We know from the research that a more complex narrative for divorcing individuals improves the divorce and both people’s understanding of what happened. It leads to a softer landing for those couples who do not chose to try to salvage their marriage. Discernment Counseling is neither divorce therapy nor couples therapy, as this video briefly discusses.

Navigating the Crossroads: The Power of Discernment Counseling in Relationship Transitions

Navigating the decision between preservation and dissolution in the complex landscape of modern relationships can be emotionally taxing and uncertain. However, within this realm exists a specialized approach known as Discernment Counseling, pioneered by experts like Bill Doherty. This approach aims to provide couples with clarity and confidence in determining the future of their relationship.

Understanding Discernment Counseling:

Discernment Counseling differs from traditional couples therapy in its focus and methodology. Rather than solely aiming to improve the relationship or solve immediate problems, this approach prioritizes clarity and insight for both individuals involved. Sessions are often conducted separately, allowing each person to explore their own contributions to the relationship's challenges.

The Purpose of Clarity:

One of the primary objectives of Discernment Counseling is to foster a deeper understanding of the dynamics at play within the relationship. By examining the marriage's history and each person's role in its evolution, individuals can develop a more coherent narrative of their situation. This newfound clarity serves as a foundation for making informed decisions about the relationship's future.

A Path to Constructive Endings:

While the ultimate goal of Discernment Counseling is not exclusively to salvage marriages, it offers couples the opportunity to embark on a more constructive path, regardless of their final decision. This approach facilitates smoother transitions by providing a framework for understanding and acceptance, potentially leading to healthier co-parenting dynamics and future relationships.


Discernment Counseling serves as a beacon of guidance for couples facing the crossroads of their relationship. Whether it leads to reconciliation or separation, the journey through this specialized approach equips individuals with invaluable insights. It prepares them for the next chapter of their lives, fostering growth and resilience.