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A New Option for Certain Marriages in Crisis


  • Are you (or your spouse) seriously considering divorce but wondering if it’s the right choice?

  • Does marriage counseling seem too overwhelming right now, but you’re at least willing to take a pause and explore how you’ve arrived at this point, and what your options are?

  • Are you debating back and forth whether your marriage is salvageable?

Discernment Counseling

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, Discernment counseling may help.


Different than traditional marriage counseling, Discernment Counseling does not immediately attempt to solve the problems within a marriage.  Rather, the goal of this short-term counseling approach is to help couples have greater clarity and confidence in their decision making.

  • Discernment Counseling is NOT Marital Counseling.


  • In Discernment Counseling, you don’t have to be sure you want to remain married.


  • You don’t have to be convinced that you want a divorce.


  • There is no pressure to commit to any given path.


  • Many people need the time, space, and an objective, supportive therapist to provide a place to thoughtfully consider all of their options.  

Discernment Counseling is a way for couples to look at their options.  It is most appropriate for couples where one partner wants to preserve and repair the relationship and the other is leaning towards ending it.  Discernment Counseling helps couples choose:

     - whether or not to continue their current path towards separation and/or divorce,

     - to enter marriage counseling to explore reconciliation and growth, or

     - to take a break from pondering the fate of the marriage in order to decide later.

Discernment Counseling may be appropriate if you or your spouse are seriously considering divorce but are not entirely sure if this is the right choice.  Couples who enlist the support of a skilled Discernment Counselor are interested in securing third-party support as they think through whether or not they wish to attempt the work of marriage counseling.


The sessions involve mostly individual conversations with the Discernment Counselor, along with sharing about what each partner is learning in these conversations.  The counselor respects the reasons for ending the relationship while opening up the possibility of restoring the relationship to health.  The counselor helps both partners see their individual contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. Understanding one’s own contributions to the problems can be important to the success of future relationships even if this one ends.

Discernment Counseling is considered successful when people have clarity and confidence in their decision, and when they more fully understand what’s happened to their relationship.

Discernment Counseling is brief and focused, involving a maximum of five counseling sessions.  The first visit is usually 2 hours, with subsequent sessions lasting 1 1/2 hours.  

Rona is a certified Discernment Counselor, and a member of the DRI Alliance for Marriage and Divorce Professionals. With over 20 years of experience helping couples determine the right path for them and their situations, Rona has the training and expertise to help you.  


You don’t have to face the weight of such a heavy decision-making process alone.  Please call to discuss whether Discernment Counseling may be right for you.