Discernment Counseling – Clarification When Considering Whether to Divorce

Guest post by Cheryl L. Wheeler, MA, Transformational Life Coach, 602-334-9554

Marriage counseling is an excellent tool for couples who want to work on the relationship. Typical marriage counseling is focused toward keeping the couple together, working through issues, and finding solutions. However, there are times when one of the partners does not want to work on the relationship and wants out. In these situations, the therapist is doing all the work trying to make the relationship better, with one partner resistant or sabotaging the relationship improvement.

Mediation when Divorce is Eminent….

Mediation has been among the most effective and cost saving methods of helping couples work through and come to agreements in matters of divorce. Once mediation is complete, divorce attorneys then have everything needed to proceed with an efficient, non-confrontational legal proceeding (in most cases). Mediation has proven to be cost effective in divorce matters. But what if the couple is not sure they want to divorce?

Consider Discernment Counseling if….

Discernment counseling is the step when considering divorce.

  1. You want to take one last look at the marriage before making a decision to divorce
  2. You’ve lost emotional or physical connection to your partner that you want to try to regain
  3. One partner is “leaning out” (considering divorce) and the other partner is “leaning in” (wants to work on the marriage)
  4. Both partners are unsure if they want to stay together
  5. You want further clarity and confidence about what steps to take next in your marriage
  6. Couples want to understand if their marriage or relationship can be saved (repairable)
  7. You want help making an informed decision about whether or not to move toward divorce and if so, to begin talking about what the divorce path looks like
  8. An affair has been uncovered and the couple or one partner is unsure if they want to try to repair their marriage versus dissolve their relationship

How it works.

The couple has decided to do Discernment Counseling, they both commitment to one 2-hour session. During this session, each person decides separately if they would like one more session, up to a maximum of five.  The goals are clarity and confidence in a direction for the marriage, based on a deeper understanding of what has happened to the marriage and each person’s contributions to the problems.

Three directions:

  1. Stay married as the relationship is.
  2. Move forward with mediation and divorce.
  3. Participate in couples counseling for at least six months to see if the marriage can be repaired.

The process for Discernment counseling is straight forward (for an experienced, seasoned professional). Short term, pressure free and directed to conclusion.