Discernment Counseling

You just aren’t happy anymore.

The effort being put in to making things Workable isn’t working.

And if we’re being honest, that effort is only being put in by one person.

Discernment counseling is a short-term therapy solution (conducted over the course of five or fewer intensive two-hour sessions) and is a guided process through which couples can thoughtfully decide together on the best next-step in their relationship.

There are mixed feelings about ending it. One of you sees divorce as the only solution, but the other one is still holding out hope that it will get better.

Often, you find yourself wondering if the relationship is even worth trying to fix.

If these thoughts reflect the current dynamic in your relationship, it could be time to pursue discernment counseling.

Unlike traditional marriage counseling, the goal of discernment counseling is not to start to solve the problems in the relationship, but rather to give couples more confidence in their decision making.

An important point to mention is that discernment counseling is not for couples where one of the parties is already certain that they want a divorce.  The assumption in this setting is that both parties are still considering restoring the health of the marriage but are unsure whether this is the best option.

A couple sits next to each other. They are looking forward to starting online marriage counseling in Dallas, TX with Rethink Therapy.
A couple sits with their backs facing away from each other. They are regretting not starting discernment counseling in Dallas, TX with Rethink Therapy sooner.

Common Reasons Couples Pursue Discernment Counseling

Every relationship is different. As a couple, sometimes things happen that we aren’t ready for. This can take a toll on the relationship. Additionally, it can make us reconsider futures that previously seemed set in stone. While every couple pursues discernment counseling for a variety of reasons, here a few common reasons:

Discernment Counseling Can Help

This can all be very difficult to navigate. For some of us, feeling unsure about the future of our relationship can be unsettling.  Additionally, it can feel incredibly scary and isolating. Luckily, starting discernment counseling can help you and your partner make the best decision for your relationship.

Our counselors have worked with many couples who are going through the same thing you are right now, and we have helped these couples make the best decision for their relationship. You aren’t alone in making this tough decision.

A couple stands together to take a picture together. They are feeling happy after starting LGBTQ affirming therapy in Dallas, TX with Rethink Therapy.

Our Approach to Discernment Counseling

In discernment counseling, our goal is for you and your partner to be on the same page regarding your relationship. Our time together will be a collaborative process that requires everyone’s input. In these sessions, everyone’s opinion’s and feelings can be explored. Because really, it’s part of the reason that you’re in the situation you’re currently in. The goal is not to “persuade” one person that their feelings are wrong. Instead, we aim to consider all options and feelings. We do this to ensure that you both feel confident in the decision about the next steps.

Your counselor will challenge you to consider things you may not have considered before. We’ll encourage you to think about other perspectives to see the situation in a different light. Additionally, we’re going to prompt you to explore options that you may have felt were not previously on the table. Through this collaborative process, we will provide you both with support and assistance to aid you in considering the future of your relationship.

Meet Our Therapists

Begin Discernment Counseling in Texas

Things in your relationship have been really tough. The dynamic is not what you want it to be. You’ve both decided that this is bigger than you, and you need help. Discernment counseling can help you navigate the future of your relationship.  Our discernment counselors have helped many couples just like you. We’ve worked together to come up with the best decision for their relationship. When you’re ready to begin your journey in discernment counseling, follow these steps.

Jennifer Gay

LMFT-S

While my formal training and education provided a solid foundation for my development as a therapist, I attribute most of my professional growth to my clients. I have chosen to pursue trainings and education that are directly applicable to the clients I am working with and the experiences and concerns that they are bringing into therapy. If you ever hear a therapist tell you that they have learned all they can or that they have all of their own shit together all the time – run for the hills! I will never know everything there is to know about therapy, have experience working with everything that clients bring, and be competent in everything in my work – but I will do my hardest to continue my growth and learning to do the best I can in my work with you.

