If you've decided to have therapy to help you deal with your anxiety problems, then you probably thought that you'd do all of the therapeutic work in your anxiety counselling sessions. However, your counsellor tells you that they will be giving you work to do at home as well.
Why will you get homework, and what will you have to do?
Why You Get Counselling Homework
You can't cover everything in every session when you meet with your counsellor. While you can talk about your anxiety generally and even go into some detail, you may not always have time to tell them everything.
Sometimes, you may forget to talk about something important. You may not even realise that something is important enough to discuss in a session, so you may not mention it at all.
Your counsellor is likely to want to fill these gaps and find out more about how your anxiety affects your everyday life. It may help to know when you get anxious and what triggers your worries, so they may ask you to do some work out of sessions so that you have specific information to bring into the room.
Types of Counselling Assignments
Your counsellor may ask you to do a range of tasks at home. For example, they may ask you to keep an anxiety diary. Here, you write down details whenever you feel anxious; you might write down what makes you anxious, how long the anxiety lasted and how bad it was.
You may also be given a list of websites or reading material that your counsellor feels will help you better understand your problems. You may be asked to look at a site or to read something before a session so you can both discuss it when you meet.
Sometimes, your therapy may involve doing tasks that help you manage your anxiety in a controlled way. For example, if you are anxious about meeting new people, you and your counsellor may set a goal that you go to a party with a friend and talk to one new person during the evening.
Again, your counsellor will be interested to see how this task goes and how it makes you feel. You may be given a worksheet to fill in that details your anxiety levels before, during and after the party.
Any work you're asked to do outside of counselling sessions can make your therapy more effective. To find out exactly what you'll need to do, ask your counsellor what kind of assignments they're likely to set.