One of the under-discussed realities of our practices is that if we all do the same thing, how does a couple chose which therapist to hire? There are many factors of course, from location, pricing, warmth of your photo, and very occasionally, a client is searching out a particular model.
From the perspective of potential clients, we all basically do similar work and it can be hard to stand out without feeling like a gross marketer.
With our Discernment Counselors, the service not only sells itself, but it is highly desired by the people served.
If you are not sure you want to be married anymore, couples therapy is often a non-starter. The pain and uncertainty you experience is really unpleasant. If you have an individual therapist, he or she may be very supportive but they inherently are just hearing one side of the story and can only do so much. Similarly, if your spouse is bringing up divorce and you're in individual therapy, the therapist can only do so much without both of you in the room.
For the potentially-leaving spouse, Discernment Counseling offers a robust opportunity to go deep and see if there are any last "rocks not yet turned over" to explore with a therapist who is also meeting and listening to your spouse share their perspective.
Without the intensity of both people in the room full time (most of Discernment Counseling occurs in individual conversations), each person has a place to relax and be really honest with themselves and be challenged by the therapist, with the goal of clarity and confidence about a direction for the marriage, based on a deeper understanding of what's gotten them to this point.
Unlike a complex theory or model of therapy, the Discernment Counseling approach is a no-brainer for these couples on the brink. No fancy words needed. It's exactly what they want: time to slow down, take a look at where they are, and decide on a direction--with no pressure to change or solve their problems. Some people fire their couples therapist to get into Discernment. Some people in search of couples therapy (while not really believing it'll help) find discernment counseling and are thrilled, calling that counselor even if the location or hours are not ideal.
Final benefit of discernment counseling: it's short-term. We have a handful of therapists who love this work so much it's all they do! They get the serious energy jolt of tough couples, and for those who chose to pursue couples therapy, these therapists have very happy referral networks to send the couple for the longer term work. This lets therapists arrange their calendars more freely, without having 15+ clients who come weekly who have to be cancelled if the therapist wants to travel or take time off.