Considering Divorce or Separation?

Decide with Confidence with Discernment Counseling

Discernment counseling (also called pre-divorce counseling) helps people decide whether to work on the marriage or take steps to end it. It's fast, (online or over a weekend) and time-limited, and helps you both settle on the right path moving forward. 

Discernment Counseling tackles painful ambivalence

If you are considering divorce or separating but aren’t sure if it’s the right path for you, we can help. Take one more careful look at your marriage and settle on a permanent decision you can live with. Divorce has long-term consequences but is sometimes unavoidable. Painful breakup may be stopped when the path to happiness is clear. 1-5 sessions maximum after an extensive assessment. Complete over a weekend or online.

  • Stay with a clear roadmap to intimacy, happiness, and calm.
  • Leave with the assurance that you've done everything possible.
  • Complete an online assessment privately and speak one-to-one with a counselor who knows you and helps you to get clear. You'll be guided to share with your partner what you've learned in a calm, 

"Discernment Counseling (or pre-divorce counseling) isn't marriage counseling or pure divorce counseling. It doesn't rehash tired old issues you've covered a thousand times. Whether this marriage works out or not, Discernment Counseling helps you get clear on what you want, what you're willing to do to get it, and offers positive solutions to move forward productively. "

Dr. Kathy McMahon

Psychologist, President, Couples Therapy Inc. International. Practices discernment Counseling near You in MA, FL, CA, AZ

What is Discernment Counseling? 

Discernment counseling (sometimes called "discernment therapy" or "pre-divorce counseling") is sought out when trying to decide whether to divorce. The sessions are divided between private, individual conversations with each spouse and briefer conversations with the couple together. Discernment counselors appreciates the many reasons for divorce while exploring the possibility of pathways to marital health. Our pre-divorce therapy starts with an assessment that gives you a clear idea why divorce is on the table, and what, if any, changes could be made to re-commit to a concrete path for change. Understand how your marriage got to this point, why discernment counseling may be necessary, and how you've contributed to the problem. Vow to start fresh, whether within the marriage or in a new relationship.


What is "Pre-divorce Counseling?"

When divorce is an open question, especially if you have children, it is painful to talk to one another. Emotions are high. A regrettable incidence or feelings of betrayal can cause you to feel angry, hurt, overwhelmed, withdrawn or wanting revenge. But it is necessary to discuss important decisions that need to be made remaining calm and with good humor. 

Pre-divorce counseling calms things down, while helping to validate your emotions. Divorcing brings many concrete physical and financial legalities that have to be considered rationally. Revenge fantasies have no place in legal proceedings (and drive up the cost of a divorce). Learning to put these types of feelings aside, in favor of careful decision-making, sometimes takes a neutral third party. 

But committing to marriage counseling also can feel inappropriate. You aren't sure if staying together is the best course of action. You don't know if you want to work on things or not.

Children and grandchildren need to be saved from the trauma of being stuck in the middle of blaming, name-calling or disrespectful attitudes about a beloved parent or grandparent.

Finally, learning how to recognize and accept your contribution to the marital deterioration goes a long way toward becoming gracious and posed in the face of emotionally challenging circumstances.

When tempers cool, deciding whether you really want or need a divorce and conversely whether you want to work on your marriage can become a clearer option. Pre-divorce counselors also known as discernment counselors, can help you temper and respond as effective coparents, as well as offer guidance if divorce is decided on how to talk to your children about the impending divorce without traumatizing them or worsening their emotional pain.

Facing divorce is amount the most stressful experiences in adulthood. Learning healthy coping strategies means you can apply these skills to any future challenges or stressful experiences.

Seek out discernment therapy near you.

Processing Powerful Emotions

Heartbreak, rage, overwhelming sadness, avoidance denial, or guilt are just some of the emotions felt when divorce is on the table

Manage Parenting Better

Toddlers to adult children with families of their own need to gain a better understanding of why divorce is happening.

Understand What Divorce Entails

Financial considerations are just one of many decisions that have to be examined when trying to decide whether divorce is the best option.

Do You Offer Discernment Counseling Near Me?

 Couples Therapy Inc. offers trained and certified discernment counselors across the USA. We practice in 33 states currently and are also expanding. We understand the steps to marital dissolution and help you to develop clarity and confidence in making a personal decision about your marriage. 


Our therapists are specialists in helping couples, and all have graduate degrees as psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, or mental health counselors.

Discernment Counseling Near Me
Discernment Counseling Near Me
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Set up a no-obligation phone meeting with our Clinical Team.

Walk away with clear objectives for this or future relationship choices.

