Discernment Counseling

Individual Counseling | Columbia, Mo

Seeing reality for what it is is what we call discernment. The work of discernment is very hard.
— Lewis B. Smedes

Discernment counseling is counseling for people who aren't sure whether they want to stay in their current relationship or leave their current relationship. It's considered a step before marriage counseling.

We realize it might seem counterintuitive that we even offer this as a service, but it's worth pointing out that discernment counseling is a growing approach and one worth pursuing.

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Should I do Discernment Counseling?

Short answer is that it's entirely up to you. My assumption is that the short answer isn't super helpful for you. So the longer answer is that it's a good step for people who are on the fence about getting a divorce or really putting their all into making their relationship work.

If you find yourself nodding along with the majority of the following, then discernment counseling might be a good fit:

  • go back and forth between leaving and staying in your relationship
  • question whether you can "do this" for another 1, 5, or 10 years
  • have thought about separation or divorce on and off (consistently) for the past year
  • feel stuck in a thought loop when the topic pops in your head (i.e. you keep having the same thoughts about it over and over and over)
  • want clarity on what to do - whether that's stay or leave

What happens after Discernment Counseling?

fist raised over burnt orange background, counseling columbia mo

Well, again, up to you, but typically people either stay doing individual work while they're going through their separation, breakup, or divorce. Or people shift into doing couples counseling for conflict or communication (amongst other things).

The reality is that it's mostly about getting to a decision point than long-term counseling. Discernment counseling shouldn't go on for an extended period of time (because it's all about getting to that decision point). The purpose of this approach is to help you decide.

What else do I need to know?

Much like with other sorts of counseling, the focus will be on your decision, but you and your counselor will be spending time weeding through the various factors that are influencing that decision (which can take some time). We want clients to make any and all decisions with full knowledge of their situation and eyes wide open for moving forward.

That's about it. If you're ready to start discernment counseling or have questions, email our Client Liaison or click the button below to contact us!

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