An outstanding resource for working with couples in crisis has just come to my attention. It is a step-by-step protocol for clergy to use when a couple is on the brink, particularly when one spouse wants to work on the marriage (“leaning-in partner”) and the other partner is ready to end the marriage (“leaning-out partner”). Following two years of weekly meetings with a group of clergy and encouragement from lawyers who sense a growing ambivalence from clients seeking divorce, this protocol was developed by William Doherty, one of the most highly-respected marriage clinicians in the country.
The audio version is about an hour and a half, and follow-up material is available–all free of cost. Though primarily for priests who are meeting with couples in crisis, this material is also very helpful for presvyteres, as we are often approached by distressed wives. The training provides a lot of basic and important principles for being appropriately present to couples when you are approached with marriage difficulties.
The website is: pastoraldiscernmentcounseling.com