Couples therapy is often helpful, even necessary, for many relationships. Therapy guided by a certified counselor is a way you and your partner can find personalized tools according to your individual circumstances. In turn, you will have immediate access to the solutions your relationship needs. There are many common techniques that therapists will recommend to couples. Here’s a few techniques, exercises, and activities you can try with your partner at home!
Reflective listening is a very useful tool that an individual can use in their communication with their partner.
This method encourages the use of statements like “I feel (X) when you (X) because it makes me feel X”. It turns the conversation towards reflection rather than accusation.
Reflective listening directs the focus more to reflective thoughts rather than blaming thoughts. It is much more effective than the alternative “You’re wrong for doing (X)” when seeking resolution of a problem.
The Gottman Institute is a well known relational research organization that has done research on couples for decades. Their findings and techniques are well known and utilized by couples therapists. Therapists can even be trained and certified in the Gottman Method.
The Gottman Method is a technique derived from research to help couples in the management of conflict in their relationship. Research and read more about it and see what it can do for your relationship!
Think about all of the little things you have done for your partner. Did any of them go unnoticed by them? Maybe most of them did? Your partner might see and appreciate what you have done and forgotten to express appreciation for it.
Helping your partner understand what you appreciate about them can give them the encouragement they need to continue! Express appreciation for the little and big things that they do for you every day, and you may be surprised about the things they begin to see and express appreciation to you for.
Identify your partner’s love language
Everyone has a way that they feel most loved. For some, it could be a simple “I love you” text. Maybe it’s making dinner before they get home from work. The ways love is shown can be split to five categories:
- quality time
- words of affirmation
- receiving gifts
- physical touch
- acts of service
What is your love language? It could be just one or a combination of them. Now, identify what your partner’s love language is. Make a special effort to show love through their love language. You could start by doing one thing each day that shows them love in their own love language!
Share a list of things you want from your partner
Your relationship should be a safe place for you and your partner to share their needs and concerns without feeling judged, weak, or needy. Create a comfortable environment and open your mind, then take time to talk with your partner.
Share three things your partner could do that week that would help you feel loved. Then, ask them to share the same with you. Be intentional about doing those things for your partner each week. This can help build trust and emotional safety in your relationship.
Unplug your devices
TV, social media, and other digital entertainment are constantly vying for our attention. It’s an easy thing to give into if we aren’t being intentional about where we are giving our time and attention.
How would your relationship change if you gave more attention to your partner than digital media? How much more time would you have to connect deeply, to increase intimacy, and to create memories together?
The therapists at Aspen Counseling Services are well trained professionals. Each of them are eager to help you in your mental health journey. Many of them are trained and experienced with couples therapy. If you feel that you and your partner can benefit from couples therapy, please reach out by calling or texting our office. Our number is 801-449-0017. We have offices in both American Fork and St. George, Utah. We also have teletherapists available for remote sessions. Learn about our therapists to get started!
If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call the crisis hotline at 988 or dial 911.
Thank you for reading!