At Home Couples Therapy Exercises
If you're both at home and want to try our couples therapy exercises to increase intimacy and connection, download ours here .
Couples Counseling Activities: At Home
In the intricate dance of relationships, maintaining a deep and meaningful connection can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. External pressures, evolving personal dynamics, or simply the passage of time can lead to couples feeling distant, even if they're under the same roof. However, the journey to rekindling intimacy and understanding doesn't always require a therapist's office. With the right tools and exercises, couples can embark on a transformative journey right from the comfort of their homes.
Couples therapy exercises, when practiced at home, offer a private sanctuary for partners to explore, understand, and grow their bond. These exercises, rooted in professional therapeutic practices, are designed to bridge gaps, enhance communication, and reignite the spark that may have dimmed over time. Whether you're looking to address specific challenges or simply deepen your connection, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you and your partner flourish together.
Emotional Communication is Relationship Glue.
Emotional communication is the foundation upon which strong relationships are built. It encompasses sharing our emotions, aspirations, and wishes with our partners, paving the way for mutual comprehension and closeness. But what makes emotional communication so pivotal? How does it nurture emotional closeness? And more importantly, what makes it so hard?
Why Emotional Communication Matters
Every action we take, every word we utter, and even moments of silence convey messages. Our actions, in essence, are a unique language, often mirroring emotions we might not say out loud. When you're interacting with someone you care about who is not sharing their feelings directly, these behaviors can be misinterpreted resulting in disagreements and discontent. It's also hard to feel connected to someone who isn't talking about their feelings, we need to share our inner worlds and inner experiences in order to feel close.
Think of Emotional Communication like being the layers of a delicious cake:
Layer 1: Surface Interactions
The first layer of emotional communication is the surface interactions. These are the 'hi's and 'hello's, the initiation of contact. In new relationships, this layer is pivotal as it signifies the beginning of interaction. However, in more established relationships, it often becomes a societal greeting, a polite acknowledgment of each other's presence.
Layer 2: Finding Commonalities
The second layer of emotional communication is about finding commonalities. In new relationships, this is a discovery phase where partners find shared interests and experiences. In established relationships, it's about familiar topics - work colleagues, the kids, or the latest neighborhood gossip. In established relationships it might be about shared memories. These conversations are safe, impersonal, and non-threatening, allowing couples to connect without delving into deeper emotional territories.
Layer 3: Sharing Personal Aspects
The third layer of emotional communication involves sharing more personal aspects of oneself. This includes sharing beliefs, personal history, and values. It's a deeper level of sharing that requires more vulnerability. At this stage, partners begin to understand each other's backgrounds and perspectives, fostering more caring feelings and deeper connection.
Layer 4: Personal Narratives
The fourth layer of emotional communication involves sharing personal narratives. These are the stories and events that have shaped our lives and identities. Sharing these narratives allows partners to understand each other on a deeper level. It provides context for our behaviors and reactions, helping our partners understand why we are the way we are.
Layer 5: Expressing Feelings
The fifth layer of emotional communication is all about expressing feelings and being vulnerable. This involves openly sharing our emotions with our partners. It's about saying 'I feel...' and explaining what's going on inside our emotional world, it's also vital to balance this with listening, empathy and understanding. This layer can be challenging as it requires vulnerability and honesty. However, it's crucial for deepening intimacy and understanding in a relationship, even if you disagree.
Layer 6: Expressing Feelings Toward Each Other
The sixth and deepest layer of emotional communication involves expressing feelings towards each other. This is not just about expressing what we feel, but also about expressing how we feel about each other. It's about saying 'I love you', 'I'm angry at you', or 'I appreciate you'. This layer is often the most challenging to reach, but it's also the most rewarding. It's where true emotional intimacy lies.
What Are Your At Home Couples Therapy Exercises?
These Links will take you to MyPeoplePatterns.com - our sister website.
Weekly Relationship Check-In Template - click here to read about ours.
A weekly check-in checklist can serve as a roadmap for our conversations, guiding us to explore our feelings and needs together. It's not a task to be completed, but a journey to be taken together. Its a way to organize the week, when spending time together is challenging, this is a focused way to be efficient.
'I' Statements - You Need To Practice Using 'I' Statements!
'I' statements are a powerful tool for expressing our feelings without blaming or criticizing the other person. They consist of three parts: 'I feel...', 'when you...', and 'I need...'. This technique allows us to own our feelings and express them in a non-threatening way.
Practice Using Your Feelings - click here to download ours.
A feelings wheel can act as a compass for our emotions, helping us identify and articulate what we're feeling. It's like learning a new language of emotions.
Emotional Intimacy Exercise - click here to watch the video
A guided activity and handout to demonstrate and lead you down the six layers of emotional communication - be sure to download the PDF that goes along with the video.