We surveyed  our Discernment Counselors and were very pleased to find they report the same results as Bill Doherty. Learn what it is and why it matters that we can help people who are not good candidates for regular couples therapy.

Navigating Mixed Agenda Couples: The Essence of Discernment Counseling

In the realm of couples therapy, there exists a unique challenge – the mixed agenda couple. This dynamic involves partners who are at odds regarding the fundamental question of whether to continue the relationship. This transcript encapsulates the essence of discernment counseling, a specialized approach developed by Dr. William Doherty aimed at assisting couples facing this dilemma.

Understanding Mixed Agenda Couples:

Mixed agenda couples present a complex scenario wherein one partner is contemplating divorce or separation while the other is committed to salvaging the relationship. This disparity in agendas creates a significant hurdle in traditional couples therapy.

The Role of Discernment Counseling:

Discernment counseling offers a tailored framework for therapists to address the specific needs of mixed agenda couples. Unlike conventional therapy approaches, discernment counseling acknowledges and respects the divergent viewpoints within the relationship.

A Unique Therapeutic Approach:

Dr. Doherty emphasizes that discernment counseling provides a vital lifeline for therapists grappling with the challenges posed by mixed agenda couples. By acknowledging and validating each partner's perspective, therapists can create a safe space for exploration and decision-making.

Benefits for Therapists:

Therapists who have integrated discernment counseling into their practice laud its efficacy in navigating the complexities of mixed agenda couples. It equips therapists with the tools to guide couples through a period of uncertainty while fostering clarity and understanding.


In couples therapy, navigating mixed agenda couples requires a specialized approach. Discernment counseling emerges as a beacon of hope, offering therapists a structured framework to address the unique needs of couples grappling with divergent agendas.