Fostering Healthy Relationships: 60 Helpful Worksheets

Worksheets for healthy relationshipsHealthy relationships represent one of the most vital aspects of the human experience.

Social relationships have been researched by psychologists for some time, with the results consistently showing a significant link between quality social relationships and improved health (Umberson & Karas Montez, 2010).

Social development is integral to physiological and emotional health from infancy (Bowlby, 1988) to old age. For example, among seniors, experiencing a sense of belongingness has been associated with lower levels of diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and emphysema (Tomaka, Thompson, & Palacios, 2006).

Living alone is also correlated with increased heart disease (Tomaka et al., 2006). Social isolation is even predictive of a shorter life expectancy (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, Baker, Harris, & Stephenson, 2015; Steptoe, Shankar, Demakakos, & Wardle, 2013; Umberson & Karas Montez, 2010).

Considering these findings, it is not surprising that there are negative psychological ramifications of social isolation and loneliness, particularly depression (Hall-Lande, Eisenberg, & Neumark-Sztainer, 2007; Heikkinen & Kauppinen, 2004). Quality social relationships are integral to health and wellbeing at both an individual and societal level.

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.

Franklin Roosevelt

This article will dig into the psychological literature on healthy relationships, while also providing numerous examples of relationship-focused worksheets and other useful resources. Some of the worksheets are aimed at establishing relationship boundaries, and some are designed specifically for youth relationships.

Given the extensive library of information at PositivePsychology.com, helpful relationship worksheets are also drawn from our toolkit. By providing this rich source of resources, clinicians and clients alike will find a repertoire of tools designed to enhance human relationships.

If you wish to learn more, our Positive Relationships Masterclass© is a complete, science-based training template for practitioners and coaches that contains all the materials you’ll need to help your clients improve their personal and professional relationships, ultimately enhancing their mental wellbeing.

37 Worksheets for Healthy Relationships

There are many worksheets available for multiple relationship types: romantic , marital, parent–child, mentoring, and family.

Here are 37 of the best relationship worksheets.

 

Russ Harris

ACT with loveRuss Harris created the following worksheets contained in his book, ACT With Love: Stop Struggling, Reconcile Differences, and Strengthen Your Relationship with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Harris, 2009), and the excellent PDF, Complete Set of Client Handouts and Worksheets (Harris, 2008).

What’s Wrong with My Partner/Our Relationship? And What Happens When I Dwell on It?

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

This worksheet (Harris, 2009) helps individuals to examine the impact of judging one’s partner and ruminating on such judgments. It asks respondents to answer the following questions:

    • What’s wrong with my partner/our relationship?
    • How does my mood change when I get caught up in/dwell on these thoughts?
    • When I buy into or dwell on these thoughts, what effect does it have on my relationship?

Identify the DRAIN in Your Relationship

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

In this worksheet (Harris, 2009), individuals respond to various open-ended questions assessing behaviors that negatively affect the relationship. Questions follow the acronym DRAIN:

    • Disconnection
    • Reactivity
    • Avoidance
    • Inside your mind
    • Neglecting values

Example question:

How do I disconnect from my partner?

How I Try to Control My Partner

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

In this worksheet (Harris, 2009), individuals consider ways in which they’ve tried to control their partner, as well as the effectiveness and cost of such control. Respondents answer the following questions:

    • What does my partner say or do that I don’t like?
    • What have I said or done to stop or change my partner’s behavior?
    • Did my actions change my partner’s behavior in the long term?
    • Did my actions enhance and enrich our relationship in the long term?

How to Create Psychological Smog

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

In this worksheet (Harris, 2009), individuals identify thoughts that create a “psychological smog.” After considering their smoggy thoughts, respondents then answer several questions about the negative impact of such thoughts. For example: “Does dwelling on these thoughts help to improve your relationship – or make it worse?”

