How do cognitive behavior therapists help clients become their own therapists?

At each therapy session, cognitive behavior therapists help clients specify the problems they have encountered during the week or that they expect to encounter in the current week. They then collect data to identify the ideas and behaviors that have interfered with patients’ ability to solve problems themselves. Cognitive behavior therapists get clients actively engaged in deciding where to start working. Together, they develop an “action  plan” or homework for patients (to do during the week) to implement solutions to problems or to make changes in their thinking and actions. This process gets clients actively involved in their own treatment; they begin to recognize that the way to get better is to make small changes in how they think and what they do every day. When treatment ends, clients are able to use the skills and tools they have learned in therapy in their day-to-day lives.