One of the under-discussed realities of our practices is that if we all do the same thing, how does a couple chosewhich 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 couplestherapy, 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.
Are You Struggling With:
Our Services Help Couples:
Reclaim the life you want, so you can feel loved again!
Are you considering separation or divorce?
We believe that arriving at the brink is a necessary stage in every marriage or long term relationship. That’s right, it’s not IF you get to the Brink, but what you do WHEN you get there. This stage in a relationship is not something to fear, but it is an indicator that the relationship is ready to undergo a change—a needed and ultimately positive change. Reconnecting or finding a loving way to let go is often necessary, and simpler than most people think.
In addition, the pain of splitting up or staying together in misery is obvious. Most couples have a shared history, worthy of making every effort to honor their relationship even under the most challenging of circumstances, especially when children are involved. In addition, the financial and emotional costs of divorce can potentially be devastating.
Our model works because we offer tailored and focused treatment, which allows greater opportunity for success, even with the most serious of relationship crisis.
While sometimes effective, traditional marriage counseling and couple’s therapy consists of hour-long therapy sessions once per week. We find this approach severely limiting and even potentially harmful for relationships in severe distress.
Before you do, consider what’s possible …
Our intensive programs give you an opportunity to push pause on your life and focus on your relationship in ways that open the door to these possibilities. Travel is not necessary for a shift to take place, but many couples prefer to take advantage of experiencing a retreat in a different location. We have found this change of context allows for new perspectives to emerge in unique ways. Wheather you choose to stay local or adventure to a new location, our trained professionals can help you breath life into your life again!
RATE YOUR RELATIONSHIP
KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR PARTNER
Knowledge of your partner’s wants and needs is critical to a healthy and loving relationship. Keep in mind that your partners wants and needs have probably evolved over time. What was important in the past may or may not be important now. The following assessment is designed to evaluate how well you and your partner know one another today.
Good communication is important for all successful relationships. When communication breaks down, so do many other aspects of a relationship. The problem is, communication rarely breaks down overnight. It is a subtle wearing away that is oftentimes difficult to see happening. Gauging your communication and understanding some of your patterns together is a very helpful way to begin assessing the state of your relationship. Respond with “true” or “false” to the following statements. When finished, compare your score to the assessment scale below.
Every relationship has its share of challenges. When challenges become problems, they cause a certain level of distress for a couple. Lack of good problem solving and conflict resolution skills can be both a cause and a result of a strained relationship. Assess your problem solving abilities by rating each category below on a scale from 1-10. Calculate your score and compare it with the assessment scale below.
DISCERNMENT COUNSELING FAQ
Q: discernment counseling the same as marriage counseling?
A: No. Discernment counseling is short term help for deciding whether to divorce or work more on the marriage. Marriage counseling, which is generally opened ended in length, aims to help people solve their problems and restore their marriage to health.
Q: How do you determine success in discernment counseling?
A: Although it would be wonderful if all troubled marriages could become healthy and satisfying for both parties, we understand that this is not always possible. Therefore, our basic criterion for success is that the spouses come to a deeper understand of themselves and what’s happened to their marriage, andhave reached a decision that allows them to move ahead with their lives in a healthy way for themselves and their families. In some cases, this deeper understanding opens doors to possible reconciliation, and in other cases one or both parties decide that divorce is their best option. We try to show couples what a reconciliation path might look like for them, but we honor the choices that people make for themselves.
Q: Is the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project only for couples with minor children?
A: Although the original impetus for the project was concern for divorcing where there are children, the project is open to couples with no children or whose children are grown up.
Q: Will the project work with couples who are not legally married?
A: Although the project came out of concern for married couples in the legal divorce system, other couples in committed relationships will be offered services if they ask for help, particularly if they are raising children and are concerned about the impact of a break up on their children.
Q: Are there referral options for couples who want a faith-based approach to marriage counseling?
A: Upon the request of the couple for faith-based counseling, we work to help them find qualified counselors who share their faith orientation.