Appreciating Your Partner

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Each day, individuals are asked to identify three things they appreciate about their partner. The worksheet (Harris, 2009) asks respondents to respond to the following prompts:

    • 3 Things I noticed today that I appreciate about my partner
    • 3 Ways my partner contributed to my life today
    • 3 Things my partner said or did today that represent their best strengths and qualities

Creating A Forgiveness Ritual

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

In this worksheet (Harris, 2009), individuals respond to a series of prompts designed to foster forgiveness. For example:

    • The thoughts, feelings, and memories I’ve been holding on to are…
    • Holding on to all this has hurt our relationship in the following ways…

Rituals are then created to promote moving forward in a positive way.

Your Relationship: Moving Forward

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

In this worksheet, Harris (2008) asks individuals to look ahead to the future and  consider the following:

    • Relationship values (e.g., respect, kindness, connection, etc.)
    • Value-guided actions
    • Value-inconsistent actions

 

Building a Healthy Relationship – Patricia Pope

Patricia Pope (2000) submitted a masterful creation of worksheets as supplementary tools in couples’ counseling. Her extensive 96-page master’s thesis can be accessed online; however, some of the most pertinent worksheets are highlighted here:

Relationship Realities

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals rate (1–10) how much a given set of relationship qualities are evident in their relationship. For example:

    • Shared goals and values
    • Conflict resolution
    • Finances

Scores are compared between partners to highlight the areas in need of work.

Relationship Expectations

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals answer a series of yes/no questions about their relationship expectations. For example:

    • I must meet everyone’s needs.
    • Nobody should get angry with me.
    • My opinions have equal importance to those of others.

Respondents then consider an action plan in which healthier expectations are considered.

Healthy Communication Patterns

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals provide background information indicating how they communicate feelings (without hurting someone else). This is followed by an action plan in which a topic is identified, along with ways to communicate it in a non-hurtful way.

Communication vs. Conflict

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals assess ways in which communication with their partner either promotes conflict or adaptive outcomes. For example:

    • What things does your partner say/do that provoke conflict?
    • Can you remember a particular situation in which you and your partner enjoyed good and satisfying communication? What happened?
    • Respect in a relationship means that I…

This is followed by an action plan in which healthy communication responses become part of conflict resolution approaches in the current relationship.

Working Through Conflict

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals think about ways in which they worked through a particular relationship conflict. For example:

    • Identify a problem or an issue that provokes conflict.
    • What can you change about how either of you dealt with the conflict?
    • What can you do differently next time? How will you do it?

With the goal of avoiding blame, this is followed by an action plan in which a recent example of a relationship conflict is identified and dealt with using the above conflict resolution steps.

Couple Negotiation

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals follow a set of guidelines addressing ways in which partners may negotiate solutions to issues. For example:

    • Do not blame your partner.
    • Do not judge, criticize, or put down your partner.
    • Set realistic goals for your relationship so that it will continue to grow and thrive.

This is followed by an action plan in which respondents use the above negotiation steps to solve a specific issue.

Increasing Intimacy

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals read a set of principles aimed at increasing relationship intimacy. For example:

    • Take the time to listen to one another.
    • Listen to understand one another rather than to judge one another.
    • Praise your partner.

Respondents then create a list of three ways of increasing intimacy and commit to engaging in at least one of them in the next week.

Communication and Forgiveness

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals are provided with background information on communication and forgiveness, followed by questions about areas of need and forgiveness. For example:

    • What are your most important needs within the relationship?
    • What are the most important needs of your partner?
    • How can you begin to forgive one another for past hurts?

Couples use their responses to create a relationship plan based on accepting responsibility and giving and accepting forgiveness.

Nurturing a Healthy Relationship

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals are provided with background information about the idea that “love is an action.” For example:

    • Avoid 50/50 thinking. Take responsibility for your relationship.
    • After acknowledgment and validation come actions.

Couples are asked to discover patterns of behavior that aren’t working and to come up with something different. They can then determine ways in which their partner is showing love and providing appreciation for such behavior.

 

The Power Source Parenting Facilitator’s Manual Supplemental Material – Bethany Casarjian

This PDF (Casarjian, 2011) is an absolute powerhouse of rationales, exercises, and worksheets. We zoom in on one worksheet particularly relevant to romantic relationships.

