Psychotherapy Homework Assignments: 10 Points To Consider

Therapy sessions can be extremely effective in helping people to solve their problems both emotionally and physically. However, once the session is over the client is on their own until the next session, and progress is hard to achieve when there are only sessions once a week. Therefore, it can be crucial to assign homework to the clients for them to improve even when they are away from their therapist. Here are 10 tips to assigning homework for therapy clients:

  • Tip 1. Get to know your patient. This is an obvious one, but each patient is different and will need personalized homework assignments. Ask about hobbies or other interests.
  • Tip 2. Let the patient get to know you. In order for therapy to work, the patient needs to know that they can trust their therapist.
  • Tip 3. Determine which mental health symptoms your patient is suffering. Is it anxiety? What about depression? Do they have an anger problem? Those are just a couple examples to get you started.
  • Tip 4. Find the deeper root of the problem. For example, does your patient feel uncomfortable in social situations? What makes your patient angry?
  • Tip 5. Work with your patient to assign a simple homework assignment. You do not want the assignment to be stressful. For the first assignment, you should ask the client to think about what they believe their problem to be. They can have until the next session to brainstorm. They might already know the answer. If so, ask them to think about specific situations that make them tick.
  • Tip 6. Ask about the homework assignment during your next session. Ask the client questions on why they feel that way. Have they always felt that way?
  • Tip 7. Ask that your client keeps their own personal journal. Ask the client to write down all their thoughts and feelings.
  • Tip 8. Assign your next assignment. Assignments vary for each patient, but still keep it simple. You can ask that they try new hobbies such as drawing, walking, cooking, or painting.
  • Tip 9. Stay in touch with your client. Send an email or text to see how they're doing or give them a call. Ask if they have found a new interest.
  • Tip 10. As you start to see improvement, recommend they try more new activities such as volunteering for community service. Help them find classes to take or groups to join.

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