Discernment Counseling for Couples Considering Divorce

If you or your spouse are considering separation or divorce but are not completely sure that it is the best path, you are in a tough spot.  Discernment Counseling is designed for you. It’s a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look clearly at how you arrived at this point and what your options are for the future.

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

Dr. Azevedo will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage to health, move toward separation or divorce, or take a time out and decide later.

The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about what direction to take.  It is based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future.

The goal is not to solve your marital 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 marriage at the moment. There is no blame or judgment in this process; no bad spouse or good spouse.

You will come in as a couple, but the most important work occurs in your one-on-one conversations with the counselor. Why? Because you are starting out in different places.  The solutions will come from what you are willing to do differently moving forward.  Discernment Counseling emphasizes personal responsibility for the choices you are making when working with your partner.

The counselor respects your reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health.  The choice of the path forward is always yours.

The counselor emphasizes 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.

Number of Sessions:

A maximum of five counseling sessions. The first session is usually two hours and the subsequent are 1.5 or 2 hours.

Discernment Counseling is not suited for these situations:  

  • When one spouse has already made a final decision to divorce
  • When one spouse is coercing the other to participate
  • When there is danger of domestic violence

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