7 couples therapy exercises

When conflict or emotional coldness settles in the relationship, couples therapy exercises can help reverse the situation. We show you some of them.

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: December 12, 2021

Relationships are a living entity that experiences ups and downs over time. It is transformed depending on the personal circumstances of each member and the interaction that occurs between them. When satisfaction with the relationship is reduced, Couples therapy exercises can be very helpful.

There are those who think that going to couples therapy is useless and forced. Perhaps you think that love and intimacy should be on their own and when they disappear it is time to leave.

In reality, these elements are built on a day-to-day basis and when you forget to cultivate the bond, they can fade. So, get help for working on some basic points such as communication, empathy and teamwork can make a difference and allow the well-being as a couple to recover.

Why are couples therapy exercises necessary?

Couples therapy exercises can help you understand what the other person is feeling.

There are multiple situations that may make it necessary to resort to professional guidance. Of course, turning points such as infidelity by one of the members, but also more everyday situations such as lack of enthusiasm, personal dissatisfaction, resentment and communication difficulties.

Each couple is different and complaints can vary significantly. There are those who feel that their partner does not prioritize or dedicate time to them, those who miss a greater emotional connection and those who feel constantly attacked and little valued by his partner. Whatever the circumstance, it can be addressed, as long as you are both willing to work on the bond.

Couples therapy exercises

Couples therapy exercises vary depending on the current or the school with which the professional works; even so, it is common that the intervention is not limited to consultation sessions, but continues through work at home.

Finally the therapist is a guide and a support, but the change must be made by the members of the couple. Thus, these are some of the simplest and most effective exercises that are often used.

Words of affirmation

Words are powerful and have the power to impact mood and emotions. Over time, couples stop offering compliments, compliments, and words of gratitude, and I’m creating a feeling of not being valued. Instead of assuming that your partner already knows how you feel, express it.

Can make a list of 50 attributes that you like about your partner, actions for which you are grateful or ways in which it makes your life more complete and happy. This exercise is not only intended to let the other know how much you appreciate them, but it also helps the person who writes it to become aware of everything they took for granted and to appreciate it again.

But, beyond this specific exercise, it is important to include these expressions of affection and admiration in the day to day. Get used to seeing the virtues of your partner and reminding them, and the satisfaction of both will increase.

Physical displays of affection

The displays of affection are essential for the construction of the well-being of the couple.

In the same way as in the previous case, displays of physical affection should be part of everyday life of the couple. Well, despite their apparent simplicity, they help enormously to create an emotional closeness. Kiss your partner before bed, hug them when they get home from work or hold their hand while watching a movie. Adopting this habit will make you feel closer and closer.

Intimacy time

Routine and obligations sometimes make it difficult to find time to dedicate to your partner. However, it is important to continue cultivating intimacy. For it, commit to taking a moment each day to talk, be alone and share your thoughts and emotions. Turn off the television and mobile phones, this is a sacred moment only for the two of us.

On the other hand, it is very positive to schedule regular appointments in which you carry out alone some activity that you like. You can go out to dinner, go on excursions to nearby places or take a cooking or dance course. The goal is to get out of the monotony and reserve a fun time just for the two of you.

Assertive communication

Communication problems in the couple lead to conflicts, arguments and dissatisfaction; To prevent them from occurring, it is essential to learn to dialogue assertively. Broadly speaking, this consists of express your opinions and wishes firmly and clearly with respect for those of the other party.

Necessary speak from what one feels (without attacking or labeling the other), give concrete examples and propose alternative solutions in which the profit for both is highlighted. It is a much healthier way to make requests without falling into criticism and reproach, and an element shared by couples who endure.

Putting yourself in your partner’s shoes

In line with the above, it is essential to work on empathy. Sometimes you are so focused on your own version of the story that you are unable to understand how the other person sees it. Therefore, a good exercise is take the role of the other person in an argument or disagreement and defend their arguments, and that she defend yours. It is very enlightening.

Change the negative dynamics

When problems come from a long time ago, it is likely that they have entrenched themselves and are perpetuated through a negative dynamic that has already been installed. Thus, each sentence of the couple is misinterpreted and is always responded with hostility and a defensive attitude.

To modify this you have to deliberately install a positive dynamic and begin to communicate with kindness, patience and tolerance. This first step will soon be fed back.

The miracle question

This last exercise is very useful to define the objectives and identify what each one must change in himself. Thus, the person is asked to imagine that a miracle has occurred during the night and that, upon waking up, all his relationship problems have been resolved.

Now, you are asked: How would you realize that this miracle has happened? What would be different? Depending on the answers, work begins to adapt to that reality that has been described.

Couples therapy exercises depend on personal commitment

It is important to emphasize that for couples therapy exercises to work, the people involved must maintain an open attitude. This is, They must be willing to take responsibility for their actions, to try to understand what the other person is feeling, and to make changes in their daily behaviors. Focusing on “this is me” or trying to blame your partner for everything will not bring good results.

If both people get involved, satisfaction is likely to increase significantly or that, on the contrary, it is concluded that it is preferable to go separate ways. In any case, progress can be made towards greater well-being for both of you.

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