Discernment Counseling /
It sounds like your marriage is at a critical place: you're not sure you're ready for divorce yet, but things are so frustrating that maybe one of you is leaning in that direction. Your quiz responses indicate that you may want to consider Discernment Counseling (which I call "Marriage ER" in my practice) to help you avoid an unnecessary divorce, or at least help you feel more confident if that is the choice you make further down the road. It focuses not on fixing what is broken, but on discerning whether there is still hope for creating a better way of being with each other.
Discernment Counseling is an innovative, short-term intervention that seeks to help couples who are considering divorce and aren’t sure that therapy can help get clarity and confidence in their decision-making about the future of their marriage.
Discernment Counseling is not traditional couples therapy.
It’s a marital assessment process akin to the process an ER doctor uses to rapidly diagnose and stabilize critical conditions, identifying which areas are affected, how much damage has been done, and how possible it is to be restored to health. Treatment is less likely to work until such a thorough assessment has been made and both spouses fully sign on to the process.
Discernment Counseling is a brief, 1-5 session intervention that seeks to help couples who are considering divorce get unstuck by:
- Identifying what each spouse brings to the couple's problems
- Exploring all the possible paths forward
- Creating a calm space where logical, clear-eyed decision-making can occur by working both individually and together
- Guiding & supporting both spouses through this sensitive decision-making process.
It is especially helpful for 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.
Guiding you through this brief but intensive 1-5 session process, your therapist will help you decide whether to (1) make no changes now and decide what to do at a later time, (2) move towards separation or divorce, or (3) try to restore your marriage to health by pursuing couples therapy, with divorce off the table for a set period of time and a clear plan for change.
Learn more about my Discernment Counseling / Marriage ER services here, or visit the Doherty Institute's Discernment Counseling site for more general information about this treatment.