Discernment counseling focuses on gaining clarity about the direction each spouse wants to take for the marriage (through the lens of 3 path options). Other goals include building confidence to move forward with the chosen path, and gaining a deeper understanding of what has happened to the marriage and each person’s contribution to the problems. This insight is helpful for future relationships regardless of the decision to remain married. Discernment counseling is structured and time limited (1 session weekly, 1-5 sessions total). Part of each session includes reflective one on one time with the therapist. When the couple is together the therapist is present and supportive. No attempts are made to “fix” the marriage.
Couple’s therapy focuses on improved communication, problem solving, and building a united, loving marriage that lasts. Sessions include an in-depth assessment of strengths and challenges, a treatment plan, and interventions to learn new skills to achieve marriage goals. Couples practice these new skills during the sessions and between sessions. It is critical that both spouses are united in their decision to participate in therapy, and both agree that the purpose is to rebuild their marriage. Each is motivated to invest the time and effort needed to achieve their shared dream of a lasting, happier marriage.
Discernment Counseling Benefits Couple’s Therapy Success
If the decision is made that couple’s therapy is the path to take for the marriage then it is best to keep moving ahead with this new found hope, motivation, and momentum. The time, energy, and finances invested in discernment counseling typically can reap great dividends in couple’s therapy. Imagine feeling excited about being on the same path with your spouse and then moving ahead with a shared direction to rebuild your marriage together.