Recently I had a good discussion with my internship class on the role and purpose of homework in counseling. What could be more straightforward than suggesting a client do something between sessions that might be helpful? However, as most tools in the counselor’s toolbox, there is an appropriate time and place for each one. I believe the same applies to the issue of homework. Here are three of the considerations we discussed.

First, a counselor needs to recognize where they believe the “magic” of counseling occurs. Does the real power come from the conversation and relationship between the client and the counselor? Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” so there seems to be at least some warrant for “magic” occurring during the counseling session. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit is not limited to one scheduled fifty minute session. He can encourage and convict through a wide variety activities such as: reading Scripture and other books, completing workbooks, journaling and practicing spiritual disciplines just to name a few.

Second, if assigning of homework becomes a regular part of counseling, this tends to reinforce the power of the counselor and potentially diminish the power of the client. Many counselors are very comfortable working with this much power; others might not be.

And finally, if homework is assigned, it has to be “graded”. This is a lesson those of us in academics have had to learn the hard way. What if they have not done it? This happens frequently in counseling and can potentially shift the direction of counseling from the presenting problem to an issue of compliance. This is not a problem if there is no homework to grade in the first place. 

Bryan Maier, Psy. D.  is an Associate Professor of Counseling & Psychology in the Masters of Arts in Counseling Program at Biblical. He maintains a private practice at Diane Langberg & Associates. 

Add comment

Security code

BTS Blog Mission

The purpose of this blog will be to expand the influence of our faculty, maintain contact with our graduates, and invite other friends to think with us about important biblical and theological ideas.

Follow Biblical

Follow us on the following sites and receive notifications on upcoming events and blog entries:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on Twitterg+_64_black

Biblical's Faculty

Biblical’s Faculty:

We are committed to ongoing engagement with culture and the world for the sake of our witness to the Gospel, and to continual learning from Christians in other cultural settings.

Latest Blog Entries

Written on 06 October 2015 - by Derek Cooper
Written on 17 September 2015 - by Manuel Ortiz and Susan Baker
Written on 01 September 2015 - by R. Todd Mangum
Written on 25 August 2015 - by R. Todd Mangum
Written on 20 August 2015 - by Dr. Jonathan Henry
Written on 11 August 2015 - by Jeffrey Monk
Written on 30 July 2015 - by Manny Ortiz and Susan Baker
Written on 28 July 2015 - by Charles Zimmerman
Written on 23 July 2015 - by Susan Disston
Written on 21 July 2015 - by Bryan Maier

Previous Blog Entries

Contact Admissions

800.235.4021 x146

215.368.5000 x146

215.368.4913 (fax)

Stay Connected with Biblical

Follow us on the following sites:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on TwitterFollow Biblical on YouTubeg+_64_black
Or simply call us at...
800.235.4021 x146 or 215.368.5000 x146

Support Biblical by Giving

800.235.4021 x130

215.368.5000 x130

215.368.2301 (fax)