Separation counselling, or as it is now sometimes called, “discernment” counselling, helps you when one or both of you are considering separating.
In separation counselling we don’t try to solve your problems – we are just working out if they can be solved.
When one or both partners is undecided about whether to stay or go, it can cause a lot of anxiety, panic and stress. Relationship Counselling is not necessarily going to help when both people are not committed to it. And it won’t work when partners have different agendas. So in these cases discernment counselling which is short term, can help you understand how you got to where you are now and what to do from here.
Sometimes surprising discoveries are made where you learn how to uncover patterns that have led to distancing or fighting which give you enough new information to help you decide whether you might have enough motivation or willingness to try and work on the relationship in couples counselling. Wherever you go therever you are so it is useful to learn what you can about how you got to here so you can avoid repeating the same patterns in future relationships.
There are also some cases where both parties think they want to separate, but are not sure. And after being in love and trying so hard to be close for so long, it is tough for either of them to decide whether they want to leave a relationship or stay and try (yet again) to make it better. I provide a neutral non blaming space in which to reflect and my aim is to empower you to make the best decision you can.
Separation Counselling takes place in individual and some joint sessions but there is an emphasis on space for individual reflection and each person is encouraged to look at their own motivations and learnings before making a decision which will have life long and lasting impact.
Your ultimate decision will probably look like one of the following:
• You may decide to commit to relationship counselling for a certain period to see what is possible for your relationship.
• You may decide to take time out to take pressure off or even leave things as they are.
Some couples decide to stick with the status quo and stay together as things are. One or both of you may not be emotionally ready to make any decision. There may be another reason progressing with relationship counselling or separation may not be appropriate at that time, such as health or work pressures, or coinciding events in your children’s lives.
• You may decide to separate with the minimum amount of hurt and conflict.
• If you need legal support as well as emotional support speak to me about Collaborative Family Law
Once you make a decision to end your relationship there are often still many reasons why you need to continue to have a relationship. Whether it is due to children or other family reasons, post separation counselling can help you stop playing out the same old dynamics and create healthy patterns of relating to each other from here on. Children especially benefit when their parents are aware and responsible taking care to minimise the impact on them of divorce or separation. There is also most likely to be grief and distress around the ending of a relationship and counselling here can help you process and manage these often difficult strong and overwhelming emotions.