THE DOHERTY RELATIONSHIP INSTITUTE, LLC
FOR COUPLES ON THE BRINK
If you or your spouse are considering divorce but are not completely sure it’s the best decision, you are in a tough spot. Discernment Counseling is designed to slow down the impulse to act, while encouraging a longer view of your marriage and hopefully, a broader range of choices.
Discernment Counseling is a new way of helping couples when one partner is “leaning out” of the relationship— and not sure that regular marriage counseling can help— and the other partner is “leaning in”—wanting to stay within the marriage to strengthen and rebuild the core relationship.
Discernment counselors help you to decide whether there’s enough good will between partners to restore your marriage to health, move towards divorce, or take time out before revisiting the decision.
The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship, your contribution to what went wrong, and the prospects for future change and growth.
The goal is not to solve your marital problems but to see if they are solvable. You will each be treated with compassion and respect, no matter how you are feeling about your marriage in the moment. No bad guys. No good guys.
While you arrive as a couple, the most important work occurs in one-to-one conversations with the counselor. Why? Because you are each in different places and likely holding different points of view which may conflict.
The counselor respects your reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health. The added discernment effort now can be instrumental in shaping future relationships, even if this one ends.
Number of Sessions: A maximum of five counseling sessions. The first session is usually two hours and subsequent ones are typically 1.5 hours.
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 danger of domestic violence.
Rather, it is about bringing your best self to the table, even if the marriage may not survive, you will have closure for doing the work that hopefully, will not reoccur in a future relationship.