exercise.

Moving From Cognitive Fusion to Defusion

Central to CBT is the understanding that how we choose to think stands to improve or worsen our present emotional states. When we get entangled with our negative thoughts about a situation, they can seem like the absolute truth and make coping and problem solving more challenging.

The Moving From Cognitive Fusion to Defusion homework activity invites your client to recognize when they experience a negative thought and explore it in a sequence of steps that help them gain psychological distance from the thought.

Finding Silver Linings

Many clients commencing CBT admit feeling confused or regretful about past events or struggle with self-criticism and blame. In these situations, the focus of CBT may be to work with the client to reappraise an event and have them look at themselves through a kinder lens.

The Finding Silver Linings homework activity is designed to help your clients find the bright side of an otherwise grim situation. It does so by helping the user to step into a positive mindset and reflect on things they feel positively about in their life. Consequently, the activity can help your client build newfound optimism and resilience .

Quenza Stress Diary

As noted, when you’re preparing homework activities in Quenza, you are not limited to those in the platform’s library.

Instead, you can design your own or adapt existing assignments or worksheets to meet your clients’ needs.

You can also be strategic in how you sequence and schedule activities when combining them into psychoeducational pathways.

Next, we’ll look at three examples of how a practitioner might design or adapt assignments and worksheets in Quenza to help keep them engaged and progressing toward their therapy goals.

In doing so, we’ll look at Quenza’s applications for treating three common foci of treatment: anxiety, depression, and obsessions/compulsions.

When clients present with symptoms of generalized anxiety, panic, or other anxiety-related disorders, a range of useful CBT homework assignments can help.

These activities can include the practice of anxiety management techniques , such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and mindfulness training. They can also involve regular monitoring of anxiety levels, challenging automatic thoughts about arousal and panic, and modifying beliefs about the control they have over their symptoms (Leahy, 2005).

Practitioners looking to support these clients using homework might start by sending their clients one or two audio meditations via Quenza, such as the Body Scan Meditation or S.O.B.E.R. Stress Interruption Mediation . That way, the client will have tools on hand to help manage their anxiety in stressful situations.

As a focal assignment, the practitioner might also design and assign the client daily reflection exercises to be completed each evening. These can invite the client to reflect on their anxiety levels during the day by responding to a series of rating scales and open-ended response questions. Patterns in these responses can then be graphed, reviewed, and used to facilitate discussion during the client’s next in-person session.

As with anxiety, there is a range of practical CBT homework activities that aid in treating depression.

It should be noted that it is common for clients experiencing symptoms of depression to report concentration and memory deficits as reasons for not completing homework assignments (Garland & Scott, 2005). It is, therefore, essential to keep this in mind when designing engaging assignments.

CBT assignments targeted at the treatment of depressive symptoms typically center around breaking cycles of negative events, thinking, emotions, and behaviors, such as through the practice of reappraisal (Garland & Scott, 2005).

Examples of assignments that facilitate this may include thought diaries , reflections that prompt cognitive reappraisal, and meditations to create distance between the individual and their negative thoughts and emotions.

To this end, a practitioner looking to support their client might design a sequence of activities that invite clients to explore their negative cognitions once per day. This exploration can center on responses to negative feedback, faced challenges, or general low mood.

A good template to base this on is the Personal Coping Mantra worksheet in Quenza’s Expansion Library, which guides clients through the process of replacing automatic negative thoughts with more adaptive coping thoughts.

The practitioner can also schedule automatic push notification reminders to pop up on the client’s device if an activity in the sequence is not completed by a particular time each day. This function of Quenza may be particularly useful for supporting clients with concentration and memory deficits, helping keep them engaged with CBT homework.

Obsessions/compulsions

Homework assignments pertaining to the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder typically differ depending on the stage of the therapy.

In the early stages of therapy, practitioners assigning homework will often invite clients to self-monitor their experience of compulsions, rituals, or responses (Franklin, Huppert, & Roth Ledley, 2005).

This serves two purposes. First, the information gathered through self-monitoring, such as by completing a journal entry each time compulsive thoughts arise, will help the practitioner get clearer about the nature of the client’s problem.

Second, self-monitoring allows clients to become more aware of the thoughts that drive their ritualized responses, which is important if rituals have become mostly automatic for the client (Franklin et al., 2005).

Therefore, as a focal assignment, the practitioner might assign a digital worksheet via Quenza that helps the client explore phenomena throughout their day that prompt ritualized responses. The client might then rate the intensity of their arousal in these different situations on a series of Likert scales and enter the specific thoughts that arise following exposure to their fear.

The therapist can then invite the client to complete this worksheet each day for one week by assigning it as part of a pathway of activities. A good starting point for users of Quenza may be to adapt the platform’s pre-designed Stress Diary for this purpose.

At the end of the week, the therapist and client can then reflect on the client’s responses together and begin constructing an exposure hierarchy.

This leads us to the second type of assignment, which involves exposure and response prevention. In this phase, the client will begin exploring strategies to reduce the frequency with which they practice ritualized responses (Franklin et al., 2005).

To this end, practitioners may collaboratively set a goal with their client to take a ‘first step’ toward unlearning the ritualized response. This can then be built into a customized activity in Quenza that invites the client to complete a reflection.

For instance, a client who compulsively hoards may be invited to clear one box of old belongings from their bedroom and resist the temptation to engage in ritualized responses while doing so.

Developing and administering engaging CBT homework that caters to your client’s specific needs or concerns is becoming so much easier with online apps.

Further, best practice is becoming more accessible to more practitioners thanks to the emergence of new digital technologies.

We hope this article has inspired you to consider how you might leverage the digital tools at your disposal to create better homework that your clients want to engage with.

Likewise, let us know if you’ve found success using any of the activities we’ve explored with your own clients – we’d love to hear from you.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. For more information, don’t forget to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free .

  • Bandura, A. (1989). Human agency in social cognitive theory. American Psychologist , 44 (9), 1175–1184.
  • Beutler, L. E., Malik, M., Alimohamed, S., Harwood, T. M., Talebi, H., Noble, S., & Wong, E. (2004). Therapist variables. In M. J. Lambert (Ed.), Bergin and Garfield’s handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (5th ed.) (pp. 227–306). Wiley.
  • Bouton, M. E. (1988). Context and ambiguity in the extinction of emotional learning: Implications for exposure therapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy , 26 (2), 137–149.
  • Franklin, M. E., Huppert, J. D., & Roth Ledley, D. (2005). Obsessions and compulsions. In N. Kazantzis, F. P. Deane, K. R., Ronan, & L. L’Abate (Eds.), Using homework assignments in cognitive behavior therapy (pp. 219–236). Routledge.
  • Garland, A., & Scott, J. (2005). Depression. In N. Kazantzis, F. P. Deane, K. R., Ronan, & L. L’Abate (Eds.), Using homework assignments in cognitive behavior therapy (pp. 237–261). Routledge.
  • Huppert, J. D., Roth Ledley, D., & Foa, E. B. (2006). The use of homework in behavior therapy for anxiety disorders. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration , 16 (2), 128–139.
  • Kazantzis, N. (2005). Introduction and overview. In N. Kazantzis, F. P. Deane, K. R., Ronan, & L. L’Abate (Eds.), Using homework assignments in cognitive behavior therapy (pp. 1–6). Routledge.
  • Kazantzis, N., Deane, F. P., & Ronan, K. R. (2000). Homework assignments in cognitive and behavioral therapy: A meta‐analysis. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice , 7 (2), 189–202.
  • Kazantzis, N., & L’Abate, L. (2005). Theoretical foundations. In N. Kazantzis, F. P. Deane, K. R., Ronan, & L. L’Abate (Eds.), Using homework assignments in cognitive behavior therapy (pp. 9–34). Routledge.
  • Leahy, R. L. (2005). Panic, agoraphobia, and generalized anxiety. In N. Kazantzis, F. P. Deane, K. R., Ronan, & L. L’Abate (Eds.), Using homework assignments in cognitive behavior therapy (pp. 193–218). Routledge.
  • Staddon, J. E., & Cerutti, D. T. (2003). Operant conditioning. Annual Review of Psychology , 54 (1), 115–144.

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what is homework therapy

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The importance of homework in therapy

by Elyssa Barbash | Jul 25, 2018 | change , growth , Self-improvement , success , Therapy , Uncategorized , worry | 0 comments

what is homework therapy

Not all therapists assign homework, but many do – even if they don’t call it “homework.” Homework in therapy is not meant to be busy work. This is not school, after all. But rather, any assignments given during the course of therapy are intended to supplement and benefit the therapeutic process.

There has been significant research conducted on the use of homework in therapy. Findings consistently indicate that homework maximizes the benefit of therapy and allows clients to realize gains in their life.

At the beginning of therapy, homework is a topic that I review with all of my patients. However, there still comes the times where I have to re-review the importance of homework with my patients after they share they have not completed their work!

Purpose of Homework

Homework in therapy is intended to allow the person to implement the strategies that are being learned in therapy so that they can actualize the changes and gains they are seeking to make in their life. I like to put it this way: therapy sessions do not consume a very large portion of your life. At most, we are talking about 45 to 50 minutes out of your week that you are in a therapy session. While the therapy session lays the foundation for the changes to occur in your life, the actual therapy session is such a small portion of your time and is a false reality.

The place is where you will actually see the gains and progress being made is in your every day life.

This is where homework comes in. To maximize the value of therapy, homework helps you to implement the strategies being learned in your life so you can actually see changes. Homework is usually skills oriented, though not always. When it is skills oriented, it teaches the person how to deal with their problems on their own and not have to rely on their therapist. (Bonus: Any ethical therapist will approach treatment in this way. However, not all therapies are intended to be skills building so this is not to say that those therapist to don’t assign homework are unethical!).

Benefits of Homework

Remember, this is not school. Homework being assigned is not being given to you to keep you busy. If your therapist assigned the homework, it is with the best intentions that what they are asking you to do is going to help you. It is also likely to lead to shortened treatment times, which means overall reduced costs related to treatment and less time dedicated to the therapy process in the long run.  

A Strong Indication of your commitment to Therapy, and to yourself

Finally, completing your homework is an indication of your commitment to therapy, which is a greater indication of your commitment to yourself. When you do not follow through and complete your homework, the message that you are sending is that you really don’t care. And a therapist cannot truly help you if you do not care.

So the next time you want to skip that homework assignment your therapist gave you, remember what the true purpose of it is and how much you want that change in your life.

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Homework in Cognitive Behavioral Supervision: Theoretical Background and Clinical Application

1 Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Olomouc, Faculty of Medicine, Palacky University in Olomouc, Olomouc, The Czech Republic

2 Department of Psychology Sciences, Faculty of Social Science and Health Care, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Nitra, The Slovak Republic

3 Department of Psychotherapy, Institute for Postgraduate Training in Health Care, Prague, The Czech Republic

4 Jessenia Inc. - Rehabilitation Hospital Beroun, Akeso Holding, Beroun, The Czech Republic

Ilona Krone

5 Riga`s Stradins University, Riga, Latvia

Julius Burkauskas

6 Laboratory of Behavioral Medicine, Neuroscience Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania

Jakub Vanek

Marija abeltina.

7 University of Latvia, Latvian Association of CBT, Riga, Latvia

Alicja Juskiene

Tomas sollar, milos slepecky, marie ociskova.

