Handouts & Worksheets

Sometimes all people need is a deeper understanding or a new experience to help their relationship grow. 

Family Celebrations

How can this help couples?

Rekindle

Celebrating together is a powerful way of building a sense of unity and belonging. When we tie our celebrations to what makes life meaningful, they become even more powerful (and fun). 

How can this help therapists and coaches?

This is a great exercise for couples to spark some happy memories and encourage positive changes. Rather than arguing about the details of how a holiday or celebration is done, couples are encouraged to think about why they do it in the first place and how it can become more meaningful. 

Details

The couple is encouraged to list different kinds of celebrations, including holidays, transitions, rites of passage, achievements, etc. and for each one talk about when, how, and why they celebrate. Then they are asked what they would like to do more of, less of, or do differently. 

Gratitude Exercises for Couples

How can this help couples?

Rekindle

The experience of sharing gratitude, expressing thanks, and receiving gratitude graciously builds relationships in extremely powerful ways: gratitude helps people want to get to know you better, improves physical health and improves sleep, so you can enjoy your time together more, shuts down negative emotions and paves the way for positive experiences, helps you feel better about yourself and stop comparing yourself to others, which makes you more likely to set healthy boundaries and reach out to help others, helps you bounce back from down times and hard experiences.

How can this help therapists and coaches?

These exercises are simple ways to broaden and deepen a couple's ability to feel and express gratitude. They have been compiled to provide a diverse menu of experiences which include physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and social ways of experiencing gratitude together. Each one can take only a few minutes or be expanded to provide a more in-depth experience.

Details

Experiences include: writing a gratitude letter and sharing it, using gratitude to soften the startup of a difficult conversation, tracking what went well and why (as a couple), using gratitude to enhance "we-ness", a gratitude (and awe) walk, and creating a personal and shared gratitude profile.

How Do We Respond to Stress

How can this help couples?

Rekindle

We all have stress, and every couple will face challenges and difficulties. This worksheet will broaden understanding about how the body and brain are wired to respond to stress and help a couple discuss their own tendencies and goals in this area. 

How can this help therapists and coaches?

It is important for couples to see that there are healthier and less-healthy ways of doing any and all of the different stress responses humans tend to have. This worksheet is meant to facilitate a conscious choice both in what response to have and in how it is carried out. 

Details

The worksheet can be done as an individual or a couple. It explains that people are wired for more than just "fight or flight" responses to stress. Different reactions to stress are listed, each with healthy and less-healthy examples. Then there is space for someone to describe their own way of doing that response to stress. 

Good Qualities Worksheet

How can this help couples?

Positive

Psychology.com

Taking a few minutes to think about the other person’s good attributes can help couples see each other from a more complete perspective, rather than just focusing on differences and difficulties.

How can this help therapists and coaches?

This worksheet can be used to help couples shift from negativity to more positivity, but beyond that it can also be used as the beginning of a conversation about how each person is already using specific strengths to help their partner and strengthen the relationship.

Details

The individual is asked to write three answers to each of four simple prompts regarding their partner’s attributes, memories, gratitude, and expressions of caring.

Affection Intimacy Worksheet

How can this help couples?

The Relationship Institute

The experience of thinking deeply about your own ability to both give and receive affection can be illuminating. Sharing answers between partners, including how one’s expressions of affection are perceived by your partner, can lead to adjustments and improvements.

How can this help coaches and therapists?

It is easy for individuals to focus on their partner’s perceived deficits when it comes to expressing affection in a way that they want. This exercise helps to broaden that focus to include their own affectionate behavior as well as their own ability to receive affection of different types. It can also be used to place responsibility for deciding whether and how to express affection on each individual rather on partner preferences, and set up accountability accordingly.

Details

The worksheet first describes a few different ways of expressing affection and building intimacy between partners, then asks the individual to rate their level of satisfaction both with their own behavior and with their partner’s behavior in each of the categories of affection. One highlight is that it differentiates between sexual expressions of affection and not-sexual affectionate touching.