I am a systemically trained therapist, which means that I view each person in the context of their experiences and relationships around them, both past and present. I also work from a collaborative therapy lens, and so I believe that each client is an expert of their own lives and experiences while I am an expert on the process of therapy. I see myself as walking beside you on your journey, whether or not we know where the path leads. My goal is to get you to a place where you can walk this path on your own, but along the way I will guide you, I will support you, and I will challenge you. Even if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about what you want from therapy, or what “change” you want to see, it’s OK! We’ll figure it out together.

So if I am the expert, “what do you know and how can you help me?”, you may ask.

Specialized Training

To meet the needs of the couples I have been seeing, I completed my training in discernment counseling. To meet the needs of many of my individual clients, I completed Phases 1 – 3 of Brainspotting, which I have found incredibly helpful in addressing trauma, anxiety, disordered eating behaviors, grief, and struggles with gender dysphoria, among other concerns. I have also attended a specialized training in Expansion Brainspotting, which focuses on improving athletic performance and creativity, and strengthening our desired states of being and getting us closer to our ideal states; it has also been very helpful in working on strong suicidal ideation and feelings of hopelessness.

As a result of my experiences with Brainspotting, I have also been pursuing education on growing my understanding of the neurobiology and neuroscience and working with trauma and various dissociative experiences (including PTSD, BPD, and OSDD/DID).

As a result of my work with queer and trans clients, I have discovered a lot of overlap in gender diversity and neurodiversity – so I am working on my growth as a neurodiversity affirming therapist.

My clients

In my work with different clients in different settings, I have experience with a wide range of individual and relational concerns. However, I have a specific passion in working with people who may fall on the margins or be seen as “outsiders” in many different ways, especially given that we live in Texas.

Specifically, I do a lot of work with LGBTQIA+ folks, including working with people who are transgender or gender diverse. I work with folks who fall into various non-traditional relationships: consensual/ethical non-monogamy, open relationships, polyamorous relationships, swinging, etc. I work with folks in the kink/BDSM communities, or those who practice kink/BDSM. I also do a lot of work with folks who have distanced themselves from their religious upbringing for various reasons, or who practice less dominant religious and/or spiritual approaches or who are atheist/agnostic/secular/nonreligious. I am knowledgeable and affirming in my work with all these communities.

Belonging to any of the above communities doesn’t necessarily mean that something is “wrong” with you, but having to deal with the discrimination, hatred, and lack of support or understanding from people around you or the society at large is not easy. Many of the clients I see also seek me out because they know that I won’t use their identity, relationship status, kinks, spirituality/religion or lack of it as a problem that needs to be fixed or that is causing their depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and so on.

The relationship between therapist and client is crucial to positive outcomes.

One of the strongest and most consistent predictors of positive outcomes in therapy is the relationship between us. As such, it is important to me that you feel that you feel connected and supported in our work together. I know that I will not be the best fit for everyone who reaches out – and that’s ok! Our initial consultation, as well as the first few sessions, can give you a good sense of our therapeutic alliance together.

contact me

Neli Morris

PhD, LMFT-S

Normal is just a setting on the washing machine.

And I don’t know about you, but I hardly ever even use the “normal” setting when I do my laundry! While there are a lot of messages in our society and in our immediate circles around what is supposed to be “normal,” I am here to help you find your “normal,” not the culture’s/society’s/family’s version of normal.

My Experiences & Approach

While my formal training and education provided a solid foundation for my development as a therapist, I attribute most of my professional growth to my clients. I have chosen to pursue trainings and education that are directly applicable to the clients I am working with and the experiences and concerns that they are bringing into therapy. If you ever hear a therapist tell you that they have learned all they can or that they have all of their own shit together all the time – run for the hills! I will never know everything there is to know about therapy, have experience working with everything that clients bring, and be competent in everything in my work – but I will do my hardest to continue my growth and learning to do the best I can in my work with you.