The homework aims to generalize the patient’s knowledge and encourage practicing skills learned during therapy sessions. Encouraging and facilitating homework is an important part of supervisees in their supervision, and problems with using homework in therapy are a common supervision agenda. Supervisees are encouraged to conceptualize the patient’s lack of homework and promote awareness of their own beliefs and responses to non-cooperation. The supervision focuses on homework twice – first as a part of the supervised therapy and second as a part of the supervision itself. Homework assigned in supervision usually deals with mapping problems, monitoring certain behaviors (mostly communication with the patient), or implementing new behaviors in therapy.

Introduction

The development of competent clinical supervision is crucial to effectively training new CBT therapists and supervisors and maintaining high therapy standards throughout their careers. 1 Clinical supervision is a basis for CBT training, but there are only a few empirical evaluations on the effect of supervision on therapists’ competencies. Wilson et al 2 in their systematic review and meta-analysis, synthesized the experience and impact of supervision for trainee therapists from 15 qualitative studies. Although supervision leads to feelings of distress and self-doubts, it can effectively support supervisees in personal and professional development. It could similarly harm supervisees’ well-being, clinical work and clients’ experiences. Alfonsson et al 3 published a study to evaluate the effects of standardized supervision on rater-assessed competency in six CBT therapists under protocol-based clinical supervision. This is one of the first investigations showing that supervision affects cognitive behavioral competencies. Although several works have studied the effectiveness of supervision on the therapist’s competence and for the therapist’s work with patients in qualitative studies, 3–7 there is still a lack of studies that dealt with the importance of homework in supervision.

Homework is a vital element of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which distinguishes it from many other psychotherapeutic approaches. 8–10 Patients usually participate in therapy by completing homework assignments and taking responsibility for their course.

Assigning and discussing homework is one of the basic competencies of a cognitive-behavioral therapist and a supervisor in the context of counselling, psychology, therapy, and social work. The manuscript aims to refer to homework in several settings: homework in therapy, supervision of homework in therapy, using the homework by the supervisor for the supervisee, and homework in the training of supervisors.

Homework in Therapy

While specific recommendations for the practical usage of homework have been clearly articulated since the early days of CBT, 11 , 12 practitioners state that they do not follow these recommendations. 13–15 For example, many physicians admit that they forget homework or do not focus on standard specifications when, where, how often, and how long the task should last. Often reported non-cooperation in homework assignments may be due to the practice recommendations being too strict or because students think the amount of homework they can assign is limited. 16

The Sense of Homework in the Therapy

Patients verify methods and skills they learned during the session in real situations and the natural environment. 9 , 17 Through homework, patients also test hypotheses that emerged during the session with the therapist (for example, “If I went out on the street alone, I would be so weak that I would pass out or lose control completely”). Homework help that the important part of the therapy takes place between sessions and allows the patients to become independent and manage their problems even after the end of therapy. 10 , 18 Patients learn how to raise hypotheses and test them in real-life situations. Through completing homework persistently during the therapy, patients gain skills on how to plan their activities and gain new skills, and they also collect a rich source of therapeutic diaries. The investigations advocate that adding homework to CBT increases its efficacy and that patients who constantly complete homework have better outcomes. The outcomes of four meta-analyses highlight the value of homework in CBT:

  • Kazantzis et al 10 inspected 14 studies that compared results for patients allocated to CBT without or with homework. The average patient in the homework group reported better results than about 70% of controls.
  • Outcomes from 16 studies 17 and an updated analysis of 23 studies 19 discovered that higher compliance led to better treatment results among patients who received homework projects during therapy.
  • Kazantzis et al 20 studied the relationships between quantity (15 studies) and quality (3 studies) of the homework to treatment results. The effect sizes were medium to large, and these effects remained fairly constant in a 12-month follow-up.

Therapists strategically create homework to reduce patients’ psychopathology and encourage them to practice skills learned during therapy sessions; nevertheless, non-adherence (between 20% and 50%) remains one of the most cited reasons for decreased CBT efficacy. 21 Several reasons for non-adherence to homework might be pointed out –the therapist does not regularly discuss homework with the patient, the patient no longer considers it important and stop doing it. 9 , 22 Discussing homework also allows the therapist to strengthen the patient’s belief in their ability to achieve certain goals. 23 The fact that the patient has completed the assignment must be properly acknowledged, and then therapists discuss the quality of homework separately. 24 Good questions might be, “How did you do your homework? Were there any difficulties in fulfilling them? What kind?” Furthermore: “How can you handle these problems next time? What did you learn while completing your homework? Can it help you cope with other issues?”

How to Increase the Effectiveness of Homework in the Therapy

Homework is the most effective, and it is most likely to succeed if: 19 , 25

  • Follows logically from the topics discussed during the session and uses the methods that the patient learned during the session;
  • they are clearly and concretely defined, so it is easy to determine whether or to what extent the patient has been successful in fulfilling them (eg, “Leaving the house alone for at least 30 minutes every day”, not “Starting to go out alone”);
  • the patient clearly understands their meaning (“To verify your belief that you will faint on the street” or “See for yourself whether your anxiety will continue to rise, remain the same or subside after a certain time”), and they believe they can achieve the goals;
  • homework is formulated so that failure is impossible because, in any case, the patient will learn something useful that will help them in therapy;
  • the therapist anticipates and discusses obstacles that could hinder the fulfilment of homework and plans procedures to overcome them.

An important aspect of CBT is the patient’s independence. 10 , 18 Homework is typically determined by consensus. To increase the likelihood that the patient will complete the homework, the patient and the therapist should document their assignments in writing. Additionally, it is very convenient for the patient to record the homework, typically pre-prepared. 24 These records serve as a basis for discussing homework in the next session and also allow the therapist to assess the changes achieved during therapy (“A month ago, you were able to go out alone for only half an hour and your anxiety level previously reached level ‘9’, while now you were alone outside for more than an hour and your anxiety do not exceed ‘5’ rated subjectively”).

Because the goal of therapy is to help the patient experience success, the patient’s assigned homework must be feasible. 18 , 26 On the other hand, patients should improve their ability to cope with problems and unpleasant conditions during therapy, they need to exert significant effort to overcome certain unpleasant feelings and emotions. 19 , 20

Even if therapists follow all these rules, they will unavoidably find that sometimes the patient does not complete assigned homework. 20 , 23 In this case, it is required to find out why this happened:

  • whether the patient understood what the task was and what it meant
  • whether mastering this exercise is important and motivated
  • whether unforeseen circumstances prevented them from fulfilling it
  • whether the assigned exercise was not very demanding for them in their current mental state

Therefore, therapists do not consider the non-fulfilment of homework a priori as a manifestation of resistance or lack of moral qualities on the patient’s part, then as a problem that must be solved together.

However, if, despite a thorough discussion of homework and agreement on its completion, the patient repeatedly does not even attempt to complete it, does not bring records and fails to justify non-compliance, it is necessary to return to the problem analysis and goal-setting. We need to clarify with the patient whether the problem they are currently dealing with in therapy is really the most important for them, whether the goal they seek to achieve is sufficiently desirable, and whether the therapist offers to achieve is acceptable. 9 , 20

Most practicing CBT therapists report that they use homework and consider homework important for many problems 14 and believe in the role of homework in improving therapeutic outcomes. 24 , 27 Encouraging and facilitating homework is a basic skill of a CBT therapist; therefore, it is an important part of supervision. 19 , 20 , 26 Homework needs to be carefully assigned and discussed ( Box 1 ).

Case Vignette – Discussion About Not Completing Homework with an Anxious Patient

Kazantzis et al 28 advise examining the therapeutic relationship, which significantly impacts therapy adherence, to better comprehend non-cooperation with homework assignments. Data illustrating the therapist’s homework competence and the therapy outcome 29 , 30 show that the therapist is primarily responsible for their patients’ adhering to or failing to do homework. CBT therapists exhibit many interrelated automatic thoughts, assumptions, and behaviors during sessions that affect homework use in therapy. 8 , 15 In training, common negative attitudes for therapists include: “Homework will make patients feel like school and resent!” “They will feel too controlled and limited!”; “Homework will increase some ps’ sense of vulnerability!”; or “Homework will be even more stressful for stressed patients!” Another widespread belief is that the “structure” of CBT, whose homework is important, reduces spontaneity and worsens the therapeutic relationship. 15

In addition, there is some scientific support for these views of therapists’ attitudes toward homework concerning the therapeutic process. 31 The result of these attitudes is either a complete avoidance of homework assignments in a way that is not effective and consequently maintains these beliefs. 8 For example, common behaviors require supervision, such as rapidly discussing directions at the end of a session, neglecting to repeat homework, or failing to justify while designing homework. 9 The CBT Homework Project proposed a practice model 29 that emphasizes the importance of therapist beliefs, therapist empowerment, cognitive conceptualization, and the therapeutic relationship in enhancing homework practice. 23

Theoretical and empirical support for homework assignments in CBT leads most practicing CBT therapists to at least accept in principle that regular and systematic homework assignments will benefit their patients. 8 As a result, CBT therapists favour assigning homework in therapy. However, many beginning therapists encounter problems when they start designing homework (ie, selecting tasks and discussing them with the patient), assigning homework (ie, collaborating on practical aspects of completing homework), and repeating homework in sessions. 32 Incorporating homework into therapy is often superficial, hasty, poorly done, or forgotten. 16 Therefore, problems with using homework in therapy are a common supervision agenda of practicing CBT therapists.

Personal Training and Self-Reflection of the Therapist as a Supervision Intervention

CBT training students are encouraged to conceptualize the patient’s lack of homework and promote awareness of their own beliefs and responses to non-cooperation in the CBT conceptual framework. 8 Suppose the therapist fails to develop this awareness. In that case, errors in clinical judgment may occur, adversely affecting the therapeutic relationship and course of therapy. 33 Self-exercise (practicing CBT techniques and interventions as a therapist) and self-reflection (ie, process reflection) are concepts developed by Bennett-Levy et al, 34 to operationalize a useful understanding of own processes in working with patients. CBT training students are asked to become accustomed to using self-exercise and self-reflection. In a few qualitative studies, self-exercise and self-reflection have proven to improve the therapist’s self-concept, ie, self-confidence, perceived competence in one’s abilities and belief in the effectiveness of the CBT model. 34–36 Calvert et al 37 study checked the use of meta-communication in supervision from supervisees’ perspectives using the Metacommunication in Supervision Questionnaire (MSQ). There were differences in the reported frequency with which the different types of meta-communication were used. It appears that meta-communication around difficult or uncomfortable feelings in the supervisory relationship occurs less often than other components of meta-communication. 1

Below are examples of self-exercise and self-reflective exercises. The following self-assessment is developed to shape thinking before a preliminary meeting with a supervisor. Earlier knowledge has shown that supervisees and supervisors do not always share common ideas about supervision. Therefore, the supervisee could finish this self-assessment as a homework exercise before supervision. A supervisee might want to identify conversation matters that may enable a supervisor to better comprehend their requirements and needs.

Before Starting

Questions regarding previous and desired experience in supervision.

What background information do you think your supervisor requires to understand you at the start? (This may include a curriculum vitae noting appropriate previous experience). What would be the best method to convey these details? Is there any distinction between what you desire from this placement and what you feel you need? What background details about this placement and this supervisor do you have? How does this make you feel? Exists any more information that you need? What do you want and expect your supervisor to concentrate on during supervision? What roles do you want your supervisor to play with respect to you and your work? What supervisory media do you want to experience (for example, taped, “live”, or reported)? What do you intend to do about your feelings? Consider how you feel about your supervisor evaluating your work at the end of the positioning process.

