Some couples fall into a special in-between category where they are not suitable candidates for couples therapy, because of its expectation that both parties work in good faith to strengthen the relationship.
With these couples, one partner is typically leaning towards separation/divorce while the other is struggling to save the relationship. Meanwhile, the couple is not a suitable candidate for mediation/divorce either, due to the partners’ ambivalence with regards to divorce as a desirable option.
While these couples may not immediately qualify for couples therapy or mediation/divorce, they are ideal candidates for discernment counseling, a process designed to help the couple develop insight about and resolution to the ambivalence that is draining them emotionally.
Together we will work to unravel the psychological knot that is preventing you from coming to a mutual decision.
The goal of discernment counseling, according to Bill Doherty, the developer of Discernment Counseling, is to help you develop “greater clarity and confidence in a decision about the future of the relationship (about a direction for the marriage), based on a deeper understanding of the relationship dynamics and each person’s contributions to the problems.” The parties suspend any decision regarding the future of the relationship to look carefully at the relationship, determine whether the problems are solvable/worth trying to solve, and develop a more complex understanding of personal and relational dynamics (e.g. their individual contribution to the marital problems and its roots/origins).