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One Wants in – One Wants Out: Resolving Relationship Ambivalence with Discernment Counseling

  • 13 Jul 2018
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • DePelchin Children's Center, 4950 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77007
  • 19

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One Wants in – One Wants Out:  Resolving Relationship Ambivalence with Discernment Counseling
Michael Winters, PhD
How do you counsel a couple when one partner is pretty sure they want to divorce, and the other partner desperately wants to save the relationship?  
Jumping in with traditional approaches to assessment and intervention may alienate the more ambivalent partner but holding back may estrange the partner anxious to start working to save the marriage (Doherty, & Harris, 2017).  Discernment Counseling is an approach that honors the mixed agendas the couple brings to the relationship counselor.
Evidence-based with a growing body of empirical support, discernment counseling offers a fresh way to assist these couples.  This presentation will introduce the rationale and theory, outline the structure and process of discernment counseling and briefly introduce other approaches to managing relationship ambivalence –such as closure counseling and approaches to working with one partner instead of the couple. 
 In the course of this workshop, participants will gain knowledge and insight regarding:
Recognize couples who may be appropriate for Discernment counseling
Understand the structure and process of Discernment counseling
Identify where to get further training in Discernment counseling
Describe Closure counseling and explain when it is an appropriate counseling option
Discuss the importance of ambivalence as a motivator in individuals and couples seeking relationship counseling
Michael Winters, PhD is a psychologist in independent practice with a focus on working with couples and individuals considering divorce.  He is chair of Education and Credentialing for the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy, past president of the Houston Psychological Association, and former director of the Rice University Counseling Center.   He has taught at Rice University, Purdue University, the University of Houston, and other higher education institutions.   An award-winning storyteller and speaker, audiences frequently remark on his clarity, compassion and humor.

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