Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Homework in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Norman B. EpsteinEmail author
  • Frank M. Dattilio
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_563

Name of Concept

Homework in Couple and Family Therapy


Homework assignments are broadly defined as planned therapeutic activities that are completed by the clients between sessions. They are used in a variety of couple and family therapy models, such as directives devised primarily by the therapist in strategic therapy (Rosen et al. 2015) or tasks that are designed collaboratively by therapist and clients during scheduled sessions in cognitive-behavioral therapy (Dattilio 2010; Dattilio and Epstein 2016; Epstein and Baucom 2007).

Theoretical Context for Homework

The use of homework tasks is based on an assumption that therapeutic changes initiated during sessions are more likely to lead to stable changes in clients’ daily lives when clients make efforts to implement them in vivo. Homework tasks can assist with the shaping, practice, reinforcement, and maintenance of skills learned in therapy sessions, with therapist monitoring of homework compliance serving as an index for...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolAllentownUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sean Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversitySacramentoUSA