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Discernment Counseling

Discernment Counseling: Making An Informed Decision for Your Marriage

You’ve tried marriage therapy. Yet, here you are. The divorce has been initiated but you aren’t even sure that’s what you want.

When couples decide to start the divorce process, it’s assumed that the relationship is over. They’ve chosen sides, they’re ready to say goodbye and part ways. Right? On the surface, it may appear that way. However, for many couples, it might not be that simple.

Are You In or Out?

Couples initiate divorces for lots of reasons. Sometimes, divorce is the healthiest option for everyone. Other times, couples choose divorce because they don’t know what else to do. They’re weary from the arguments, the hurt, and the struggle. With poor communication at the top of most common reasons for divorce, trying to talk it out together is probably a recipe for more conflict. Divorce seems like the only way to stop that cycle even if it’s not what they really want.

This decision can leave you with regrets and wondering what might have been.  In fact, surveys have found that about 75% of divorced individuals had regrets about their decision to divorce.

To further complicate matters, 25-40% of people in the process of divorcing still believe that their marriage can be saved. They don’t really want the divorce or are just resigned to it.They’reeven willing to try and reconcile.

But what happens when one partner wants the divorce and the other one does not? Is there anything you can do? Who gets to decide?

The Power of Discernment Counseling

The good news is, there is a lot you can do – even if you’ve been to marriage therapy before. You may have a lot to work through. However, before you can do that, you have to decide if you are both willing to stay in the marriage.

That’s where I can help! Through a process known as discernment counseling, you and your partner can decide if you are truly ready for divorce or if there is enough room to give the marriage one final try.  If you’re not sure you want the divorce, discernment counseling gives you peace of mind knowing you’ve left no stone unturned so that you can make your decision with no regrets.

Through a short, intensive process of about 1 to 5 sessions, you and your partner will have a neutral space to better understand each other’s views and make a decision about the marriage. Will you proceed with the divorce or give it one final try?

Are You In or Out?

As a therapist, I understand how uncomfortable it can be to come to therapy when you and your partner are at odds. It feels like everything has been said and there’s nothing left to do. Yet, doubt lingers.

Even if you’ve done marital therapy in the past, discernment counseling can still help.

Discernment counseling is not for resolving your marital problems but for deciding whether the issues are solvable.I will guide you through the process of deciding if the issues between you are solvable and whether you wish to give the relationship one more try.

In fact, the only goal for discernment counseling is to make the decision on the path for your marriage.

There are essentially three paths you can take:

  1. Keep the status quo – Stay in the relationship as it is.
  2. Proceed with divorce
  3. Commit to 6 months of couples counseling – The divorce is taken off the table while you work on your marital issues. In 6 months, you re-evaluate where you are.

What To Expect from Your First Session

Your session(s) may consist of both couple and individual time.

During your first session, we will focus on four key questions:

  • Divorce – What has brought you to the place where divorce is now a possibility?
  • Repair – What have you done to try to avoid divorce and fix the problem?
  • The Children – If you have children, how do they factor into your decisions about your marriage?
  • The good times – What were the best times each of you experienced in the relationship? When did you feel most connected?

During the process, I may meet with you individually. This time allows you an opportunity to discuss your feelings and agenda with me. Then, you will come back together as a couple and we will continue discussing your decision path. Whether you need one session or five, I will guide and support you along the way to your decision.

​Discernment counseling can help you and your partner to see the relationship issues more clearly, understand what went wrong, and determine whether they can be repaired. You may discover that your issues that seemed so monumental and intractable are actually quite fixable with guidance and effort. When you’re both are able to fully appreciate what happened in the relationship and determine the path you wish to take moving forward, you will have peace of mind knowing you’ve explored every option before making this life-changing decision.

Before taking that final step to divorce, let’s explore the options! You don’t have to live with regret and wondering what might have been. Call me today and let’s get started!

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