More Specific Questions

  • What specific activities during supervision do you recall as being helpful?
  • What conditions would be most convenient for you?
  • What would you personally anticipate getting from being supervised?
  • However, what would you want to receive from supervision prepared that will not be on offer?
  • What could you do about this?

Several possible tough issues can appear in supervision. The following list includes concerns the supervisee might consider ( Table 1 ).

Difficulties in Previous Supervisions (Adapted According to Scaife 2019 38 )

In the next step:

  • Recognize the two issues which seem to be the most important ones for you.
  • What steps can be taken now to minimize the chances that these two concerns will seriously disrupt your cooperation?

Reflection on the Strengths

What are the top three strengths you want your supervisor to uncover as you enter this supervisory relationship?

List 3 points for your development that may or might not be obvious to your supervisor.

Reflection on Difficulties

Therapists regularly discover face-to-face contact with people labelled by society as coming from a specific sub-group.

Which sub-groups make you feel uneasy for whatever reason? Do you want to address this during supervision? 38

Examples of Self-Assessment in the Supervision Process

Exploring sources of stress from clinical work.

Check all that resonate for you. 39

❑ Perfectionism ❑ Fear of failure ❑ Self-doubt ❑ Need for approval ❑ Emotional depletion ❑ Unhealthy lifestyle

Which of them seems to have the greatest impact on your stress levels?

What supervisor has most regularly identified as weak points in your clinical work?

Processing Mistakes

When mistakes are processed in ways that lead to reflection, flexibility, and adjustments in how you function, it can result in learning and growth.

Consider a patient you are now working with (or have recently worked with) with whom you have experienced a therapeutic failure.

Answer the following questions while keeping this experience in mind:

  • What are the signs of a therapeutic failure? How can you be certain that what you are doing is not beneficial on some level? What benefits might your patient derive from failure? When did things begin to deteriorate? Which initiatives have been most effective so far, and which have been least effective? How have you been careless?
  • Examine your intervention choices as well as how they were carried out:
  • What concerns or considerations did you overlook? What is impeding your ability to be more effective? How has your empathy and compassion for this individual been harmed? How can you use this experience to help you grow?

Reflection of Therapeutics Mastery Skills

Favorite techniques.

  • Explain three things you have put off in your career or life because they appear risky—you have something to lose and gain.
  • Which therapeutic strategies or interventions stimulate you the most?
  • What would you call your “hidden weapon”?
  • What kind of patients or presenting difficulties interest you the most?
  • What would it take to incorporate more of the pleasure and satisfaction you receive when applying the strategies mentioned earlier into other aspects of your work? 39

The following examples from clinical supervision demonstrate how self-exercise and self-reflection can help participants understand their belief system’s impact on homework in CBT.

Supervision of Homework in Therapy

Supervision is classically mandatory for students in cognitive behavioral training and plays a crucial part in therapist development. 2 The typical structure of continuous supervision of one patient includes discussing questionnaires or scales used to measure the severity of the problem (like the Beck depression inventory), homework, events in therapy since the last session, and then discussing the agenda of the current supervision meeting (what will be done in the session, which problem will be addressed), work on a selected issue or problems, homework assignment, session summary and its evaluation by the supervisor. The supervision focuses on homework twice – first as a part of the supervised therapy and second as a part of the supervision itself ( Box 2 ).

Case Vignette – Discussion About Patient´s Homework During Supervision

Whether and how the patient completes homework is a common supervisory issue ( Box 3 ). The therapist often complains that the patient refuses to do homework or rarely does it. 8 , 16

Recording of Paul’s Automatic Thoughts

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The picture describes the vicious circle of countertransference reaction, where automatic thoughts lead to developing negative emotions, bodily reactions and behaviors. Any vicious circle components can alert the therapists that their countertransference reaction is taking place.

Case Vignette –Discussion of Setting Homework During Supervision

Homework in Supervision

Homework assignments are a common part of supervisory work. These may involve the patient’s management (eg noticing on their recording how often the therapist strengthens the patient and how and if it is rare to clarify where reinforcement would be appropriate), working on oneself (eg clarifying experiences and attitudes that lead to countertransference in a particular patient, awareness of which other patients may also occur) and theoretical study (the supervisor may advise the therapist to read a professional text that can help better understand and work with the patient). 40

The supervisor helps define a specific engagement, discusses specific therapeutic methods, touches on what methods the therapist has used and what else they may consider the role, for the most part, the implementation of strategies whose ability to use in therapy under supervision will be planned, as part of homework.

Homework assigned in supervision usually deals with mapping problems (supplementing the conceptualization of the case, evaluation, vicious circle of the problem with the patient, etc.), monitoring certain behaviors (mostly communication with the patient), or implementing new, behaviors in therapy (usually using therapeutic strategies). 12 Homework teaches the supervisee to work on self-reflection outside the supervision meetings. 41 Discussing the homework properly at the beginning of the session is important. The mentioned home exercises usually concern the work with the supervised case report of the patient. The basic questions concern homework results, discussing the obstacles in solving them and what the supervisee learned in homework. 8 The discussion gives the supervisor case management information and can point to important practice moments.

Homework Assignment

Before the end of the session, the supervisor and the supervisee agree on a homework assignment. It is optimal when homework arises from a problem addressed in the session’s main part. 8 At the beginning of supervision, proposals for homework assignments usually come from the supervisor and are discussed and recorded in writing. 40 During supervision, the supervisee creates homework assignments, and the content is discussed with the supervisee.

The Meaning of Homework

Homework must make sense for the supervisee; otherwise, he will have no motivation to do it. However, it is also important to make sense of the patient or patients and develop the therapist’s skills and competencies. It is desirable to discuss the meaning of homework in supervision.

Possible Difficulties When Completing Homework

It is advantageous to discuss the anticipated difficulties in completing homework. This has the advantage that the supervisee can prepare for possible difficulties, consider overcoming them and consult with the supervisor. Discussing difficulties helps the supervisee model and later develops the skill to discuss the patient’s homework difficulties.

The Impact of the Therapist’s Belief System

In some therapists, there can be reasons for a more complex level of conceptualization. 42 That is important when the therapist repeats certain mistakes even though they have repeatedly discussed them with the supervisor. At a directly accessible level, the situation with the patient can be described using a vicious circle. The deeper “hidden” level refers to the core beliefs and conditional rules activated in a specific situation with the patient. 40 , 43 A supervisor can use the “falling arrow” technique to map core beliefs and conditional assumptions. 43

One such way is the Therapeutic Belief System (TBS). 44 TBS is a theoretical model useful for understanding the specific beliefs, assumptions, and behaviors that therapists and patients commonly experience that could potentially affect the course of therapy. In line with the cognitive model, TBS provides a framework for identifying therapists’ and patients’ beliefs about themselves, each other, the treatment process, the emotions these beliefs can evoke, and typical behavioral reactions. For example, a therapist may see a patient as an “aggressor”, a “helpless victim”, or a “collaborator”. The participant’s own beliefs may supplement these beliefs about himself, such as “victim”, “co-worker”, “carer”, or “rescuer”. Homework assignments may be perceived by both the therapist and the patient as “hopeless”, “productive”, or simply maintaining the status quo and lead to a different emotional and behavioral response. 8 Thus, TBS can be introduced into supervision to guide the supervisee to consider whether he or she identifies with any of the therapists’ typical beliefs and behaviors outlined in the model. A simple awareness of such patterns can be a useful orientation when considering the role of attitudes and beliefs in integrating homework ( Box 4 ).

Case Vignette – Discussion About Supervisee Homework

The scheme broadly refers to mental structures that integrate and give meaning to events. 45 Schemes can be positive, negative or neutral. In CBT as a treatment for psychological disorders, we focus on dysfunctional patterns often associated with specific diagnostic presentations (for example, emotional vulnerability patterns are common in anxiety disorders). Schema is generally defined as a ubiquitous topic of cognitive functions, emotions, physiological feelings about oneself, and relations with others. 33

Therapists’ schemes run in specific therapies and do not usually signal mental health problems. 8 Therapists’ schemes are influenced by the following factors: training experiences, such as supervision and training phase, therapy model, peer group, clinical experience, and personal experience. 13 , 40 Once identified, the therapist’s scheme can be used in supervision as a starting point to discuss some of the practitioner’s views that may interfere with therapy. 8 Completing structured questionnaires can identify participants’ schemes, basic beliefs, and assumptions. Some examples of useful questionnaires are the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale, 46 the Personal Faith Questionnaire, 47 the Young Schema Questionnaire 48 and the Therapists’ Schema Questionnaire. 49 Leahy’s Therapists’ Scheme Questionnaire is a relatively straightforward screening technique for identifying therapeutic patterns that could affect a therapeutic relationship. It consists of 46 assumptions related to the 14 most common therapeutic regimens.

Certain schemes are particularly common in CBT supervisees. These include “demanding standards”, “excessive self-sacrifice”, and “special superior person”. 49 Training therapists who identify with the “demanding standards” scheme have a somewhat obsessive, perfectionist, and controlling approach to therapy. These therapists usually have high expectations for keeping a patient’s homework and may not realize that non-compliance with homework is often part of the learning process. Therapists may expect that there is a “right” way to complete a homework assignment, leading to feelings of frustration when assignments produce different results. This may signify insecurity and a notion that if things break from the planned structure, the therapist will be exposed as “incompetent”. Many therapists identify with the “excessive self-sacrifice” pattern, the most commonly observed pattern in both novice and experienced therapists. 33 Leahy 49 proposes that these therapists overstate the importance of their patient relationships. They may fear leaving or feel guilty that they are or feel better than the patient. As a result, the therapist may engage in therapy-defeating behaviors, such as making the homework assignment to the patient’s various needs, having difficulty with appropriate assertiveness in discussing persistent patient non-cooperation, and having a tendency to avoid techniques. Such as exposure or opening of painful memories for fear that the patient will be upset.

Novice therapists who identify with the “special superior person” scheme see the therapeutic situation as an opportunity to achieve excellent results and have high-performance expectations. There may be a tendency for the patient to idealize or, conversely, to devalue or distance himself from patients who do not improve or do their homework. The presence of a “special superior” scheme can be seen as overcompensation in response to “demanding standards” and “excessive self-sacrifice”, which have the thematic connotations of “not being good enough”. The supervision session sets the supervisee in a situation where the supervisor supervises homework through videotaped therapeutic sessions utilizing a cognitive therapy scale (CTS). 50 Feelings of superiority and exceptionality can, in some cases, be a way of dealing with the feelings of inferiority that they experience, that their use of homework is judged in this way.

In addition to recognizing the general responses to the scheme that most training students encounter, the supervisor should help the supervisor become aware of his or her idiosyncratic beliefs and coping styles, which some patients may trigger ( Box 5 ). The supervisor should encourage the supervisee to pay special attention to the “overlapping patterns” in which the therapist’s scheme and the patient’s scheme overlap, leading to the over-identification of the therapist with the patient. 33

Case Vignette – The Supervisor Advises the Therapist to Work with Core Beliefs and Conditional Rules

Homework in Supervisor Training

For supervisors, their supervisors’ training is important. An important part of this training is the practice of self-reflection, which should be requested directly in the meeting and as homework. It can be a task to capture situations in supervision in which they do not feel comfortable using the vicious circle, cognitive restructuring of automatic negative thoughts in these situations, capturing thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations and behaviors in situations where they are aware that they are experiencing countertransference reactions to the supervised therapist. It is also important that in their homework, they reflect on their concentration level during supervision sessions and consider what supervision skills they have used or what they have learned for the next session. A typical complex homework in supervision training is a video recording of supervision sessions and their analysis. The recorded supervision and analysis are then analyzed in the next supervision training meeting.