How People Act in Healthy Relationships

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

A checklist of positive relationship behaviors includes:

    • Supports you when you need it
    • Is never physically or sexually abusive to you
    • Accepts you for who you are

 

Talkabout Sex & Relationships 1 – Alex Kelly and Emily Dennis

Talkabout WorkbookTalkabout Sex & Relationships 1 (Kelly & Dennis, 2017) is a comprehensive toolkit for all therapists, educators, and support staff who deliver relationship education to people with special needs. Part of a two-volume set, you can acquire the books from Amazon.

This worksheet is particularly relevant to healthy relationships.

Interview

  • Topic – All relationships

The questions suggested in this interview help the therapist to understand how clients address various types of relationship patterns, behaviors, and other related qualities. For example:

    • Do you find it easy to make friends? Do you know what to say to them? Questions to ask them?
    • Sometimes, things go wrong in a relationship. What could you do to make them better?
    • If you felt unsafe, what would you do? Is there someone you could talk to?

 

The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships – Lois J. Zachary

The Mentors GuideThe Mentor’s Guide (Zachary, 2000) explores the critical process of mentoring and presents practical tools for facilitating the experience from beginning to end.

Reflecting on Your Timeline

  • Topic – Mentoring relationships

This worksheet helps individuals to identify people who have acted as mentors or sources of support during their lives. Respondents consider a series of prompts and questions such as:

    • My mentors were…
    • What wisdom have you gained from each of your mentors?
    • What did you learn about being a mentee?

Mentee Timeline

  • Topic – Mentoring relationships

This worksheet helps individuals to consider what their mentee’s experience was like. In doing so, respondents complete a timeline of pertinent milestones then answer the following questions:

    • What more do you need to know about your mentee to have a better sense of their journey?
    • If there is more information that you need, what questions will you ask your mentee? What information can you gather from other sources?
    • What insights does your mentee’s journey raise for you about their readiness to learn?

 

CBT Skills Workbook – Barry Gregory

CBT Skills WorkbookThis paperback (Gregory, 2010) contains practical exercises and worksheets. For different kinds of relationships, individuals are asked to consider the pros and cons.

The Pros and Cons of Intimate Relationship

    • Good things about the relationship
    • Not-so-good things about the relationship

The Pros and Cons of Parent–Child Relationship

    • Good things about the relationship
    • Not-so-good things about the relationship

The Pros and Cons of Family Relationship

    • Good things about the relationship
    • Not-so-good things about the relationship

 

The Interpersonal Problems Workbook: ACT to End Painful Relationship Patterns – Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning, Avigail Lev, and Michelle Skeen

The Interpersonal Problems WorkbookThis workbook (McKay, Fanning, Lev, & Skeen, 2013) combines research and evidence-based techniques for strengthening relationships in all areas of life.

Thought Log

  • Topic – All relationships

This worksheet is focused on how a person’s schemas (i.e., the beliefs people hold regarding the world and themselves) impact relationships. Individuals reveal their personal schemas by keeping a thought log for two weeks in which they notice any painful feelings that occur during social interaction. Respondents consider these feelings by taking note of the interaction. For example:

    • Situation: “Being asked to take the lead in a big meeting at work.
    • Feelings: “Anxiety, fear, dread.
    • Thoughts: “I can’t do this. I am not smart enough.

Identify Schema-Based Emotions

  • Topic – All relationships

This worksheet helps individuals to identify the difficult emotions that occur when schemas are triggered. Respondents note particular schemas and record the associated emotions. For example:

    • Schema: “I am unlovable; people always leave me.
    • Emotion: “Fear of getting close, loneliness, low self-esteem.

 

The Fathers and Babies Toolkit – Darius Tandon, Jaime Hamil, & Erin Ward

This impressive PDF toolkit (Tandon, Hamil, & Ward, 2019) has been designed to support first-time fathers with skills that will bolster their mental health. It is also intended to provide strategies that will help fathers be able to support their partners.

Stressors That Can Affect the Father–Baby Relationship

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

With this worksheet, fathers identify stressful things in their lives that have the potential to affect the father–baby relationship. Fathers also note stressors that may impact the partner relationship.

What Do You Like to Do?