Choose from Highly Experienced Therapists Across the USA -
Twenty-four in All,
Licensed in 33 states and 4 countries
Read over 200 Reviews

Southern California - Wife

Our relationship was tenuous at best after the discovery of my affair. We were considering separation and eventual divorce and didn’t see how we were going to get through this. My husband was struggling to come to terms with the affair and to understand it. We knew we had some things that needed to be worked on in our marriage, but we weren’t sure if it was worth doing if he was unable to forgive the affair.

If you think you’ve tried couples therapy and it didn’t work for you, give this a chance. The work we did in 2.5 days was incredible and could not have been accomplished with weekly one-hour sessions with a therapist.

Nevada - Husband

Our relationship was very bad. We were trying to figure out if we would divorce.

After this intensive we have now reached an agreement on how to be with each other. We communicate better. We have a clear idea what to do. The weekend provided structure for us and some good tools to use when we argue.

We have a good plan for the next six months.

Kansas - Wife

We were in a place after 20 years of marriage where we weren’t understanding one another and were considering divorce.

Couples Therapy Inc helped us to find ways to understand one another, and to know that we were both trying to accomplish the same things but with different approaches. We learned to be on the same team.

Georgia - Wife

I had just found out my husband wanted to leave…I was trying to save our marriage.

Our discernment therapy turned into divorce planning. He was unwilling to work to reconcile the marriage. I found out he was having an affair. He was finally honest with me; I didn't know there was a problem until he told me he was leaving. At that point, he was unwilling to work on our relationship. I gained better communication skills once I found out the truth.

it was clear that my husband had no intention of reconciliation.

Minnesota - Wife

I think without it, we would have gone through with an unnecessary, costly, divorce and thrown away a lifetime of future togetherness with our family. We will not be divorcing; we have begun to heal and have started to restore the Loyalty phase of our relationship that had broken in the first place.

District of Columbia - Husband

We were getting a divorce. We were separated and she had been seeing other people and had been intimate with other people.

Previous couples therapy was very unsuccessful.

We are on a road to real recovery and happiness. 

If you haven't tried the intensive then you haven't tried everything. It was a painful but necessary step to move forward.

Illinois - Husband

We had discussed and were likely headed for divorce. We never reconnected after my affair and never reset our shared lives together after the tumult of our early marriage years. 

We tried couples therapy. It was unsuccessful, to say the least. This is early days. We have a lot of work ahead. But this helped us stand back up, and to start walking forward again, together. And it gave us a blueprint for what that path might look like, without prescribing our destination. We both have shared hope. I didn’t realize how deeply I longed for that shared hope until our intensive helped us rediscover it.

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Maryland -Wife

We had tried couples counseling for a couple years before we filed for divorce and it seemed to do more harm than good. 

We decided to do marriage counseling before divorce.

Our therapist was engaged and warm and seemed to genuinely want to help us. She made us talk about and deal with and have the tough conversations that we had been avoiding or were never able to have constructively. She is also a sex therapist so she was able to give us great advice on how to increase our intimacy.

She was just amazing.

Oregon- Husband

I honestly thought a divorce was a better option/alternative than to living as unhappy as I was. 

Couples Therapy Inc. was a true gift to us and our relationship and I would recommend them to anyone who is experiencing marital discord, uncertainty about divorce, or to just jump-start a long-term marriage.

Massachusetts- Wife

We are getting a divorce, but I wanted to understand how we got there and figure out how to move forward. I was searching for discernment counseling near me.

I feel like it's not all my fault that our relationship failed, now. I'm dealing with my childhood issues. We also have points of reference from our weekend that help us communicate better for sake of kids.

We communicate better now. I am working on my stuff.

I liked the therapist's toughness, depth of knowledge and challenges to us. I liked her working with us even though we were not both on the same page.

Would you recommend Couples Therapy Inc.?

Yes, it helps to get away and focus on your stuff. I learned a lot about us.

I'm glad we worked with you. It was inspiring and comforting to know what good help is available if you don't wait too long to seek it out.

Texas - Husband

I did not see any option except divorce and now I see our future again. 

We uncovered a lot.

I'm a data person. Seeing the results of our assessment and her interpretation, made all the difference to both of us. Seeing how compatible we actually were and where we need to focus to move forward was very powerful.

Florida - Wife

I did a lot of research and needed to find a therapist that my husband would trust and communicate with. He has not seen the benefits of therapy with others and was very much against it. I was worried he would shut down and not. We both are taking responsibility in our marriage. it is no longer feeling one-sided for either of us. Put in the effort, and it will be helpful and insightful.

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