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Repair or divorce? Make your best decision with Discernment Counselling.

Image of Repair or divorce? Make your best decision with Discernment Counselling.

‘The issues in our marriage seem insurmountable, is divorce the right way forward for us?’

‘My spouse wants a divorce, but I hope to save our marriage, what can I do?’

‘I am tired of working on my marriage when my spouse is not in sync with me, how would my decision to divorce affect my children?’

These are some of the questions that couples on the brink of separation or divorce mull over. Marital divorce is a heart-wrenching and stressful decision, which carries long-term repercussions for the whole family. For couples who are ambivalent, or have different views, about whether to stay married or divorce, discernment counselling is for them.

Discernment counselling is a form of therapy that can provide a safe space for couples to take a holistic look at their marital issues and explore their options before terminating their marriage prematurely. It takes two hands to clap in any relationship. Discernment counselling helps both parties gain a deeper understanding of the stressors that threaten to tear their marriage apart, and each partner’s contributions to these issues. Unlike marital therapy, the aim of discernment counselling is not to fix these relationship issues, but instead to help couples gain greater clarity of what these issues really are, assess whether these issues are fixable, and decide whether they are willing to work on them together. The goal of discernment counselling is for couples to make well-informed decisions and to move forward with confidence.

Discernment counselling is designed to be brief, lasting between 1 to 5 sessions. Couples decide after each session whether to continue with the next one, up to a maximum of 5 sessions. The therapy allows couples to decide on one of the following options:

Path One =>   Postpone their Decision

Path Two =>   Move towards Divorce

Path Three => Work on their Marriage

If the couple decides on path three, to work on the marriage, they will then proceed to commit to 6 months of marital therapy. Should couples decide on path two, ending their marriage, discernment counselling can help to bring about better closure, reduce acrimony and pave the way for better co-parenting. Insights gained about self and marital dynamics will also aid personal healing and growth.

If you would like to find out more about discernment counselling, do contact us at Healing Hearts@Fei Yue at [email protected] or 6235 5229. Our operating hours are from Mondays to Fridays, 9:30am–6:00pm (last call at 5:00pm). Other services available at our centre include:

  1. Counselling support for families going through divorce and post-divorce adjustments

  2. Co-parenting programmes for spouses going through or have divorced

  3. Children’s programmes on learning ways to cope with parental divorce

  4. Gender-specific divorce support groups

For more information, visit our website at https://www.fycs.org/our-work/family/healing-heartsfei-yue/

Written by: Carolyn Ku, Counsellor, Fei Yue Community Services