Resolving the Stay-or-Go Dilemma in Relationships
Are you or your partner unsure about the future of your relationship? I often use Discernment Counseling to help couples gain clarity and direction.
What is Discernment Counseling?
Discernment Counseling is a specialized form of therapy designed for couples at a pivotal crossroads in their relationship. Unlike traditional couples therapy that focuses on improving relationship dynamics and communication, Discernment Counseling aims to help couples understand and thoughtfully decide whether they want to commit to resolving their issues or part ways. This form of counseling is particularly beneficial for couples where one partner is leaning towards leaving the relationship while the other is more hopeful about repairing it.
How Does it Work?
Joint and Individual Sessions
In Discernment Counseling, the process involves both joint sessions as well as one-to-one conversations. The aim is twofold: to foster mutual understanding and care during this decision-making process, and to honor the individual experiences and feelings of each partner. The goal is not to solve your relational problems; it is to discern whether they might be solvable in couples therapy. Joint sessions focus on building a shared perspective, while one-to-one conversations allow for private reflection and personal clarity. This balanced approach helps ensure that both the collective dynamics of the couple and the unique perspectives of each individual are respectfully acknowledged and addressed.
Three Possible Paths
Through this process, couples discern three potential paths:
- Enter couples therapy to restore the relationship.
- Transition towards separation or divorce.
- Choose a structured time-out before deciding.
Each path is designed to align with the couple's unique circumstances and shared goals, providing a clear direction for their next steps.
Benefits of Discernment Counseling
Here are some key benefits of this counseling method:
- Respect and Compassion: This approach emphasizes kindness, empathy, and collaboration, essential qualities as partners navigate through this challenging and emotional process. By fostering open, honest communication within a non-confrontational setting, it guides partners to express themselves thoughtfully and kindly, even when broaching difficult subjects. This method helps mitigate the adversarial tones that might typically arise during discussions about the future of a relationship.
- Clarity and Complexity: Discernment Counseling helps address the ambivalence and complexity inherent in relationships. This process helps partners gain a clearer understanding of their own emotions, while simultaneously fostering a deeper insight into their partner’s perspective. Such understanding is especially important given the shared history and potential future of the relationship. By facilitating this dual comprehension, Discernment Counseling enables partners to make more informed and empathetic decisions, respecting both the individual journey and the collective narrative of their relationship.
- Useful for Future Relationships: The insights gained through Discernment Counseling extend beyond the immediate decisions regarding the status of the relationship. By engaging in this reflective process, individuals may gain a deeper understanding of their own patterns and behaviors, which are often deeply ingrained and recurrent across relationships. By thoughtfully processing these issues, individuals become better equipped to embark on new relationships, whether it's a renewed commitment to each other or with new partners.
Schedule a Therapy Appointment
Ready to find out more? Reach out to schedule an appointment to help make a clearer decision.
Contact us to schedule a time.