Discernment Counseling 

Discernment counseling aims to help struggling couples decide whether to improve the marriage or let it go. Around 30 percent of the couples coming into marriage counseling are mixed agenda couples where one spouse feels like he or she wants to leave and is reluctant to work on the marriage (the "leaning out" spouse) while the other wishes to stay in the marriage (the "leaning in" spouse).


Couples meet for discernment counseling up to five times, but can stop whenever they want. During the first session, I will talk to both about what's been good (and bad) about the marriage and will ask what you have done to iron out their difficulties.


We will ultimately lay out three paths:

1. making a commitment to stay in the marriage and make it work,


2. trying a six-month-long reconciliation path in which you work on the marriage using traditional couples therapy, or


3. moving toward a divorce. ​


Discernment counseling incorporates both individual and couples counseling. Working with both parties individually helps ease what can be a traumatic process, especially in cases where one partner feels shell-shocked, bitter and angry by their spouse's desire to leave.​


I work with the leaning out person separately to encourage them not do further damage to the marriage. I help the leaning in spouse bring their best game to this crisis, as opposed to that desperate game you bring when deeply hurt.


Mainly, discernment counseling helps the couple truly think through what can be a life-altering decision.

Change begins by taking the first step.
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Dr. Harry Motro is part of the Couples Recovery Center which provides specialized couples counseling and includes the following professionals:


If you are interested in joining our team, apply here.

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free, 24-hour hotline at 1.800.273.8255.  If your issue is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.  Dr. Motro does not offer crisis counseling or emergency services.


Dr. Harry Motro, Marriage Counselor, is an employee of Harry Motro, Psy.D., Marriage and Family Therapist, P.C., (a Professional Corporation), which does business as the Couples Recovery Center. Dr. Motro practices at 3880 South Bascom Drive, Suite 216, San Jose, CA,95124, is Licensed as a Marriage Family Therapist MFC 53452 and authorized to act as a Psychotherapist providing Psychotherapy. He specializes in Couples Counseling. In addition to dealing with couples and relationship issues, Dr. Motro is trained to treat anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bi-polar, ADHD, Asperger's, sex difficulties, anger regulation issues, affair fallout, divorce recovery, self-esteem, addiction, co-dependency, trauma, abuse, eating disorders, and managing grief and loss. These issues often arise in couples counseling and will be dealt with as part of your therapy. If you search for counseling San Jose, marriage counselor San Jose, couples counselor San Jose, psychotherapy San Jose, psychotherapist San Jose, therapist San Jose, counselor San Jose, couples therapist San Jose, couples counselor San Jose, marriage therapy San Jose, life coach San Jose, career coach San Jose, executive coach San Jose, you can find Dr. Harry Motro's web site. In addition to serving San Jose, Harry serves clients in Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Willow Glen, Milpitas, Mountain View, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Scotts Valley, Felton, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Fremont, Los Altos, and Gilroy, California. Dr. Motro also provides  Mountain Bike Therapy. The recommendations on this website do not constitute professional advice, substitute for professional treatment, or establish a therapeutic relationship.

Harry Motro, Psy.D., Marriage and Family Therapist, P.C., www.harrymotro.com, harrymotro@gmail.com, 408 823 2822.

Dr. Harry Motro © 2009 - 2021. All rights reserved.