Linda Hershman, LMFT, MS                                                                                                                                                  

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist                                                                                      1034 Beaumont Road

License #MF000414                                                                                                                                    Berwyn, PA 19312

                                                                                                                                                                       phone: 610 889-2089


If you think Discernment Counseling may be for you, call or email to schedule a free 40-minute phone evaluation. Both partners must participate in the assessment.

For more information about Discernment Counseling, visit :

            Listen to Bill Doherty explain Discernment Counseling:


What is discernment counseling?

Discernment counseling is designed for couples when one or both partners is unsure about whether they want to save the relationship. Designed as a brief therapy, its aim is to help couples gain clarity and confidence about the next steps, and a deeper understanding of what has happened to the relationship. 

What does discernment counseling involve?

The counseling focuses on three paths: ending the relationship via separation or divorce, carving out a six-month period of time for an all-out effort in couple counseling to preserve the relationship, or staying the course and deciding later.

The counselor respects the reasons for ending the relationship while opening up the possibility of restoring the relationship to health. Discernment counseling is considered successful when people have clarity and confidence in their decision, and when they more fully understand what’s happened to their relationship.

How does discernment counseling differ from couple therapy?

  • ​The sessions involve mostly individual conversations with the discernment counselor, while couple therapy mainly occurs with both partners seen together
  • The focus is on determining whether the problems are worth solving; not on changing behaviors
  • Discernment counseling is suitable when one or both partners are not ready to commit to couple counseling

Discernment counseling is NOT suitable when:

  • One partner has made an final decision to end the relationship and only wants counseling to encourage the other spouse accept that decision
  • One partner is coercing the other to participate via threats of any kind
  • There is a danger of domestic violence
  • When there is an Order of Protection from a court.

Discernment Counseling:

When one of you is unsure whether you want to save the relationship