An effective couples therapy exercise will help heal broken relationships and keep the relationship between two partners healthy. In essence, these powerful exercises can improve listening and communication skills while also helping restore mutual trust.
These exercises include different treatment approaches, such as mindfulness-based interventions, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and positive psychology.
Regular practice can deepen the connection, resolve roadblocks, trust-building, improve communication, and promote awareness.
Some of these reliable exercises can be adopted during therapy sessions, while others will serve as homework in couples therapy.
Although these exercises can significantly help improve the relationship if practiced at home, it is recommended that you visit a couples counselor as a start. You can read further about this at empathi.com and schedule your first session.
What Is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy that can improve the communication between two partners having issues with their relationship. It can address several relationship issues, including an affair, recurring conflicts, sex-related issues, or feelings of disconnection notwithstanding the relationship stage, marital status, faith, race, age, or sexual orientation.
Couple therapy contains premarital counseling, marriage counseling, and family therapy.
Marriage counseling is assumed to be the most challenging therapy because some couples who are hurt or angry often take the therapy as an avenue to prove their partner wrong.
They perceive the process as a court while the therapist is the judge who will likely straighten out the partner perceived as wrong. In contrast, marriage counseling is designed to help couples understand each other and resolve their differences to enhance their relationship.
Effective Couples Therapy Exercises
With this list of exercises, there is hope for the total restoration of any broken relationship.
1. Identify Relationship Problems
This exercise is best used at the early stage of couple’s therapy. It allows the therapist to identify significant aspects that demand attention. It consists of a set of questions that the couple must answer individually.
You will realize that each partner will identify their different problems in the relationship. After that, it’s simply a homework assignment for the couple before or after the first session.
Some popular aspects of relationship problems include communication, finance, child-bearing, jobs, controlling each other, and decision-making.
2. The Icebreaker
Icebreakers are designed to stir up an exciting conversation to find out new things about each other. It’s another great exercise for the initial stage of couples therapy.
Some common icebreaker questions are:
- What is the most embarrassing moment of your life you want me to know?
- What was your desired future as a child?
- What is a childhood experience you could share with me?
3. Let’s Get Honest
Here, both partners are expected to answer each other’s questions honestly. This will improve the connection between them.
The therapist can begin with easy-to-answer questions and wrap it up with thought-provoking questions.
- What is your exciting memory of dating me?
- What is your favorite thing I do for you?
- Which memory comes to you when you remember your childhood?
- If you could change how you were raised, what would it be?
- What made you fall in love with me?
4. Listening Without Interruption
This common couples therapy exercise focuses on verbal and non-verbal communication.
A timer should be set for 3 minutes while one partner is allowed to express their feelings or thoughts without being interrupted. The other partner can only use non-verbal methods to show understanding and empathy.
After three minutes elapses, both parties can discuss their observations, experience, and feelings. The other partner should also take a turn to be heard. This will help to improve the partners’ listening skills.
5. The Gratitude List
This magical couples therapy exercise focuses on helping each partner restructure their thoughts about each other and bring to remembrance all the small positive things that once made them fall in love.
Tell each partner to write out not less than five things they are grateful for about their partner. This should be followed by at least three things they could do to help their partner feel more appreciated and loved in the relationship.
The couple can take this exercise further by keeping a daily gratitude journal.
This will help them focus on the good in their relationship and become conscious of the daily little positive things they have observed about their partner.
Bringing It to a Close
Couples therapy is a great way to resolve relationship issues and adopt new tactics to get closer to your partner.
However, note that the time spent with a professional therapist only solves the battle halfway.
The final aspect is what is practiced at home, in the couples’ everyday life. This is why therapists recommend a slate of couples therapy exercises as they send couples home to help them work through conflict and build trust, intimacy, and communication in their relationship.
Whether or not couples are active in therapy, effective couples therapy exercises are set to reframe arguments and help partners appreciate one another more.