This article is designed as an overview of views and experiences. Its important element is work samples. This is also a limitation of this article. Assignment of homework in supervision and therapist and supervisor training lacks scientific information about its effectiveness. Nevertheless, assigning homework is an important part of cognitive behavioral therapy. We know quite well about its meaning in prescribing for patients. Less is known about their meaning and effectiveness in supervision. The supervisee encounters problems completing homework assignments for her patients that she brings to the supervisee. Why the patient does not complete the homework may be his problem, but his therapist may also have a part in it his requirements, which include how the homework is assigned, its suitability for the given patient, timing, and complexity. Homework can also belong to the training of supervisors and the supervision of supervision. Here, we do not know any research evidence about their effectiveness in using the most important part of supervision, the patient; however, they are experienced by supervisors and supervisees as useful and meaningful.

Homework in supervision and supervision requires further reflection on their meaning and subsequent research, which should examine their significance for the supervisee’s competence (supervisee) and the ultimate impact on the patient himself.

Homework presents one of the cornerstones of cognitive-behavioral therapy, CB supervision and the training of CBT supervisors. If applied consistently and collaboratively, homework enhances therapeutic outcomes and increases the patient’s self-confidence. Setting and maintaining a fruitful working alliance for homework can be challenging – issues with homework present one of the common reasons to seek a supervisory consultation. Supervision then focuses on examining the specific case and experienced problems, factors in the interaction between the therapist and their patient, and the therapist’s automatic thoughts, schemas, and behaviors that might maintain the issue. There are several ways to address this topic in supervision. Homework is usually part of supervision because of its usefulness. The supervised therapist may be given similar tasks as the patient receives in therapy: to describe the automatic thoughts that occur to him while guiding the patient, to test them and look for a more rational response, to conduct behavioral experiments, to clarify the core beliefs and conditioned assumptions that influence the formation of the therapeutic relationship, experiments with adequate communication with the patient and others. A therapist’s self-experience through practice can help them improve their therapeutic work.

Acknowledgments

This paper was supported by the research grant VEGA no. APVV-15-0502 Psychological, psychophysiological and anthropometric correlates of cardiovascular diseases.

The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

  • Last edited on September 9, 2020

Homework in CBT

Table of contents, why do homework in cbt, how to deliver homework, strategies to increase confidence.

Homework assignments in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help your patients educate themselves further, collect thoughts, and modify their thinking.

Homework is not something that you just assign randomly. You should make sure you:

  • tailor the homework to the patient
  • provide a rationale for why the patient needs to do the homework
  • uncover any obstacles that might prevent homework from being done (i.e. - busy work schedule, significant neurovegetative symptoms)

Types of homework

Types of homework assignments.

You should also decide the frequency of the homework should be assigned: should it be daily, weekly?

If your patient does not do homework, that’s OK! Explore as a team, in a non-judgmental way, to explore why the homework was not done. Here are some ways to increase adherence to homework:

  • Tailor the assignments to the individual
  • Provide a rationale for how and why the assignment might help
  • Determine the homework collaboratively
  • Try to start the homework during the session. This creates some momentum to continue doing the homework
  • Set up systems to remember to do the assignments (phone reminders, sticky notes
  • It is better to start with easier homework assignments and err on the side of caution
  • They should be 90-100% confident they will be able to do this assignment
  • Covert rehearsal - running through a thought experiment on a situation
  • Change the assignment - It is far better to substitute an easier homework assignment that patients are likely to do than to have them establish a habit of not doing what they had agreed to in session
  • Intellectual/emotional role play - “I’ll be the intellectual part of you; you be the emotional part. You argue as hard as you can against me so I can see all the arguments you’re using not to read your coping cards and start studying. You start.”

what is homework therapy

what is homework therapy

Why Do Some Therapists and Coaches Assign Homework In Between Sessions?

Caitlin harper.

what is homework therapy

When you start therapy or coaching, you probably expect to be doing most of the work in-session, working directly with your amazing coach or therapist. But what happens when the session ends?

If you’re just starting your therapy or coaching journey, it might surprise you to find that many therapists and coaches assign homework in between sessions, and it’s even an integral part of certain types of therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. 

“It’s important to learn and fully understand the skills we explore during sessions and it is equally important to know how to apply those skills in your real life situations,” says Irene Chin, a therapist and MyWellbeing community member. “When I assign ‘homework’ it is to foster positive change in your life slowly but surely. However, the amount of homework can be tweaked to best fit your needs.”

If your school graduation days are behind you, you might think your homework days are long gone as well. But in this new stage of your learning and development, that might not be the case! Here are a few of our therapists and coaches on why they might assign homework in between sessions and what it might look like for you.

Why do coaches and therapists assign homework in between sessions?

Many times, therapists and coaches will assign homework so that you can practice the skills you explored during your session in the “real world.”

“While we work together on developing insight during our sessions, it’s between sessions when you have the opportunity to put these insights into practice in your life,” says Christine Carville. “Being able to take home specific tools to use in tough situations or emotionally charged moments allows for you to experience the learning and gain confidence. It’s like learning a language—you can go to class once or twice a week but it takes using the language on a daily basis to become fluent and confident. In a lot of ways, therapy is learning the language of emotional intelligence and in-vivo experience is vital.”

Some therapists and coaches find that assignments or other exercises to practice in between sessions can help clients gain a sense of continuity and growth as their therapy or coaching journey progresses.

“I have found that often people leave sessions feeling elated, unburdened, and with an increased sense of comfort and clarity,” says Sky Koltun. “Sometimes this experience can feel difficult to hold onto between sessions. I am always prepared to work with people to create a sense of continuity between sessions or come up with ways to hold or continue to cultivate what they feel they have gained from the work we do in the session. I have often recommended books, writing/journaling exercises, breathing, and meditation techniques, and help clients to create their own practices.”

Therapists and coaches who do assign homework sometimes believe that most of the work actually happens outside the session where you can apply what you learn when you worked together.

“I do assign work in any form that works best for you,” says Hannah Evans. “I can provide handouts and worksheets, book recommendations, journal prompts, behavior change activities to engage in, etc. Both you and I will discuss how the homework or activity went, exploring your thoughts, feelings, and interpretations to progress towards your therapy goals. There are 168 hours in a week and change will not occur in the one hour we meet each week. Therefore, most of the work for therapy happens outside of session where you apply the skills learned in session.”

In many situations, what you put into it is what you get out of it, and therapy and coaching are often no different. The more work you do outside of your sessions, the better your results can be.

“I always tell clients that coming to therapy and/or coaching is a bit like buying a gym membership: it's great that you have committed to bettering yourself, but you have to be patient and you have to be ready to put in consistent work to see results,” says William Hasek. “If you are only engaging in self-reflection for one hour a week with me, I don't think that will be of great benefit to you—just like you won't see many benefits if you only go to the gym one hour a week. You have to put in the time and energy outside of our sessions to experience the benefits.” 

But all of our coaches and therapists agree on one thing, and that is that you and your therapist or coach will work together to find what works best for you.

“I don't like to simply ‘assign’ activities for you to do outside of session because I want you to be active in creating solutions and committing to action, says William. “We will develop these activities collaboratively so you have a voice in the changes you are undertaking.”

What are some types of homework therapists or coaches might assign?

While homework can be worksheets or journaling, you might be surprised how varied and creative your “assignments” can be!

“Sometimes the homework can look like ‘Try to take note of what is happening before and after your anxiety sets in,’” says Evelina Rodriguez. “Other times I may offer an article, book, or activity to continue processing over the course of time between sessions.”

The homework doesn’t always look like “work” either.

“If you are struggling with burnout, I would encourage you to think about one simple yet pleasurable activity such as listening to  soothing music and schedule this specific event at a certain time of day,” says Catherine Kim.

In fact, homework often looks a lot like “real life,” which is kind of the point.

“Homework helps to reinforce skills discussed and practiced in session,” says Fanteema Barnes. “Assignments can range from completing worksheets, practicing mindfulness techniques, socializing, going on a date, reflecting on what we discussed in session, giving yourself compliments daily, engaging in a hobby, reading an article, purchasing a self-help book, watching a video or TED talk, or even having a conversation with a loved one.”

Leora Mandel gives a few more creative homework examples: 

  • Free-form journal entries or letter writing 
  • Planned pleasant events, such as attending a concert, cooking a favorite meal, making time to listen to a podcast, or paint
  • Executing a plan brainstormed by you and I, such as beginning a new habit, reaching out to a person, beginning an application, or making a list
  • Recording events to identify patterns—what time of day do negative thought spirals occur, and how often? Are there any recurring triggers? 
  • Exercises with instructions involving the learning of a tool, such as a distress tolerance skill, and reflection of your experience practicing it

And your homework doesn’t have to stay the same—as you progress through your therapy or coaches journey, your assignments might change as you do.

“At the start of treatment, homework mostly consists of reflecting on behaviors, examining thoughts, and understanding relational and coping patterns,” says Shari Norton. “Toward the middle of treatment, homework may consist of practicing skills between sessions and through activities such as journaling. As treatment comes to an end, homework becomes less frequent, and consists of reflecting on changes that occurred from the start of sessions.

Again, your therapist or coach will work with you to determine the best course of action for you at that particular time in your life.

“Some people find the process of additional homework to be stress-inducing, adding yet another thing to their already piled-high list, and if this is the case then I might just ask the client to take a mental picture of something that happened to bring into the next session, maybe something around a triggering event, a dream, or just a thought that they keep ruminating about,” says Andrea Yuen-Sing Chan. “For others, homework helps to ease the transitions between sessions and to make the person feel as if they are doing something. In this case, because it can reduce anxiety and is also therapeutically useful, I will ask for journal entries, or to practice behavioral interventions and then to notate them in a journal. Occasionally I suggest a book or article that might be helpful to the client.”

Does every therapist or coach assign homework in between sessions?

If the idea of homework isn’t appealing to you, that’s totally fine too—not all coaches and therapists are into it either.

“I do not assign homework,” says Shaina Ferguson. “I believe that each of us have different ways of processing what may come up in therapy. You may find yourself reflecting upon the content of sessions outside of sessions and may want to journal or process through art or movement. You may choose to bring writing or other forms of expression into therapy and that is welcomed, but no formal homework will be assigned.”

Some therapists and coaches won’t assign you homework, but you’re more than welcome to develop exercises yourself and share them with your coach or therapist in-session.

“I believe that therapy has to be client-centered and based on your personal experience, not out of a book or on a worksheet,” says Autumn Potter. “I may ask you to take notice of certain experiences outside of a session or ask you to collect specific art materials. That being said, I also have clients who have come up with their own homework, such as ‘this week I am going to refrain from using Instagram.’ I believe that the directive coming from the client holds significantly more power than something I would assign.”

Homework doesn’t always fit with the kind of care you’re receiving, and that’s okay. But self-reflection is usually encouraged!

“I find that assigning homework does not fit well with my style of work which is more focused on expression of, and reflection on, feelings and thoughts within a supportive therapy relationship in order to build a level of insight that I feel can ultimately produce meaningful changes,” says Michael Nettis-Benstock. “At the same time, I feel that our work doesn’t stop at the end of the session and I always encourage you to reflect on what we discuss in our sessions throughout the week, but not in a way that feels like an assignment.”

Not everyone loves the word homework and your therapist or coach might call it something else entirely

“Part of the co-created coaching process depends on ‘fieldwork’ or homework in between sessions where clients are accountable for making real-world progress on short- and long-term goals,” says Ilysse Rimalovski.

