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Your Inbox Intensive

By Couples Therapy Inc.

Module 9 – State of the Union Meetings

Keep your momentum going at home after the intensive with this exclusive program for Couples Therapy Inc’s retreat couples. Start with a self-assessment, review an important lesson for relationship health and finally, determine what your next steps should be.


The Inbox Intensive relapse check-in

This Relapse Check-in can help couples assess and prevent relapse and understand how to seek additional intervention if relapse occurs. Please give your frank evaluation of the following items by selecting either “doing fine” or “a problem now” for each item.

Start The Check-In

Start the check-in

Please give your frank evaluation by selecting either “doing fine” or “it’s a problem now” for each statement below.

Communicating regularly


State of the union meetings

State of the union meetings

While we talked in Module Three about Stress-reducing Conversations as daily check-ins about non-relationship stressors in your life, the State of the union meetings are weekly meetings where you each check in on how well you are doing being emotionally connected and engaged with each other. 

Grab a notebook and prepare for no distractions.

  • Set aside an hour each week with no distractions.
  • Each of you have a notebook.
  • Start out sharing 5 things you’ve appreciated and noticed that your partner did for each other over the week. Then talk about what went right in the relationship this week.
  • Pick a topic area of tension between the two of you. Agree on which one it will be. Only choose one topic.
  • Take turns speaking and the other taking notes. Use the ATTUNE acronym (see below) to stay in touch.
  • Use the Dreams within Conflict questions if it is a perpetual issue. Use Soften Start-ups if it is a Solvable problem.
  • Pay attention to the Four Horsemen. If either of you get flooded, take a break. Come back after 20-30 minutes to pick a time to continue if you can’t keep talking at that point.
  • Problem-solve at the end using the Two Ovals to try and reach a compromise for solvable problems or a temporary compromise for unresolvable problems.
  • End asking: “What can I do next week to make you feel more loved?”

Lesson at a glance:

  • Awareness – of your partners feeling and experience 
  • Tolerance – that there are two different valid viewpoints for negative emotions
  • Turning Toward – recognizing your partner’s need and turning toward it
  • Understanding – attempting to understand your partner’s experience and their perspective 
  • Non-defensive Listening – listening to your partner’s perspective without concentrating on victimizing yourself or reversing the blame 
  • Empathy – responding to your partner with an understanding, awareness, and sensitivity to their experience and needs 

Downloadable Resource

The 6 hour plan

We are sharing this resource again–state of the union meetings are an important part of the 6 hours per week that lead to a better relationship.



Is it time to schedule a follow up session?

If you haven’t already scheduled follow up sessions, our staff can help you to plan your next appointment.

Don’t forget:

Schedule some quality time

Do you and your partner have some time on the calendar for each other? Make sure you have a date night planned.


State of the union meetings

If you have been skipping this step until now, this is the week to get started.

We’re here to help

Have a question about this exercise? Looking for more information about follow up sessions? Send us a message, we’d be happy to help.

The next module – 
Appreciation and Thanksgiving

Our next module will look at appreciation and thanksgiving. We will send the link to your email on your next scheduled check-in or if you want to get started now, you can click the button below.

Previous modules