I am a systemically trained therapist, which means that I view each person in the context of their experiences and relationships around them, both past and present. I also work from a collaborative therapy lens, and so I believe that each client is an expert of their own lives and experiences while I am an expert on the process of therapy. I see myself as walking beside you on your journey, whether or not we know where the path leads. My goal is to get you to a place where you can walk this path on your own, but along the way I will guide you, I will support you, and I will challenge you. Even if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about what you want from therapy, or what “change” you want to see, it’s OK! We’ll figure it out together.

                                           

Specialized Training

To meet the needs of the couples I have been seeing, I completed my training in discernment counseling. To meet the needs of many of my individual clients, I completed Phases 1 – 3 of Brainspotting, which I have found incredibly helpful in addressing trauma, anxiety, disordered eating behaviors, grief, and struggles with gender dysphoria, among other concerns. I have also attended a specialized training in Expansion Brainspotting, which focuses on improving athletic performance and creativity, and strengthening our desired states of being and getting us closer to our ideal states; it has also been very helpful in working on strong suicidal ideation and feelings of hopelessness.

As a result of my experiences with Brainspotting, I have also been pursuing education on growing my understanding of the neurobiology and neuroscience and working with trauma and various dissociative experiences (including PTSD, BPD, and OSDD/DID).

As a result of my work with queer and trans clients, I have discovered a lot of overlap in gender diversity and neurodiversity – so I am working on my growth as a neurodiversity affirming therapist.

My clients

In my work with different clients in different settings, I have experience with a wide range of individual and relational concerns. However, I have a specific passion in working with people who may fall on the margins or be seen as “outsiders” in many different ways, especially given that we live in Texas.

Specifically, I do a lot of work with LGBTQIA+ folks, including working with people who are transgender or gender diverse. I work with folks who fall into various non-traditional relationships: consensual/ethical non-monogamy, open relationships, polyamorous relationships, swinging, etc. I work with folks in the kink/BDSM communities, or those who practice kink/BDSM. I also do a lot of work with folks who have distanced themselves from their religious upbringing for various reasons, or who practice less dominant religious and/or spiritual approaches or who are atheist/agnostic/secular/nonreligious. I am knowledgeable and affirming in my work with all these communities.

Belonging to any of the above communities doesn’t necessarily mean that something is “wrong” with you, but having to deal with the discrimination, hatred, and lack of support or understanding from people around you or the society at large is not easy. Many of the clients I see also seek me out because they know that I won’t use their identity, relationship status, kinks, spirituality/religion or lack of it as a problem that needs to be fixed or that is causing their depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and so on.

The relationship between therapist and client is crucial to positive outcomes.

One of the strongest and most consistent predictors of positive outcomes in therapy is the relationship between us. As such, it is important to me that you feel that you feel connected and supported in our work together. I know that I will not be the best fit for everyone who reaches out – and that’s ok! Our initial consultation, as well as the first few sessions, can give you a good sense of our therapeutic alliance together.

Contact Me

Kaylin Hernandez

LMFT-A

Meet Kaylin

Aren’t you tired of being compared to the generations that came before or after you? Being judged and criticized for what you are or are not? Comparing, being compared, and never feeling like you are good enough.  I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this too. 

I grew up in a big, loud, and most of the time, chaotic Mexican family, I know what it’s like to be afraid to ask questions, to speak up,  and to try to do things differently. Because if I did, I would be faced with the question from everyone, including myself of, “who do you think you are”?

As the oldest in my family I always cared deeply for everyone (it was my job), and I forgot about taking care of myself, sound familiar?

In our families, which often carries in to our adult lives, we often struggled to feel seen or heard, and are made to feel like your emotions don’t matter, or they are just plain misunderstood. Which ultimately leaves us feeling like we’re alone in this big and sometimes terrifying world. That s**t is hard!

As a human (who happens to be a therapist) I recognize that the world I grew up in was vastly different than those around me, however, the emotions are almost universal.

Wether you are an adolescent or an adult, you are probably experiencing  significant changes and transitions in your life – and in case no one told you…Change is normal and you are not alone!

Through our work together I will support, empower, and walk with  you as you navigate this big, scary, fun, messy, and beautiful world.

Contact Me

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