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Top 20 Couples Therapy Questions To Explore

Couples therapy questions based on the work of Esther Perel.

I recently did a professional development run by Esther Perel,  a world-respected Couples therapist, based on her podcast “So where should we begin”. During this training, I collated a number of very interesting questions that came up in her sessions that are helpful to examine your relationship.

If you are a couple who can explore difficult questions and do conflict well, you may be able to have some therapeutic conversations with each other unguided. However, these questions may seem quite stark without any ‘therapeutic scaffolding’ around them.  Given what may open up with some of these questions, you may consider having some facilitated sessions to contain your dynamic and cautiously delve deeper. Either way, I think these are thought-provoking and worth exploring:

Unique Questions to deeply explore yourself & your relationship

If this was the last day of therapy, what would your relationship look like?

What are you prepared to do, to get what you say you want?

What story are you telling yourself that is contributing to cause you to feel stuck/resentful/hurt?

Who are you with your partner and who are you in other contexts (work, family, friends)? Why are you different in other contexts?

What is it that you do, that makes your partner who they are? (strengths and weaknesses)

How can you step outside of yourself and be different so that you are not stuck in your perception of yourself and your partner? 

When do you imprison each other or freeze each other out; compared to when you liberate and empower each other to be their best?

Who would you like to be? Can you embody that person in some way? E.g. act as if../role play

Both safety & risk are required for a fulfilling relationship. When do the risky self and the safe self show up?  In what other contexts/places/relationships do the safe and risky self show up? What can you learn and apply from this?

Rather than re-hashing, keeping score and re-living relational blockages, incidents and failures, look for the hope, the exceptions, the possibilities. Work through some examples.

Learning about your inner critic:

therapy for couples

What was said to or about you while growing up and in the present?

Who did this to you? 

Who did you see do this to someone else?

What is the messaging you received around this?

Who contributes to this inner critic?

If you were to change this, what/who would you be saying no to or what need would you be looking to be filled?

Sexuality/Intimacy – Couples Therapy Questions

What is your fantasy? (a good fantasy states the problem and the solution….)

What aspects of your emotional history is translating into your intimate/sexual life?

How do you see yourself sexually? (it’s not your partner that brings you to orgasm, it’s your interaction with your own senses). 

Which sense do you tune in the most? How do you sharpen it? (Sight, smell, touch, sound, taste. Also consider imagination, creativity, and variety)

What turns you off?


Couples Therapy

As one of our services at Life Sense Counselling, we offer couples therapy/counselling. To book a relationship coaching appointment please contact Sara.

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Related Articles:

Ultimate Gottman Couples Counselling Concepts

Couples Counselling: Aren’t you and your partner worth investing in?


Works cited:

Esther Perel’s Transformational Approach to Couples Therapy (PD through PESI Australia)

Esther Pere’s Podcast (Audible): Where Should We Begin? (Episodes – Speak to me in French; The Perfect Marriage; Trauma & the Roots of Infidelity)


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