For couples considering separation or divorce

Unlike traditional marriage counseling that assumes that both people are willing to work on the relationship, Discernment Counselling helps people decide (e.g., “discern”) whether to work on their relationship or move to separation.

Discernment Counselling is very short-term (1 to 5 sessions). There are three possible outcomes:

  1. Both partners decide to work on the marriage and move into couple counselling
  2. One or both partners realize that the relationship is over and they work on ending their relationship in a healthy way
  3. They are not ready to make a decision either way and agree to stay on hold for a period of time.

Even if partners have different views on the future of the relationship, the therapist works to understand both points of view. It is not about taking sides or convincing either party to accept the other’s view. The focus of Discernment Counselling is to allow each person to focus on their own contributions to the problems and possible solutions. This is helpful for this relationship or for future relationships to avoid repeating unhelpful patterns. Counselling is considered a success if the partners have clarity and confidence in their decision. Discernment Counselling is not suitable when:

  • One spouse has made a final decision and wants the counsellor to help the other spouse accept this decision
  • Either spouse is being coerced to participate

If you are interested in counselling but your spouse refuses to participate, individual counselling can still be helpful.

What to expect

The session is divided between conversation between the couple and individual conversations for each partner with the therapist. The counsellor respects the issues each person raises and helps to create a realistic plan for the future of the relationship.

The first session is 2 hours. Cost for this reflects the extended time needed for this session. Subsequent sessions are 1.5 hours with the normal fee for couple sessions.

Please contact me to book your session, or if you have other questions.