Discernment Counseling

Reconnecting Together

If your relationship is struggling, but one or both of you are not sure about committing to couples counseling, discernment counseling might be a good fit for you. Discernment counseling is designed to help people decide whether they want to commit to working on their relationship for a set amount of time with a list of goals, terminate the relationship entirely or continue with the relationship as is.

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Counseling On Relationships

Dr. Stanford has trained with Dr. Bill Doherty, the creator of discernment counseling, and is qualified to help you and your partner decide the best course of action. Dr. Hunter, Dr. Fast, and Dr. Stanford are each trained and experienced in this method and are here to help.

Our approach includes individual and couples times to help partners who are struggling decide what to do, and also to support partners who are committed but frustrated that their partner is unsure.

Couples Discernment Counseling

A discernment counseling session usually begins with couples time. A provider will ask you and your partner questions and will take notes while asking for clarification if needed. You may be answering questions such as what has happened in your marriage to drive you to the point of considering divorce, if you have children, what you’ve already done to try to fix your marital problems or what the highlights of your relationship have been.

Individual Discernment Counseling

During discernment counseling, each spouse will also engage in individual discernment counseling with their provider. At this point in discernment counseling, you will be able to voice your feelings freely to your therapist and get help with your side of the situation. Have you determined divorce is the only option for your relationship, or are you willing to commit to couples counseling for a set period of time? When you work with Stanford Couples Counseling, you will be heard and validated, and you’ll receive the tools you need to move forward.

Couples may return for a few sessions of discernment counseling before settling on a decision. We believe the worst thing for a relationship is uncertainty and limbo, so discernment counseling is designed to be fairly brief (3-7 sessions) and powerful. Our goal is to help each of you accurately assess your situation, evaluate possible next steps, and choose the best path forward.

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Through discernment counseling, couples will determine whether they want to move forward with couples counseling or move forward with a divorce. Regardless of which path is ultimately chosen, individuals always feel better when they make the most informed decision possible and avoid impulsive, emotion-driven relationship outcomes.

If you would like to know more about our discernment counseling services and how we can help your relationship, submit our contact form or schedule now.

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