Discernment Counseling is a specialized new way to work with what we call “mixed-agenda” couples—one leaning out of the marriage and not sure about couples therapy, and the other leaning in. It’s brief—no more than five sessions—and has the goal not to solve the marital problems right now but to help the couple develop clarity and confidence about a direction for their marriage, based on a deeper understanding of what’s happened to their relationship and each person’s contributions to the problems. Clarity, confidence, and deeper understanding–that’s what you get.
Couples come out of Discernment Counseling with a decision either to divorce or give the marriage a full-out, six-month effort in marriage counseling to see if they can right the ship and have a strong relationship again. Discernment Counseling sessions do not look much like traditional marriage counseling sessions because the majority of the time is spent with each spouse separately–to help them get clearer on what’s happened and what the future might look like. We’re pleased to say that Discernment Counseling is taking off among couples therapists as a way to help couples who we’ve failed before. Couples are finding enormous relief, whether they end up divorcing (hopefully in a much healthier way) or saving a marriage that one of them thought was doomed.
Right now then, we suggest you find a trained professional near you, or, if you’re a husband whose wife is considering divorce (we started with leaning-in husbands because women initiate 2/3 of divorcees) we have a First Step Guide that will give you immediate, therapeutic steps for what to do right now in your marriage. We also offer enormous support for leaning out wives.