Sometimes one or both of you aren’t sure you want to work on the relationship, or you might feel hopeless that it can even be improved. Discernment Counseling is designed to help you slow down and carefully consider all of your options before making any decisions about your relationship. This is especially helpful if you’ve decided to “check the box” that says “tried couples counseling” before breaking up. What we know is that half-hearted couples counseling rarely works, and most often just ends up leaving everyone frustrated by the lack of progress.
How is Discernment Counseling different than Couples Counseling?
In Discernment Counseling, the goal is not to fix the problems in your relationship, but rather to determine if they are fixable. The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future. You will be working to decide between the options of committing to couples counseling, choosing to separate or divorce, or deciding not to decide right now. I will respect whichever option you choose while helping you to increase the possibility that your relationship can be restored to health.
You will attend the sessions as a couple, but much of the time is spent meeting individually, since you may both be starting at different places. During these individual meetings, you will each explore your own contributions to the current relationship challenges, changes you can make to improve the situation, and your motivation level for making those changes. Even if this relationship ends, Discernment Counseling can help you have success in your future relationships.
How long does Discernment Counseling take?
Discernment Counseling typically lasts one to five sessions. The first session is usually 2 hours, and the following sessions are 90 minutes. Discernment Counseling ends when you have both decided whether you want to commit to couples counseling, separate/divorce, or keep the status quo for now.
For more information about Discernment Counseling, please see the video below or visit the Discernment Counseling website.