“Oftentimes I assign small tasks in between sessions,” says Jordyn Norman. “I feel this is a good way to be able to measure progress.”

“I will at times assign what I like to call ‘projects’ in between sessions,” says Pam Skop. “The reason that I do this is that the real work happens outside of therapy. I generally meet with clients once a week for forty-five minutes and a lot can be discussed at that time, but it is what they do with that once they leave my office that leads to lasting changes. We will discuss the ‘project’ at the next session and use it as a learning tool to move forward.”

“Any ideas for tasks between sessions arise from our conversations during the session,” says Alena Gerst. “As you reveal to me what you feel you are lacking, we find ways to begin to slowly and intentionally integrate what you are searching for into your life. I call these tasks ‘Marching Orders’ (referring to the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron). Occasionally, these ‘assignments’ may feel challenging as you come to terms with what is true for you. But usually they are designed to unlock creativity, joy, and delight.”

“As a former teacher, I know that the word ‘homework’ might make some cringe, so I prefer to call it ‘practice,’” says Alison Abrams. “Time between sessions is priceless. It provides you with more time to extend the learning you do in our sessions into the real world.”

“There definitely will be times when I may make recommendations for ‘homework’ (or as I like to refer to it, ‘a challenge’) depending on what we're working through or if I think it could be relevant or helpful,” says Faith Bowen. “I typically don't do this every session—unless that is something you'd like.”

“I believe that I'm not here to help you grow just during the sessions but I want the growth and change to be sustainable in the long run,” says Kimberly Weimer. “I typically will cater your 'homeplay' (homework) around self-care tasks that you are interested in. This might include meditation, journaling, a gratitude practice, breathwork, yoga or some form of exercise. I will encourage readings, podcasts, and activities that fit with your struggles and goals.”

“For example if you have OCD you will have exposure exercise,” says Kimberly. “If you struggle with anxiety or depression you might have a thought journal and mindfulness exercises. If you are struggling with self-esteem or imposter syndromes you will likely be assigned affirmations and self love exercises. Homeplay is not mandatory but encouraged. I want you to have the skills to maintain the ‘new you’ long term and continue in your growth process even after we are no longer working together."

In the end, your therapist or coach is going to do what is right for you

“Our activities depend on your goals, what motivates you, and what has worked in the past,” says Krissi Franzen. “Most of our assignments involve being curious and experimenting, whether it's with coping strategies, grounding techniques, or practicing communication skills. If you're freaked out by homework, don't fret! If it's not a strategy that is successful for you, let's find things that do work!”

Mainly, you and your therapist or coach will work together to figure out what’s best. Be sure to share what’s working and not working for you so can find the best way forward for you.

“This is a conversation that we will have together!” says Em Kane. “If you're someone who enjoys being given homework and tasks for outside of sessions I can make that a component of our work. For others though this just adds stress, so it isn't necessary!”

Your therapist or coach is there to support you so you can get the care you deserve. Through your collaborative relationship, you can discuss how they can best facilitate your therapy or coaching journey. If you’re ready to get started, find your perfect match now. Still not sure if you might benefit from therapy or coaching? Our quiz might help.

“For some clients, homework is enjoyed, embraced and needed, however, not all clients like this,” says Christina Viera. “As a result, it is our job (client and therapist) to discover what works best for you, so that you can get the most out of therapy.”

Download MyWellbeing's 2024 Mental Health Planner!

Recommended reading, how to calm down from a disagreement, why physical distancing is better than social distancing, what is high-functioning anxiety.

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About the author

Caitlin is an organizational change strategist, advisor, writer, and the founder of Commcoterie, a change management communication consultancy. She helps leaders and the consultants who work with them communicate change for long-lasting impact. Caitlin is a frequent speaker, workshop facilitator, panelist, and podcast guest on topics such as organizational change, internal communication strategy, DEIBA, leadership and learning, management and coaching, women in the workplace, mental health and wellness at work, and company culture. Find out more, including how to work with her, at www.commcoterie.com .

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  • Impact of CBT

What is the Status of “Homework” in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 50 Years On?

What is the Status of “Homework” in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 50 Years On?

By Nikolaos Kazantzis, PhD

The comedian Jerry Seinfeld once asked:

“ What’s the deal with ‘homework?’ It’s not like you’re doing work on your home… ”

The great thing about that quote is that it conveys that the “H” word has some of the most unpleasant associations for clients in CBT. In July 2016, Dr. Judith S. Beck and Dr. Francine Broder wrote an important contribution to the Beck Institute blog giving good reason for a move away from the “H” word in practice.

When developing Cognitive Therapy, Dr. Aaron T. Beck was inspired by existing therapies, including behavior therapy, wherein the educative model to generate clinically meaningful change had been adopted. The inclusion of homework as a crucial feature of Cognitive Therapy made perfect sense 1 . Homework is a collaborative endeavor. It is also ideally empirical and can help to promote the reappraisal of key cognitions 2 .

Asking clients to engage with therapeutic tasks between sessions, in a form of action plan has been subject to more empirical study than any other process in CBT 3 .  However, the evidence supporting homework is almost wholly derived from dismantling studies that contrast CBT with CBT without homework, or correlational studies of homework adherence and symptom reduction. Findings from our most recent meta-analysis suggest that homework quantity and quality have little difference in their relations with outcome 4 . As clinicians, we can take from this that we should use homework consistently and be especially encouraged when clients engage with tasks 5 .

However, if we try to seriously answer Jerry’s question above, we have to ask ourselves another important question – what are we actually really interested in with CBT homework?

Current definitions of homework adherence have been derived from the literature on pharmacotherapy, and that might be the source of the problem. Take our two client examples below, Bob and Rob. Both have been prescribed a daily medication script, and if we look at the quantity of what was “done,” Rob looks more “adherent” than Bob.

What is the status of Homework in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 50 Years On?

However, when we take into account the cognitive impairment that Bob has, as well as his capacity to swallow medication following a head injury, then his 6/7 days’ worth of adherence is particularly noteworthy. Of course, in CBT, the content of homework varies on a weekly basis, and is tailored for the client in its design and plan. Therefore, the scope for subjective views of difficulty, and array of unique practical barriers is considerable. Thus, if we are genuinely interested in “engagement,” we need to take into account the inherent difficulties of the homework and practical obstacles to it for each individual client, at each session 6 .

Dr. Judith Beck’s earliest teachings emphasize the importance of the client’s subjective evaluation of homework. Those who are depressed are less likely to recognize their achievements, those with anxiety presentations often have negative predictions about its utility or their ability to carry it out, and many clients abandon the task when encountering obstacles. Those with pervasive interpersonal difficulties often have their core beliefs triggered in carrying out the action plan.  When they do, they may experience intense negative emotion, viewing themselves and/or their therapist negatively. The working alliance may become strained. Dr. Beck has also advocated for use of the cognitive case conceptualization to understand clients’ patterns of engagement and anticipate problems of this nature 7-8 .

Therapist speaking with client.

Fortunately, the research underpinning CBT homework is moving towards more clinically meaningful studies. Therapist skill in using homework has been shown to predict outcomes 9-10 , and recently a study found that greater consistency of homework with the therapy session resulted in more adherence. 11 Our Cognitive Behavior Therapy Research Lab (currently based at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University) is centrally focused on how clients’ adaptive beliefs about homework strengthen their sense of self-efficacy in engaging in homework tasks, despite the difficulties and obstacles they experience. Thus, for several reasons, we can be optimistic that the evidence for homework is an example of how a bridge between science and practice is being built on solid foundations.

A half century after the first practice guide for Cognitive Therapy was published (Beck et al, 1979), we can be curious in the personal meaning our clients attribute to the action plan. How do beliefs about coping and change affect engagement? Are there important maladaptive assumptions and compensatory strategies that might make it difficult for the client to engage? How does the task align with the client’s values? What might be the pros and cons to the client in choosing not to engage? It’s important to focus less on trying to achieve perfect – or even a close approximation of perfect – “adherence” and to focus more on facilitating engagement. An empathic  understanding of challenges clients face completing the homework tasks will better equip us to design and plan future homework. Rather than a focus on “compliance,” let us inspire our clients to tolerate the discomfort and uncertainty in their homework. Let us also celebrate in their discovery of new ideas and perspectives that homework brings.

Nikolaos Kazantzis, PhD is Editor of “Using Homework Assignments in Cognitive Behavior Therapy” (2 nd edition), currently in preparation with Routledge publishers of New York.

  • Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression . New York: Guilford Press.
  • Kazantzis, N., Dattilio, F. M., & Dobson, K. A. (2017). The therapeutic relationship in cognitive behavioral therapy: A clinician’s guide. New York: Guilford.
  • Kazantzis, N., Luong, H. K., Usatoff, A. S., Impala, T., Yew, R. Y., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). The processes of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 42 (4), 349-357. doi: 10.1007/s10608-018-9920-y 
  • Kazantzis, N., Whittington, C. J., Zelencich, L., Norton, P. J., Kyrios, M., & Hofmann, S. G. (2016). Quantity and quality of homework compliance: A meta-analysis of relations with outcome in cognitive behavior therapy. Behavior Therapy, 47 , 755-772. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2016.05.002
  • Callan, J. A., Kazantzis, N., Park, S. Y., Moore, C., Thase, M. E., Emeremni, C. A., Minhajuddin, A., Kornblith, S., & Siegle, G. J. (2019). Effects of cognitive behavior therapy homework adherence on outcomes: Propensity score analysis. Behavior Therapy, 50 (2), 285-299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2018.05.010
  • Holdsworth, E., Bowen, E., Brown, S., & Howat, D. (2014). Client engagement in psychotherapeutic treatment and associations with client characteristics, therapist characteristics, and treatment factors. Clinical Psychology Review, 34 (5), 428–450. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.06.004
  • Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive therapy for challenging problems: What to do when the basics don’t work . New York: Guilford.
  • Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.
  • Weck, F., Richtberg, S., Esch, S., Hofling, V., & Stangier, U. (2013). The relationship between therapist competence and homework compliance in maintenance cognitive therapy for recurrent depression: Secondary analysis of a randomized trial. Behavior Therapy, 44 (1), 162–172. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2012.09.004
  • Conklin, L. R., Strunk, D. R., & Cooper, A. A. (2018). Therapist behaviors as predictors of immediate homework engagement in cognitive therapy for depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 42 (1), 16–23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-017-9873-6
  • Jensen, A., Fee, C., Miles, A. L., Beckner, V. L., Owen, D., & Persons, J. B. (in press). Congruence of patient takeaways and homework assignment content predicts homework compliance in psychotherapy. Behavior Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2019.07.005

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Richard Brouillette

Is Therapy Homework Getting You Down? 8 Ways to Help

There is no failing with therapy homework, as long as you try..

Posted October 6, 2023 | Reviewed by Tyler Woods

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Homework between therapy sessions is a practice dating back decades and based on the idea that a client can improve therapy outcomes through practice. But what happens if therapy homework itself is too challenging or difficult? I have eight ways you can explore to understand and navigate therapy homework.

Before we go any further, though, I want to highlight the most important idea for you to take away: there is no failing with therapy homework, as long as you try .

History, Theory, Practical Use

So, what is the theory behind therapy homework? It's based on the principles of cognitive behavior therapy: by changing ways of thinking, we can change how we react and behave in challenging situations. Also, the inverse is true: by changing the ways we behave, we can change the way we think. Some therapy homework offers practice to help change the way we think, while other approaches focus on changing behavior.

