Private Discernment Counseling Retreat

Focused, structured time with a Relationship Crossroads expert — away from the distractions of everyday life —  to help you figure out the next best steps for your failing marriage.

Should we get divorced?Unsure about the future of your marriage? Interested in discernment counseling, but need a more intensive format, or a setting with fewer distractions? A Discernment Counseling Intensive, also known as a Discernment Retreat, is an intensive discernment process for couples who are trying to make a thoughtful, clear decision about whether or not to stay married.

As with the standard discernment counseling format, couples who do an intensive, or “marathon” discernment process are guided through a short-term, structured process to determine whether to:

  1. Stay in the marriage as it has been
  2. Pursue separation and/or divorce
  3. Pursue repair and reconciliation, with divorce off the table for a period of 6 months, in order to see what is possible as far as recreating a new and better relationship with your existing spouse

Over a period of 3-5 days, in some joint sessions, and primarily one-on-one with the Discernment Counselor, you will have the opportunity to look at your current situation and your options for the future of your relationship. We’ll help you better understand what it might look like to pursue reconciliation, to pursue divorce or to take a longer pause and not make any decision for now.

As leaders in the emerging field of Discernment Counseling and Discernment Coaching, we help both partners take a close and careful look at their past, present and future. The method we use is intentionally brief, carefully structured, is specifically designed to help you get out of limbo and begin moving forward. We help people make decisions about their next steps with clarity and confidence.


Discernment Retreats typically take place at our peaceful offices in southern Vermont. There are numerous lodging options nearby and a wide variety of restaurants. Brattleboro, Vermont is home to a lively and vibrant arts scene (ranked as a top arts town by Smithsonian Magazine) and incredible natural beauty and four-season recreation. Given our rural location, couples are able to get the real help they need while maintaining privacy.

Discernment retreats are scheduled for three, four or five days, with a total of 10-12 hours of counseling time broken up into five or six 2-hour meetings. When possible, we encourage couples to spread the retreat out over five days, in order allow for the most reflection time between sessions. However, a more intensive format is also available, the shortest length being two and a half days. Before the in-person retreat, there are several forms you will be asked to complete, and each person will have a phone meeting with the Discernment Counselor.

Your Location

Sometimes logistics and/or privacy concerns are such that couples would rather have a Discernment Counseling Intensive at their preferred location. Please inquire about details, availability and pricing.

Cost & Scheduling

Please contact us to schedule a free phone consultation, and to discuss pricing and scheduling availability.

Other Frequently Asked Questions