Couples Therapy & Discernment Counseling
What is couples’ therapy?
Couples therapy is a type of relational intervention focusing on both partners being committed to identifying and resolving un-helpful patterns of interaction and, while challenging at times, working collaboratively to their relationship by building tolerance for vulnerability and trust with one another. Couples therapy works by focusing on current and past relationship dynamics, exploring what one has learned from their family of origin, and other stresses that may be contributing to the presenting problem. We then work collaboratively to manage conflict, without losing oneself or one’s voice, is a major focus of the style of couples therapy that drives my work with couples and relationships.
What is Discernment Counseling?
Sometimes a marriage may have a mixed agenda with one partner wanting to leave, while the other partner wants to remain married. In these cases, couples therapy is not an appropriate modality of treatment as both partners do not have a shared vision for the future of the marriage. Discernment Counseling it is a short-term intervention, no more than 5 sessions, designed specifically to work with couples on the brink. There are three goals associated with discernment counseling; a. to create clarity about the direction of your marriage, confidence as you move forward, b. to develop a deep understanding of what happened to bring the marriage to this point in time, c. to understanding what each partner has contributed to the struggles that have led to this moment. Discernment counseling works towards these goals by providing three pathways to resolving the current stalemate; Path I: Remain in the marriage status quo, Path II: separate or divorce, with a strong emphasis on collaborative divorce and working to prevent as much damage to each partner and others, i.e., children, or Path III: the couple committees to 6 months of intensive couples therapy, designed to restore the marriage to health, with the threat of divorce off the table for that period of time. I am a certified Discernment Counselor and have assisted couples in creating new pathways towards the resolution of these difficult conversations. I would be happy to discuss this option with you as well.