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

This worksheet helps fathers to identify aspects of everyday routines that they enjoy. They are then asked to consider whether these activities are typically done solo or with a partner or their baby. To promote partner support, respondents are also invited to discuss possible shared activities with their partners.

Thinking About Your Baby’s Future

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

For this worksheet, individuals are provided with information regarding how early experiences and relationships with parents shape thought patterns. Fathers then learn how to modify unhealthy thought patterns to share them with their babies. Considering their babies one year from the current date, fathers respond to the following questions:

    • What do I want for my baby?
    • What do I need to do now?
    • What don’t I want for my baby?
    • What do I need to avoid doing now?

People Who Will Provide Support for Me and My Partner

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

This worksheet helps fathers to identify the types of support they will need as parents and the individuals who may offer it. Support is divided into the following categories:

    • Practical support
    • Advice or information”
    • Companionship
    • Emotional support

To promote partner support, respondents are also asked to discuss possible sources of support with their partners.

Getting Your Needs Met

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

This worksheet highlights five steps that promote communication related to getting one’s needs met. Respondents are asked to provide an example for each of the following:

    • What do I need?
    • Who can help me?
    • Ask for what you need in a way that is clear and direct.
    • Respect the other person’s right not to do what you request.
    • Be willing to compromise.

To promote partner support, respondents also are asked to discuss particular situations and possible solutions that enable needs to be met.

 

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert – John Gottman and Nan Silver

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage WorkOver several years, John Gottman studied couples to observe the habits that make and break marriages. This book (Gottman & Silver, 1999) is the culmination of those studies, and we look at seven of its interesting worksheets.

Fondness and Admiration Questionnaire

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

This 20-item true/false worksheet assesses fondness between romantic partners. For example:

    • I can easily list the three things I most admire about my partner.
    • There is a fire and passion in this relationship.
    • We rarely part from each other without showing some sign of love and affection.

“I Appreciate…”

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Individuals choose from 80 qualities that they most appreciate about their partner. For example:

    • Generous
    • Sensitive
    • Sexy
    • Fun
    • Truthful

Respondents then note examples of these partner characteristics and share them with their partner.

Is Your Marriage Primed for Romance?

  • Topic – Marital relationships

This 20-item true/false worksheet assesses the degree of romance in a marital relationship. For example:

    • My partner is one of my best friends.”
    • We just love talking to each other.
    • My partner tells me when they have had a bad day.

Accepting Influence Questionnaire

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

This 20-item true/false worksheet assesses the degree of acceptance within a romantic relationship. For example:

    • I generally want my partner to feel influential in our relationship.”
    • My partner is a great help as a problem solver.
    • I am the one who needs to make the major decisions in this relationship.

The Gottman Island Survival Game

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

Partners envision being stranded together on a tropical island. They must work together to determine the 10 items they will need to survive, which is followed up by 10 multiple-choice questions related to their choices of survival items. For example:

    • How effective do you think you were at influencing your partner?
    • Did your partner sulk or withdraw?
    • How much irritability or anger did your partner feel?

Wellness Worksheet 31 Love Maps

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

This 20-item worksheet contains true/false questions assessing how well couples understand each other’s history and current beliefs, daily challenges, etc. For example:

    • I can tell you about my partner’s basic philosophy of life.
    • I know my partner’s major current worries.
    • My partner is familiar with my hopes and aspirations.

This worksheet also asks individuals to interview their partners to create better love maps. Examples of interview prompts include:

    • Recent important events in my partner’s life
    • My partner’s current worries

Harsh Start-up Questionnaire

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

This 20-item true/false questionnaire is aimed at helping married couples determine whether they are approaching conversations harshly rather than gently. For example:

    • My partner is often very critical of me.
    • I seem always to get blamed for issues.
    • I feel I have to ward off personal attacks.”

 

Establishing Boundaries: 5 Useful Worksheets

Setting healthy boundariesAccording to Brené Brown (n.d.), “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.

Indeed, boundaries are crucial for healthy relationships, as they support each person’s needs, wants, values, and individuality. By setting limits, boundaries promote the necessary respect, not only for avoiding toxic or abusive relationships, but also for enjoying mutually meaningful, healthy relationships.

