(Resources for clients and therapists. Therapists are welcome to download these handouts for use with clients. Simply keep the footer in tact for copyright purposes. Thank you, and I hope they are helpful!)
Here are some resources for you to use to get started right away.
If you are not ready for counseling yet, these articles and handouts can give you some quick ideas to start making changes. They can also give you a sense of what you would work on in counseling, which can help you determine if you would like to give it a try.
If you already are in counseling, feel free to take this information with you to share with your therapist. This can help you establish a clear direction in your therapy if you are not sure where to begin.
Couples Handouts: (These are a great way to get a jump start to your couples counseling.)
Common Negative Patterns in Couples: A description of the different patterns couples get stuck in during times of distress.
Do I Hide or Seek?: Helps you determine what role you play in the negative pattern.
Emotions Can Make or Break Communication: Displays different levels of emotional experience and response to begin to show you how emotions impact our communication.
Love in Translation: A demonstration of how our communication patterns make it really difficult to hear the love and fears that are actually at the heart of what we are hearing from our partner. We translate what we hear into some of our worst fears, such as "you don't even care about me." This drives our partners crazy and makes them defensive. However, if the love could translate what is actually being said, we would hear vulnerable fears, love, and longing. These translations are what would give our partner a much better chance to respond, instead of defend.
Let's Start Talking: A communication guide providing a structure for conversations. The structure is meant to provide emotional safety during times of conflict, and to practice listening and reflecting with your partner. This is also helpful for couples who have started avoiding any conversations out of fear it will spark another conflict. It includes a section on helping couples after a betrayal who are stuck in overwhelming conversations of endless questions and explanations.
Break the Cycle: This is a guide to interrupt and shift a conflict out of the negative pattern, and into the start of a new and effective pattern. This will help you increase your self awareness of your own emotions and needs. It is perfect to use when you catch yourself in conflict and take a break to calm yourself and reflect on what is happening. Examples are included on the second page.