5 Couples Therapy Worksheets & Exercises (+ PDF)

Couples Therapy Worksheets

Couples therapy is an effective way to strengthen the bond between partners, improve communication, and work through issues that may be causing relationship distress.

While traditional talk therapy is an important part of the therapy process, couples therapy worksheets can also be a valuable tool for couples to deepen their understanding of one another and work through specific problems in a more structured way.

How to Use Worksheets in Couples Therapy

Worksheets can be a powerful tool for couples in therapy or intimacy coaching to engage with each other and work through specific issues in a structured and collaborative way. To effectively use worksheets in couples therapy, it’s important to choose the right type of worksheet that aligns with the needs and goals of the couple.

Some worksheets may be geared towards improving communication, while others may be focused on identifying patterns of behavior or exploring individual needs and values.

It’s important to introduce the worksheet in a clear and concise manner, giving the couple adequate time to understand the purpose and process before beginning.

It’s important to introduce the worksheet in a clear and concise manner, giving the couple adequate time to understand the purpose and process before beginning.

Once the worksheet has been completed, couples can discuss their answers together, and the therapist can facilitate a deeper understanding of the issues at hand, and help the couple create actionable steps for moving forward.

By incorporating couples therapy worksheets into your practice, you can provide your clients with a practical and effective tool to deepen their understanding of each other and enhance the overall effectiveness of therapy.

Example Worksheets for Couples Therapy

Couples therapy worksheets can provide couples with a range of therapeutic approaches to work on specific issues and improve their relationship.

These worksheets can cover a broad range of topics, from improving communication and problem-solving skills to identifying and addressing underlying patterns of behavior. They are designed to facilitate self-reflection, open dialogue, and joint exploration of the challenges couples face.

By using the right therapy tools, couples can identify and work through their individual needs and values, build trust and connection, and establish effective ways of dealing with conflict.

In this blog, we will explore some of the most commonly used couples therapy worksheets, including communication exercises, and emotion regulation activities, to help you provide more effective and targeted support to the couples in your practice.

1. The Positive Aspects of Your Relationships

In couples therapy, it’s important to focus not only on the challenges and issues within a relationship but also on the positive aspects.

Paying attention to the strengths and positive qualities of the relationship can help build resilience, increase satisfaction, and foster a deeper sense of connection between partners.

Paying attention to the strengths and positive qualities of the relationship can help build resilience, increase satisfaction, and foster a deeper sense of connection between partners.

Here are some ways to cultivate a positive focus in couples therapy[1]:

  • Encourage couples to reflect on and appreciate positive moments in their relationship, both past and present.
  • Encourage them to share positive feedback, express gratitude for each other, and use positive language to frame things in a positive light.
  • Suggest activities that create positive experiences and memories together.
  • Help the couple identify and emphasize their individual and shared strengths to strengthen the relationship.

By focusing on the positive aspects of their relationship, couples can create a more supportive and nurturing environment, which can help them navigate through the challenges and issues that inevitably arise in any relationship.

Shown below is an example of how your clients can reflect on the positive aspects of their relationship using Quenza’s Positive Aspects of Your Relationships worksheet.

preview of Quenza couples therapy exercises worksheets for Positive Relationships

You can access the complete PDF as a customizable Quenza Expansion with your $1 Quenza trial, making it an easy exercise to share with your clients.

2. Gratitude in Romantic Relationships

In couples therapy, fostering gratitude in romantic relationships can be done by[2]:

  • Encouraging partners to express gratitude towards each other regularly, by acknowledging and thanking each other for the things they do.
  • Helping partners to focus on positive aspects of the relationship and to appreciate the good qualities in each other.
  • Practicing mindfulness and being present in the moment, allowing partners to better recognize and appreciate the positive aspects of their relationship.
  • Suggesting exercises that help partners to cultivate gratitude, such as keeping a gratitude journal or creating a daily gratitude ritual together.
  • Highlighting the benefits of gratitude, such as increased feelings of closeness and connection between partners, and improved overall relationship satisfaction.

Below is an example of how Quenza’s Gratitude in Romantic Relationships worksheet can be used by your clients to foster more gratitude in their romantic relationships.

This therapy exercise involves three steps:

  1. First, the clients choose three positive character traits from a given list.
  2. Following this, they share their respective lists with each other.
  3. Finally, they engage in a joint reflection and discussion to share their feelings and insights gained from the exercise about each other.
screengrab of quenza couples therapy gratitude expansion desktop view

Applying Emotionally Focused Therapy: EFT Exercises To Use

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples involves various exercises that help partners understand and express their emotions and needs, and improve their emotional bond.

Some common exercises used in EFT include[3]:

  • Emotion exploration: Encourage partners to express their emotions and attachment needs, such as feeling safe, secure, and valued.
  • Reflective listening: One partner shares their thoughts and feelings, while the other listens actively and reflects back what they heard.
  • Create connection rituals: Schedule dedicated moments focused on bonding to deepen your connection.
  • Re-enactment: Identify negative patterns and work to change them into positive interactions.
  • Emotion-focused touch: Experience and express emotions through physical touch, such as hugging.
  • Emotion-focused letters: Write letters to express attachment needs and emotional experiences.

3. Knowing Your Emotions

By utilizing Quenza’s Knowing Your Emotions worksheet, clients can proactively delve into their emotions by improving their recognition skills and developing effective strategies for managing them.

