Discernment Counseling – Don’t Get Stuck in the Status Quo

couple in an armchair, the woman with a mug in her hand and the man reading a newspaper
Feb 19, 2018 | Sara Khaki

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a type of therapy that rather than trying to fix your marriage, would analyze your relationship and tell you if it was salvageable or not? Now there is – it’s called Discernment Counseling.

Is your marriage stagnant, but you’re just not sure whether to stay or go? There are so many couples who face this kind status quo feeling after a long-term marriage. Karen Covy, Divorce Adviser, Attorney, Mediator & Coach says, “Deciding whether or not to stay married is one of the most difficult and complex decisions most people ever have to make. It’s agonizing. That’s why so many people stay stuck in indecision purgatory for months, and sometimes even years. Making a decision is just too tough.”

Now, there is a new tool that has the specific purpose of helping couples decide whether their marriage has a chance, or whether their only chance at happiness is to end the relationship and start over.  Discernment Counseling was developed by Bill Doherty, PhD as part of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Program. Rather than focusing only on saving the marriage, this counseling focuses only on helping couples decide what the next steps should be based on their relationship.  And while traditional marriage counseling can drag on for months, Discernment Counseling only takes 5 sessions or less. Discernment counseling is not treatment, but rather an assessment process designed to evaluate the relationship and quickly help a couple decide what to do next.

Kathleen Shack, M.S., LMFT of Family Solutions Counseling in Alpharetta says usually by three sessions, she can determine the best choice for a couple, so typically by the fourth session, they are ready to talk about the best options for their future.

And here is a link to a Facebook Live broadcast with Kathleen where you can learn more about Discernment Counseling:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEB6lfzHvm8

Divorce is a Process

Divorce is a process, not an event. Often, one spouse is more accepting of the end of a relationship than the other. When one spouse has a foot out the door, and the other is determined to do whatever it takes to save the marriage – its’ referred to as “mixed-agenda” couples. Even among couples who have filed for divorce, as many as 40% can be mixed agenda. Discernment counseling is very effective in enabling the other spouse to “catch up” – and if the couple have children, this can be an important benefit. Keep in mind that marriage counseling only works if BOTH parties are equally committed to making changes that will repair the relationship, and often, that is simply not the case – so couples should start with Discernment Counseling before they opt for marriage counseling. The other challenge that couples face in deciding to divorce or make it work is the competing advice they begin to receive from friends, family, divorce professionals, etc. Discernment counseling can provide a “safe or holding” space for them to calmly delve into their relationship and make decisions with clarity.

Don’t Stay Stuck in the Status Quo

At ADLG, we don’t want anyone to live their lives “stuck in the status quo”. Life is meant to be lived, and to love, feel loved and be happy. If you are in a marriage that has become stagnant or is no longer fulfilling, we would encourage you to seek out a qualified Discernment Counselor and figure out the best path to happiness. We can recommend Kathleen Shack in Alpharetta- here is her website and contact information:

Kathleen W. Shack, M.S., LMFT
3534 Old Milton Pkwy
Alpharetta, GA 30005 Phone: 678-220-0090


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Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-covy/discernment-counseling_b_8146064.html

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