There are three practical reasons to do therapy homework:

  • If you’re able to practice noticing the state of mind and emotion you fall into during problematic moments, you’re halfway on your way to changing.
  • Then, you have the opportunity to “talk back” to the difficult mindset that gets triggered.
  • From there, you have the opportunity to nudge yourself into taking more healthy or intentional actions, instead of acting on impulse or out of detachment.

But the main reason is a classic that is still important: practice makes you better at what you’re doing .

Common Challenges to Doing Therapy Homework

Overcoming challenges always starts with beliefs and feelings. CBT therapists like to use the term “home practice” instead of homework to try and limit your association with school homework. Most of us have negative feelings or dread about homework and link it to the idea of getting a grade and the possibility of “getting it wrong.”

Negative Reactions to Homework

If your therapist suggests home practice, you may notice thoughts and feelings such as:

  • Anticipating shame
  • Drawing attention to your perceived flaws
  • Intense self-criticism
  • Anticipating disruptive ruminating
  • Fear that you will be criticized for doing a “bad job”

Common Problems Completing Homework

Sometimes, behaviors communicate thoughts and feelings. So, if you find yourself doing the following, you may want to explore underlying feelings and beliefs:

  • Procrastinating
  • Avoiding or forgetting
  • “Doing it in your head”
  • Faking it (giving answers you think your therapist is looking for)

The Therapist's Role

As a therapist, I know our homework goal is complete when you simply tried to do the home practice. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be exactly what the assignment was, it doesn’t have to be complete. As long as you give it a try, we start there. (Of course, if you had trouble with getting started, we start there!)

If you had a hard time motivating yourself to do the home practice, were unclear on how to complete it, or it just didn’t work as intended, I consider that my responsibility. I can change the assignment, improve our communication, or just try at a more opportune time in the therapy process.

8 Ways to Success with Therapy Homework

  • Home practice is all about the experience, not the result. This means seeing what thoughts and feelings come up, or what behavior change challenges appear. As long as that is happening, the homework is a success.
  • Be sure that you feel you understand the home practice, the goals and reasoning behind doing it, and that you are comfortable doing it. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to share.
  • Be practical: Ensure you clearly understand what actions or steps are involved in completing the homework, so you’re not stuck wondering later.
  • Be sure you have a specific plan for completing homework, including when you will do it, how long you will spend on it, and any obstacles you anticipate. Once you have a plan, ask yourself, on a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that you can do it?
  • Be sure your therapist follows up with you on homework. It keeps you motivated and keeps the therapy on track.
  • From the beginning, be as honest and direct as you can about your reactions and feelings on the topic of homework. If you have a history of difficulty with homework, it is important for your therapist to know. This will improve the odds of therapeutic success and make the process easier for you.
  • Collaborate with your therapist on goals, assignments, and steps. The best therapy home practice is one where the client helps create it.
  • Maybe now is not the time for homework? Maybe there is too much going on in your life, and you need more support or insight now.

what is homework therapy

If you follow these guidelines, you can take the discomfort and dread out of home practice, improve understanding with your therapist, and increase the odds that the therapy will be successful.

Oh, and you may also find yourself with some skills you can use to take care of yourself long after the therapy has ended.

Richard Brouillette

Richard Brouillette, LCSW, is an online schema therapist working with entrepreneurs, creatives, and professionals.

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New York City schools went online instead of calling a snow day. It didn’t go well

New York City’s plan to have students go remote instead of a snow day didn’t go quite as planned. Many students, teachers and administrators were unable to log in to their accounts. City officials blamed on a technology contractor. (Feb. 13) (AP Video: Joseph B. Frederick)

A woman plays with a child that is sledding in New York's Central Park Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. Technology glitches kept many New York City teachers and students from virtual classes Tuesday — the first attempt by the country's largest school system to switch to remote learning for a snow storm since the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

A woman plays with a child that is sledding in New York’s Central Park Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. Technology glitches kept many New York City teachers and students from virtual classes Tuesday — the first attempt by the country’s largest school system to switch to remote learning for a snow storm since the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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A person works to clear wet and heavy snow from a sidewalk during a winter storm in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NEW YORK (AP) — When New York City officials got wind of the major winter storm headed their way, they rewound the clock four years, reopened their coronavirus pandemic playbook, and announced that instead of canceling school, teachers and students would once again meet online. No snow day.

Mayor Eric Adams said it was important to give children enrolled in the nation’s largest school system stability considering the massive upheaval to education the pandemic had caused throughout the country. Some school districts in other states have done the same since adopting the technology essential in 2020 to make virtual school days possible.

Unfortunately for Adams, the plan didn’t go so well: Many students, teachers and administrators were unable to log in to their accounts — a problem that city officials blamed on a technology contractor.

Naveed Hasan, a Manhattan resident, said he struggled to get his 4-year-old daughter logged on because of the district’s technical issues even though his 9-year-old son was able to gain access. He hoped to take both out for sledding later in the day.

Nelson Taylor, of Providence, R.I., left, uses cross-country skis while making his way along a residential street, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in Providence. Parts of the Northeast have been hit by a coastal storm that's dumping snow and packing strong winds in some areas, while others aren't getting as much snow as anticipated. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

“It honestly worked out for the best,” Hasan said. “I’d rather not have the youngest on a device all day anyways.”

Schools nationwide shuttered classrooms for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and some did not reopen fully for more than a year. Some children barely logged on , and many struggled with the social isolation.

The months spent with online education were marked by widespread learning losses . Young students often struggled with the technology, and some parents said online learning was a factor in their decision to delay enrolling their kids .

In a November 2020 survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center, 39% of district leaders said they had converted snow days to remote learning. Another 32% said they would consider the change. But in recent years, some districts, including Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, have reverted to prepandemic snow day policies. School systems in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, among many others, closed in response to Tuesday’s storm.

Connecticut does not allow remote learning on a snow day to count toward the minimum 180 learning days in the school calendar. The state weighed factors such as the challenges of setting up remote classrooms on short notice, and local officials also reported that parents and students wanted traditional snow days, said Irene Parizi, chief academic officer for the state Department of Education.

“Let them have their snow day and go sledding and have their hot chocolate and things like that,” Parizi said.

With schools closed in Columbia, Connecticut, Susan Smith spent the day at home with her three children, ages 14, 11 and 8. She said she likes traditional snow days, but would also like to see remote learning on some bad weather days.

“I still remember being a kid and really looking forward to snow days, so I don’t want to completely wipe that off the map with remote learning,” Smith said.

Adams defended the decision to have NYC schools operate virtually.

“Using this as a teaching moment to have our children learn how to continue the expansion of remote learning is so important,” the mayor said in an interview on WPIX-TV Monday evening. “We fell back in education because of COVID. We cannot afford our young people to miss school days.”

Gina Cirrito, a parent on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, said she appreciated the structure the remote classes provided for her three sons, even if Tuesday morning was a bit of rough sledding in her household.

“I know people around the country get really frustrated with the idea of these remote days and not just letting the kids have a day,” she said. “But I don’t think the teachers are asking above and beyond and to be honest, they’re so far behind. If there’s a way to keep their (students’) brains a little engaged, I’m all for it.”

Cirrito said the family had to work through some early morning logistics, including making sure everyone had a functioning computer and a quiet spot in the apartment to work — only to run into the district’s login issues.

By about 9:15 a.m. her sons — ages 10, 13 and 17 — had settled into the day’s routine.

“For the kids, it’s like riding a bike. Like, ‘Here we go again,’” Cirrito said.

New York City officials did not say how many students were prevented from accessing online classes but they blamed the problem on their technology contractor, IBM. While both teachers and students recently participated in simulations to prepare for remote instruction, IBM was not involved in those walk-throughs, officials said at a news conference.

“IBM was not ready for prime time. That’s what happened here,” said New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks.

In a statement, IBM said it had been “working closely with New York City schools to address this situation as quickly as possible.”

“The issues have been largely resolved, and we regret the inconvenience to students and parents across the city,” the statement read.

The morning technical glitches only added to the stress for teachers already scrambling to pivot lessons and assignments to remote work, said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, which represents roughly 200,000 NYC public schools teachers and staff.

But Mulgrew said educators anticipated trouble after their experience with distance learning during the pandemic. He noted that by 12:30 p.m., 900,000 students and teachers were utilizing the district’s remote learning system — a testament, he said, to how teachers were able to keep their classes engaged despite the morning challenges.

“It’s also a good lesson for students,” he said. “This is what happens when things go wrong. You don’t get frustrated or angry. You got to figure it out.”

Mulgrew added that this year’s school calendar only allows for one or so snow days, “so you want to save that, just in case.”

Still, Hasan, a software developer, wondered whether students and teachers alike would have been better served with a snow day, even as he acknowledged Tuesday’s accumulations in the city might not have warranted it in a bygone era.

“It’s like a mental health day for kids to just go and play,” he said. “It’s already enough of a challenge for parents to figure out how they are going to do their work.”

Ma reported from Washington, D.C. Associated Press writer Jake Offenhartz in New York and Pat Eaton-Robb in Columbia, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org .

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Revolutionize Your Healing: Discover Therapy Homework Worksheets that Work

The power of therapy homework.

Therapy homework is an integral part of the therapeutic process, offering individuals the opportunity to continue their healing journey outside of therapy sessions. By engaging in structured activities and exercises, clients can reinforce what they have learned and apply therapeutic concepts to their daily lives. This section will explore what therapy homework is and the benefits of using therapy homework worksheets.

What is Therapy Homework?

Therapy homework refers to assignments or tasks that therapists provide to their clients to complete outside of therapy sessions. These assignments are tailored to the individual’s specific needs and therapeutic goals. Therapy homework can take various forms, including worksheets, journaling exercises, or other activities designed to promote reflection, skill development, and personal growth.

Therapists assign homework to help clients integrate new insights, strategies, and coping skills into their daily routines. It serves as a bridge between therapy sessions, allowing clients to actively engage in their own healing process between appointments. By participating in therapy homework, individuals can take ownership of their progress and contribute to their overall well-being.

Benefits of Using Therapy Homework Worksheets

Using therapy homework worksheets offers numerous benefits for both clients and therapists. These worksheets provide structure and guidance, ensuring that clients have a clear direction for their therapeutic work. Here are some key benefits of incorporating therapy homework worksheets into the therapeutic process:

  • Reinforcement of therapeutic concepts:  Completing therapy homework worksheets reinforces the concepts discussed in therapy sessions. It allows clients to apply what they have learned, increasing the likelihood of long-term change and growth.
  • Continuity of progress:  Therapy homework provides a continuous link between therapy sessions, offering clients the opportunity to maintain momentum in their progress. By actively engaging in therapeutic activities outside of sessions, clients can build upon their achievements and work towards their goals.
  • Enhanced self-awareness:  Therapy homework encourages self-reflection and introspection. Worksheets prompt clients to explore their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, leading to increased self-awareness and insight into their own patterns and experiences.
  • Skill development: Many therapy homework worksheets focus on developing specific skills or coping strategies. By engaging in these activities, clients can practice and refine their skills, ultimately enhancing their ability to manage challenges and navigate their lives more effectively.
  • Empowerment and self-efficacy:  Completing therapy homework instills a sense of empowerment and self-efficacy in clients. It allows them to take an active role in their own healing process, fostering a sense of control and autonomy.
  • Tracking progress:  Therapy homework worksheets enable clients and therapists to track progress over time. By regularly reviewing completed assignments, both parties can observe growth, identify patterns, and adjust treatment plans as needed.