For instance, this therapy activity can help clients to identify and overcome emotional obstacles, allowing them to express and understand their emotions with their partner.

preview of client questions in Knowing Your Emotion Quenza Expansion

Recommended: Training Others in Emotional Intelligence: Your Ultimate Guide

How To Practice CBT in Couples Therapy (+Printable PDF)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used in couples therapy to help couples identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that are impacting their relationship.

Some common exercises used in CBT for couples include[4]:

  • Thought challenging: partners challenge negative and irrational thoughts causing relationship distress.
  • Communication skills training: couples learn active listening, assertiveness, and expressing needs and feelings.
  • Problem-solving training: couples learn conflict management and issue resolution techniques.
  • Behavior modification: partners modify negative behaviors and promote intimacy.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: partners learn stress and emotion management techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation.
  • Exposure therapy: partners gradually overcome fears and avoidant behaviors.
  • Role-playing: couples practice communication and problem-solving skills for positive interactions.

4. Changing Unhelpful Thoughts

Quenza’s Changing Unhelpful Thoughts worksheet, shown below, is a useful tool for clients who are struggling with thoughts that may be negatively impacting their relationships.

This particular CBT worksheet guides clients through a process of exploring how their thoughts make them feel, examining the evidence both for and against those thoughts, and developing alternative, more helpful thoughts.

screenshot of quenza CBT couples therapy expansion in desktop view

Clients can download a PDF copy of their worksheet for their records when you send it through the Quenza client app. If you use cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions frequently in your work, check out our guide on how to provide online CBT.

How to Improve Communication In Relationships

Here are some exercises that couples can do to improve their communication in therapy[5]:

  • Active Listening: One partner speaks while the other fully listens to understand their perspective.
  • Reflective Communication: Each partner shares thoughts and feelings on a topic while the other reflects back without judgment.
  • ā€œIā€ Statements: Partners express their feelings and needs using “I” statements instead of blaming language.
  • Reframing: Looking at a situation or conflict from a different perspective.
  • Emotional Check-In: Each partner reflects and expresses emotions while the other provides support.
  • Love Maps: Couples create a map of each other’s lives, likes, dislikes, history, and current events to deepen understanding and connection.

5. Apologizing Effectively

Quenza’s Apologizing Effectively worksheet teaches clients a valuable aspect of effective communication: the ability to offer a sincere apology.

By following the guidance in this worksheet, clients can learn how to express remorse in a manner that promotes greater intimacy and mutual understanding in their relationships.

client view of Quenza Apologizing Effectively Expansion for improving relationship communication

Do these exercises inspire you? With the Quenza App, you can customize these Expansions or generate and share your own therapy worksheets with easy drag-and-drop tools.

We have provided several effective ways to incorporate them into programs and treatment plans. In addition, we have included helpful tips and tricks to assist you in automating the process.

Check out our free 30-page guide that provides you with valuable insights into building, customizing, and sharing your own worksheets and tools, as well as creating comprehensive treatment plans and easily tracking and evaluating client progress.

Click here to download your copy of Coach, This Changes Everything.

blue cover image of online coaching and therapy guide pdf

Final Thoughts

By integrating these couples therapy worksheets into your sessions, you can utilize effective tools and exercises that promote positive change and enhance relationships.

These worksheets and exercises can help build your couples therapy toolkit, so feel free to share your experiences with them in the comment section below. Don’t forget to give all these worksheets a try with our $1, 30-day Quenza trial!

Frequently Asked Questions

What techniques are used in couples therapy?

Couples therapy often involves techniques such as active listening, role-playing, and problem-solving to help couples improve their communication and work through conflicts. Therapists may also use specific approaches, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), depending on the needs of the couple.

How to do DIY couples therapy?

While it’s recommended to seek the help of a trained therapist, couples can also practice DIY couples therapy by setting aside dedicated time to communicate, listening actively, practicing empathy, and avoiding criticism. There are also online resources and apps, such as Quenza, that can provide couples with customized tools and worksheets to facilitate the therapy process.

What type of couples therapy is most effective?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as what may work best for one couple may not be as effective for another. However, research has shown that approaches such as EFT and CBT are among the most effective in helping couples improve their relationships and overall satisfaction.

What type of questions do they ask in couples therapy?

Questions asked in couples therapy may vary depending on the goals of the therapy and the approach used by the therapist. Some common questions may include:

What are your relationship goals?
What are your individual needs and desires?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship?
How can you communicate more effectively with your partner?
What changes can you make to improve your relationship?

References

  1. ^ Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (2010). Positive communication in couples relationships: The role of gratitude and perceived partner responsiveness. Personal Relationships, 17(2), 267-284.
  2. ^ Algoe, S. B., Fredrickson, B. L., & Gable, S. L. (2013). The social functions of the emotion of gratitude via expression. Emotion, 13(4), 605ā€“609.
  3. ^ Guerrero, L. K., & Floyd, K. (2006). The Power of Touch: The Effect of Nonsexual Touch on Relational Satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 23(2), 340-354.
  4. ^ Johnson, S. M., Makinen, J. A., & Millikin, J. W. (2001). Evidence-based couples therapy: Current status and future directions. Journal of Family Therapy, 23(3), 283-316.
  5. ^ Cordova, J. V., & Doss, B. D. (2014). Improving couples' relationships: Strategies for enhancing effectiveness and meaning. Current Opinion in Psychology, 4, 76-81.

About the author

Julia Poernbacher is a researcher and mental health writer for Quenza.com and PositivePsychology.com. She is currently finishing her Master's degree in Positive Psychology.

Comments

  1. O Orange

    Beautiful and really insightful article

    1. CM Catherine Moore

      Thanks, hope it was valuable!

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