Three Tips for Getting Your CBT Therapy Homework Done

Ernest Schmidt, LCSW

Can you guess what the most common mistake is concerning therapy homework….? It’s that it doesn’t get done! There is nothing to be ashamed of, it happens to the best of us, BUT, there are some ways to improve this. Most people who undergo therapy do get better (especially cognitive behavioral therapy), but those who consistently do therapy homework get better more often and at a faster pace. Let’s discuss a few key points in making this happen.

Schedule It

Pick a specific time and day to do your therapy homework and schedule at least 20-30 minutes to focus on it. Depending on your specific counseling, you may need to set aside three or more days of the week for your homework, but for others one day a week will do. We know from research (and experience), that those who schedule their homework in this manner and record it on their calendar are MUCH more likely to complete it.

Predict Obstacles

Another great method to increase your odds of homework completion is to predict three reasons why you won’t get your therapy homework done and write these down. Once you have your obstacles in front of you, you can then write down a few ways to overcome or avoid these potential pitfalls. If you have any difficulty with this exercise, make sure to involve your therapist and come up with a plan. Don’t forget, this is part of your therapy too!

Write It Down

Lastly, make sure to write down your homework BEFORE you leave your counseling meeting. Although simple, this step is really effective and often overlooked. While writing it down, it’s also a good idea to clarify the homework with your therapist to eliminate any misunderstanding or confusion.

Our goal at Palo Alto Therapy is to help you be successful and reach your goals, not to shame you when you don’t do your homework. If it’s not getting done, then let’s address it together and use our CBT counseling methods to help you get it done. Wishing you much success!

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