On the Brink of Divorce

Discernment Counseling in a Nut- Shell

If one spouse is in doubt about the value of their marriage, is not sure if they would want to stay married and is uncertain about couples therapy being able to help, “On the brink of divorce” service otherwise known as Discernment Counseling is specifically for you and your spouse. 

The leaning out partner is supported where they are emotionally, and the leaning in partner is equally supported in their emotional state. Discernment Counseling avoids starting half-hearted couples’ therapy. It accepts there is a mixed agenda and ambivalence rather than trying to work around it or overcome it. 

The goal of discernment counseling is to gain clarity and confidence in which way to go. The focus is not on resolving marital issues but realizing if these problems could potentially be solved. The idea is to understand both partners, their contributions to the problems, their thought process, their emotional state, etc. so that an amicable solution could be crafted. 

Three options are considered available: 1. stay married as is, 2. move towards divorce, or 3. decide to do full-on couple’s counseling for six months to see if the marriage can be brought to a good place with a clear agenda for personal change and divorce off the table during this time. 

Based on the in-depth understanding of what has happened to the married life and how each person has elevated the problems, the goal is to find clarity and confidence in a direction for the marriage. 

  • Unlike traditional marriage counseling, discernment counseling is all about helping you decide everything with clarity so that you can make an informed decision fast. I will do thorough discussions to stimulate introspection and honest evaluation. 
  • Unlike individual counseling, I will work with both partners (individually and collectively), spark the conversation, and emphasize all the choices you have—and yes, there is more than one!
  • I can help you highlight the feelings you now hold for each other and see if you are sure about making the big decision of getting a divorce, stay as things are or if you would like to give it another go.

The initial commitment is simply the first two- hour session. Discernment counseling usually consists of one to five counseling sessions, where the first session is around 1 ½ to 2 hours, and subsequent sessions are 1.5 hours. 

If you are feeling ambivalent, uncertain about which way to go, if you are feeling out of love and unsure if the spark can come back or if there have been many hurts that you are not sure your marriage can come back from, then Discernment Counseling is for you and your spouse.

 I can help you both gain clarity, manage your emotions and learn about self and the relationship.  Discernment Counseling protects you from drifting into half-hearted couples therapy, a premature divorce or a divorce that leaves one of you baffled as to how this happened. 

Please note, this counseling is not suitable if one partner has already made a final decision to divorce and wants to encourage the other to accept that decision, if it involves domestic violence, or there is an Order of Protection from the court.