Couples On The Brink – Discernment Counseling
Is your partner considering leaving the marriage or committed partnership, while you want to preserve and strengthen it?
If so, read on to learn vital information to help you prevent many months of difficulty.
Your situation can be described as a couple with a mixed agenda. You want in, he wants out. Or, vice versa. Up until recently there was no effective way to help both of you at the same time, or in any coordinated way. Now there is, and it is an amazing and effective process.
Discernment Counseling is a very short term model, typically only 1-5 sessions. It is therapy for the couple where the focus is helping you both decide on what path of action is most appropriate for you. The therapist works with you both, you come together, but most of the time is spent alone with the therapist, where you can speak freely and work through your concerns. We look at what problems need to be solved, and if they can be solved. We look at your individual roles in solving them. It is very helpful, even for couples who are highly confused about these questions.
Discernment counseling is not couples therapy. It is a process to see if you really can engage in couples therapy. It helps to avoid half-hearted couples therapy, which tends not to work. Or, it can help you move toward separation or divorce with more clarity and confidence in your decision.
The goal of discernment counseling is greater clarity and confidence in your decision to choose one of these three paths:
- Stay in pause mode, and refrain from any definitive actions at this time.
- Proceed toward separation and/or divorce.
- Engage wholeheartedly in six months of intensive couples therapy, where your marriage is your priority. This involves suspending any further conversation about divorce, and giving it your best shot.
I have been practicing Discernment Counseling for several years, as I was one of the early adopters of the model. I have seen many couples go through the process very successfully. It is very gratifying work and helps people move forward with their lives.
This model has been studied in Minnesota courts spearheaded by Dr. Bill Doherty who created it and trained me.