Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 2004


Published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training 41:1 (Spring 2004), pp. 38-55; doi 10.1037/0033-3204.41.1.38 Copyright © 2004 Educational Publishing Foundation; published by the American Psychological Association. Used by permission. “This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.”


Although the link between homework use and positive psychotherapy outcomes has been established, relatively little is known about the therapeutic processes, or factors, that promote homework compliance. Homework compliance may be viewed as an indicator of client commitment and involvement in psychotherapy. This article presents the results of a systematic review of research, including 16 empirical studies, related to the homework recommendation process. Findings relate to the frequency and type of homework that therapists deliver, factors that promote client acceptability of homework recommendations, and factors that affect compliance. On the basis of these findings, the authors propose a theoretically and empirically based, 6-phase conceptual model of the homework recommendation process. They also propose specific strategies for recommending homework to clients and directions for future research.