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Couples therapists: We won't tell you to get a divorce, usually

You are thinking about getting a divorce, but you want to try therapy first. What you really want to know is if your therapist will be honest. Will he or she tell you or your spouse if your marriage really can't be saved? Will the therapist give you a way to get out, or will he or she suggest you stick together no matter what?

Couples' therapists are not there to tell you what to do, and instead allow you to come to your own conclusions. The therapists are there to give very little directives, because it needs to be your decision when you decide if you want a divorce or not. Therapists don't just do this with clients struggling with their marriages; they tend not to give a direct piece of advice to anyone over any subject.

Even if you ask the therapist directly if you should get a divorce, it's unethical for the therapist to tell you yes or no. When pushed, the therapist is more likely to discuss new questions with you to help you find your own answers.

There is one exception to the above rules, and that is if there is someone in danger. Abuse or a threat of physical harm is nothing to ignore, and a therapist has every right to report abuse to the authorities. Additionally, therapists have a responsibility to say something to the client about getting help. Normally, the therapist will only help the abused or threatened spouse when he or she is alone, because that's the safest time to do so. If an abuser is aware that the spouse may leave, it could lead to an escalation in the threats to the victim.

Source: Huffington Post, "Do Couples Therapists Ever Suggest Divorce?," Brittany Wong, April 02, 2018

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