When constant arguing, hurt feelings, and increasing distance between two life partners seems never ending, it often seems as if divorcing your partner is the only way to find relief from the ongoing emotional pain. Most people, however, would prefer to fix the problems and stay together if it were possible to do so. The problem is, how do you know if the problems can be fixed?
Discernment Counselling is a new type of counselling that addresses that specific question, “Can the problems in our marriage be fixed?” At Living Well by Design, I offer Discernment Counselling to couples in St. Albert and Edmonton so they can better understand what has happened in their marriage bringing them to a place where they are considering divorce.
Discernment Counselling is a highly structured counselling approach that includes looking at your perspective of the role you played in the marriage, the perspective your partner has of the role he/she played in the marriage, as well as getting an objective professionals’ perspective on the possibility that the problems that have been created can be resolved.
More often than not, couples on the brink of divorce present as “mixed agenda” couples where one partner is the Leaning In partner, the one who wants to give their marriage another chance, and a Leaning Out partner, the one who is moving strongly towards divorce. To support the different needs and viewpoints of both partners, most of the sessions time is spent with each spouse separately, creating a safe zone to explore all options.
Discernment Counselling is NOT marriage counselling, “homework” is not assigned to couples to repair or restore the relationship. The time spent during Discernment Counselling is meant to provide a “time out” where both partners are able to slow down and give undivided attention to the concerns in their marriage.
Discernment Counselling is designed to be short-term counselling (between 1 – 5 sessions), and leads to a decision to either stay in the marriage as is, divorce, or give the marriage a 6 month all-out last ditch effort, with a clearly established agenda for change. Couples who decide to move towards either marriage counselling or divorce often find Discernment Counselling highly beneficially as they have taken the opportunity to understand themselves and their partners. This provides the clarity needed to proceed more confidently with the next step in the future of their relationship.
If you live in St. Albert or Edmonton and surrounding areas, and you or your spouse are not sure whether to stay together or end a marriage, call Living Well by Design at (780-246-8100) to schedule an appointment or email Wendy Hart with questions.