"How Discernment Counseling Can Help You With a Tough Choice"

Unhappy couple

There comes a time, when you are not sure if you should stay together as a couple or start to formally dissolve your partnership. Sometimes there is a nagging feeling that it’ll be ok in the end; “if only”, even though one of you seems less committed. You are not sure what to do. Can you rekindle the relationship or is it too late? Most times, if not always, having a mediator guide you through the emotional experience is the best decision you’ll ever make.

The formal process to a step-by-step walk you through the life changing decision is known as Discernment Counseling.

Should I stay or should I go? 
If that’s the question you need answered, Discernment Counseling will help you work out the answer, in consultation with your partner. A series of meetings are set up, up to a maximum of five. The sessions usually last 1.5 to 2 hours. The investigative process follows a set procedure that has a finite end. You need to commit to the full six meetings, or end earlier, if you reach an understanding sooner. The meetings are usually held on neutral ground, in the Counselor’s office. The sessions are pre-booked, initially together, and then one on one individual sessions with the Counselor, before returning to joint sessions. The individual meetings are key as each of you will have different points of view and outlook and desired outcome.

Different Than Marriage Counseling 
Discernment Counseling is not marriage counseling.
Discernment Counseling meetings are:
- Targeted towards getting clarity on how you got where you are -answering the how and why questions.
- To help you understand that it took both of you to get to this stage – and that each of you contributed and therefore both of you will know what behavior and action adjustments to make
- Set up to see what can be done and what can’t be done from this point in time and giving you a plan going forward.

Discernment counseling will give you the confidence to move forward to the next stages which are:
- Resolve to stay together
- Intensive couples therapy to repair your relationship – suggested for six months for maximum resolution
- Lay out a defined path to a trial separation or divorce proceedings.

Now What?
Mediators and Therapists can provide the counseling. An understanding of the law, the process of negotiation and the emotional journey you are both experiencing, as well as an agreed actionable result is achieved at the end of the discernment counseling sessions.