If you or your spouse are considering divorce but are not completely sure that’s the best path, you are indeed in a tough spot! Discernment Counseling is designed to give couples in crisis a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look at ALL of the options for your marriage. Discernment Counseling is a new and different way of helping couples where one person is “leaning out” of the relationship, and not sure that regular marriage counseling would help - and the other is “leaning in" - that is, he or she is interested in rebuilding the marriage.
Discernment Counselors will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage to health, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later. This is a process that helps couples gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future. The goal is not to SOLVE your marital problems, but to see if they ARE solvable.
Dr. Schuster always assures clients that they each individual will be treated with compassion and respect, no matter how you are feeling about your marriage at the moment. There are NO bad guys and good guys!
You will come in as a couple, but the most important work occurs in the one-to-one conversations with Dr. Schuster, since each of you is starting out in a different place. Discernment Counselors always respect your reasons for divorce, while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health. Dr. Schuster emphasizes the importance of each of you seeing your own contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. This will be useful in future relationships, even if this one comes to an end.
Number of Sessions: A maximum of five counseling sessions. The first session is usually 2 hours and the subsequent are 1.5 or 2 hours.
Discernment Counseling is not Suited for these situations:
- When one spouse has already made a final decision to divorce
- When one spouse is coercing the other to participate
- When there is any danger of domestic violence
You are invited to watch the Originator of Discernment Counseling, Bill Dougherty, explain the process in this video:
Don't hesitate to contact me, Dr, Daphne Schuster, at 516-650-6478, if you feel this process could be helpful to you.