Assigning homework exercises for counseling clients is one of the best ways to keep them on track and consistently working toward their goals. Studies have found that there is a positive correlation between homework compliance and therapy outcomes. Overall, greater homework compliance is associated with improved treatment outcomes. There are many forms of positive homework exercises to assign — every client is different and may enjoy certain exercises over others. Work through them together to find what.
Journaling or Other Forms of Writing
Journaling is known to lead to increased positivity, reduced stress and anxiety, and a generally pleasant outlook on life. With the help of a counselor, clients can take advantage of these benefits and create positive new daily habits. Start slow and small to slowly build up the habit.
Knowledge is indeed power! Assigning readings between sessions can equip clients with the tools to better understand themselves, and their symptoms, or learn new coping skills to practice. This also opens space for counselor-client conversations. Review readings together to create common ground to build a strong foundation of trust and understanding.
Encourage novel experiences
Guide clients to build confidence and self-trust by encouraging them to go out into the world and seek new experiences. The novelty keeps things interesting, while also showing clients first-hand that they’re capable of putting themselves out there. Another perk: new experiences slow down time and create a healthy break in client schedules — leading to hope and excitement for the future.
This could look like:
- Trying a new hobby
- Joining a club
- Getting involved in community programs
- Attending social events
Instilling New Habits
Try assigning clients small steps between sessions to build a new healthy habit. Breaking the goal into smaller pieces makes the habit attainable while creating points of contact to check in together. Over time, clients gain the confidence to work towards bigger, more daunting habits.
Boost Homework Compliance Between Sessions
The most important component of homework is consistency and compliance. Keeping clients on track between sessions ensures continued goal motivation and success. A digital homework app like Therachat allows counselors and clients to work together, build trust, and maintain consistency. Clients are empowered to check in however it feels best for them with features like daily homework reminders, skill-building activities, emotion tracking, and mindfulness exercises.