Here are five examples of worksheets focused on setting relationship boundaries.

 

Building a Healthy Relationship – Patricia Pope

Setting Boundaries Within a Relationship

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

This comprehensive worksheet (Pope, 2000) contains background information regarding boundaries (e.g., emotional boundaries), examples of boundaries (e.g., emotional distance), and concepts within such boundaries (e.g., feelings, behaviors, choices, etc.). Respondents then assess the boundaries in their current relationship. For example:

    • Can I set limits and still be a loving partner in a relationship?
    • What if my partner is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
    • Aren’t boundaries selfish?

Couples choose one boundary to work on to enhance the quality of the relationship.

“Red Flags” in Relationships

  • Topic – Romantic relationships

This worksheet helps individuals to identify red flags in their relationship that could have damaging consequences. For example, responding negatively to the following questions suggests red flags:

    • I will allow no verbal or physical abuse in my relationships.
    • I will allow nothing illegal in my relationship.”
    • I will not allow myself to be taken advantage of, manipulated, or controlled in a relationship.

Individuals then identify problem areas and come up with alternative behaviors and ways to adopt them.

 

Relationship Smarts Plus – Marline E. Pearson

My Personal Line

  • Topic – Adolescent romantic relationships

Aimed at promoting healthy and safe teen relationships, this worksheet (Pearson, 2018) helps teens to uncover their boundaries before engaging in physical affection with a partner. Respondents answer a series of questions aimed at identifying relationship boundaries. For example:

    • Read over the scale of deepening levels of physical intimacy and then think about where you drew your line, where you would draw your line, or where you would draw your line if you want a do-over.
    • How does your line fit with your values—the meaning you would want for any level of physical intimacy? Consider under what conditions, when, and with whom you would ever move your boundary line.

Teens are then reminded to keep communication open once relationships become romantic.

 

Adult Boundaries

Drawing Effective Personal Boundaries

This worksheet (Davidson, 2009) contains informative content on definitions of boundaries, areas in life where they apply, and ways to create them. Respondents are then asked to create a list of five boundaries that need improving, along with possible solutions.

 

PositivePsychology.com Toolkit

Managing Toxic Relationships

This worksheet from the PositivePsychology.com Toolkit guides individuals in identifying difficult personal relationships and why these relationships are toxic. Respondents then go into more detail about one specific toxic relationship, including considering the energy devoted to the relationship, the cost of being involved in it, better ways to manage it, and action steps.

 

Relationship Worksheets for Youth

Worksheets for youthThe importance of quality relationships begins early, with children and teens requiring healthy parent and peer relationships to thrive.

During adolescence, romantic relationships also come into play, and given their lack of experience, teens often need help navigating the boundaries of their first non-platonic relationships.

Young children also benefit from learning communication skills that enhance parent–child bonds, while also supporting emotion regulation.

Here are more than a dozen worksheets designed to promote healthy relationships among kids and teens:

 

Relationship smarts plus – Marline E. Pearson

Chart a Relationship

  • Topic – Adolescent romantic relationships

This worksheet (Pearson, 2018) helps teens to determine their level of connection (from 0 to 100%) for their relationship within the following categories:

    • Physical
    • Verbal
    • Emotional
    • Social
    • Spiritual
    • Commitment

 

Over 60 Techniques, Activities & Worksheets for Challenging Children & Adolescents – Susan Epstein

Worksheets for Challenging ChildrenThis workbook (Epstein, 2012) with cutting-edge tips has been designed to guide professionals to work with children, adolescents, and families. We highlight a few worksheets that can be found in this valuable book for the modern, challenging child.

Agenda Circles: An End to Power Struggles

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

The worksheet helps to reduce power struggles between parents and children by creating “agenda circles” that show areas where needs can be met for both parents and children.

Just the Facts

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

This worksheet helps parents to convey the simple facts within a scenario so child cooperation is enhanced. Parents are instructed to be “calm, clear & concise” and respond to the following questions and prompts:

    • State the facts.
    • How do you feel?
    • Make a polite request.

Birthday Cake!

