You and your partner don’t have to be in COVID-19 lockdown to reap the benefits of online therapy for couples, but the forced togetherness prompted a surge in participants in 2020.
When you’re having communication problems, significant disagreements, or are struggling with family issues or life-changing events, you and your partner don’t need to go it alone. It should be comforting to know that the best online therapy for couples is available immediately, affordable, and successful.
The Best Online Therapy Sites for Couples
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Why We Like These Online Therapy Providers
Participate From Two Locations
You and your partner don’t need to be in the same place for sessions. The two of you can call in or take part in a video chat individually.
Different Approaches to Relationship Counseling
Some of our recommended providers rely on the effectiveness of scheduled appointments with a therapist, while others provide ongoing support through messaging when needed.
Both Partners Don’t Need to Participate
Online therapy for couples doesn’t necessarily require both participants. While it’s more successful that way, the best providers adjust their treatment plans for single-patient relationship counseling.
Long or Short-Term Commitment
One session might be all that’s needed to address a single problem or concern. However, consistent communication and guidance are also available through online couples therapy package programs.
All of the top providers of online therapy for couples have cost-effective programs, so the financial aspect is one less worry. You’ll also find that most now accept health insurance.
Types of Couples-Related Issues Treated
“More and more, couples and families are turning to online marriage counseling as a method to enhance their relationship,” says Stephanie Wijkstrom, MS, LPC, NCC, a nationally certified counselor and founder of Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh. She continues, “Scheduling and childcare has long been a barrier for busy couples to be able to access the marital support that they need.. Yet with the opportunity that is provided by online counseling, therapy can happen in the home, when the kids are asleep which surpasses with convenience this previous hurtle to care.”
One of the top benefits of using online therapy sites for couples is that they accommodate a wide range of issues and severity.
So, whether you and your partner are bickering more than usual, you have one sticking point that you haven’t been able to get past, or it’s a last-ditch effort to save the relationship, you’ll be matched with the right therapist.
Online therapy for couples addresses the following:
- Marriage counseling
- Pre-marital counseling
- Overcoming relationship roadblocks
- Communication issues
- Intimacy challenges
- Family planning
- Empty nest syndrome
- Life changes (moves, job changes, family concerns)
Relationship therapy approaches include:
- Solution-focused therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Marriage and family counseling
- Discernment counseling
- Conflict management
- Coping mechanisms
How Does Online Therapy for Couples Help?
Online therapy for couples offers the same types of benefits and assistance as in-person relationship counseling. But it goes a step further because the accessibility adds a new dimension.
“Our practice has always offered our psychotherapy services via telehealth to better meet the needs of our clients,” says Jennifer Litner, MSc, MEd, LMFT, CST. “Many individuals and couples have found great benefits from meeting virtually because it allows them to continue mental health care during the pandemic from the comfort of their homes as well as removing any time that would be otherwise spent commuting to or from their therapist’s office.
Others prefer to meet virtually because scheduling appointments are easier and do not require them to find childcare if they can meet during their children’s nap times. In my experience, meeting virtually has not had any significant negative effects on the effectiveness of relationship therapy.”
You and your partner don’t have to coordinate travel time or meeting up for an in-office appointment. Instead, you can each call in or video chat from wherever you happen to be at the time, whether together or apart.
Identifying the core issues
The best online therapy for couples will get to the bottom of the most significant issues that need addressing. Sometimes the underlying problem isn’t the most obvious.
So, a good couples therapist asks the right questions to get to the heart of the matter. They also have online tools for additional assessment.
Developing problem-solving skills
The goal is the same whether your issues have been festering for a while or they’re new to the relationship. You want to recognize the obstacle or issue and resolve it. Online therapy for couples doesn’t just bring the problem or problems to light. It facilitates ways to cope with or eliminate them. The online toolbox of resources is also helpful in this area. The two of you can work on coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills between sessions.
Ongoing messaging services with near-instant advice
Traditional marriage counseling or relationship therapy primarily revolves around scheduled appointments. You and your partner attend sessions together and take turns speaking or answering questions. There might be some homework involved, but your therapist is out of the picture for the most part.
Some of the best approaches to online therapy for couples include ongoing messaging with your provider (therapist, counselor, etc.). So, if some of your issues involve day to day conflict, each partner has a go-to for advice or guidance along the way. There’s no need to wait until the next appointment – you can hit your problem head-on as it happens.
Quick-hit problem-solver or refresher
Even the best online therapy for couples doesn’t require a lengthy commitment. It’s readily available. If you don’t already have a therapist, you could find one and book an appointment on the same day. So, if you and your partner are having one-off issues or a decision-making dilemma, you can book 30 or 45 minutes and talk things through with a trained professional.
By the end of the session, you should have a plan for moving forward, if not a resolution.
Does Online Therapy Work for Couples?
In and of itself, teletherapy is an effective way to receive counseling or treatment for mental health issues.
Advantages of online couples therapy versus in-person therapy
Online therapy for couples is even more attractive and successful because you and your partner are more apt to stick with it. You don’t have to get together and travel to an office, possibly addressing childcare or scheduling conflicts.
Plus, you get the added benefit of therapist access whenever you need it, through messaging and chat rooms. That’s particularly helpful to anyone navigating relationship challenges, as you’ve got ongoing support, advice, and encouragement.
Benefits for your couples therapist
Your couples, marriage, or relationship therapist also has the advantage of seeing you on your home turf during your online therapy sessions. You might be able to describe your situation better from where you live and interact. Additionally, the two of you are more comfortable in your own environment than someone’s office, so you may be more apt to share openly.
Benefits of Online Therapy for Couples
- Access to sessions from separate locations
- Therapist messaging plans provide quick access to advice and troubleshooting
- Long or short-term
- Accommodates all budgets
- Some online therapy for couples is covered by insurance
- Participating from home gives the therapist a better idea of how you and your partner interact
- Eliminates the need for childcare
- Plenty of therapist options and no waiting time to get started
- Some providers have group therapy sessions for couples to give everyone a broader perspective