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Discernment Counseling


You are here because one of you is ambivalent about pursuing couples therapy and uncertain if you would want to try to make your relationship better.  Discernment Counseling is a new way of helping couples where 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/relationship. I am a certified Discernment Counselor.

I will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage/relationship to health, move toward separation and divorce, or take a time out and decide later. You are not going to see any improvement in your relationship, but you are deciding to see that change is possible if you decide to choose couples therapy. 

You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you feel about your marriage/relationship. I will emphasize 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.

The goals of Discernment Counseling are that you have:

1. A deeper understanding of what has happened to your marriage        and what might be possible for the future.

2. Clarity about what direction to take for your marriage/relationship. 

3. Confidence as you move forward.

Discernment Counseling Offers:

  • More clarity and confidence in a decision about the future of your relationship.

  • More understanding of what has happened to your relationship and the part each of you has played in the problems.

  • A game plan for change if you decide to work on the marriage/relationship.

  • A set of new tools that you can carry with you into future relationships if you end this one, and a better chance to be good co-parents if you have children.

Short term: one to five sessions, with a decision at each session whether to meet again.​

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 a danger of domestic violence


Read more about discernment counseling here.​

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