If you or your spouse or partner are considering ending your relationship but are not completely sure that’s the best path, you are in a tough spot. Discernment Counseling is designed for you. It’s a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look at your options for your relationship. It is a way to help couples where one person is “leaning out” of the relationship—and not sure that regular couples' counseling would help--and the other is “leaning in”—that is, interested in rebuilding the relationship.
The goal of Discernment Counseling is not to solve your relationship problems but to see if they are solvable. The process involves mainly individual conversations with each partner addressing their differing needs and agendas. This type of counseling 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.
Discernment Counseling is always short-term (1 to 5 sessions), but can evolve into couples counseling if that is the direction that both parties decide to take. At all points along the way, you will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you are feeling about your relationship at the moment. No bad guys and no good guys.
If you would like to learn more about Discernment Counseling and see if it might be right for you, please go to my scheduling page and set up an initial phone interview.
Discernment Counseling is NOT suitable when:
• One person has already made a final decision to divorce
• One person is coercing the other to participate
• There is danger of domestic violence
Here is Dr. Bill Doherty, the developer of Discernment Counseling, talking about the process: