Sometimes it helps to be silly with our partners for a moment, even when we are dealing with tough issues. It reminds us of the spirit that brought us together in the first place, and can do wonders for releasing stress and setting a positive tone between two people.
To make this point, Stacy Notaras Murphy often assigns silly tasks to her couples in between sessions – such as having a staring contest, playing hide and seek, or making up a cheer they can perform together. “My favorite is to ask them to come up with a secret handshake,” she says. “I’ve seen couples make variations on their childhood handshakes, add dance moves, sing little songs. Some of them are very subtle and they make a habit of doing the handshake when they’re out with other people – as a way to give the signal that they are together and have an intimate secret. It’s a great way for them to be creative together, which is part of what we’re doing in our sessions – working together, creatively, to heal rifts and make it safe to be close once again.”