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Couples Therapy Exercises PDF : How To Make Your Relationship Stronger

communication relationships therapist tools toolbox Jul 30, 2022

Couples Therapy Exercises For At Home (PDF)

As a Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles, I find it important and valuable to empower couples and parents that I'm treating with exercises and worksheets to complete in between sessions. I often follow up with an email and send them the at home PDF for The Check-In, Check-List - this one of the foundational tools I've developed to help couples make relationships stronger. 

The Check-List asks a series of 10 questions which are aimed at focussing the conversation in positive ways to emphasize collaboration, respect and gratitude. When completed regularly, I see a shift in the mindset of the couples, therapy becomes less tense and progress can be made on deeper underlying issues. 

Things to Do to Make Your Relationship Stronger

One of the most positive things anyone can do, in any type of relationship is to practice gratitude. In this blog post and video, I discuss some of the scientific studies that are showing that gratitude can alter your mindset in astounding ways that start making impactful changes in your relationship. 

The Check-In, Check-List has a strong emphasis on gratitude, it's the first question asked and it is grounded in research from the Gottman Institute  that shows how this simple practice is the antidote to contempt or distain in a relationship. 

Tim Ferriss & Brene Brown Relationship Advice

The Check-In, Check-List is inspired from conversations and interviews from Tim Ferriss and Brene Brown, who have powerful insights into relationship dynamics and communication in relationships. The core principles of this activity are based on a Tim Ferriss podcast who discusses the check-in he does with his partner. He uses these three core questions each week to focus each other in healthy, helpful ways.

  • 1. What My Partner Is Doing Well
  • 2. What I Think I Am Doing Well
  • 3. What I Want Even More O

Couples Communication Exercises

The Check-In, Check-List builds on these three ideas and consists of 10 questions that improve communication by requiring self-reflection and expressing of needs and wants. It steers couples away from negative interactions, criticism and complaints and instead focuses on the positive and use of 'I Statements'. Healthy couples use communication exercises like this to prevent resentment and negative feelings build up in the relationship. It is an exercise in focused communication of needs and wants. 

Contempt In A Relationship

The Check-In Check-List is particularly helpful for shifting feelings of contempt in a relationship. John Gottman's studies show that the antidote to contempt is gratitude. The activity requires us to share some gratitude to our partners and when done regularly, helps change any negative mindset we might have. 


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My People Patterns shares the best tools, techniques and knowledge from a family systems perspective - all aimed at helping you grow great relationships. Hit subscribe to learn more about our S.O.F.T approach to healthy connections.

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