Discernment counseling is a new way for couples to look at their options before making a decision about divorce.
Discernment counseling is right for couples who want more understanding of what’s happened to their marriage and help for deciding whether to break up or to try to repair it.
It’s designed mostly for couples where one partner is "leaning out" of the marriage -- and not sure that regular marriage counseling would help -- and the other is "leaning in" -- that is, interested in rebuilding the marriage..
The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future. The goal is not to solve your marital problems but to see if they are solvable.
What does discernment counseling involve?
Discernment counseling helps couples choose among three options: moving towards divorce, carving out a period of time to for an all-out effort to preserve the marriage, or agreeing to decide later. The sessions are divided between conversation with the couple together and individual conversations with each spouse. The counselor respects the reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health.
Discernment counseling helps both partners see their individual contributions to the problems and to possible solutions. Understanding what you’ve contributed to the marriage problems can be useful in future relationships even if this one ends.
Discernment counseling is considered successful when people have clarity and confidence in their decision, and when they more fully understand what’s happened to their relationship.
How many sessions are there?
Discernment counseling can be as brief as one session and as long as 4-7 sessions. You decide each time whether to come back for a subsequent session.
Discernment counseling is NOT suitable when:
One partner is coercing the other to participate via threats of any kind
One partner has made an final, irrevocable decision to divorce and only wants counseling to encourage the other spouse accept that decision
There is a danger of domestic violence
There is an Order of Protection from a Court
If you’re discerning whether to stay or leave, this is a safe place.
We wish you well during this stressful and are here to support you no matter what your final outcome may be.