I do not take insurance, but can provide you with a superbill to turn into your insurance.
- Are you or your spouse ambivalent about staying in the marriage?
- Have you been surprised by your spouse with a divorce?
- Are you considering divorce or separation?
- Do you want to get clear on what you want?
- Do you want to get clear on what you’re willing to do to get what you want?
- Do you want a commitment to a concrete path for change?
Taking the responsibility and to make an educated decision about something that will affect the rest of your life and your children’s lives is worth the short amount of time to gain clarity and confidence toward which way to take your relationship.
Discernment Counseling is used when couples are trying to decide whether to divorce, it is not counseling you through divorce or divorce counseling. Both halves of the couple attend sessions that are divided with couple time and private individual time with the counselor. Counselors don’t judge your situation and work toward helping you assess how your marriage got to where it is, what role each partner had in the downfall of the marriage, and what partners may not understand about each other’s experience in the marriage. Discernment counseling looks at three concrete paths to the future: 1) End the marriage, 2) Continue the marriage “as is” without working on it, or 3) Make a new commitment toward staying married and working on the marriage for a period of six months. 6 months gives couples counseling enough time to help couples weather some ups and downs.
1 – 5 sessions are the starting point, and can go longer depending on what the couple decides. Couples’ therapy starts after a decision about the relationship has been made.
I use breakout rooms in Zoom to have a main room for couples work and individual, private breakout rooms for the individual portions of Discernment counseling. Other couples switch off leaving their house for a half-hour during private time. My Zoom account is professional and HIPPA compliant.
Yes, I am trained through the Doherty Institute who developed and created the techniques used in Discernment Counseling.
The point is to not make a hasty decision at the height of emotional distress that will affect you and your family the rest of your life. Divorce affects the future of your family financially, emotionally and even physically – causing disruption to children’s lives and damaging self-esteem and lowering resources for everyone involved. It’s extremely important to look at things calmly and using a rational brain that isn’t overwhelmed and triggered with hurt, betrayal, and panic of your world falling apart or wanting revenge.
This is likely one of the most painful things everyone in your family will experience in their lives affecting adult children as well as the younger counterparts. By validating emotions and getting clarity on your role in the breakdown of the marriage we can side-step irrational emotional actions and revenge-fantasies that will leave you with long-term legal, financial and emotional ramifications.
Learning to have your emotions and not let them enter into decision making usually takes the help of a professional third party skilled at talking about a subject that might be new to the couple. Committing to traditional couples therapy can seem overwhelming to the partner leaning out because of feeling trapped in the marriage. Discernment counseling side-steps the commitment to making the marriage work better and focuses on – hypothetically – should we/do we want to/ make this marriage work better?
Discernment Counseling helps keep family members from being stuck in the middle of a contentious divorce and the fallout trauma of the blame-game and being the middle-men in their parents’ anger. Facing divorce is incredibly stressful and learning how to coping skills to handle the anxiety, anger, feelings of abandonment, betrayal will help you if you do decide to stick with the marriage and work on healing the relationship.
- Process painful emotions.
- Understand divorce better.
- Support parenting during a time of powerful emotions.
- Understand your role in the breakdown of the marriage.
- Understand your partner’s experience better.
Confidentiality is crucial to creating an atmosphere conducive to the feelings of trust and safety necessary in effective therapeutic relationships. What’s said in session is very sensitive and personal, and you have my assurance that it is kept in confidence. Sometimes, however; it might be important that I contact someone in your healthcare team. Or perhaps you might want to bring a family member or friend in for a collaborative session. Under those circumstances I would require your written permission prior to making contact, and we would also discuss in advance the degree of disclosure you would feel comfortable with me making.
There are a few situations when state and federal law require that I break confidentiality:
- Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children currently under the age of 18, dependent adults, and elders.
- If I have reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another specific person.
- If I receive a subpoena from the court or FBI for my client notes.
My practice is completely focused on working with couples and blended families. I’m part of a blended family and know firsthand the challenging dynamics. This niche focus allows me to have expertise and to develop a comprehensive set of tools to help you reach the goals for your family and marriage. I also have received advanced training on marriage counseling at the Master’s level and have sought out extensive trainings with blended families and couples’ work.
Many counselors have a wider variety of clients and approach marriage counseling as more of a mediator between who is right and who is wrong. Many couples counselors also get tripped up in not knowing what’s normal for blended families and the different dynamics that come with being part of a blended family.
Practicing through Emotionally Focused Therapy allows me to get to the heart of the issues and skip the repetitive content fights. Emotionally Focused Therapy is very structured allowing each client the opportunity to have their say and feel heard and validated in a safe environment.