TEAM CBT 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 work out at home plus visit a gym once or twice a week.
Among other things, I will ask you to complete exercises that we have started in therapy but haven't finished. People 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.
Homework First Steps
1. Be sure to buy the book by David Burns MD: Feeling Good - the Handbook
2. Completing forms is part of the therapy, becoming more aware of our emotions, physical sensations & thoughts. Complete the following from the FORMS pages: 7, 9, 10, 12, & 13.
Add up the scores and send me the totals, please.
3. For our session, have ready forms 1, 2 & 4. Do not complete. Keep them blank but ready to use, probably at our first session.
4. Always have a pen and paper pad. Writing is a big part of TEAM CBT therapy.
Examples of Follow-up Homework
1. I will ask you to do some reading such as my Counselling Short Stories that illustrate how TEAM CBT Therapy is applied. Most importantly, we will be using one or more of these books by David Burns MD:
a) Feeling Good: the New Mood Therapy
b) The Feeling Good Handbook
c) When Panic Attacks: The New Drug Free-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life
2. I will 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.
3. Using tests, I will ask you to assess your levels of depression and anxiety. These tests can help you track your progress
4. I usually will ask you to complete a Mood Log or other therapy work that we began during your therapy session but didn't complete.
5 I may ask you to do some 'exposure therapy', and 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 stepping on and then off of the elevator to begin, in short, small steps beginning with the least fearful.
6. I usually also ask you to do two relaxation exercises not as a solution but both as a distraction and a support: one is visualization plus relaxed breathing and the other is a body relaxation technique called Tense and Release.