Monday, October 19, 2015

Do You Need Discernment Counseling?

How do you know when it’s time to file for divorce?

Well, there’s a new therapy designed to help you decide. It’s called “discernment counseling,” and it was developed by family therapist Dr. Bill Doherty.

He says traditional marriage counseling focuses on helping couples solve their problems. But discernment counseling is more about helping struggling couples figure out if they’re ready to divorce, or if they want to stay married and work through things. Dr. Doherty says, with most couples who are on the brink, there's one person “leaning out” - who's ready to leave, and one who's “leaning in,” and wants to fix things. Discernment counseling helps the leaning-out spouse decide if the decision to leave the marriage is the right one, and helps the leaning-in spouse cope in a way that doesn't make the situation worse. For example: He teaches you not to beg them to stay, make threats, or behave in a way that pushes your spouse away even more.

Dr. Doherty’s counseling takes 5 sessions, and he has the couple examine what was good about their marriage, and what got them to this point.

Then, he lays out three alternatives:

Stay in the marriage “as is” divorce, or try a six-month reconciliation with relationship therapy.

Dr. Doherty has found that with discernment counseling, nearly half of the couples decide to reconcile. The problem is, most couples wait too long to face their problems, to the point where their relationship has completely dissolved.

That’s why Dr. Doherty says one of the surest ways to save your marriage is to speak up when your commitment begins to waver. Otherwise, you risk having your spouse “check out” emotionally, until they become too distant to even consider a reconciliation.


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