The purpose being that the written contract would encourage the client to carry out the given homework tasks or assignments. An alternative to the written contract would be an informal verbal contractual agreement with explicit detailing of collaboration, also of tasks that are to be undertaken. This is more flexible and could be seen as less strain being imposed on the therapeutic alliance.
This explicit negotiation of boundary conditions is something I use and shows how it helps establish the boundaries for both client and counsellor and although the word contracting is not frequently used in CBT text, the spirit or meaning has always been a fundamental part of the approach, along with being able to see the explicit establishment of boundaries in the making, this method also shows an underlying or implicit conveyance of the model, as in helping identify my clients aims in what he or she wants to achieve for themselves , then my role in designing a proactive program to help achieve the changes needed to reach their aims or goals.
I mentioned earlier the term rolling contract this develops and is as the term suggests ongoing, through the process of continuous feedback from my client and periodical reference to a directing individualised client formulation. This along with efforts to match the therapy to my client helps set the focus of therapy and is therefore seen as being in amongst the first steps of the contracting process for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, showing how boundaries are established explicitly within such contracting, in itself I believe clearly Boundary Shaping. View More »