Relationships are intricate webs of emotions, experiences, and dreams. At times, individuals in committed partnerships find themselves at a crossroads, grappling with uncertainty about the future of their relationship. 

This is where Discernment counselling fits in– a specialized form of therapy designed to provide couples with the tools they need to make informed decisions about their relationship’s trajectory. 

What is Discernment Counselling?

Discernment counselling is a unique therapeutic approach that acknowledges the complexity of relationship ambivalence. It is specifically tailored for couples who are teetering on the edge of a decision, whether to continue the relationship as it is, move into couples therapy to create a deeper connection or reconnect, or initiate a separation or divorce. Unlike traditional couples therapy, which often focuses on improving communication and resolving conflicts, discernment counseling centers on helping individuals gain clarity about their desires, needs, and the potential paths forward.

The Purpose of Discernment Counselling

When a relationship reaches a critical juncture, emotions can run high, making it challenging to make rational decisions. Discernment counselling provides a safe and structured space for partners to explore their feelings and thoughts in a supportive environment. The goal is to help couples gain insight into their relationship dynamics and how their individual contributions lead to the issues at hand, and whether they have the desire, motivation and willingness to work on the relationship.

The Discernment Counselling Process

Individual Sessions: A significant aspect of discernment counselling is that it combines both individual and joint sessions. Each partner has the opportunity to meet with the therapist individually to share their perspective, concerns, and personal history. These sessions allow individuals to reflect on their own feelings and motivations without the immediate presence of their partner.

Joint Sessions: Joint sessions involve both partners and the therapist. During these sessions, the therapist facilitates open and honest conversations, focusing on exploring the reasons for considering different paths – staying in the relationship, moving towards reconciliation, or initiating a separation. These discussions are non-judgmental and designed to promote understanding rather than assigning blame.

Gaining Clarity: Throughout the process, the therapist guides partners in assessing their feelings, aspirations, and willingness to engage in relationship work. The aim is to foster self-awareness and facilitate a deeper understanding of what each person truly wants from the relationship.

Decision-Making: Ultimately, discernment counselling is about empowering couples to make an informed decision about the future of their relationship that is best for them.  This process encourages couples to engage in thoughtful reflection and consider all available options without pressure.

Benefits of Discernment Counselling

Clarity and Insight: Discernment counselling provides a structured framework for self-reflection, helping individuals gain a deeper understanding of their emotions, needs, and desires. This leads to more informed decisions about the relationship’s future.

Effective Communication: By facilitating open and non-confrontational conversations, discernment counselling supports healthy communication between partners. It encourages active listening and empathy, which can be valuable even if the decision is made to part ways.

Empowerment: Feeling empowered to make a decision that aligns with one’s authentic self can bring a sense of empowerment and control. Discernment counseling supports individuals in taking ownership of their choices.

Reduced Emotional Toll: The process of relationship uncertainty can be emotionally draining. Discernment counselling provides a structured space for processing emotions and reduces the toll that prolonged indecision can take on mental and emotional well-being.

Discernment Counselling offers a safe and supportive environment where partners can explore their emotions, pains, dynamics and relationship goals, gain insight, and ultimately make the decision that aligns with their authentic selves. By fostering clarity, transparent communication, and empowerment of self, discernment counselling equips couples with the tools to navigate the path ahead, whether that leads to a renewed commitment or a new chapter as individuals, paving the way for a more fulfilling and purposeful future, regardless of the direction they choose.

We offer Discernment Counselling for those going through the difficult decision making process in regard to their relationship.  Reach out today to book an initial appointment.