In the realm of couples therapy, commitment plays a pivotal role in the success of the therapeutic process. Many existing couples therapy models operate under the assumption that both partners are equally committed to salvaging the relationship. However, what happens when one partner is unsure about their commitment to the relationship or even to therapy itself? Relationship uncertainty is a unique challenge that Discernment Counseling is focused on resolving.

Discernment Counseling Relationship Uncertainty

Recognizing this gap, Bill Doherty, co-founder of the Doherty Relationship Institute, introduced Discernment Counseling as a solution to effectively navigate commitment issues within couples therapy. Unlike conventional approaches that require both partners to be fully onboard from the outset, Discernment Counseling offers a systematic framework for individuals grappling with commitment doubts.

Discernment Counseling's focus extends beyond reconciliation and conflict resolution. Instead, it provides a safe space for individuals to explore their feelings, doubts, and concerns regarding the relationship and therapy itself. By acknowledging and addressing these uncertainties, Discernment Counseling empowers individuals to make informed decisions about the future of their relationship and helps remove this relationship uncertainty.

Beyond Relationship Uncertainty

The significance of commitment in couples therapy cannot be overstated. With a solid foundation of commitment from both partners, traditional therapeutic models may be able to yield meaningful results.

When couples are committed to each other and the work of therapy, all couple therapy models can do their work. But when one or both are not sure they want to be married and try to repair it, then this creates a big challenge for couples therapy models because the therapist has to tackle commitment head-on. This is where Discernment Counseling shines best, allowing one to be uncertain if they want to stay married and try therapy while being open to their spouse who wants to save the marriage.


In conclusion, addressing commitment issues is crucial in couples therapy to foster a conducive environment for healing and growth. By incorporating approaches like Discernment Counseling, therapists can effectively support individuals in navigating uncertainties and making informed decisions about the future of their relationships. It's not merely about going through the motions of therapy but rather about actively engaging in the process with a genuine desire to work through challenges and strengthen the relationship. Commitment isn't just a buzzword—it's the cornerstone of successful couples therapy.