McCoy Fatula, APCMcCoy
Fatula
Located in Roseville, CA
916-945-2780

Will a couples counselor suggest a client move toward divorce?

For many California couples, the thought of ending their marriage is difficult to adjust to. Some will go to great lengths to try and save the marriage, including turning to a marriage counselor to try and work through issues in the relationship. Some spouses wonder if a couple's counselor will ever suggest that the clients consider a divorce. While this is not usually the case, there are certainly instances where a therapist can and will suggest divorce. 

Marriage counselors are focused on helping a couple navigate their differences and find a way to reconnect and strengthen their bond. While it is not uncommon for one spouse to be more invested in therapy than the other, most couples enter counseling with the honest intention of improving their bond. A therapist can be critical in reaching that goal, and often works with spouses both individually and in couples' sessions. 

While a therapist will not usually make direct suggestions as to how a couple should proceed in their marriage, there are cases in which therapists are ethically bound to do so. The primary example is when one or both spouses are victims of domestic violence or abuse. In such cases, the safety of individual clients is held higher than the therapist's duty to help improve the marriage, and a suggestion of divorce may be appropriate. 

Far more often, the therapist works with couples to try and find common ground, and areas where they can improve communications and bonding. That is not always an easy or comfortable process, but it is one that yields great results for some couples. If nothing else, working through marriage counseling can help clarify whether or not the marriage can be saved. 

Some California couples continue working with their marriage therapist even after they've decided to divorce. Doing so allows for a neutral space in which to identify shared goals. For couples who want to create a healthy co-parenting relationship, counseling can really help. Some even find that their divorce is less contentious and moves forward more swiftly if they continue working with a therapist as the process moves forward. Others find that individual counseling is a better way to meet their changing needs. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "Do Couples Therapists Ever Suggest Divorce?", Brittany Wong, April 4, 2018

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