What Is Discernment Counseling?

Discernment counseling is a new form of couples counseling that is designed specifically for couples who are experiencing trouble. When one member of the couple feel they need a divorce and the other thinks they can work it out often traditional marriage counseling isn’t enough. Most couples in this situation who go through full-scale marriage counseling are unsuccessful in saving the marriage. Because one person feels so strongly that it should end they are often overwhelmed by the stress of marriage counseling will even refuse to participate. Discernment counseling is, instead, a conversation about whether a divorce is the right course of action. Here are some things you need to know about discernment counseling:


  • This is a great option for couples with children…

    Getting a divorce is particularly tricky when there are kids involved. In fact, couples with children have a 40% lower divorce rate than those without. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have less marital issues as much as they feel obligated to stay together. If the divorce is particularly messy it can have a significant impact on the kids. Discernment counseling allows both parties to come to a decision together on what they need to do, divorce or couples counseling, and it allows the lines of communication to remain open between both parties.


  • It’s not designed to save your marriage…

    Couples counseling is designed to help couples stay together and work together. It’s often formatted to give everyone a chance at healthy interpersonal communication. A lack of communication is a huge factor in the ending of relationships. Discernment counseling isn’t couples counseling. It’s a process that opens the communication and allows everyone to talk honestly about actually getting a divorce and why it might be needed. Typically in a divorce situation, one person is further in the process than the other. This counseling is designed to put them on the same page.


If after the counseling session a divorce still seems like the only option the result is an experience where the divorce lawyer is more capable of a successful mediation, and divorcing your spouse is not cause of concern as much as a mutually agreed upon course of action. A divorce lawyer in this situation can then provide the best level of support.