When thinking of the term “homework”, an association with school is made most. However, homework can be in other aspects of life as well, like in therapy. For reasons similar to why homework is given in the educational environment, therapy homework is assigned to clients by their therapists to be used as an aid in furthering the success of treatment. Also like with how homework in school gives an individual more practice and better grades through repetition, homework in therapy offers benefits to the completer’s mental health through the practicing of the skills they are working on in therapy. Despite the similarities between the homework you were assigned in school and the homework given in therapy, therapy homework isn’t meant to be “busy” work, but is solely used to assist the therapeutic process; thus, making it a vital part of therapy. With how important homework in therapy is, there are some tools to help both therapists with assigning homework, and clients with completing their therapy homework. One of those tools being Adhere.ly, which allows therapists to provide their clients with digital therapeutic exercises and assessments at home, between sessions.
What is Homework in Therapy?
Not given by all therapists, and sometimes referred to by something other than “homework”, homework in therapy are assignments given during the course of therapy with the intention of either supplementing and/or benefiting the therapeutic process. Homework in therapy is used as a tool to allow individuals to implement the strategies and skills they are learning in therapy so that these behaviors become part of their daily lives. Some examples of homework used in cognitive behavioral therapy include: thought journaling, mindful meditation, relaxation breathing, engaging in new activities, and practicing active problem solving . Therapists may also assign homework that is specific to a problem the client is facing . For example, a therapist may have a client dealing with anxiety practice relaxation techniques.
Why is Therapy Homework Important?
The topic of “homework” in therapy has been studied significantly, with the results consistently showcasing that therapy homework maximizes the benefits of therapy and allows individuals to notice real changes in their lives . The average therapy session is between only 45 and 60 minutes a week, so to ensure that the changes an individual is practicing in therapy are actualized in their life during the time outside of therapy, homework in therapy is vital. The therapy session only lays the foundation for the changes in one’s life to occur, but the practicing of those changes is what supports that foundation after therapy. Therapy homework is usually skill-oriented to teach individuals how to manage their problems on their own, without having to always rely on a therapist . Not only is therapy homework beneficial to the client, but it is also beneficial to the therapist by allowing them to gauge where that individual is in treatment and adjust accordingly. This could even lead to shortened treatment periods and improved client success. Studies show that when clients practice skills between therapy sessions their likelihood of a successful outcome increases from 32% to 68% .
Tools for Therapy Homework
There are several tools available today to aid therapists and individuals with therapy homework. Many of those tools are websites that provide worksheets, videos, and activity guides for therapists to give to their clients, or for clients to find on their own and download. These websites often cost money to either the therapist or the client . However, Adhere.ly is a simple, free, and secure way to practice therapeutic skills with clients in-session, remind them to complete their homework between sessions, and review that practice and track progress over time. This tool, for both assigning and practicing homework in therapy, offers a variety of evidence based digital therapeutic exercises and assessments. The different homework assignments are arranged into different categories such as relaxation, social skills, parent-child activities, parenting videos, exposure, cognitive, and affect and emotion. Each category houses several exercises for the client to complete. The assessments are also arranged by category, those categories being like the ones used to organize the homework activities. Not only does Adhere.ly allow therapists to give their clients homework to complete home, it also allows therapists to send homework reminders to clients between sessions and review the client’s homework progress, making it an asset to both therapists and clients.
In cognitive behavior therapy and other types of therapy, homework is an essential part of the client’s treatment. Even though a client’s compliance with completing the homework assigned to them is crucial in the homework being effective, the increased popularity and accessibility of digital therapeutic exercises via mobile apps and online websites has given the opportunity for an increase in therapy homework compliance . Tools like Adhere.ly exist to aid in the process of completing homework in therapy for clients and in assigning homework to clients by therapists. With the existence of such tools and the importance of therapy homework, the completion of homework in therapy should be implemented into an individual’s treatment journey by the therapist. If you’re a therapist wanting to add homework to your therapeutic practices, or a client wanting to make therapy homework part of your treatment, then Adhere.ly might be the perfect tool for you!
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