5 Benefits of Role Play in Couples Counseling

We all have a learned “dance” with our partner. Both partners adopt a role. One partner takes one step, the other responds with their step and the dance begins. This couple dance starts in the early stages of most relationships. Over time (sometimes not even a very long time) the dance becomes so predisposed to certain steps that it just gets to the point that the partners are just not clearly “seeing” each other. They lose touch with each other. This can cause a huge rift in a relationship.

While it may sound silly to act like your partner there are clear benefits to using this type of therapy.

The Benefits

  1. What does your partner see? We all can get really hung up on what we want. We also can get hung up on the way we get what we want. You or your partner may not realize that what you are saying is being misunderstood. You may think that you are clearly putting out there what you need because YOU KNOW what you want and need but you very likely not getting the idea across. The role play allows you to see what vibe or idea your partner is getting from you.
  2. Each partner gets to express what they believe the other partner thinks about their needs and wants. This can be very sobering, shocking sometimes, to see what your partner truly thinks about what you think about their needs and wants.
  3. It is a fun way to open up communication between couples. Sometimes all you need to do is to be able to laugh to open up communication. It can break down the walls and get good conversation started.
  4. Some deep feelings can be revealed. In the role play scenario, it can be easier to express deep feelings that you do not talk about.
  5. It can help to heal a relationship. When there is an emotional valley between two people bringing them back together can be a challenge. When role play is used as part of the bigger therapy plan it can be a nice building block for healing.

Sometimes taking on the role of the opposite partner can work wonders to open everyone’s eyes and really “see” how they are viewed by the other person. It can be a very sobering experience to “see” yourself through your partner’s eyes.

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