If you’re like me, you probably weren’t a fan of homework in school. This is a strange thing to say, given that I eventually went on to go to law school, which has massive amounts of homework, but that is another story. My point, and I do have one, is that I have the same reservations when my therapist gives me homework.
The idea is the same. Just as you can’t learn everything you need to in the classroom, thus needing homework, you can’t do all the healing you need in one 50 minute therapy session each week. You need to be putting the work in between those sessions. Because while your therapist is there to support you, you need to take responsibility for your own recovery as well.
And some you might be pointing out that you don’t know how to move forward in your recovery on your own, which is why you got a therapist in the first place. The fact is the homework that is given by your therapist is given for a reason. It is meant to help move you forward.
However, unlike the homework you got in school, you have more of a say in the homework. For example, someone I know had homework from their therapist to journal. After two weeks she told her therapist she needed different homework because every time she forgot to journal caused her stress and anxiety. And when it comes to mental health homework, the goal is to have it cause less anxiety, not more.
As I’ve said many times on this blog, not every coping mechanism or strategy is going to work for every person. What helps my depression and anxiety might not work for you and vice versa. This is why it is important to be open and honest with your therapist about how you are handling any homework. You won’t get an A, but you might get something far more important, better mental health.