The purpose of couples therapy tasks, and the types of exercises that may be recommended to you
Couples therapy is a great way to get help in working through relationship issues and gain new tactics for growing closer to your partner. Whether your relationship issues are communication problems, addiction, financial issues or other problems – couples therapy is widely used to improve a relationship. One study even found the success rate of couples counselling to be at around 70 percent.
Though you may have regular therapy sessions – there is more to couples therapy than simply attending the sessions. Your couples therapist may recommend “homework” tasks to be practised outside of sessions. In this guide, we explain the importance and purpose of therapy tasks and the types of exercises that may be recommended to you.
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Read the purpose of couples therapy tasks and why they are important.
Read the effectiveness of couples therapy tasks.
Read the types of tasks that may be recommended to you by your therapist.
Find out how British CBT & Counselling can assist you in moving forward to a stronger relationship.
What is the purpose of couples therapy tasks?
While your sessions take place with your therapist; a lot of the growth in your relationship happens outside of your sessions, in everyday life. This allows you to put the techniques and methods advised by your therapist into practise – such as in everyday conversations or arguments. Using the advice and applying it to everyday situations allows you to form a habit of using the tools provided by your therapist to overcome your relationship issues. The exercises are tailored specifically to help couples work through conflict and build on aspects such as communication, trust, and intimacy in a relationship.
Here are some specific ways that couples counselling exercises can help:
- Get to know your partner better.
- Practise healthy communication.
- Remind you of why you chose them.
- Learn to engage in a more positive way.
- Separate your preconceived notions from the reality of who your partner is.
- Get to the root of the problem.
- Rebuild trust.
Found out more about what to expect from your couples therapy sessions here.
How effective is couples therapy “homework”?
Many studies have shown that greater homework compliance is associated with improved treatment outcome, indicating that it is worthwhile to engage in tasks recommended by your therapist.
What types of couples therapy exercises may be recommended?
Your therapist is trained to tailor couples therapy tasks to assist with your key issues and goals for therapy. For example, some couples may be provided with communication tasks that involve recognising behavioural patterns in order to reframe these into positive actions. Find out more about cognitive behavioural therapy homework tasks here.
Other couples may be provided with tasks that involve learning about each other’s childhood or interests, in order to bring you closer to each other. These types of tasks can be particularly helpful in helping you to build gain trust and emotional understanding of your partner. Other tasks that may be recommended can include:
Keeping diaries of your thoughts and feelings
If you struggle with recognising where you are going wrong in your relationship, your therapist may recommend keeping a mood diary of your feelings and thoughts to help you to understand what is causing them.
Listening to a recording of your therapy session
In order to remember how to apply the advice of your therapist to everyday situations, you may also be provided with a recording of your therapy sessions to listen to. This can be useful for preventing unhelpful behaviours and can encourage you to try and understand your partner’s point of view before acting on your opinion.
Telling your partner what you value in them
Letting your parner know what you value in them can be a good way to stop defining them as the problem or issue at hand, and to see them as a person who you value. If you have lost intimacy or closeness, this task can help to strengthen your bond and understand why were attracted to your partner to begin with. Find out more about this method in our guide to narrative couples therapy.
Taking the time to emphathise with your partner during an argument
Your therapist may recommend taking the time to think about what may be causing your partner’s reaction and how they will be feeling in an argument. This can prevent outbursts of anger and allow you to see your partner’s response as a reaction to their past experiences or emotions.
Though the above methods can be effective in working through relationship issues; couples therapy is not a “one size fits all” process. Remember to trust your therapist in that they will provide you with the tasks that are likely to benefit you the most.
Find out more about the different types of couples therapy techniques here.
How can British CBT & Counselling help?
We offer a variety of therapies for couples, and our therapists will provide you with the most suitable therapy technique for you.
At British CBT & Counselling, our experienced psychologists, psychotherapists and therapists have experience dealing with countless different relationship issues, and will be able to suggest the best approach for you. Our psychologists have spent between seven- and nine-years training to enable people to overcome their emotional difficulties, and many hold senior positions in the NHS. We offer online therapy to allow more flexibility and help you find time for therapy in your busy schedule.
To learn more about how you can get started, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or find out more about what we offer here.
Narrative couples therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy for couples