Thank you for visiting the Discernment Counseling Page. Discernment Counseling is different than traditional couples counseling. Discernment Counseling is a new way of helping couples where one person is “leaning out” of the relationship – and not sure that regular marriage counseling would help- and the other is “leaning in”- that is, interested in rebuilding the marriage/relationship.
The goals of Discernment Counseling are that you have: 1) A deeper understanding of what has happened to your marriage and what might be possible for the future, 2) Clarity about what direction to take for your marriage/relationship, and 3) Confidence as you move forward.
I will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage/relationship to health, move toward separation and divorce, or take a time out and decide later.
You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you are feeling about your marriage/relationship at the moment. No bad guys and good guys. The counselor emphasizes the importance of each of you seeing your own contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. This will be useful in future relationships even if this one ends.
Do you want to save your marriage/relationship? (Leaning-in spouse)
You may be on this page because your spouse announced wanting to end the relationship. It’s been a difficult road in the past a few years but, you thought things were okay. You have never thought that your spouse would want a divorce or a breakup. You feel so desperate that you use anger, distancing, threatening or pleading.
Do you want to leave your marriage/relationship? (Leaning-out spouse)
You’ve been unhappy, feeling out of love and told your spouse you want to leave. This is a very painful time- you’ve thought about leaving for quite some time. However, you are not 100% sure about your decision to leave but don’t want to stay in either. Sometimes your spouse’s strong reactions may prompt you to make an emergency decision that might be a life changing in order to end the emotional turmoil and stress.
Here’s what Discernment Counseling offers you:
- Short term: one to five sessions, with a decision each session whether to meet again.
- More clarity and confidence in a decision about the future of your relationship.
- More understanding of what has happened to your relationship and the part each of you has played in the problems.
- A game plan for change if you decide to work on the marriage/relationship.
- A set of new tools that you can carry with you into future relationships if you end this one, and a better chance to be good co-parents if you have children.
Number of Sessions: A maximum of five counseling sessions. Sessions are usually 90 -100 minutes.
Discernment Counseling is not suited for these situations:
when one spouse has already made a final decision to divorce
When one spouse is coercing the other to participate
When there is a danger of domestic violence