Homework: Extending Techniques from the Offi ce to Home
In addition to the in-session techniques and interventions described in the previous chapters, giving couples homework assignments is a very important way to help clients achieve their treatment goals and experience the relationship changes they desire. Facilitating work by couples outside of the therapy setting has been recognized for several decades as an important part of marital therapy (Sheldon & Ackerman, 1974). Homework makes use of the time between sessions to keep the client engaged in therapeutic activity and further enables the therapist to check the couple’s progress toward their goals in therapy (Kazantzis & Lampropoulos, 2002). It helps the couple expand on skills and learning from the therapy session and experiment with them in real-life settings (Dattilio, 2005). Homework is also said to assist the couple to take responsibility for change in the relationship (L’Abate, 2003).