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

Aimed at promoting emotion regulation in children, this worksheet has parents read a relaxation script to their kids. This script contains various relaxation prompts, for example:

    • Get ready to relax. You can sit in a chair, on the floor, or lie down on a bed.
    • Now squeeze your hands closed into fists. Pretend that you are squeezing a lemon in each hand… gripping tighter… squeeze even tighter… squeeze all the juice right out of those lemons…
    • Breathe in. Reach your hands above your head, stretching high up… stretching… and now lower your arms to your side and relax. Breathe out.

Name It, Don’t Blame It!

  • Topic – Parent–child relationships

This worksheet is aimed at calming a child or adolescent who has become explosive. Parents follow a set of 10 instructions, for example:

    • Stay calm.
    • Be clear.
    • Do not banish.”
    • Correct with love and guidance.

Ending the Explosions

  • Topic – Child/teen communication and emotion regulation

This worksheet uses cue cards to help kids and teens to learn to use mindful responses to challenging situations. Children decorate cards with each of the following four words on the back, along with several questions/instructions. For example:

    • Stop (e.g., “What am I feeling?”)
    • Breathe (e.g., “Breathe in and out five times and notice the breath.”)
    • Reflect (e.g., “How did I react last time?”)
    • Choose (e.g., “What are my choices/options?”)

Children and parents go through the cards together and find more peaceful ways to react.

Putting it All Together: Building a Cooling Down Kit

  • Topic – Child/teen communication & emotion regulation

This creative worksheet helps parents and kids to put together all that they have learned to enhance calm and reduce conflict. Children decorate a box or some other type of container in which they keep their cooling down techniques (e.g., cue cards noted above). Children are then able to apply the tools from their kit at times when they feel keyed up. Breathing tips are also provided.

 

Healthy Mindsets for Super Kids: A Resilience Programme for Children Aged 7–14 – Stephanie Azri

Healthy Mindsets for Super KidsThis imaginative resource (Azri, 2013) is a complete program ideal for teachers, counselors, therapists, social workers, and youth workers. Filled with colorful activities and superheroes, it will teach children how to manage emotional challenges.

Communication Styles: Passive, Aggressive, Assertive

  • Topic – Child/teen communication skills

Designed to promote youth resilience, this handout helps adults and children to distinguish passive, assertive, and aggressive communication styles. For example:

    • Passive (e.g., “Does not speak their mind”)
    • Assertive (e.g., “Speaks their mind, but kindly”)
    • Aggressive (e.g., “Forces their opinions onto others”)

This is followed by a worksheet in which examples of the three communication styles are provided, for example:

    • I’d like you to stop using my pencils without asking, please.
    • Go away!
    • You can’t play with us. Go and cry to the teacher!

The Magical Way to Talk to Others

  • Topic – Child/teen communication skills

This worksheet helps kids and teens learn more effective ways of speaking to others by giving examples using the following prompts:

    • “What I need/would like…” (e.g., ‘I would like to go outside and play’)
    • “Because…” (e.g., ‘Because I finished cleaning my room and want to see my friend’)
    • “Magic words” (e.g., ‘Please…?’)
    • “Ask if this would be okay” (e.g., ‘Is it okay with you?’)

Communication Skills: Ending Activity Sheet Role-Play Scenarios Using the Magical Formula

  • Topic – Child/teen communication skills

This worksheet contains several different scenarios for children to role-play using magical ways of talking. For example:

    • You would like your sister to stay out of your room.
    • You would like to borrow someone’s shoes.”
    • You would like your little cousin to stop following you around.

 

Wellness worksheets

How Comfortable Are You in Social Situations?

  • Topic – Adolescent and adult social skills and social anxiety

Using a 5-point scale indicating the degree of frequency of having each thought, this 30-item worksheet (Glass, Merluzzi, & Larsen, 1982) assesses an individual’s comfort in social situations. For example:

    • I’m scared to death.
    • This will be a good opportunity.
    • This is an awkward situation, but I can handle it.

How Capable Are You of Being Intimate?

