Homework Page

Tools for Growth and Communication

The purpose of the journal exercises below is to help you tune in to your inner world and to identify your emotions, thoughts, beliefs and decisions that are “running” in the background of your life. Only by identifying and labeling your emotions do you have a basis in which to communicate yourself with another and to release unwanted emotions that are holding you back from the life you want. Additionally, the exercises will assist you in placing your feelings and emotions within the appropriate context. Sometimes we “carry” unfinished emotions from one area of our life to another or from a previous time in our lives to the present. When you can see clearly where certain emotions originate, you will be less likely to act them out in other contexts and you will be more focused in dealing with them within the appropriate context.

The exercises are tools to assist you in the process of “looking within” and focusing on your feelings. By addressing your own feelings and taking responsibility for them you place yourself in charge of your life and happiness. You are also creating a foundation for true communication which is based on awareness and responsibility for your experience. Based on our sessions together, I may suggest a particular journal exercise for the week but it is strongly recommended that you do as many as possible in the order outlined below. By doing the homework, you will facilitate and accelerate the progress that you make in therapy. You will also be developing a skill which you can use to further your personal growth for the rest of your life. Journal writing is a kind of meditative exercise where you are developing your ability to observe what is. The paradox of change is that when you can accept what is, change and growth happen by itself.

I would suggest getting a folder or notebook in which to keep the exercises as you will be referring back to some of the earlier exercises as we go along.

The exercises are grouped into three main categories one for couples, one for individuals and one for parents. The exercises in GREEN are communication tools for couples. It will be helpful for you to download all of the communication exercises and read them as soon as you can. When working with couples, these exercises form the core of our work together. When you learn to master them you will have a tool that you can use for life that will help create and sustain true intimacy in your relationship.

Couples

  1. Save Your Relationship Introduction
  2. Introduction to the Living Journal
  3. Where am I Now in My Life?
  4. Introductory Journal Exercises
  5. Where am I Now in My Relationship?
  6. Communication in Relationship
  7. Dialogue on Feelings
  8. Prescription for Dialogue
  9. Pleasant and Unpleasant Feelings
  10. Dialogue Questions
  11. Dialogue Procedures
  12. Describing Feelings
  13. Guidelines for Writing and Dialogue
  14. Examples of Dialogue Technique
  15. Effective Listening Scale
  16. 4 Steps to Effective Listening
  17. Common Errors During Dialogue
  18. Listen Quote
  19. Quotes
  20. Actions That Can Make an Immediate Difference
  21. My Relationship Path (free form)
  22. My Relationship Path (structured)
  23. My Part in this Relationship
  24. Cornerstones of a Healthy Marriage
  25. Identifying Upsetting Situations
  26. Identifying Upsetting Behaviors in Another
  27. What are My Needs?
  28. What are my Interests?
  29. My Partner Profile
  30. Five Tough Questions
  31. Ten Pathways to a Loving Relationship

Individuals

  1. Introduction to the Living Journal
  2. Where am I now in my Life?
  3. Introductory Journal Exercises
  4. Where am I now in my Life? (free form)
  5. Focus on Feelings
  6. Where am I Now in My Relationships
  7. My Life Path
  8. The Area Paths
  9. Memories and Emotions
  10. Choices and Decisions
  11. Self-Image, Beliefs and Inner Conversations
  12. The Moment Log
  13. Taking an Emotional Pulse
  14. The Dream Log
  15. Completing Unfinished Emotional Business (Introduction)
  16. The Never Ending Circle of Upsets
  17. The Way out of Upsets
  18. Twelve Pathways for Personal Growth
  19. Conversation with Persons Exercise
  20. Conversation with Parts of the Self Exercise
  21. Conversations in Unfinished Situations
  22. Dream Conversations
  23. The Art of Releasing
  24. Anatomy of the Ego
  25. Ripoffs and Payoffs
  26. Evaluating and Letting Go of Negative Emotions
  27. New Possibilities for Thinking and Feeling
  28. Reversing Core Beliefs
  29. Affirmations
  30. Insights, Realizations, Discoveries

Parents

  1. Nature of the Problem
  2. What is a Teenager
  3. How Teens Behave
  4. Giving Your Child Responsibility
  5. Giving Your Child Responsibility Worksheet
  6. Why it is Hard to Give Your Child Responsibility
  7. Why it is Hard to Give Your Child Responsibility Worksheet
  8. How to Help Your Teen Develop the Ability to Make Decisions
  9. How Your Child will React to Responsibility
  10. Redefining Your Relationship with Your Teenager
  11. Establishing Your Rights
  12. Establishing Your Rights Worksheet
  13. Eliminating Triggers and Reinforcement
  14. Eliminating Triggers and Reinforcement Worksheet
  15. Standing Up For Yourself
  16. Standing Up For Yourself Worksheet
  17. Quick Review
  18. Quick Review Worksheet
  19. The Final Touches
  20. The Final Touches Worksheet
  21. Direct Confrontation
  22. Direct Confrontation Worksheet
  23. Temporary Pause
  24. Temporary Pause Worksheet
  25. Conclusion
  26. Conclusion Worksheet