Research on homework in therapy has revealed some meaningful results that can be understood collectively through a procedure called meta-analysis.
A meta-analysis is a statistical summary of a body of research.
Finally, although there is less research on this issue, the quality of homework may matter as much as the amount of homework completed. The relationship between homework compliance and therapy outcomes: An updated meta-analysis.
To enhance the quality of homework, homework assignments should relate directly to a specific goal, the process should be explained with clarity by the therapist, its method should be rehearsed in session, and opportunities for thoughtful out-of-session practice should be scheduled with ideas about how to eliminate obstacles to completion. T., Moore, R., Roesch, S., Cardenas, V., & Patterson, T.
Although the activating experiences may have been traumatic or painful, the cognitive therapist will point out that people's irrational beliefs actually create their depressed mood.
In other words, it is people's reactions to situations, rather than the situations themselves, that cause problems.
*** Interested in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), self-help tips, and improving personal health? Meta‐analysis of homework effects in cognitive and behavioral therapy: A replication and extension. Quantity and quality of homework compliance: a meta-analysis of relations with outcome in cognitive behavior therapy.
Connect with me on Twitter (@joelminden) or Facebook. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 17(2), 144-156.
Without homework, the insights, plans, and good intentions that emerge during a therapy session are at risk of being buried by patterns of negative thinking and behavior that have been strengthened through years of inadvertent rehearsal.
Is an hour (or less) of therapeutic work enough to create change during the other 167 hours in a week?