Sometimes within relationships, we find ourselves on different pages or wanting different things. Perhaps one of you is willing to work on the relationship while the other is already “checked out” and/or ready for a divorce. If so, discernment counseling may be for you. Discernment counseling brings individuals towards a place of reconciliation or aids them in moving forward separately.
You may be wondering how discernment counseling differs from couples counseling. In couples counseling, often both partners are somewhat willing to work on the relationship. With discernment counseling, the counselor you are paired to work with will help you decide whether to try to repair the marriage, move forward toward divorce, or take a break. The counselor emphasizes each partner seeing their own contributions to the difficulties they experience and the possible solutions. You will come in as a couple, but the most important work will occur in one-on-one conversations with the counselor.
At Symmetry Counseling, we utilize discernment counseling when a couple is in crisis or when couples counseling doesn’t seem to be enough to do the trick. Where couples counseling sessions may be weekly for 45-60 minutes, discernment counseling is more intensive, lasting, and at times, up to 1.5-2 hours. With a maximum of five counseling sessions, discernment counseling gives each partner an understanding about the direction the relationship is heading because it gives them a deeper perspective of the future of the relationship. Rather than trying to solve marital issues, discernment counseling aims to see if these issues are solvable. It isn’t about casting blame on one party or the other; it’s about seeing both sides of the situation and determining whether or not there is a resolution that works for both of you.
While you will go to the counselor together, you will do the majority of the work one-on-one with your counselor. This is because you both have different perspectives and both sides need to be heard. If you are leaning towards divorce, the counselor will respect that while still identifying room for restoring the marriage if you both decide this is what’s best. This will be useful in future relationships, even if this one ends.
At Symmetry Counseling, we’re here to help you. Contact us today to learn more about our mental health and counseling services, and to talk to one of our compassionate therapists."