This article discusses the concept of homework in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and reviews the articles in this special issue of Cognitive Therapy and Research. The article underscores the pivotal role of between- session activities and demonstrates that this role has been recognized for many years.
This article reviews the articles from this special issue and uses them as a springboard to review other research and then discuss potential directions for future theory and research.
The initial research in this area focused on documenting the magnitude of the relationship between homework adherence and outcome in CBT. Research has now advanced to incorporate studies that examine issues such as homework competence, the complicated relationship between homework and other aspects of CBT such as the therapeutic relationship, and the use of technology to try to enhance homework completion and clinical outcomes.
The use of homework assignments in CBT remains a critical issue for development. Limitations of the literature are addressed, and directions for future research in the field are provided.