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If you or your partner are considering separation or divorce but are not completely sure that’s the best path, you are in a tough spot. And Discernment Counseling is designed for you. It’s a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look at your options for your relationship.

Discernment Counseling is a new way of helping couples where one person is “leaning out” of the relationship—and not sure that regular relationship counseling would help, while the other is “leaning in”—that is, interested in rebuilding the relationship.

I will help you decide whether to try to restore your relationship to health, move toward separation, or take a time out and decide later.

The goal is for you to 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 relationship problems but to see if they are solvable. You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you are feeling about your relationship at the moment. No bad guys or good guys.

You will come in as a couple but the most important work occurs in the one-to-one conversations with me. Why? Because you are starting out in different places.

I will respect your reasons for considering separation while working with you to open up the possibility of restoring the relationship to health.

I will emphasize 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 ends.

What to Expect

Number of sessions: A maximum of five counseling sessions. The first session is approximately two hours and the subsequent are 1.5 hours. At the end of each session, a decision will be made about having a next session.


Cost: Insurance requires that a person have a diagnosis. Discernment Counseling is not couples therapy and no one gets a diagnosis. So, insurance does not pay for Discernment Counseling. The first session costs $400.00, while sessions 2-5 cost $350.00. Many couples think of Discernment Counseling as a far less costly alternative to separation and divorce (if applicable) without considering all options through this process. 

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