By utilizing therapy homework worksheets, therapists can enhance the effectiveness of their interventions and empower clients to take an active role in their healing journey. These worksheets provide structure, guidance, and opportunities for growth, supporting clients in achieving their therapeutic goals.

In the next section, we will explore how therapists can find the right therapy homework worksheets for their clients by understanding their needs and considering different types of worksheets.

Finding the Right Therapy Homework Worksheets

To effectively incorporate therapy homework into your practice, it’s essential to  understand your client’s needs  and tailor the worksheets accordingly. Each client is unique, with different goals, challenges, and preferences. By considering their individual situation, you can select therapy homework worksheets that are most relevant and beneficial.

Understanding Your Client’s Needs

Before prescribing therapy homework, take the time to have an open and honest conversation with your client. Understand their specific concerns, treatment goals, and areas they want to focus on. This will help you identify the most appropriate therapy homework assignments that align with their needs and objectives.

By gaining insight into their preferences and learning style, you can select worksheets that will resonate with them. Some clients may prefer written exercises, while others may respond better to visual or experiential activities. Understanding these preferences will enhance engagement and increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Types of Therapy Homework Worksheets

Therapy homework worksheets come in various formats and cover a wide range of therapeutic techniques. Here are some common types of therapy homework worksheets that you may find helpful:

These are just a few examples, and there are many more therapy approaches and corresponding worksheets available. Depending on your client’s needs, you may explore other therapy approaches such as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or Narrative Therapy. Each approach offers unique worksheets that can be tailored to address specific concerns.

By incorporating a variety of therapy homework worksheets, you can provide your clients with a diverse and comprehensive treatment experience. This allows for a more personalized approach that caters to their specific needs and promotes better therapeutic outcomes.

As you introduce therapy homework to your clients, it’s important to  set clear expectations  and explain the purpose and benefits of completing the assignments. Encourage them to actively engage with the worksheets and track their progress over time. This will help both you and your client assess the effectiveness of the therapy homework and make any necessary adjustments. For more ideas on therapy homework assignments, you can explore our article on  therapy homework assignments .

Remember, therapy homework is a collaborative process between you and your client. By understanding their needs and preferences and selecting appropriate worksheets, you can empower them to take an active role in their healing journey.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Worksheets

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely used therapeutic approach that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. Therapy homework worksheets based on CBT principles can be valuable tools in helping clients make progress outside of therapy sessions. Here are three common CBT worksheets that can be incorporated into therapy homework assignments.

Thought Records

Thought records are powerful tools for challenging and restructuring negative thinking patterns. These worksheets involve identifying and examining negative thoughts, emotions, and associated situations. Clients are encouraged to explore evidence for and against their negative thoughts, as well as alternative, more balanced perspectives. By completing thought records, individuals can develop a more realistic and positive outlook. For additional therapy homework ideas, including thought records for specific concerns, check out our article on  therapy homework ideas .

Behavior Activation

Behavior activation worksheets are designed to help individuals increase their engagement in enjoyable and fulfilling activities. By identifying activities that bring a sense of pleasure or accomplishment, clients can overcome feelings of apathy or low motivation often associated with depression or other mental health challenges. These worksheets help clients set specific goals, plan and schedule activities, and track their progress. By gradually increasing their involvement in positive activities, individuals can experience a boost in mood and overall well-being.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

Challenging negative thoughts worksheets assist clients in identifying and challenging distorted, negative thinking patterns. These worksheets encourage individuals to examine the evidence supporting their negative thoughts and consider alternative interpretations. By replacing negative thoughts with more realistic and positive ones, clients can change their emotional responses and behaviors. This practice can be particularly effective for individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. For specific therapy homework worksheets on challenging negative thoughts related to anxiety or depression, visit our articles on  therapy homework for anxiety  and  therapy homework for depression .

By incorporating these cognitive-behavioral therapy worksheets into therapy homework assignments, practitioners can empower their clients to actively participate in their own healing process. It’s important to remember that therapy homework should be tailored to individual clients’ needs and goals. Regularly tracking progress and adjusting the homework as needed ensures that clients are receiving the most effective treatment. Additionally, setting clear expectations and providing guidance on how to complete the worksheets can enhance their effectiveness.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy Worksheets

Incorporating mindfulness-based techniques into therapy can be highly beneficial, particularly for individuals seeking to enhance their self-awareness and overall well-being. Mindfulness-based therapy worksheets provide structured exercises that guide clients through various mindfulness practices. Here are three commonly used worksheets:

The body scan exercise is a mindfulness practice that involves systematically directing attention to different parts of the body, noticing sensations, and bringing awareness to the present moment. This practice helps individuals cultivate a deeper connection with their physical sensations, promoting relaxation and grounding. The body scan can be particularly helpful for reducing stress and increasing body awareness. To access a body scan worksheet, check out our article on  therapy homework for relaxation .

Mindful Breathing

Mindful breathing exercises focus on bringing attention to the breath as it moves in and out of the body. By observing the breath without judgment, individuals can develop a sense of calm and present-moment awareness. Mindful breathing exercises can be used as a tool to manage anxiety, stress, and emotional reactivity. Encourage clients to practice mindful breathing daily to cultivate a greater sense of calm and centeredness. For more mindfulness-based therapy worksheets, explore our  therapy homework for mindfulness  article.

Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation, also known as metta meditation, involves directing well-wishes and compassion towards oneself and others. This practice cultivates feelings of love, kindness, and connection. By repeating positive phrases or mental images, individuals can foster a sense of empathy and understanding towards themselves and those around them. Loving-kindness meditation can be particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with self-compassion or developing positive relationships. To access a loving-kindness meditation worksheet, visit our article on  therapy homework for self-compassion .

By incorporating mindfulness-based therapy worksheets into sessions, therapists can empower their clients to develop mindfulness skills, enhance self-awareness, and promote personal growth. These worksheets can serve as valuable resources to support clients in their therapeutic journey. Remember to tailor the worksheets to each individual client’s needs and track their progress over time.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Worksheets

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a therapeutic approach that focuses on accepting difficult thoughts and feelings while committing to actions aligned with personal values. ACT worksheets provide practical exercises and tools to help individuals develop psychological flexibility and enhance their well-being. Here are three commonly used ACT worksheets:

Values Clarification

Values clarification is a fundamental aspect of ACT. This worksheet assists individuals in identifying their core values, which serve as guiding principles for their actions and decisions. By clarifying personal values, individuals can align their behavior with what truly matters to them, leading to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

The values clarification worksheet involves reflecting on different areas of life, such as relationships, work, health, and personal growth. It prompts individuals to identify specific values that resonate with them and rank their importance. This exercise helps individuals gain clarity about what they value most and provides a foundation for making choices in line with those values.

Defusion Techniques

Defusion techniques in ACT aim to help individuals observe and distance themselves from their thoughts, rather than getting entangled in them. This worksheet introduces various defusion exercises that allow individuals to create psychological space between themselves and their thoughts.

One common defusion technique is the “leaves on a stream” exercise. This exercise involves imagining thoughts as leaves floating down a stream. Individuals are encouraged to observe their thoughts without judgment, allowing them to come and go freely. By practicing this exercise, individuals can reduce their attachment to unhelpful thoughts and develop a more flexible relationship with their thinking patterns.

Committed Action Planning

Committed action planning is a crucial component of ACT that emphasizes taking steps toward valued goals and engaging in meaningful action. This worksheet helps individuals identify specific actions they can take to align with their values and move closer to their desired outcomes.

The committed action planning worksheet involves setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) and breaking them down into actionable steps. Individuals are prompted to consider potential barriers and develop strategies to overcome them. This process empowers individuals to create a roadmap for taking consistent and purposeful action in line with their values.

Using these acceptance and commitment therapy worksheets, therapists can guide clients in developing greater psychological flexibility and resilience. Whether through values clarification, defusion techniques, or committed action planning, these worksheets provide practical tools for individuals to navigate life’s challenges and live more authentically.

Incorporating Therapy Homework into Your Practice

As a mental health professional, integrating  therapy homework  into your practice can enhance the effectiveness of your sessions and empower your clients to actively participate in their healing journey. To make the most of therapy homework, it is essential to  set clear expectations ,  tailor worksheets to individual clients , and  track progress and adjust as needed .

Setting Clear Expectations

When introducing therapy homework to your clients, it is crucial to establish clear expectations from the beginning. Clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of therapy homework, emphasizing that it is an integral part of their therapeutic process. Explain how completing assignments outside of sessions can reinforce the work done in therapy and accelerate progress. Encourage open communication and address any concerns or questions your clients may have.

By setting clear expectations, you create a foundation of understanding and collaboration. This clarity helps clients commit to the homework and understand its importance in their therapeutic journey. For more ideas on therapy homework assignments, you can refer to our article on  therapy homework assignments .

Tailoring Worksheets to Individual Clients

Every client is unique, and their therapy homework should reflect their specific needs and goals. Tailoring worksheets to individual clients allows for a more personalized and effective therapeutic experience. Take the time to assess your client’s preferences, learning style, and therapeutic objectives. This information will guide you in selecting or creating worksheets that resonate with their needs.

Consider exploring a wide range of therapy homework options to address various concerns. From worksheets for anxiety and depression to self-esteem, assertiveness, mindfulness, relaxation, self-reflection, self-care, boundaries, forgiveness, self-compassion, self-acceptance, problem-solving, self-awareness, self-confidence, resilience, journaling, self-expression, creativity, communication skills, anger management, stress management, goal setting, emotional regulation , relationship building, trauma recovery, and coping skills, there are numerous possibilities to explore. You can find more ideas in our extensive library of articles on  therapy homework .

Remember, the more tailored the therapy homework is to your client’s individual needs, the more engaged and motivated they will be in completing the assignments.

Tracking Progress and Adjusting as Needed

Monitoring your clients’ progress with therapy homework is crucial for evaluating their growth and making any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan. Regularly review completed assignments, discuss the insights gained, and encourage clients to share their experiences and challenges. This feedback loop enables you to identify patterns, track progress, and adapt the therapy homework accordingly.

Keep detailed records of each client’s therapy homework journey. Use a tracking system to note their assignments, progress, and any modifications made along the way. This documentation will serve as a valuable resource for future sessions and help guide the direction of their therapy.

Additionally, be open to feedback from your clients. Actively listen to their thoughts and feelings about the therapy homework process. This feedback will inform your decision-making and allow you to refine the therapy homework approach to best meet their evolving needs.

By incorporating therapy homework into your practice and following these guidelines of setting clear expectations, tailoring worksheets to individual clients, and tracking progress, you can revolutionize the healing journey for your clients. Therapy homework is a powerful tool that empowers clients to actively engage in their own healing process, leading to more effective and transformative therapeutic outcomes.

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8 Things Your Physical Therapist Wishes You’d Stop Doing for Better Results

T here's ample research and personal anecdotes proving that physical therapy (PT) can have a profound effect on physical function, mobility and quality of life.

For example, a December 2020 study in the journal ‌ BioResearch Open Access ‌ notes that physical therapy is widely regarded as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for chronic pain management.

To create programs tailored for each patient, physical therapists typically attend school for about eight years, which includes graduate studies. That timeframe is longer if they earn a doctorate. Basically, they know their stuff.

But even though physical therapists have such a high level of education and experience and are eager to see you progress, you may not be getting the results you envisioned. That's because there are a few common mistakes you might be making that can prevent you from getting the best possible care.

Here, physical therapists explain what these mistakes are and what they wish you'd do instead.

