Cognitive Pearl 060 Nisan 25, 5775 April 14, 15

The use of homework assignments is rooted in cognitive therapy’s assumption that people learn through doing. With new learning comes new understandings; with new understandings come new possibilities. This assumption is true whether we are speaking of clients immobilized by the symptoms of depression, the gamut of anxiety disorders, personality disorders, or any other form of mental disorder. If the human mind is involved in the ‘problem’ then cognitive therapy asserts that an ‘upgrade of thought’ yields a better situation.

While most of us are familiar with many excellent collections of prepared homework assignments (here are some of my favorites), better yet are assignments that are developed in collaboration with the client. For example, I encourage all of my clients to monitor their moods (English), not all connect with a standard mood monitoring form. So we figure out what works: a couple of clients use phone apps; one prefers the use of a diary. Still others email me running narratives of their emotional ups and downs (we’ll leave the issue of email for another time). More important than the details, it’s the collaboration around getting cognitive therapy into their lives that helps them. In coming posts I’ll show some of the assignments that I’ve put together with my clients to meet their needs.