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What Is Discernment Counseling?

Updated: May 1

What is Discernment Counseling?

Discernment Counseling is a specialized type of therapy designed to help couples who are uncertain about the future of their relationship. It differs from traditional couples counseling in that it is a time-limited process focused on deciding whether or not each partner feels their marital problems are solvable.

Discernment Counseling is typically recommended for couples where one or both partners are considering divorce or separation, but they are not completely sure if it is the right decision. During discernment counseling, couples work with a trained therapist to decide whether to try to restore their marriage to health, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later.

Here are some specific ways discernment counseling can be helpful:


One of the primary goals of discernment counseling is to help each individual gain a deeper understanding of what’s happened to their marriage and each person’s contributions to the problems. Regardless of whether or not the couple ultimately decides to stay together, this information is crucial to the future success of any relationships each partner might have. This process is primarily done through one-on-one, confidential discussions with the therapist during sessions to provide a safe space for each partner to explore their true feelings.


This is the other primary goal, and it is crucial. This is a life-changing decision. Discernment Counseling helps you gain confidence that the decision you make is the right one.


One of the main benefits of discernment counseling is that it is a time-limited process that can help couples make a decision about the future of their relationship quickly. Discernment counseling consists of 1-5 sessions focused on making a decision about how to move forward.

Specialized Approach

It is important to note that discernment counseling is not for everyone. Couples who are currently experiencing physical or emotional abuse are not appropriate for this type of therapy. This is not for partners who have made a decision to separate/divorce and want to help their partner accept that decision. It is also not for couples deciding whether or not to commit to one another. Additionally, discernment counseling is not a replacement for traditional couples counseling. It is a specialized type of therapy that is designed to help couples make a decision about their relationship path, not begin the work of fixing it.

Expertise of Trained Clinicians

At the Gooding Wellness Group in Cold Spring Harbor, our clinician, Lisa Current is specially trained in Discernment Counseling. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has extensive experience working with couples that are struggling with relationship issues, and she can provide a safe and supportive environment for couples to explore their options.

In conclusion, discernment counseling can be a valuable tool for couples who are uncertain about the future of their relationship. It is a time-limited process that can help couples quickly gain clarity and confidence about which path they choose for their committed relationship. At the Gooding Wellness Group, we are committed to providing high-quality Discernment Counseling services to couples in need.

Written by our Clinical Director, Lisa Current, LMFT with

our Director, Gordon Gooding, LCSW

Lisa Current, LMFT- Clinical Director
Gordon Gooding, LCSW - Director/Founder

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