Conceptualizing Patient Barriers to Nonadherence with Homework Assignments

Nikolaos Kazantzis, Gregg Shinkfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Nonadherence with homework assignments and, by implication, "barriers" to homework assignments are a frequent occurrence in the practice of standard cognitive therapy (Beck, A.T., Rush, A.J., Shaw, B.F., Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: The Guilford Press). The clinical examples in this article illustrate some of the ways in which environmental, patient, task, and therapist factors can serve as barriers to homework completion. Although these classes of barriers may be discussed independently, they are actually overlapping processes and are more helpful when discussed in tandem. This article illustrates how the therapist's ability to conceptualize can serve as the context for making sense of the patient's perceived ability to undertake an activity, the patient's beliefs about the specific task, and how our ability to use the conceptualization to anticipate barriers is part of evaluating our own therapeutic skills. Several clinical case examples are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes

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