DISCERNMENT COUNSELLING FOR COUPLES ON THE BRINK
Should I stay or should I go?
Discernment Counselling respects and recognizes that the couple in crisis is most likely a mixed-agenda couple—where one partner feels no hope or very little hope and is heading towards the path of separation, divorce, or break up and the other partner is not on board with this direction and would like to try to save the relationship.
. And the other partner is ‘leaning in’ and inclined to stay in the marriage and work toward repair. where one partner feels no hope or very little hope and is heading towards the path of separation, divorce, or break up and the other partner is not on board with this direction and would like to try to save the marriage.
The goal is to provide greater clarity and confidence for the direction of the marriage or relationship, as well as, a better understanding of each person’s contribution to what brought you to this place so you can learn the most no matter what happens.
. Discernment Counselling provides a very safe, structured, hand-holding environment with three possible outcomes. Path one is to keep doing what you’re doing, staying in that indecisive place, not moving towards divorce, not working on the relationship. That’s always an option. Path two is moving towards divorce, and Path three is a six-month effort to repair your relationship, taking divorce off the table for those six months.
When you’ve finally decided to call it quits, you need support to transition your union from that of a romantic couple to “business partners” and co-parents. And when divorcing couples have children together, many critical decisions will need to be made in order to spare the children unnecessary emotional trauma. Collaborative divorce aims to see you through the emotional turmoil of divorce and make uncoupling as civil and amicable as possible.
An important question used in discernment counselling is:
“Are you willing to work on changing your contributions to the marriage?”
Discernment counselling is a type of therapy that is meant to help couples get out of that indecision purgatory. It is specifically designed to help couples decide whether to work on their marriage or get divorced and find the clarity to know that whatever they decide, it is the best decision for both parties
The short-term approach of Discernment Counselling helps the partners carefully consider the life-changing decision whether to end or re-commit to their marriage. When a decision emerges, the Counsellor helps provide the resources to move forward with reconciliation, or move forward with separation and/or divorce.
The first step in discernment counselling is one two-hour session with both partners present. During this time, a counsellor will speak with each person individually to assess whether or not the problems in the relationship are solvable. Then the counsellor will meet with both partners together, offering the couple support as they choose how best to proceed in the relationship.
There are three possible options that a couple may choose while in discernment counseling. The first option is to keep things as they are, to remain in the marriage as it is and accept that things are not going to change. The second option is separation or divorce. Together, both partners can decide that they no longer wish to be married and proceed from there. The third option a couple may choose is to commit to attending six months of couples counseling together. During these six months, both partners must agree to attend regular couples counseling sessions and to stay committed to one another within the container of marriage. After the six months are complete, they can reassess their relationship and decide once again how to proceed.
If a couple chooses to commit to six months of therapy, some of the sessions will be one-on-one with each partner individually. During this time, the therapist will focus on getting to know each person, what their strengths and weaknesses are, their style of communication, and the way they handle and engage with conflict. As a result, each partner will develop a deeper relationship with him or herself as well as be able to examine the ways they participate in their marriage.
Discernment counselling is helpful for couples because it lays out a structured path during a confusing and emotional time. A discernment counsellor will create a safe container for the couple to speak openly about where their marriage is at. This space is free from the opinions of friends and family, from work colleagues and church acquaintances, and offers couples a chance to fully explore the choices available to them. During this time, each partner will begin to understand the core issues present in the relationship and the ways in which they contribute to them.
In discernment counselling, both partners are offered the time and space to understand their own and their partner’s perspective. If a couple does choose to proceed with couples therapy, most likely they will already have discovered some of their core conflicts and will be able to use their discernment sessions as a foundation upon which to build.
Regardless of whether you are leaning towards divorce or believe your marriage is worth saving, discernment counselling is a great opportunity to clearly understand your options and make the best decision for both you and your partner.
No,its not the traditional couples therapy.This approach does not seek to “fix” the problems in the relationship but rather helps you to discern if the problems can and should be solved. It is short-term (maximum of 5 sessions) and designed to seek clarity and confidence around the decision about the future of the marriage, based on a deeper understanding of what has happened to the relationship. This approach enables you both to slow down, take a deep breath and consider all your options and future possibilities.
This approach does not seek to “fix” the problems in the relationship but rather helps you to discern if the problems can and should be solved. It is short-term (maximum of 5 sessions) and designed to seek clarity and confidence around the decision about the future of the marriage, based on a deeper understanding of what has happened to the relationship. This approach enables you both to slow down, take a deep breath and consider all your options and future possibilities.