Session 151: How to Assign Homework to Clients and Motivate Them to Complete It



What if your clients did their homework? Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep your clients engaged in- between sessions? These questions are behind the development of Therachat, a HIPAA-compliant, encrypted app that helps with the process of therapy homework. Join us to learn more!

Kouris Kalligas is the founder and CEO of Therachat. When I heard that Kouris was developing this app and I understood the immense research that went into its development, I knew I had to have him on the show to tell us more. This is a practical topic, and our discussion of client homework involves how to assign the work and how to motivate clients to complete it. Kouris interviewed over 500 clinicians about their homework practices and has developed new ideas about incorporating homework into a therapy practice. The challenge is how to keep the homework short, sweet, intentional, and customized, and Kouris has helpful tips to share.

What We’ll Learn

  • Why Kouris conducted over 500 interviews with clinicians
  • In order to build the tool, he knew he had to understand the problem
  • There are certain types of homework that clients are more likely to engage in:
    • Short and manageable exercises, like tracking, open-journaling, and “about next session”
    • Personalized exercises
  • Why flexibility gives more consistency and produces 2-3 times more results
  • Therapists make the assumption that every homework exercise is helpful
  • Why “homework” has a negative connotation—and why Kouris is searching for a new word for it!
  • How to use journaling cues and prompts
  • Keep journaling work short, manageable, and personalized
  • Some surprising results of client homework:
    • Clients WANT to do the work and reach their goals
    • Homework can strengthen the client/therapist alliance
  • The key is the client’s motivation
  • If the client is resistant to homework, help them realize that homework will help get them further in their therapy work


Therachat (Find out more about Therachat’s 14-day free trial!)

Follow Kouris on Twitter


Today's Sponsor:

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