Homework is a must
TEAM CBT requires doing homework. Homework is important. It is a must for TEAM CBT therapy. Without it being done, there is relatively little progress to be made. Think of it as going to the gym. Going once a week is not enough. There is a lot of progress, however, when clients both works out at home plus visits a gym once or twice a week.
Visualize a magic button on your chair. If the button is pushed, all your negative emtions will disappear. Would a client push that button? Yes? Well, maybe not. Why not? Well, if the magic button is pushed, it would mean doing the homework between sessions as well as working hard in each session. This may not appeal to a client. If you are suffering from anxiety, the client may be asked to 'face their fears'. That would be very uncomfortable. There would be exercises that once begun in therapy would need to be completed before the next session. The client may not be motivated enough to do the homework. The client may want to hold on to their anger when it means looking hard at the client's own shortcomings. These are all very challenging for most clients. In short, TEAM CBT Therapy may not be for you if you balk at the work required.
Clients who do these self-help assignments between therapy sessions usually make the most rapid gains. In contrast, people who are unwilling to help themselves between sessions are often slow to improve.
1. REQUIRED READING & STUDY
1. Depending on what you want help with, there is a book by David Burns, the creator of TEAM CBT Therapy, for you to read.
a) Be sure to buy the book by David Burns MD: Feeling Good Together if communicating with others is a challenge
b) Otherwise, for treatment for depression, anxiety, anger and bad habits Feeling Good: the New Mood Therapy or Feeling Great, both by David Burns MD are good choices.
c) For both relationships and moods, Feeling Good: the Handbook, by David Burns MD is a good choice.
D) When Panic Attacks by David Burns MD is excellent for OCD, phobias, panic attacks and other anxiety related challenges.
2. ANXIETY HOMEWORK
There is no other way to deal with high anxiety except by talking about and facing your fears.
There may be a Fear Ladder that the client along with the therapist design. This is basically 10 steps towards facing your fears beginning with the easiest step.
This is called 'exposure therapy' where you face what you fear. If you have, for example a phobia, the fear-of-taking-an-elevator. We would begin by designing a Fear Ladder together. Then you will approach this fear by doing the first step which might be closing your eyes and imagining stepping on and then off of the elevator to begin. In short, the Fear Ladder starts with small steps beginning with the least fearful and then moving on to the next least anxiety-provoking step. Then the homework would progress to actually using a real elevator.
To help you understand better, there are real-life examples of exposure therapy to read about on my COUNSELLING STORIES page such as WALLS or WATER or THINGS THAT GO BANG IN THE NIGHT.
3. EMAIL or TEXT
Homework may be sent using email or text. Usually, the homework is decided together with the client as part of the agenda setting. This is the 'A" in TEAM Therapy where the client and the therapist decide on the agenda together. T
I may ask you to do some listening to Feeling Good podcasts by going to the link below and choosing the particular recommended listening homework. You can also download FEELING GOOD free from itunes with all the same podcasts. Here is the link to Dr. Burns website the Feeling Good Institute. There are about 300 podcasts to listen from which to choose.
The "T' in TEAM Therapy refers to TESTING. We measure your negative emotions before and after each session. Using other measurements, I will ask you to assess your levels self-defeating thoughts. of depression and anxiety.
I usually will ask you to complete a Burns Daily Mood Log that we had begun in session or other techniques such as the What If form or Indiviudal Downward Arrow or other therapy work that we began during your therapy session but didn't complete.