Do you need marriage counseling?

Take the Quiz

Discernment Counseling  
(Couples on the Brink Of Divorce)


Discernment Counseling is for people who are considering divorce but are not completely sure if it’s the right path for them. They want to take one more look before making a permanent decision with long term consequences.

The goal of Discernment Counseling is clarity and confidence about which direction to take for the marriage, based on a deeper understanding of the relationship and its problems.

The goal is not to solve marital problems but to see if they can potentially be solved.

Unlike traditional marriage counseling that assumes that both people are willing to work on the marriage, Discernment Counseling assumes that frequently one spouse id "leaning out" of the marriage and the other spouse is "leaning in."  Each perspective is honored. 

If you are interested in discernment counseling but your spouse is not interested at this time, I can still help. See below: Counseling for the Hopeful Spouse

What does discernment counseling involve?

As a discernment counselor I help individuals and couples decide whether to try to restore their marriage to health, move towards divorce, or take a time out and decide later. The sessions are divided between conversation with the couple together and individual conversations with each spouse. Most of the time is spent in individual conversations because each person is on a personal journey of discernment and actions.

I will also emphasize the importance of each party seeing his or her own contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. This will be useful in future relationships even if this one ends. You can't divorce yourself. 

I respect the reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibiity of restoring the marriage to health. Discernment counseling is considered successful when people have clarity and confidence in
their decision.

When a decision emerges, I will then help you either to find professionals who can help you have a constructive divorce or to formulate a reconciliation work plan to create a healthy, successful marriage. In some cases, couples decide to take a time out from the discernment process and return later.

How many sessions are there?

Discernment counseling involves 1-5 sessions. The first session is usually 2 hours, and subsequent sessions are 1.5 to 2 hours. Fees for counseling will be discussed when you contact me  via my contact form or call now for a free 15 minute consultation: 212 799 1157.

 If interested, I suggest you check out a recent video with the creator of the Discernemnt approach, William Doherty, explaining its purpose and goals: Click Here to watch this video.   

Discernment counseling is NOT suitable when...

  • there is a danger of domestic violence.
  • there is an Order of Protection from the court.
  • one spouse is coercing the other to participate.


Counseling for Individuals: "Hopeful Spouse" Counseling

Are you committed to doing whatever it takes to save your marriage, but your spouse says he or she wants a divorce? You are not alone. This is a very common scenario, and sometimes it is possible to work constructively on your marriage even when you spouse will not do Discernment Counseling with you at the present time.

The goal of Hopeful Spouse Counseling is to help you bring your best self to your marital crisis in the hope that there will be a constructive outcome, hopefully restoring the marriage but if not, a more cooperative divorce. As your "Hopeful Spouse counselor" I will support your desire to save your marriage by helping you learn from this crisis about yourself and the marriage, and engage in healthy, constructive ways to prevent a divorce and restore your marriage to health if that is possible.

Hopeful Spouse Counseling, which is usually between 1 and 5 sessions,
focuses on:

  • Learning how to make positive changes that will be healthy for you and may contribute to saving your marriage.
  • Avoiding common mistakes that make things worse during a marital crisis.
  • Creating a more collaborative relationship with your spouse even if the marriage ends in divorce

    Arguing Couple Disagreeing is normal in Marriage On the verge of divorceDiscernment Counseling About Divorce


    Being a registrant with Marriage Friendly Therapists means that I agree in principle with that organization’s view about marriage and the practice of therapy, as written in their Values Statement. If interested, you may read this values statement at  My Professional Values

    Home    |    Pre-Martial Counseling    |    About Jim    |    Contact Me    |   My Professional Values   |   Privacy Policy

    © 2021 MarriageCounselingManhattan.   All Rights Reserved  •  251 Central Park W, New York, NY, 10024 • Tel: (212) 799 1157
    Site by Minnesota Websmith