If either you or your spouse are beginning to feel as if your marriage is no longer working out, one — or both of you — may be considering a divorce. We understand that making this decision is difficult. This is where discernment counselling can help.
Discernment counselling was developed to help couples decide the best course of action — whether to move towards ending the marriage or to try to save it.
How is it different from marriage counselling?
Often, when a couple is on the brink of divorce, they may turn to marriage counselling to try to work things out and save the marriage. However, unless both couples are willing to give marriage counselling a chance (especially if one spouse is strongly leaning out of the marriage) it may not do any good.
Marriage counselling emphasizes on saving the marriage, disregarding any possibility of divorce. However, discernment counselling takes both these possibilities into account. It focuses on helping couples understand where they are in their relationship and whether it can be fixed or not.
How long does discernment counselling take?
Unlike marriage counselling which is a long-term process that can take months, discernment counselling is short-term and takes a maximum of five sessions.
How does discernment counselling work?
Discernment counselling is an assessment process. Counsellors will help couples understand what the issues in their marriage are, how each has contributed to these issues, and what they can do to solve them. What they learn from this assessment can help them move forward with either their marriage (if they decide to stay together) or with future relationships (if they decide to go their separate ways).
Couples are given a way to express and explore what they think and how they feel about the marriage and about ending it. The sessions will give couples the chance to better understand their partner, have a clearer idea of what may happen in the future, and know what they need to do to move forward.
In each session, the couple will meet with the counsellor together and separately to best determine where each couple stands and to have one catch up with the other.
When the couple has come to a decision, the counsellor will assist them with the first steps in the direction they’ve chosen. Depending on what they decide, the counsellor will refer the couple to either a marriage counsellor or a divorce lawyer.
How can discernment counselling help?
Couples, especially those with mixed agenda, are often troubled by emotional conflict. Discernment counselling can reduce this conflict and give couples and opportunity to discuss their relationship peacefully, without much animosity or blame.
Taking emotional conflict out of the equation can help couples be more at peace with whatever decision they make. It will also allow them to take a healthier approach to the decision-making process.
If the couple does decide to push through with the divorce, discernment counselling can make the process less traumatic and much smoother, with fewer complications and legal fees.
When is discernment counselling not suitable?
Discernment counselling is not recommended for couples if:
- domestic abuse or the danger of domestic abuse is apparent
- one spouse has already decided to file for a divorce
If, after your discernment counselling in Edmonton, you have decided to separate, contact an experienced divorce lawyer in the area to help you with a complicated legal process.