DISCERNMENT COUNSELING FOR COUPLES ON THE BRINK
Are you unhappy with your marriage and considering divorce, but terrified of the idea? You may feel that something has to change, but you are stuck and don’t know what to do. Your spouse may not realize how unhappy you are.
Or, maybe your spouse is mentioning divorce because he is unhappy with the way things are. You both may be unhappy, but are unsure of how to proceed about this. You may have tried couple’s counseling, but it didn’t help. There is a reason why it didn’t work. Couples counseling will not be helpful if both parties are not dedicated to the process. Discernment Counseling may be a good option for the two of you.
Who is Discernment Counseling for?
If you or your spouse are considering divorce but are not completely sure that’s the best path, Discernment Counseling is designed for you. It’s a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look at your options for your marriage.
What exactly is Discernment Counseling?
Discernment Counseling is a new way of helping couples when 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.
During the process I will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later.
What Are the Benefits of Discernment Counseling, and How is It Different from Couples Counseling?
It’s important to note that both types of counseling are beneficial, but they work for different situations. Couples counseling is meant to help people who are both invested in the process of working on their relationship. On the other hand, when one person is on the brink of wanting to get a divorce, couple’s counseling can make the situation worse by convincing the leaning out partner to participate when he or she is not motivated. This can lead to resentment from both sides, and various other negative consequences that lead to the conclusion that couple’s counseling doesn’t work.
1. “No agenda approach” helps the leaning out person feel more at ease during the process.
As a discernment counselor, I respect your reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage. Discernment counselors make it easier for the leaning out person to commit to the process by not pushing for an agenda of saving the marriage. This approach usually relieves tension and allows the couple to take a fresh look at their relationship. 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. If you are the partner who is considering divorce, you can get more information here.
2. Learning from the past to create a better future whether with your current partner or in future relationships
Discernment counseling helps partners take a fresh look at their contribution to the relationship and learn how each of them personally contributed to the struggles facing the relationship. This may help preserve the relationship or marriage. If you are a partner who wants to stay married, you can get more information here
You will come in as a couple but the most important work occurs in the one-to-one conversations with me. This is where we explore what each of you contributed to the relationship and figure out what each of you truly wants for the future. Although the goal is not to solve your marital problems, the process may be very helpful to a couple on the brink. You may feel relief in your relationship when going through this process. Even if one of you decides to leave the marriage, this kind of work can help each partner make better decisions in future relationships and go through divorce with less damage.
What’s the Goal of Discernment Counseling?
The goal is for both you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future. As already stated, the goal is not to help you resolve marital issues, but to figure out if they are solvable. Once this is accomplished, your couple’s counseling will be much more effective if you decide to work on your marriage. 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.
How Does the Process Work?
Before starting the process, we will schedule a 20-minute free phone consultation with each spouse to help me to get to know each of you and figure out how we can work together.
Number of Sessions:
A maximum of five counseling sessions. The first session is usually two hours and the subsequent are 1.5 or 2 hours. Each time a session is over, you as a couple decide if you want to continue with discernment or not. Sometimes people get clarity sooner than 5 sessions.
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
Let’s connect! Call, text, or book online a free initial phone consultation to see if Discernment Counseling is right for you