Discernment Counseling

In-Person or Virtual Counseling
Discernment counseling offers couples in struggling marriages intensive sessions to make important decisions about the future of their relationship. Couples therapy using the Gottman Method is available for those ready to heal and grow their marriage.

Gain clarity and confidence in your decision making about the future of your marriage.

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 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.

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

The goal of discernment counseling is not to solve marital problems. You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you feel about your marriage at the moment.

The discernment counseling process will help you gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future. You and your spouse will decide whether to try to restore your marriage, move toward separation or divorce, or take a time out and decide later. The goal is not to solve your marital problems but to see if they are solvable. You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you feel about your marriage.
Discernment counseling is structured and time limited. The first session is two hours, and the subsequent sessions are 1 ½ to 2 hours. You attend each session as a couple. Each partner has one-to-one conversations with the therapist followed by a therapist guided reflection time as a couple.
Discernment counseling is not suited for these situations:
When one spouse has already made a final decision to divorce (if this applies to you please see hopeful spouse counseling below)
When one spouse is coercing the other to participate
When there is danger of domestic violence

Hopeful Spouse Coaching is available for discernment and support when one partner is unwilling to participate in discernment counseling, and the other spouse seeks support and insight.

Island Sound Counseling LLC
380 SE Pioneer Way, Suite 205
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Driving Directions
Client Service Area
  • In-office counseling available to all.
  • Virtual counseling available for clients who reside in WA, MO, IL, MI, OH, and IN.
  • Workshops available to all.
  • Adoption home studies available in WA.

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