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You are thinking about divorce. Maybe your spouse has told you they want a divorce. “If it wasn’t for the kids, I would have been gone a long time ago.” Sound familiar?

If you or your spouse are considering divorce but are not completely sure that’s the best path, you are in a tough spot. Discernment Counseling is designed for you.

It’s a chance to slowdown, take a breath, and look at your options for your marriage.

Discernment Counseling is a new way of helping couples where one person is “leaning out” of the relationship-and not sure that regular marriage counseling would help-and the other is“leaning in”-that is, interested in rebuilding the marriage.

I will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage to health, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later.

The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future.

The goal is not to solve your marital problems but to see if they are solvable.

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You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you are feeling about your marriage at the moment. No bad guys and good guys.

You will come in as a couple but the most important work occurs in the one-to-one conversations with me. Why? Because you are starting out in different places.

I will respect your reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health.

I will emphasize the importance of each of you seeing your own contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. This will be useful in future relationships even if this one ends.

Discernment Counseling gives your marriage forward three distinct paths:

  1. Continue in the marriage as it is and not make any changes at this point.

  2. Move towards a separation or divorce.

  3. Commit to six months of marriage counseling trying to fix the issues.

There are a maximum of five counseling sessions in Discernment Counseling. The first counseling session is two hours long and the subsequent counseling sessions are an hour and a half long.

Discernment Counseling is not suited for the following situations:

  • When one spouse has already made the decision to divorce

  • When one spouse is coercing the other to participate

  • When there is danger of domestic violence

If you are interested in setting up a Discernment Counseling session, please call me at 701-478-4144. I will need to go through a pre-screen over the phone with both you and your partner prior to meeting face to face. The screening will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Want to know more? Below I have attached a video of Dr. Bill Doherty discussing Discernment Counseling.

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