5 Tips for Using the Personal Stress Profile

Whilst it is virtually impossible to avoid stress in modern society, men and women tend to report slightly different sources of stress.

5 Tips for Using the Personal Stress Profile

  • Build understanding and empathy: Help couples identify and discuss the source of their stress, making sure they each understand what their partner is feeling and experiencing.
  • Prioritise stressors to tackle first: Use the Identifying Most Critical Issues exercise from the Couple Workbook to help couples discern which stressors they have control over and can actually change if they work together and support one another. If their partner is a large source of stress in their lives, help them understand they only have control over themselves and their own reactions to one another. They cannot make the other person change.
  • Consider the relationship stage: While engaged couples may be distracted by wedding details, their current stressors can present a good context to build insight and skills into how the rest of their relationship will function, even after their wedding. Meet them where they are at instead of trying to get them to imagine future scenarios.
  • Use the stress discussion to transition to other skills building: Keep in mind that the best ways to cope with stress often involve other core relationship skills such as healthy communication, conflict resolution, flexibility, and closeness. An effective approach for dealing with the issues identified in the Personal Stress Profile will often include teaching couples to use these other important skills, and the stress profile functions as a good transition tool for teaching core relationship skills.
  • Teach couples to take a Time-out when needed: As the research suggests, high stress levels make it more difficult for couples to effectively use their relationship skills. Teaching couples the How to Take a Time-Out exercise may also be important for helping them slow down, gain perspective, and actually use the skills they've been taught.
  • References:
    Neff, L.A., and Karney, B.R., (2009). Stress and reactivity to daily relationship experiences: How
    stress hinders adaptive processes in marriage. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97 (3), 435-450.

    At #PREPARE/ENRICH Australia, we are committed to providing quality resources for marriage preparation and relationship enrichment. Any questions, please contact us:

    Strengthening Relationships Since 1979.

    Contact Details:
    PREPARE/ENRICH Australia
    PO Box 448
    Sutherland, NSW 1499
    ABN: 65 162 790 687
    P: (02) 9520 4049



    Recent Posts


    See all