RELATIONSHIP HELP

CBT Self Help for Couples
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When there is friction in a relationship, it is generally because each has very different views or values relating to a situation.  It can be very difficult for one partner to really understand the other's point of view.  This relationship worksheet helps to promote understanding and reach an agreement or compromise.

Ideally, both partners complete their own worksheet, before they discuss things together, coming up with an agreement or compromise, and perhaps an action plan if required.

If only one partner is willing to do this exercise, then one partner can complete their own information, and then write their partner's information, trying to imagine how it REALLY is or could be for them.

Print a PDF Relationship Worksheet


Name

 


Situation or Concern

 

 


Emotion

Sad, hurt, angry, anxious, scared, irritable, frustrated etc.  Rate intensity 0 - 100%

 

 


Physical sensations

What do/did I feel in my body, where?

 

 

 


Thoughts and Images

What went through my mind at that time, or just before I started feeling that way?  What did that mean or say about me or them?  What's the worst thing about that?  How do you think this affects your relationship?

 

 

 


What I did - or what I'd like to do

 

 

 


What I noticed about them (keep to facts - what you ACTUALLY saw rather than your interpretation of what you saw)

How they looked - their posture, facial expression, voice, eyes, movement etc

 

 

 


 

Discussion

Once each of the partners have completed their information, set some time aside to talk things through, when things have calmed down and you are both able to talk without getting too emotional. 

Each partner reads the other's information to promote understanding.  Then discuss the issue together and come up with an agreement, compromise or action plan.

Suggestions for discussion:

What actually happened? 

Look at both columns together

  • What were or are we both really reacting to?
  • What meaning have we both given this situation or concern?
  • What's really pressing our buttons about this?
  • What is fact and what is opinion?
  • Observe and discuss each other's different perspectives at the time
  • Is there another more balanced way of looking at this?
  • If we take the helicopter view: an independent observer watching this situation, with no emotional involvement - what would they make of this?
  • What advice would we give to someone else in this situation?

 
Reach an agreement and make an action plan: complete the bottom box or use a separate sheet
 

Consider how you both could have thought differently at the time

Was one or both of us:

  • Getting things out of proportion?
  • Confusing facts with opinion?
  • Expecting something different?
  • Mind-reading what the other might have been thinking or meaning?
  • Misinterpreting the situation?
  • Jumping to conclusions?
  • Thinking negatively about where this might lead?
  • Worrying about how this would affect other people, or other situations? (eg.
    Children, work, study)
  • Bringing outside influences into the situation? (other current stress, past
    experiences etc)
  • Have different priorities or sense of importance of this situation or concern?
     

Consider how one or both of you could have done things differently

Agree on what each of you will do next time in a similar situation or concern

What would help most? What would be most effective?

  • What would be best for one person, both of us, for others involved, for our
    relationship?
  • Was or is this situation or concern within our control? Are there other factors that we
    are unable to influence?
  • How can we handle things differently?
  • What has helped in the past? What did we do differently?
  • Is there a way of avoiding this happening again? If so, what can one or both of us do?
  • Would it help to agree a signal (when/if this issue comes up again) that you can both use (to indicate "it's happening again and we need to stop")?  What would that signal be?

 


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