Using Homework in Psychotherapy
Strategies, Guidelines, and Forms
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A step-by-step guide for therapists who want to start implementing homework or to increase the effectiveness of assignments, this hands-on book is ideal for clinicians from any theoretical orientation. Presented are creative strategies for developing meaningful homework assignments, enhancing compliance, and overcoming typical homework obstacles. Nearly 50 reproducible forms are featured along with detailed recommendations for using them to accomplish five broad therapeutic goals: increasing awareness, scheduling activities, improving emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness, and testing assumptions. Also provided are tips for working with special populations, including adolescents, older adults, couples, and clients with severe depression or anxiety. Bursting with helpful tools, tips, and examples, the volume is designed in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" format with lay-flat binding for ease of photocopying.
Table of Contents
I. Key Steps to Successful Homework Assignments
1. Step 1: Create a Meaningful Homework
2. Step 2: Set Up the Homework Assignment and Secure Compliance with It
3. Step 3: Review the Homework Assignment
II. Applying the Steps
4. Homework to Increase Awareness
5. Homework to Schedule Activities
6. Homework to Increase Emotion Regulation
7. Homework to Increase Interpersonal Effectiveness
8. Homework to Test Assumptions
9. Overcoming Homework Obstacles
10. Homework for Special Populations
Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, is the Director of Professional Training at the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies. He is in private practice in Oakland, California.
"Tompkins's book is a gift to novice and seasoned clinicians alike, offering a rich array of strategies to improve the effectiveness of homework assignments and increase client compliance. The text seamlessly integrates theory, research, and clinical practice, and is punctuated with vignettes, illustrative case examples, and many useful handouts and forms. Tompkins writes in an inviting style that is both engaging and educational. He takes readers step by step through the homework process so they can tailor psychotherapy to the unique circumstances of their particular clients, and his attention to ethnocultural and developmental issues is commendable. This is a rich resource for practicing clinicians, instructors, and graduate students."--Robert D. Friedberg, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Penn State Milton Hershey Medical Center/Penn State College of Medicine
"An entire book on homework? Fantastic idea! This book does a fabulous job of detailing the nuts and bolts of the effective use of homework in psychotherapy. It is accessible to therapists of all orientations. The writing is clear and direct. Therapists who read this book will find that its message translates directly into clinical skills and interventions that have been shown in controlled studies to be tied to improved client outcomes."--Jacqueline B. Persons, PhD, San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy and University of California, Berkeley
"Adhering to his own admonition that 'vagueness is the Achilles' heel of homework,' Tompkins has written one of the most specific, down-to-earth, and practical texts I have ever read. With thorough explanations, helpful guidelines, and illustrative case examples, Tompkins invites the reader to see how homework can help with any clinical problem."--Hanna Levenson, PhD, Levenson Institute for Training (LIFT), San Francisco, California
"This book fills a critical gap in the psychotherapy literature. Clearly written and well illustrated with numerous clinical examples, this book should prove very valuable to both mental health professionals and students. Dr. Tompkins expertly explains how to collaboratively design effective homework assignments for patients and clients of all ages with a wide range of psychiatric disorders and psychological problems--and how to dramatically increase the likelihood that patients will carry out their assignments and learn from them."--Judith S. Beck, PhD, Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research and University of Pennsylvania
"This is the most comprehensive and helpful guide available for assuring that your clients will get the most benefit out of therapy homework. Tompkins provides a three-step approach that can be used with all homework assignments. Specific suggestions on how to structure homework to fit the client and the problem, secure compliance, and review the homework will prove to be invaluable to clinicians at all levels of experience. The book includes details on helping clients use behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal self-help strategies, and on anticipating and overcoming roadblocks. The appendices are a virtual treasure trove of self-report forms that clinicians can use to evaluate clients and tailor homework to almost any imaginable problem. This book will help supplement other therapy treatment manuals and will serve as an important reference tool for clinicians."--Robert L. Leahy, PhD, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, New York City