Discernment Counseling

Deciding whether or not to stay in a marriage or get divorced can be one of the most difficult and agonizing decisions you face in life. For many couples, this state of limbo (should I stay or should I go) can last months or even years. Discernment counseling is an assessment process that was created to help partners decide between three outcomes: to work on improving the relationship (often with couples counseling), to maintain the current relationship as is, or to get divorced. Unlike traditional couples counseling, which is typically open-ended and can last for years, discernment counseling is generally brief and typically completed in 3-5 sessions. Think this approach could work for you and your partner(s)? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s discernment counseling experts today. 

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Meet the specialists

 

Trained and working towards certification with Dr. Bill Dougherty in helping couples decide to work on their relationship.

— Traci Ruble, Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA

I have specialized training in Discernment Counseling and have worked with couples on the brink of divorce or breaking (i.e., discerning what to do) throughout my entire career.

— Kaleb Burningham, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
 

If you're struggling with your marriage and uncertain about the future, I understand how difficult that can be. You haven’t agreed to end your relationship, but you haven’t decided to stay together either. When one or both partners is seriously considering separation or divorce, discernment counseling can help. Discernment counseling helps couples struggling with the decision to stay together or separate find clarity and confidence in whatever decision they make.

— Valery Krieg, Clinical Social Worker in Evergreen, CO

If you or your partner are considering divorce, good communication is imperative at this point - whether you stay together or end your relationship. The actions you take now will impact each other and your loved ones for years to come. How can you act in a way that you are proud of - despite the intense emotional pain? Discernment counseling helps couples to navigate decision-making about their relationship - so you can navigate your next chapter in the healthiest way possible.

— Dr. Amy Hsiung, Psychologist in Phoenix, AZ
 

Discernment counseling is therapeutic procedure for mixed agenda or ambivalent couples, where one or more is confused on where to take the relationship. This is a different kind of counseling not directed towards making the couple stay together.Discernment counseling helps couples on the verge of divorce to reach an agreed upon, thought out decision

— Roma Williams, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Houston, TX

Discernment Counseling was developed for couples who are on the fence about staying in their marriage. In these cases, typically one person wants to stay married and work on salvaging the relationship, while the other partner feels like divorce or separation is the only option. This intensive, short-term process helps both partners gain clarity around the immensely painful and difficult decision around taking steps to preserve the relationship or taking steps toward ending the marriage.

— Trisha Andrews, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Parker, CO
 

If you're struggling with your marriage and uncertain about the future, I understand how difficult that can be. You haven’t agreed to end your relationship, but you haven’t decided to stay together either. When one or both partners is seriously considering separation or divorce, discernment counseling can help. Discernment counseling helps couples struggling with the decision to stay together or separate find clarity and confidence in whatever decision they make.

— Valery Krieg, Clinical Social Worker in Evergreen, CO

Discernment Counseling isn't therapy. The discernment process is meant to provide you with clarity and confidence about a direction for your relationship based on a deeper understanding of what has happened in your relationship as well exploring the possibilities for the future. Discernment counseling is brief- just 1-5 sessions; and goal-directed, meaning there's no time to waste. If you're stuck and uncertain of the future. Discernment counseling can help.

— Mark Cagle, Counselor in Dallas, TX
 

Discernment counseling is for couples on the brink of divorce. Discernment counseling avoids starting half-hearted couples therapy with these mixed-agenda couples. It accepts ambivalence rather than trying to work around it or overcome it.

— Traci Brown, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , TX

Discernment Counseling is for couples on the brink. It is a chance to make space to look at your options for your marriage, without working on the relationship. 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. I will work with each of you to help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage to health, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later.

— Rosemary Senjem, Marriage & Family Therapist in Stillwater, MN
 

Discernment counseling is a new, very brief, targeted type of therapy for couples who are considering splitting up. Our goal is to find clarity and confidence about how to proceed. We don't try to solve your problems as a couple in discernment counseling. We determine whether your problems are solvable. One possible outcome is choosing to enter couples therapy together, but we don't assume that is the right path for you. I have extensive training in discernment counseling.

— Gretta Duleba, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , WA
 

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. I am a certified Discernment Counselor.

— Hannah Holwell, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Wayzata, MN

Are you or your partner unsure if you want to continue your marriage? Are you willing to have open conversations with your partner. With discernment counseling you and your partner can decide together your next relationship steps

— Cassandra Bogle, Clinical Social Worker
 

Discernment Counseling is for Couples who are struggling with “how to move forward” with one partner wanting to save the marriage/relationship, while the other partner is uncertain and/or leaning toward ending the relationship. Discernment counseling is about empowering couples to make a collaborative decision about their future and does not view divorce as a failure or staying together as a success. Click here to learn more about Discernment Counseling

— Jennifer Hillier, Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, TX

I am a certified Discernment Counselor. Discernment Counseling is a brief model of 1-5 sessions that seeks to help very ambivalent couples gain clarity and confidence in a direction for their relationship/marriage.

— Mary Fisher, Therapist in Salt Lake City, UT