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Marriage is a journey filled with ups and downs, and at times, couples may find themselves at a crossroads, unsure of the path ahead. It's during these challenging moments that Discernment Counseling can play a crucial role in helping couples navigate the complexities of their relationships. In this blog post, we'll explore what Discernment Counseling is, how it works, and how it can empower couples to make informed decisions about the future of their marriages.
Discernment Counseling is a specialized form of couples therapy designed for couples facing uncertainty about the direction of their marriage. It recognizes that not every couple seeking counseling is ready to commit to traditional couples therapy, which often assumes both partners are willing to work on the relationship.
The primary goal of Discernment Counseling is to help individuals gain clarity and confidence about whether to continue working on their marriage, move toward separation, or take some time apart for reflection. It's a short-term, focused process that aims to provide insight and understanding rather than resolving all the issues within the relationship.
How Discernment Counseling Works
1. **Assessment of the Relationship:**
Discernment Counseling begins with an assessment of the current state of the relationship. The counselor helps the couple explore the issues they're facing, examining patterns of communication, areas of disagreement, and any underlying concerns.
2. **Individual Sessions:**
Unlike traditional couples therapy, Discernment Counseling often involves individual sessions in addition to joint sessions. This allows each partner to express their thoughts and feelings privately, promoting honest and open communication.
3. **Understanding Paths Forward:**
The counselor helps the couple understand three possible paths for their relationship: continuing as is, moving toward separation or divorce, or committing to intensive couples therapy. This exploration aims to provide clarity about the best course of action for both individuals.
4. **Building Decision-Making Skills:**
Discernment Counseling equips individuals with the skills needed to make decisions about their relationship. It focuses on understanding personal needs and desires, fostering self-awareness, and promoting effective communication.
Benefits of Discernment Counseling
One of the main benefits of Discernment Counseling is the clarity it offers. It helps individuals gain a deeper understanding of their own needs and desires and provides insights into the dynamics of the relationship.
By exploring different paths and understanding the options available, individuals can approach their decisions with greater confidence. Discernment Counseling empowers individuals to take control of their future, whether that involves working on the marriage or choosing a different path.
3. **Improved Communication:**
The counseling process emphasizes effective communication skills, fostering a better understanding between partners. This improved communication can be valuable regardless of the ultimate decision made about the relationship.
Discernment Counseling provides a valuable space for couples to explore the complexities of their marriage and make informed decisions about its future. This approach enables couples to navigate challenging times with a greater understanding of themselves and each other. Whether the outcome involves reconciliation, separation, or further therapy, Discernment Counseling empowers individuals to take control of their relational journey.