If you or your partner are considering divorce but are not completely sure that’s the best path, you are in a tough spot. And Discernment Counseling is designed for you. It’s a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look carefully at your options for your marriage.
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.
As a certified Discerment Counselor, I will help each partner decide whether to try to restore your marriage to health, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later. The goal is 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. You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you are feeling about your marriage at the moment. No bad guys and good guys.
You will come in as a couple but the most important work occurs in the one-to-one conversations. Why? Because you are starting out in different places.
I respect the reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health and I emphasize the importance of each partner seeing the contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. This will be useful in future relationships even if this one ends.
Number of Sessions: A maximum of five counseling sessions. The first session is usually two hours and the subsequent are 1.5 hours.
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 danger of domestic violence
If you are interested in reading additional information about this approach, the website (discernmentcounseling.com) has an abundance of resources for leaning-in and leaning-out spouses, lawyers and mediators. Click here to watch a video from the founder, Dr. William Doherty.