Zahira Melendez Therapy

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. " - Nelson Mandela

Discernment Counseling

When you are uncertain if you should break up or try to fix it

Discernment counseling is for couples where one of the partners is ambivalent about staying in the relationship AND doubts that couples therapy can help, and the other partner wants to stay in the relationship. Couples might have already started the separation or divorce process yet one of the partners questions if that is the right thing to do. If you find yourself in this situation, discernment counseling is right for you.

Discernment counseling  is NOT couples therapy where you work on improving the relationship. Discernment counseling avoids starting couples therapy when one partner is not sure they want to make the investment in improving the relationship. Couples therapy works best when both partners are onboard.


The main goal of discernment counseling is to bring clarity and confidence to the couple about the direction of the relationship. This is accomplished by creating a deeper understanding of what happened to the relationship and what each of you contributed to the problems in the relationship.

There are three paths that we seek to explore:

>> Path One: Stay in the status quo, i.e. to neither divorce nor do couples therapy

>> Path Two: Separate or divorce

>> Path Three: Commit to six months of couples therapy with each of you focusing on personal growth. During this time, separation and divorce are off the table. At the end of the six months, you can evaluate progress and decide how to proceed in the relationship.

At the end of discernment counseling, the couple decides what path they would like to take.

Discernment counseling is a structured approach that helps couples explore what went wrong, learn their own contribution to the problem and identify a path forward.

How long does it take?

Discernment counseling can be between one to five sessions. You commit to one session at a time. At the end of each session, each partner decides if they want one more session. The first session is 2 hours long and the rest are 1.5 hours.

Next Steps

Set up a free phone consultation if you think discernment counseling is right for you.