Why is CBT Homework an important part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Homework is an essential aspect of cognitive behavioural therapy. The idea behind CBT homework is that most mental, behavioural, and emotional habits will not change with techniques employed only once a week. Therefore, the philosophies and skills acquired during sessions are practised and applied to the real world through specific tasks, or homework.
Effective homework assignments offer an opportunity for the client to expand upon their in-session therapy; to challenge negative automatic thoughts and core beliefs; to alter thinking patterns, and to try out new behaviours. Homework should be designed to augment skills and techniques introduced in therapy sessions, as well as promote an increase in general self-efficacy.
Numerous studies have shown that cognitive behavioural therapy clients who complete homework assignments show greater improvement than individuals who did not (Persons et al., 1988).
In order to achieve the maximum benefits of homework, the therapist will modify assignments to suit the specific needs of the client, as well as offer justification for their completion, anticipate possible difficulties, and modify preconceived notions to increase the likelihood that the client will complete the assignments.
CBT homework is personalised to each client, established in collaboration, and planned based on the subject and objectives of the session, the pre-established overall goals of treatment, and the therapist’s interpretive observations of the client and at what stage they are currently at in the treatment process.
Early in therapy, the therapist commonly proposes the assignments to be completed for homework. However, as therapy progresses, the therapist and client begin to collaboratively negotiate assigned tasks, for research has shown that clients who assign their own homework are more inclined to continue their involvement in their own therapy after treatment has concluded.
If you would like further information, or to have a phone consultation without charge or obligation; please contact me, and I’ll be happy to explain in greater detail how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may be able to assist with various behavioural and emotional difficulties. Sessions for CBT therapy are available in all my practice locations: Highgate in North London, Radlett in Herts, and South Woodford in East London. I also provide CBT therapy sessions in the City of London at the Gestalt Centre in Shoreditch; Coppergate House in Brune Street and Longcroft House in Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street Station.
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