DISCERNMENT COUNSELING FOR COUPLES ON THE BRINK
provided by Robin Sesan, Ph.D.
Are you or your partner on the brink of ending your relationship, but not completely sure it’s the best choice? If so, Discernment Counseling is designed for you. It’s a brief (one to five sessions) intervention that gives you a chance to slow down, take a breath, and fully consider your options.
Often one partner wants to pursue couples therapy while the other is not sure it will help, or is too exhausted from fighting or disconnection to put more energy into the relationship. Discernment Counseling is a new way of helping couples decide whether to try to restore their relationship to health, separate or move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later.
The goal of Discernment Counseling is not to solve your problems but to help you decide if they may be solvable. It is not couples therapy, but a process that will help you decide if you want to pursue couples therapy to improve your relationship. I will treat each of you with compassion and respect no matter how you are feeling about your relationship. My goal is to help both of you gain clarity and confidence about a path forward, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future.
You will come in as a couple but much of our work will occur in one-to-one conversations. I will respect your or your partner’s reasons for considering separation or divorce while examining the possibility of developing a happier and healthier relationship. As part of this I will help identify your own contributions to the relationship problems and possible solutions. This is a useful process for future relationships even if this one ends.
We will begin with a two-hour session in which I will talk with both of you together and each of you alone. At the end of the session, you will decide whether to continue the process for a second session. Subsequent sessions will run for 90 minutes. If you are interested, we will continue this process for a maximum of five sessions.
At the end of this process, you will decide whether to commit to a six-month all-out effort to work on the relationship in couples therapy, begin the process of separation/divorce, or keep things the way they are for now.
Discernment Counseling is not an option when:
- one partner has already made a final decision to divorce,
- one partner is coercing the other to participate, or
- there is danger of domestic violence.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Discernment Counseling