Expressing gratitude can foster positive emotions and improve satisfaction with relationships. One way to practice gratitude with couples is through the classic exercise Three Good Things.
Using the Couple’s Gratitude Journal worksheet, each person will write three good things about their partner, every day, for one week. Each day of the week has three brief prompts—such as “I was happy when my partner…”—to help generate ideas. However, couples shouldn’t feel bound by the prompts if they have other positive things to share.
Encourage your clients to share their three good things at the end of each day, or during their next therapy session. If a couple responds well to the activity, encourage them to continue practicing every day, with or without the handout as an aid.
1. Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., Kogan, A., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (2012). To have and to hold: Gratitude promotes relationship maintenance in intimate bonds. Journal of personality and social psychology, 103(2), 257.
2. Seligman, M. E., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. American psychologist, 60(5), 410.