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Homework as Treatment: Active Versus Passive Homework

Homework in therapy can be described as a task recommended to a client by a therapist to be completed between appointments, with the goal of helping the client move toward her or his treatment goal. Importantly, research has shown that the use of homework significantly improves the outcome for justice-involved individuals. Homework may be assigned to a client for a variety of reasons, including practicing a new skill, exploring an area of the client’s life, gaining knowledge on a subject, or monitoring progress. These assignments can be beneficial to clients by encouraging them to integrate therapeutic goals with their outside lives.

Several factors may influence completion and success of homework assignments. Assigning homework is often most successful when there is a strong therapeutic alliance, the client ...

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