Frequently Asked Questions

What the hell is Discernment Counseling?


If you’re in a marriage that’s on the rocks or if it’s sucked so long you’re a “wish it could work but don’t think it can because of these reasons sorta person, you’re not alone.  And it’s understandable and solvable problem solved by Discernment Counseling.  

Discernment counseling is a fancy term for pre-divorce counseling. It’s  designed for couples who are on the brink of ending the relationship or divorcing.   It’s a therapeutic approach that helps you decide whether to stay together, divorce, or just wait and do nothing. 

Think of it as a quick pit stop before you hit the divorce highway. But hold up, it’s not for those who already have one foot out the door. If one of you is already dead-set on getting a divorce, then this ain’t for you, my friend. 

Discernment counseling is for those who are seriously contemplating divorce and need to slow down and give it some serious thought. It’s like a mental health spa where you can relax and explore your options without any judgment. 

Who Goes to Discernment Counseling?


First off, it’s not for couples where one partner is 100% sure they want to break up. If one partner knows there’s knowing anyone could say or do there’s not a Dumb-and-Dumber chance they want it to work, that would be potentially unnecessarily cruel and expensively useful.  It’s for mixed agenda couples where one partner is leaning out of the relationship and the other is leaning in. 

The 'Leaning Out' Partner's Perspective


The ‘leaning out’ partner is the one who’s not sure if they want to stay in the marriage or not. They may be tired of the constant bickering, or they may have already checked out of the relationship mentally. They may even have a secret side-piece that they’re not ready to give up yet. 

The 'Leaning In' Partner's Perspective


The ‘leaning in’ partner is the one who’s not ready to give up on the marriage and is willing to try to make it work. They may be hurt, angry, or confused by their partner’s sudden change of heart. They may even be willing to try couples therapy to fix things. 

What is the Format of Discernment Counseling?


After completing the Couples State of The Union Assessment, Discernment counseling typically involves at most four ninety minute sessions.   Each session includes time with each partner alone and together.  The goal is not to convince you to stay together or break up, but to help you get clarity about what you want and why. 

It’s not marriage counseling, and it’s not about changing what makes you both unhappy. It’s about exploring your options and making an informed decision about your future. 

Why Do Discernment Counseling?


Divorce is a big deal.  It’s expensive and for nearly everyone, it’s permanent solution some to a problem some forever regret not taking more time to time to decide if the marriage could’ve worked. It’s to give yourself the peace of mind you were objectively open to hearing your partner out.   And often it’s  the necessary last step before some partner’s are “motivated” to invest their attention and effort in the marriage.  

It’s for getting clear that it leads into couples therapy for six months,  and it’s important to make sure you’re not jumping the gun on an unnecessary breakup. Discernment counseling is designed for couples who are actively doubting that marriage counseling will do any good. 

It’s a time-limited approach that helps you judge your options well, especially if you’re seriously contemplating divorce. It’s a chance to slow down, take a breath, and figure out what you really want. 

What Are the Expected Outcomes of Discernment Counseling?


The expected outcomes of discernment counseling are greater clarity and confidence in the direction you want to go. You’ll have three choices to make: 

  • stay in the marriage as is,
  • move toward a divorce,
  • or work on the marriage through couples therapy.

Discernment counseling helps you explore your own contributions to the problems in the marriage and avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

Which Professionals Practice Discernment Counseling?


Qualified mental health providers who practice discernment counseling are usually licensed marriage and family therapists, attorneys, psychologists, or social workers. 

Managing "Your Potential Drunk Text"


Divorce is a big deal, and it’s a decision only you and your partner can make – one’s the news gets out the other’s get involved things can easily escalate and it take on a life it’s own.  And that always makes it more expensive and painful, and now always wanted nor necessary.   Discernment counseling helps because it’s a safe, structured space and place for both partners to be able to pause, breath, think, reflect, clarity and choose what’s in their best interest.   

So if you’re struggling with the decision about whether to stay in a marriage, divorce, or wait and do nothing, then discernment counseling may be the perfect pit stop for you. Just remember, it’s not for those whom are absolutely certain there’s not a chance, that’d be cruel.  Don’t do dat.