  • Topic – Adolescent & adult relationship intimacy

Using a 5-point scale indicating the degree of agreement, this 50-item worksheet (Amidon, Kumar, & Treadwell, 1983) assesses an individual’s capability for intimacy. For example:

    • Expression of emotion makes me feel close to another person.
    • I would not become too close because it involves conflict.
    • I feel that sex and intimacy are the same, and one cannot exist without the other.

Sternberg’s Triangular Love Scale

  • Topic – Adolescents & adult relationships

Using a 9-point scale assessing the degree of agreement, this 45-item worksheet (Sternberg, 1988) assesses closeness, supportiveness, commitment, and other indices of loving relationships with specific individuals. For example:

    • I have a warm relationship with…
    • I feel that I can really trust…
    • My relationship with … is passionate.

Rate Your Family’s Strengths

  • Topic – Adolescents and adult relationships

Using a 5-item scale from low to high, this 12-item worksheet (Stinnett & DeFrain, 1986) assesses an individual’s perceived family strengths. For example:

    • Expressing appreciation to each other
    • Happiness of relationship between spouses
    • Commitment to each other

This worksheet also includes follow-up questions about family strengths and areas in need of change. A final set of research activities is included to educate respondents regarding how one’s family compares to the general population.

 

Resources for Building Healthy Relationships

How to build healthy relationshipsAlong with individual worksheets, there are numerous additional relationship-building resources available for clinicians or anyone interested in improved relationships.

The following 12 informational books are focused on various relationship topics. Some of these are work and activity books, whereas others are informative books that also contain useful hands-on exercises.

 

Mindfulness Skills for Kids & Teens: A Workbook for Clinicians & Clients – Debra Burdick

This workbook (Burdick, 2014) is designed for use by therapists, teachers, and parents to teach mindfulness skills to children. It contains more than 150 activities, including many focused on experiencing more mindful relationships.

The Art Activity Book for Relational Work – Jennifer Guest

This workbook (Guest, 2017) is designed for use by therapists to enhance relationships between both couples and other family members. Its worksheets are grounded in cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, systemic, and narrative theory.

Betrayal Bond, Revised: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships – Patrick Carnes

This book (Carnes, 1997) is designed for use by therapists and individuals dealing with the pain of betrayal or exploitation within various types of relationships.

The Great Marriage Tune-Up Book – Jeffry Larson

This workbook (Larson, 2003) is designed for use by couples in a long-term relationship. It contains a great deal of information, assessments, tools, and other resources aimed at getting to the root of relationship issues and creating a more meaningful bond.

DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets – Marsha M. Linehan

This workbook (Linehan, 2014) is designed for use by therapists as a way of helping clients with a variety of issues. It contains more than 225 worksheets and handouts and includes a great deal of information on interpersonal effectiveness and healthy relationship building.

ACT with Love: Stop Struggling, Reconcile Differences, and Strengthen Your Relationship With Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – Russ Harris

Following the mindfulness-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach, this book (Harris, 2009) is designed for couples hoping to enjoy more loving, healthy, and mindful relationships.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts – Gary Chapman

This highly popular book (Chapman, 2011) is designed to help couples enjoy higher levels of intimacy by better understanding each other’s ‘love language.’ The book’s personal assessment helps readers to identify the types of verbal and nonverbal communication that promote feelings of emotional closeness and intimacy.

The Relationship Cure: A 5-Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships – John Gottman and Joan DeClaire

Following the science-based Gottman relationship approach, this book (Gottman & DeClaire, 2001) is designed to help couples enhance their relationships by building a stronger emotional connection. It also contains several useful tools.

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love – Sue Johnson

This book (Johnson, 2008) is designed to enable couples to apply emotionally focused therapy to their relationships. It is drawn from relationship case studies and contains both information and exercises.

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples (3rd ed.) – Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt

This book (Hendrix & Hunt, 2019) is designed to help couples avoid criticism and conflict to create healthier, more enduring bonds. It is grounded in psychological theory and also includes several useful exercises intended to improve communication and enhance mutual support.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work – John Gottman and Nan Silver

Also following the Gottman approach, this book (Gottman & Silver, 1999) is designed to help couples experience more harmonious, enduring relationships by following seven principles. It also contains many exercises and questionnaires.

