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Emotional Issues
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Anxiety
Dependence
Depression

Dissociation
Eating Problems
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Toxic Beliefs
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Relationship Problems
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Enjoy Partnership
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Partnership
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Patterns in Love
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Specialties
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Inner Conflict
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Psychobiology
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Communication Exercises for Couples
© Martyn Carruthers

Couple Coaching & Relationship Counseling


Our couple coaching does not replace life coaching, marriage counseling or psychotherapy. Each is useful for different problems. Our couple coaching is for couples who want to cooperate and make better decisions together.

Communication Exercise: Just Listening

These exercises help motivated adults to better understand their partners' communications. (Please allow yourselves space and time to make mistakes and learn without criticizing, excuses or complaining).

Healthy couples do not have to agree with what their partners say!

  1. Agree that you will both use this exercise to better understand each other - not to score points
     
  2. Sit as close as you can to each other while feeling comfortable, but not face to face
     
  3. Choose who will speak first and who will listen first.
     
  4. Pick an interesting neutral topic, not a current argument or difficult discussion. (Choosing something like “what happened today” should be safe.)
     
  5. The speaker shares some information - e.g. something that happened today. Start with 3-5 sentences. The listener does not interrupt.
     
  6. When the speaker stops, the listener repeats what was heard (do not respond to what was said, just repeat what was said). The listener asks the speaker if he or she heard everything that was said.
     
  7. The speaker either confirms that the listener repeated it correctly, or says that the listener missed something and repeats what was missed. Do not add new details. The listener can repeat what was missed and ask for confirmation. The speaker indicates when he or she is satisfied that communication took place.
     
  8. The listener, once the speaker indicates satisfaction, asks the speaker if they can talk more about what was said.
     
  9. Repeat this 3-5 times with different neutral topics.
     
  10. Switch roles.

Simple does not mean easy. Understanding does not mean agreeing.

Communication Exercise 1 Homework

  1. Practice this exercise using NEUTRAL topics until you are both  comfortable with listening and not interrupting.
     
  2. When you BOTH feel ready, practice using a WARM topic e.g. "What we did when my mother visited us?" (Avoid HOT issues until you have practiced communicating and listening to neutral and warm topics).

Communication Exercise 2: Values

  1. Agree that you will avoid using this exercise to better understand each other - not to score points nor to argue about what's most important
     
  2. Sit as close as you can to each other while feeling comfortable, but not face to face
     
  3. Choose an interesting but neutral topic, and as the Speaker talks, the Listener guesses what is important to the Speaker about this topic.
     
  4. Speaker asks Listener for feedback on what Listener thought he or she communicated as important about this topic.
     
  5. Speaker shares 1 or 2 things that are important in this topic, and why they are important. The Listener avoids commenting too quickly.
     
  6. The Listener pauses then gives the Speaker feedback about what he or she  heard (not what was the Speaker said) about what is important.
     
  7. The Listener asks the Speaker if he or she understood what the Speaker said was important.
     
  8. Speaker confirms whether the Listener understood which values he or she communicated, or repeats what was missed. Do not add new values. Listener can repeat which values were missed and ask for confirmation. Speaker indicates when Speaker is satisfied that communication took place.
     
  9. Listener – once the Speaker indicates satisfaction, ask Speaker if he or she would like to talk more about it.
     
  10. Repeat this 3-5 times. Switch roles

Communicating Values Homework

  1. Practice this exercise using NEUTRAL topics.
     
  2. When BOTH feel ready, practice using a WARM topic e.g. "What is important about the next meal?" (Stay away from HOT issues until you have practiced communicating and listening to neutral and warm topics).

Communication Exercise: Beliefs

  1. Agree that you will both avoid using this exercise to better understand each other - not to score points or to try to change each other's beliefs
     
  2. Sit as close as you can while both remaining comfortable, but not face to face.
     
  3. Pick an interesting NEUTRAL topic, and as the Speaker talks, Listener guesses what the Speaker believes about this topic.
     
  4. Speaker asks Listener for feedback on what the Listener thought was believed.
     
  5. Speaker shares 1 or 2  things about the topic that seem to be true, and mentions why this is believed (e.g. "We were taught that in school")
     
  6. Listener waits, then gives feedback what was heard (avoid responding to how it was said).
     
  7. Listener tells the Speaker if he or she understood the speaker's beliefs.
     
  8. Speaker confirms whether or not Listener understood the beliefs, and repeats what was missed. Do not try to change beliefs with counter-examples or add more beliefs. Listener can repeat any beliefs that were heard and ask for confirmation. The Speaker indicates when he or she is satisfied that communication took place.
     
  9. Listener – Once Speaker indicates satisfaction, ask Speaker if he or she would like to talk more about it.
     
  10. Repeat this 3-5 times and switch roles

Communicating Beliefs Homework

  1. Practice this exercise using other NEUTRAL beliefs.
     
  2. When you BOTH feel ready, practice using WARM topics (stay away from HOT issues until you have both practiced communicating and listening to neutral and warm beliefs).

You can also use this structure to practice communicating issues of Identity. You can talk about who you are (or who you must pretend to be) at certain times ...

Do you want solutions for emotional blocks and relationship challenges?

Online Coaching, Relationship Counseling & Systemic Therapy


If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention www.SystemicPsychology.com or www.EmotionsRelationships.com

For online help, email us at: europecoach@gmail.com

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii

 

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2017 All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email europecoach@gmail.com