1. You Don't Do Your Homework

Although in-person physical therapy sessions are important, they are only one component of your program, and that's why you'll be given exercises to do at home, according to Mallory Behenna, DPT , an orthopedic physical therapist at Brooks Rehabilitation in McKinney, Texas.

"It's very difficult to get better by only working on your areas of concern for one to three hours a week in PT sessions, which is why we give you things to do at home," she tells LIVESTRONG.com. "We want to help you make faster and better progress, and part of that is working as hard as you can for yourself both during and between our visits."

2. You Cancel Because You're in Pain

One of the most common reasons people tend to skip appointments is because they're in pain and they believe physical therapy will make that worse, according to Rick Olderman, PT , a physical therapist in Denver, Colorado.

"Especially if the pain is what they are trying to solve in physical therapy, that's exactly when they should be coming in," he tells LIVESTRONG.com. "This gives the therapist a chance to see what is happening at the very moment they're in pain, which is helpful for diagnosing the problem and understanding what makes the pain worse or better."

3. You Don't Admit How Much Pain You Have

When you do come in with pain, you might minimize how much it affects you as a way to seem tough in the face of a challenge, but that's likely to backfire, says physical therapist and conditioning coach Carol Mack, DPT, CSCS , owner of CLE Sports PT & Performance in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Our job is to progress a person through their rehab program based on how that person feels on a given day, week, or with the program itself," she tells LIVESTRONG.com. "If someone is having pain with an activity and we don't know about it, that will cause us to give improper recommendations, which will delay or harm the healing process itself."

4. You Don't Disclose Previous Injuries or Relevant Health History

Let's say you have a knee injury, and you go to PT. Because it's a musculoskeletal issue, you may not think it matters that you have type 2 diabetes or a cardiovascular condition.

Yet factors like that will play a huge role in how your program is designed. The same is true for any previous injuries you've had to the same knee or anywhere else on your body.

"We treat the whole person, and past injuries may have an effect on a person's current issue," Mack says. "Health history is similar. For example, injuries take longer to heal in a person with diabetes. Disclosing this information is important for a realistic picture of someone's prognosis and coming up with a comprehensive treatment plan."

5. You Zone Out During the Exercises

While there are some types of fitness that allow you to go through the motions and still get the benefits — for instance, aerobic activities like swimming or cycling will work your muscles even if you're distracted — physical therapy depends on your ability to isolate certain muscles with a high degree of awareness, Olderman says.

"Many patients do an exercise to fulfill their PT's goal of a certain number of sets and reps," he says. "However, we need you to dial into the exercise to make sure you're targeting the right things. For instance, if you feel an exercise fatiguing your hamstrings but you're supposed to be targeting your glutes, you need to communicate that to your PT so the exercise can be modified."

Being present with what you're doing and communicating along the way will help speed up the process of getting better, he says.

6. You're Not Giving Honest Feedback

Speaking of communication, it can be tough to be honest that a program or set of exercises isn't working for you — but if you don't speak up, nothing will change, Behenna says.

Even admitting you find the exercises boring is helpful, because that's a clue you're less motivated to do them at home. In general, the more you discuss, the faster your progress tends to be because it allows your PT to modify your program based on that feedback.

"The relationship between patient and PT is one based on trust," she says. "If you do not trust your provider, it will be difficult to get better as you may not believe they can actually help you. We want and need to know how the interventions we choose are affecting you so that we can adjust your treatment plan each visit and work towards your goals."

7. You're Not a Team Player

One of the most challenging directives you can give a PT is to "fix you," as if you're not an active participant in the process, according to Claire Morrow, DPT , a physical therapist at Hinge Health in San Francisco, California.

"Physical therapy should be viewed as a team effort," she tells LIVESTRONG.com. "You and your PT are working together to help you accomplish your movement and functional goals."

Your PT will use their expertise to give you recommendations around behaviors and exercises to help facilitate those goals, and while there are many interventions PTs use that are more passive, like joint mobilization, those are not intended to fix you, she adds. They are meant to help you feel less pain and more comfort with movement so you're able to participate more in your exercise program.

8. You're Impatient About Results

Sure, your PT told you that it would take three months before you could comfortably go back to running or another favorite activity, but you've been following the program and doing your exercises at home and your pain is controlled. Even though it's only been a month, shouldn't that mean you can speed up the timeframe? If only.

"Injuries take time to heal, and it's important to be realistic about expectations and listen to your PT's guidance on how many weeks you may need to fully recover," Mack says. "Feeling frustrated or impatient is normal with an injury, but dwelling on that frustration becomes counterproductive to the healing process, and even worse is that you'll risk re-injuring yourself and making the physical therapy take even longer."

Person working out with resistance band with physical therapist.

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  1. How to Support Your Client Through Therapy Homework

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  2. Beck Institute

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  3. Tips for Easier and More Effective Therapy Homework

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  4. Sending Homework to Clients in Therapy: The Easy Way

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  5. 7 Strategies to Improve Homework Time

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  6. The Role of Homework in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    what is homework therapy

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  1. The Homework of CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  2. Occupational Therapy Classroom and Lab Tour

COMMENTS

  1. Therapy Homework: Purpose, Benefits, and Tips

    Homework can be given in any form of therapy, and it may come as a worksheet, a task to complete, or a thought/piece of knowledge you are requested to keep with you throughout the week, Dr. Erkfitz explains.

  2. Sending Homework to Clients in Therapy: The Easy Way

    Homework is a vital component of CBT, typically involving completing a structured and focused activity between sessions. Practicing what was learned in therapy helps clients deal with specific symptoms and learn how to generalize them in real-life settings (Mausbach et al., 2010).

  3. Assigning Homework in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Assigning therapy "homework" can help your clients practice new skills during the week. While many types of therapy may involve some form of weekly assignment, homework is a key component...

  4. How Much Does Homework Matter in Therapy?

    Homework is an important component of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments for psychological symptoms. Developed collaboratively during therapy sessions,...

  5. How to Design Homework in CBT That Will Engage Your Clients

    Homework assignments have been a central feature of the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) process since the 1970s (Kazantzis, 2005). Take-home assignments provide the opportunity to transfer different skills and lessons learned in the therapeutic context to situations in which problems arise.

  6. Understanding psychotherapy and how it works

    Through psychotherapy, psychologists help people of all ages live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. In psychotherapy, psychologists apply scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective habits. There are several approaches to psychotherapy—including cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and ...

  7. Homework in psychotherapy

    Homework is most often used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, although other theoretical frameworks may also incorporate homework. [3] [4] Some of the types of homework used in CBT include thought records and behavioral experiments. [5]

  8. Supporting Homework Compliance in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

    Homework is an important component of CBT; in the context of CBT, homework can be defined as "specific, structured, therapeutic activities that are routinely discussed in session, to be completed between sessions" [ 7 ]. Completion of homework assignments was emphasized in the conception of CBT by its creator, Aaron Beck [ 8 ].

  9. Empower Your Clients: Effective Therapy Homework Ideas Unveiled

    Therapy homework refers to assignments or tasks that are given to clients by therapists, psychologists, coaches, or practitioners as part of the therapeutic process. These assignments are designed to be completed outside of therapy sessions and are tailored to address specific therapeutic goals and objectives.

  10. The importance of homework in therapy

    Homework in therapy is intended to allow the person to implement the strategies that are being learned in therapy so that they can actualize the changes and gains they are seeking to make in their life. I like to put it this way: therapy sessions do not consume a very large portion of your life.

  11. Goal Setting Made Easy: Expert Therapy Homework Tips and Techniques

    Therapy homework serves as a bridge between therapy sessions, providing clients with a continuous and consistent means of working towards their goals. Homework assignments are tailored to address specific therapeutic objectives and can vary widely depending on the client's needs and goals.

  12. Homework in Cognitive Behavioral Supervision: Theoretical Background

    The homework aims to generalize the patient's knowledge and encourage practicing skills learned during therapy sessions. Encouraging and facilitating homework is an important part of supervisees in their supervision, and problems with using homework in therapy are a common supervision agenda.

  13. Does Psychotherapy With CBT Involve Homework?

    What Is Homework? Exposure therapy for PTSD employs exposure exercises in two types of settings. The setting most commonly discussed is exposure to anxiety-provoking memories in the office, which ...

  14. Mastering the Art of Mindfulness: Effective Therapy Homework Revealed

    The purpose of therapy homework is to extend the therapeutic work beyond the confines of the therapy room, allowing individuals to integrate new skills, insights, and perspectives into their daily lives. It serves as a bridge between therapy sessions, helping individuals transfer what they have learned into real-world scenarios.

  15. Homework in CBT

    Homework assignments in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help your patients educate themselves further, collect thoughts, and modify their thinking. How to deliver homework Homework is not something that you just assign randomly. You should make sure you: tailor the homework to the patient

  16. The New "Homework" in Cognitive Behavior Therapy

    The New "Homework" in Cognitive Behavior Therapy By Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., and Francine R. Broder, Psy.D. Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. We've stopped using the word "homework" in CBT. Too many clients take exception to that term. It reminds them of the drudgery of assignments they had to do at home when they were at school.

  17. The Use of Homework in Cognitive Behavior Therapy ...

    Homework, or self-help, is an essential and required part of cognitive behavioral treatment. It offers several opportunities for the therapist to extend and increase therapy contact by having the patient "live" the therapy outside of the consulting room.

  18. Why Do Some Therapists and Coaches Assign Homework

    Some therapists and coaches find that assignments or other exercises to practice in between sessions can help clients gain a sense of continuity and growth as their therapy or coaching journey progresses. "I have found that often people leave sessions feeling elated, unburdened, and with an increased sense of comfort and clarity," says Sky ...

  19. What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. ... Through exercises in the session as well as "homework" exercises ...

  20. The Path to Self-Discovery: Effective Therapy Homework for Self

    Deepening Self-Exploration: Therapy homework provides an avenue for individuals to explore their emotions, experiences, and patterns in more depth. Through journaling, creative expression, or self-reflection exercises, clients can gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their inner world.

  21. What is the Status of "Homework" in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 50

    Dr. Beck has also advocated for use of the cognitive case conceptualization to understand clients' patterns of engagement and anticipate problems of this nature 7-8. Fortunately, the research underpinning CBT homework is moving towards more clinically meaningful studies.

  22. Is Therapy Homework Getting You Down? 8 Ways to Help

    Homework between therapy sessions is a practice dating back decades and based on the idea that a client can improve therapy outcomes through practice. But what happens if therapy homework...

  23. What Is Family Therapy?

    Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy (aka talk therapy) that focuses on bettering relationships in a family unit, as well as improving the behavior patterns of individuals and subgroups ...

  24. Winter weather: New York City used online learning, not a snow day. It

    Connecticut does not allow remote learning on a snow day to count toward the minimum 180 learning days in the school calendar. The state weighed factors such as the challenges of setting up remote classrooms on short notice, and local officials also reported that parents and students wanted traditional snow days, said Irene Parizi, chief academic officer for the state Department of Education.

  25. Revolutionize Your Healing: Discover Therapy Homework Worksheets that

    Therapy homework is a powerful tool that empowers clients to actively engage in their own healing process, leading to more effective and transformative therapeutic outcomes. About the author. Seph Fontane Pennock is a serial entrepreneur in the mental health space and one of the co-founders of Quenza. His mission is to solve the most important ...

  26. 8 Things Your Physical Therapist Wishes You'd Stop Doing for ...

    You Don't Do Your Homework. Although in-person physical therapy sessions are important, they are only one component of your program, and that's why you'll be given exercises to do at home ...