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last – John Gottman

Another based on the Gottman approach, this book (Gottman, 1994) is designed to help couples evaluate their long-term relationships and to make key relationship-enhancing changes. It also contains various exercises and quizzes.

 

PositivePsychology.com Tools

PositivePsychology.com is dedicated to providing science-based tools and information for practitioners, teachers, parents, and other individuals interested in the innumerable benefits of positive psychology.

The dedicated team of professionals at PositivePsychology.com have developed a wealth of resources in the area of relationships, including various useful worksheets.

Here are five examples, along with links:

Creating a Hugging Habit

  • Topic – Connectedness between romantic partners

The goal of Creating a Hugging Habit is to increase connectedness and intimacy between partners by creating a daily habit of hugging.

Testing Low Social Support Beliefs

  • Topic – Social support

Testing Low Social Support Beliefs helps individuals explore their beliefs about social support available to them, as well as the accuracy of such beliefs.

The Positive Relationship Timeline

  • Topic – Positive partner relationship experiences

The Positive Relationship Timeline is designed to elicit positive narratives about the collective experiences of couples in romantic relationships. Respondents list shared experiences on a timeline, rating them from 0 to 10 in terms of how positive they were based on the following prompts:

    • How positive your initial meeting made you feel
    • Strong positive emotional reactions during defining events
    • Positive emotional reactions to recent events
    • Degree of positivity regarding anticipated events

After being prompted to reflect on the above responses, individuals answer 19 open-ended questions regarding the positive experience timeline. For example:

    • How did you find the process of creating your Positive Relationship Timeline? What did you enjoy most about the exercise?
    • In what ways have you grown as a couple from the day you first met to today?
    • In what ways would you like your relationship to continue to grow in the future?

Building Social Capital

  • Topic – Social connectedness in relationships

The goal of Building Social Capital is to help clients expand their social capital by paying deliberate attention to the four main components of high-quality interpersonal relationships. Individuals read about the four dimensions of high-quality relationships and then list the most important people in their social network based on categories provided. For example:

    • Close friends
    • Family members
    • Neighbors

Relationship quantity; the strength, intensity, and density of social connections; and a full evaluation of responses are then assessed using open-ended questions.

 

Examining Rituals of Connection

  • Topic – Daily rituals that build healthy connections in romantic relationships

The goal of Examining Rituals of Connection is for couples to examine their daily rituals of connection and explore ways to revitalize, replace, or add alternatives. Partners work together to determine the following:

    • Couple-time rituals
    • Celebration rituals
    • Daily routines and tasks
    • Expressions of intimacy rituals
    • Communication rituals

For each type of ritual, respondents add a description and then note whether it works or requires attention. Ritual examples also are provided, for example:

    • Waking up together
    • Going on holidays
    • Celebrating important events

 

A Take-Home Message

According to noted psychologist and one of the founding fathers of positive psychology, Martin Seligman,

“… we pursue positive relationships whether or not they bring us engagement or happiness.”

It’s true; human beings are naturally social creatures. But this doesn’t necessarily mean quality relationships come naturally to us, especially those not exposed to healthy relationship role models.

As we strive toward a sense of belonging, camaraderie, and connectedness, sometimes we need a little help. This article provides more than 60 individual worksheets, as well as various informational and activity books, aimed at promoting more satisfying social bonds.

These resources pertain to a variety of relationship types (e.g., romantic, family, friends, etc.) and are easily accessible via the internet.

Whether you are experiencing severe challenges or would like a relationship tune-up, by applying the tools contained in this article, you will be well on your way to establishing more meaningful relationships. And, if cultivated with a sufficient amount of love and nourishment, such bonds are sure to last a lifetime.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you wish to learn more, don’t forget to check out our Positive Relationships Masterclass©.

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About the Author

Heather Lonczak holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a focus on Positive Youth Development. She has published numerous articles aimed at reducing health disparities and promoting positive psychosocial youth outcomes (e.g., academic achievement, cultural identity, mindfulness and belief in the future). Heather is also a children’s book author whose publications primarily center around the enhancement of child resilience, as well as empathy and compassion for wildlife.

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