Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the Experience of Discernment Counseling for Path 2 Partners
by Emerson, Angela Jaye, Ph.D., Texas Wesleyan University, 2018, 144; 10975661
Abstract (Summary)

Divorce and coparenting are widely studied topics in the field of marriage and family therapy. Clinicians and researchers have attempted to develop interventions to assist couples in which one or both partners are considering divorce so their decision-making processes result in better outcomes, which might safeguard adults and children from the potentially negative effects of divorce. Discernment counseling is such an intervention—intended for mixed-agenda couples with the goal of helping the partners gain clarity and confidence in making a decision about the future direction of their marital relationship. Using open-ended survey and interview questions, this phenomenological qualitative research explored Path 2 partners’ experiences of discernment counseling, divorce, and coparenting. Participants were recruited through gatekeepers at the Minnesota Couples on the Brink project and eleven (11) Path 2 partners participated in the survey/interviews. Three major themes emerged: 1) clarity and honesty, 2) appreciation for structure, and 3) cooperation in divorce and coparenting. Generally, the data findings suggest Path 2 partners described their discernment counseling experience as helpful for gaining clarity and honesty, providing necessary structure in their divorce decision-making process, and led to more cooperative divorce processes and post-divorce coparent relationships.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bartee, Russell F.
Commitee: Harris, Steven M., Sparks, Misti
School: Texas Wesleyan University
Department: Counseling
School Location: United States -- Texas
Source: DAI-A 80/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Therapy, Counseling Psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Coparenting, Couples therapy intervention, Discernment counseling, Divorce, Intervention, Mixed-agenda couples
Publication Number: 10975661
ISBN: 978-0-438-75660-1
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