Couples attending marriage counseling can have the most success when communication is opened up between the couple. For some people, directly communicating can be challenging. Instead of forcing out feelings or getting a silent treatment, you can improve your counseling sessions by using a variety of writing activities. The following five writing activities can help open up conversations, express your feelings, and start a dialog between you, your spouse, and the counselor. Various activities work for different couples, so it's a good idea to try some out and see how they can fit into your counseling session.
One of the more basic ways to express your feelings through writing is with a personal letter. Without applying any specific formats or guidelines, a personal letter is a great way to express your feelings through text.
To make the process work, you and your spouse should write at the same time. Knowing that the other person is participating in the same activity can be an encouraging way to get you to start writing. The letters can be about anything that has to do with the relationship. The goal is to share with your spouse and truly understand how the other feels. With these letters, a counselor can facilitate the feelings and have some good starting points for sessions.
Building a timeline of a relationship is a great way to see different perspectives and point out events where problems may have started occurring. By doing separate timelines, each person can see what the other one values in the relationship. For example, one spouse may still have bad feelings about a fight that you thought was meaningless.
To keep the timelines organized, it's a good idea to print out free templates. Once the timelines are complete, a counselor can go through them with you, talking about both happy and hurtful memories. Going through the timeline is also a great way to see how strong your relationship was and what made it great in the first place.
Relationship Bucket List
Setting goals together can help you bond and build memories with your spouse. Get the process started by building a relationship bucket list together. A bucket list can include both big and small things in the relationship. For example, you can set a goal of having one date night a week. Long term bucket lists include improving communication and showing more respect in the home.
The key to a successful bucket list is having a limited list of items. If the list is too long, then it will be harder to achieve and everything can become muddled. When going over the list with a counselor, you can prioritize the most important sections of the list and have a good starting point.
Various forms of charts and diagrams are great ways to break down your relationship and showcase your feelings. For example, a simple chart you can create includes things that make you happy, things you're upset about, and things you want to have changed. When your spouse makes a similar chart, you can discuss items and work on making changes so that a majority of the chart includes things that make you happy.
Venn diagrams can also be used to showcase activities that you do separate and together. For example, one side are your hobbies and activities, the other side are spouse's hobbies, and the intersecting part of the diagram showcases activities that you do together. My visualizing the chart, you can add more activities to do together that will help you bond and grow as a couple.
Adult Coloring Books
Attending any type of counseling can be stressful. To help reduce stress and calm nerves, you can introduce adult coloring books into the session. Many studies have shown that using these coloring books can reduce stress and create a relaxing atmosphere for the counseling session. While focusing on the coloring, you can help make the session feel like there is not a lot of pressure. Bring your own books or see if your counselor has any that you can use.
Being open to new ideas is a great way to communicate and create positive results for your counseling sessions. Try one or more of these ideas to see how they work for you and your spouse.Share