Discernment counseling Divorce or not

Discernment Counseling

If divorce is on the table, discernment counseling can help you come to healthier decisions.   

If you or your partner are unsure whether to stay in the relationship or perhaps go your separate ways, discernment counseling may be an appropriate option.  

Discernment Counseling - Making Decisions From A Healthier Place

Discernment counseling assists couples that are ambivalent about staying married or getting divorced. This can be a difficult phase for a couple who have reached a point where divorce is on the table. It can occur where one or both individuals may be struggling with the relationship and need help deciding on whether they should continue through with a divorce or if there is any way the relationship can be salvaged. It is not uncommon for one person to be “leaning out” while the other is “leaning in”. One may feel that couples therapy can help, while the other is nearly checked out. This can present some challenges to a happy reunion, but discernment counseling can still be an incredibly valuable process even if the couple differs in their desire to remain together. 


Relationships usually share a significant amount of care and love. In most cases, both parties may have placed a considerable amount of time and effort into their relationships. However, once the relationship reaches the point where a divorce is under consideration, the marriage is usually under a significant amount of stress whether the individuals are aware of it or not. Stress and anxiety in a relationship does not always appear as frustration or problems in communication, but can sometimes present as discontentment, depression, or increasing distance between partners. In any event, this can be a difficult stage for couples since they may be troubled by events or persisting emotions which have led them to consider terminating the relationship. This can happen following years of conflict, after emotional or value differences change, or after a single event such as an unexpected affair has come to light. 


The resulting fallout may lead one or both individuals to remain distressed about losing their relationship. In addition, concerns regarding how their next steps may affect their children, what parenting arrangements may need to be defined, what financial decisions may need to be made, and what are the living arrangements they may need to consider during this process can weigh heavily on the relationship. Couples often rush to make these decisions from unhealthy or painful emotional spaces. They often fail to consider the extended impact their emotionally-driven decisions may have in the long term or even how their decisions may be rooted over several psychological factors which may lead them to preemptively terminate a union before a more grounded decision process can take place. 

How Can Discernment Counseling Help Us?

Discernment counseling provides couples a supportive environment where they can find a mutual understanding of what is occurring behind their decisions. It walks couples through their current needs and emotions, so that their decisions can be made from a healthier place. Once a divorce is under consideration, most couples run to their respective family attorneys to gain a perspective or advice on a very big, and often permanent decision. Couples who place such a large decision on a mediator or on someone who will try to fight for them on their behalf may be jumping too far ahead in their process. We certainly support legal counseling, but we strongly recommend that couples explore a discernment process before any final decisions are made. This could save a struggling couple a significant amount of costs, heartache, and stress.


Even if the couple decides to move ahead with a divorce, many individuals later struggle with co-parenting or moving into healthy new relationships. Data on second and third marriages suggests that new marriages fare significantly worse than their first marriage. This may suggest that while the problems may currently seem overwhelming, exploring a reunion or a healthier split may leave individuals better prepared to manage conflict in the future. As relational beings, we tend to work in patterns and can often harbor anger, resentment, or mistrust into future relationships if these feelings are not explored. This is neither caring to your own process or to a new individual with whom you may want to eventually carry a relationship with.


Discernment therapy leaves you feeling more comfortable in the decisions being made and considers healthier relationships in the future, whether that is with an old partner with whom you may need to co-parent with, or with someone new in your life. For those that align and decide to work on their relationship, couples therapy can significantly improve your relationship and help you rekindle your connection. Even after an affair, most couples who undergo couples therapy report feeling much closer to their partner and in a much stronger relationship following the infidelity. 

Discernment counseling is a process that respects the couples reasons for wanting divorce while also remaining open to the possibility of restoring the union to health. Throughout the process, It will emphasize the importance of each individual seeing their own contributions to the problems and looking at possible solutions. This will be useful in future relationships even if this one ends.

Discernment counseling is not appropriate if one is involved in another relationship which can undermine or interfere in the couple’s process, if one spouse is coercing the other to participate, or if one is in danger of domestic violence. This is for couples that are still struggling to come to terms with a decision around divorce, feeling ambiguous and want to explore a healthier understanding and acceptance to where they've been stuck.


Discernment counseling is not couples therapy. It's not about working out the marriage and trying to see what might be possible to make your marriage survive. More so, it’s about helping you understand your relationship with more clarity. It can give couples and individuals more confidence and clarity about the decisions they are making, allowing them to move forward in a positive way.

Are you and your partner in need of Discernment Counseling? Contact Us! 

Love Discovery Institute offers Discernment Counseling in a safe and non-judgemental environment. In Discernment Counselling, you do not have to be sure if you want to stay in the marriage or not and there is no pressure to make a specific decision. However, through the process, you and your partner will gain more clarity and define what is best for you both or your family from a healthier place. Talk with one of our experienced discernment therapists, set up your first appointment and begin your journey with us. We will help you in making confident choices in your marriage or relationship. We’re here to support you and create the best life possible.

If you are ready to get started with discernment counseling, make an appointment with any of our therapists today. 

Still unsure if discernment counseling is for you? Call us at 305-605-LOVE for a free 20-minute consult.

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Ponce de Leon

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 Visit us at our Ponce de Leon location, right in the heart of beautiful Coral Gables. This location is literally steps away from amazing area restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. Easy and secure access with parking garage for your convenience.

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Miami Beach

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Visit us at the Carillon Miami Beach Resort and Spa, where we can take advantage of the beautiful resort spaces, including outside areas, gardens, beach, or in the privacy of our office. After your session, enjoy the rest of your day at the spa, on us. Valet parking included.

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