Communication & Medicine, Vol 11, No 2 (2014)

Homework setting in cognitive behavioral therapy: A study of discursive strategies

Andrew Beckwith, Jonathan Crichton
Issued Date: 17 Aug 2015


In recent years cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy, has risen to prominence due to a large number of studies attesting to its efficacy. A crucial part of the model of CBT is the use of the therapeutic strategy, homework, in which the client undertakes therapeutic tasks between sessions. The focus of this study is on how homework is implemented in sessions of CBT. This is undertaken through an analysis utilizing theme-orientated discourse analysis of video recorded sessions of CBT of one therapist and a client. Through tracking the focal theme of homework, the analysis focuses on homework as a face-threatening act (Brown and Levinson 1987) and how discursive strategies are employed to manage this issue. Other analytic themes include the use of frames (Goffman 1974) and constructed dialogue (Tannen 2007). It is the expertise of the therapist in putting into practice the therapeutic task of homework that is the subject of this study.

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DOI: 10.1558/cam.v11i2.16169


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