Why Today's Couples Are Seeking Free Relationship Counseling Online
Couples counseling is an option for many looking to work through their relationship conflicts. It is often pursued when specific issues have become repetitive or feel too challenging to work through alone. Many modern couples encounter roadblocks in their intimate relationships and don't know where to turn next.
For some, online therapy becomes a treatment option. For some, online therapy becomes a treatment option. With online therapy, it's convenient to connect with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your own home. This helps to address any anxiety or concern that comes with visiting a physical office space. Most patients find it easier to forget they are talking to an expert and feel more comfortable when they're in control of their environment.
Why Modern Couples Seek Counseling Online
Couples may seek online counseling for a variety of reasons. For some, traditional therapy may not fit into their busy life. For others, online counseling is the most affordable choice.
Convenience And Accessibility
Convenience is often a quality of online therapy practices. In traditional therapy, you might wait weeks or months for a few sessions with an in-office licensed professional therapist. Busy couples may arrange for online therapy sessions at the times that best suit their lifestyles. They might schedule late-night or early-morning sessions or meet with a therapist on the weekend.
Another advantage of online therapy is the ability to connect with someone who is a good fit for your needs. For example, if you’re dealing with depression or grief, a therapist with expertise in those areas would likely provide better support than someone who has not received that kind of training. Furthermore, some providers offer free chat rooms and other resources, such as videos and training materials, to help you make the most of your experience.
Individuals and couples often seek alternatives to counseling services provided by public health-based services that may require a lengthy application process, a mental health disorder diagnosis, extended wait times for services, or a lower standard of care.
Online relationship therapy clients may value the personalized one-on-one attention and emotional support that taking part in online therapy can provide. They may opt for unlimited messaging, where they can contact their therapist 24 hours a day via an online app or SMS. This allows them to receive the benefits of a timely and tailored response based on their individual needs.
Ease Of Transition
Attending couples therapy online may allow an easy transition to in-person therapy sessions for those struggling with severe mental health challenges. Suppose one or both partners are experiencing a mental health condition. Always consult your doctor, psychiatrist, or primary care physician before considering any medication options.
Ease Of Use
Over 4.5 billion individuals worldwide used social media in 2022. With more people online, the internet has become a resource for many to live, work, and study. For this reason, many couples and individuals feel most comfortable on an online platform. They might understand the mechanics and appreciate the comfort of having multiple teletherapy options, like chat messaging or video and phone calls.
How Online Support Services Work
Using online therapy is an excellent way to access mental health care services from anywhere in the world. It allows individuals to create a private and secure account and connect with a professional counselor or therapist.
When individuals participate in therapy online, they may log in via laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Some platforms offer counseling and therapy services through a downloadable app. Other online platforms might require users to log in directly to their sites.
The standard options for online relationship counseling services include the following:
Chat or SMS messaging
While many platforms may not offer free online therapy or free marriage counseling online, many offer sliding-scale therapy and financial aid.
Chat Or SMS Therapy
SMS messaging therapy is a modern method of online therapy. Clients schedule an allotted time with their counselor or may sign up for a 24-hour messaging option. In real-time, the client and therapist may send messages back and forth for a particular time or until a resolution is reached.
Video Or Phone Therapy
These sessions may work like traditional therapy, but you and your therapist will be talking at a distance. Many people find live sessions via video or phone helpful for recovery and understanding the matter that needs to be addressed.
The Online Therapy Process
Online therapy can allow you to connect with a counselor that fits your schedule. For example, you may find that your online therapist is a night owl, and you might enjoy therapy at night.
When couples attend online sessions together, they may look for a comfortable spot in their home where they can connect with their therapist via their chosen method for the specified length of their session. Online coaching and counseling often last nearly the same time as an in-person appointment, which could be from 30 minutes to an hour or more.
Busy couples may choose to plan and schedule sessions in increments that work for them. For example, if a 15-minute therapy session on a work break sounds beneficial, it could be possible. Online therapy options are often customizable. Couples may also save time by cutting out a commute to an in-person office.
Free Relationship Counseling Hotlines
There are several completely free relationship hotline services available online. Couples in crisis or seeking free relationship advice may find relationship experts, advocates, and counselors through these services. They provide a community of volunteer members who share their perspective, experience, and advice. Often, hotlines are meant for crisis or temporary care, and you may be referred to a counselor or long-term solution in your area after ending the call or chat.
A few relationship hotlines include:
Love Is Respect: Dating hotline for teens, young adults, and their families, available at 1-866-331-9474 or through an online chat
OneLove: Free texting line for those facing relationship struggles, abuse, or unhealthy dynamics, available by texting LOVEIS to 22522
The Domestic Violence Hotline: A crisis support line for individuals going through domestic violence or abuse, available by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Volunteer listeners are often available to help couples in crisis temporarily when relationship issues occur.
Affordable Relationship Counseling Options
Mental health counseling platforms may offer affordable paid counseling options with licensed and experienced therapists, counselors, and social workers. These sites often verify that all therapists and counselors who work on the platform are licensed, certified, and possess post-secondary degrees. They are often experts in the field, with over 1000 hours of clinical practice in their area of study.
Affordable relationship counseling services online can start at around $35.00 per session for some platforms. Other popular online counseling platforms may cost $40.00-$90 per session. In some cases, subscription-based online counseling platforms may offer free introductory sessions or coupons to make trying therapy more affordable.
Free Vs. Subscription-Based Online Counseling
There are a few differences between free and subscription-based options for couples.
Free Relationship Counseling Online
When couples search for free relationship counseling services, they may find relationship coaching sites or temporary hotlines that provide limited services. Additionally, couples may use group chats, online forums, and web articles to gain advice.
Free services often have a limit to the amount of advocacy and support that they can provide. They might not hire licensed counselors, and there could be harmful advice if someone is not trained.
If couples find that free relationship counseling services are no longer meeting their needs as they grow and develop, they may choose to move on to subscription-based or sliding-fee-based online therapy services.
Subscription-Based Relationship Counseling Services
Today's subscription-based counseling services offer many an equal opportunity to take part in counseling with degreed professionals at an often more affordable rate.
Although these services do have a cost, you may be able to work out a plan that fits your budget, and many services offer a sliding-scale or financial aid option for those who struggle with the cost.
Online Therapy Options
If you're ready to gain support from an online therapist, consider signing up for a platform like BetterHelp for individuals or ReGain for couples. Studies have shown that online counseling is as effective as face-to-face therapy for treating mental health conditions and symptoms.
In the studies, couples found online therapy more productive because they could focus on their issues more intently. They also experienced a sense of less judgment overall. You may feel judged while talking to your friends or family about your relationship. Online therapy can allow you to receive unbiased advice from a location that feels safe to you.
“My counselor is Doctor Nena Kircher. I want to say this in a way that you'll believe me, because as a dude, therapy sucked to get into. I want to give you the extra push to try this app. I've seen 4 other therapists before trying BetterHelp, none of which really took the time to understand what I was saying, they just wanted to jump in the middle. What I mean is, as an emotionally stunted person, I didn't have words to describe my inner life. None. It was like a separate language that I'd never even heard. They were trying to get me to open up to them when I didn't even know where the door was. Kircher was my second BetterHelp therapist, and I literally told my wife that if she didn't work than I wasn't going to do therapy at all. Kircher stayed simple for me, she gave me worksheets, and she was more interested in listening than solving. Which is exactly what I needed. I legitimately cannot day enough about this platform, and about my therapist specifically. Also, if you need to change therapists, do it.”
“Cameron has helped me navigate some incredibly challenging things within my relationship. With his help I’ve developed confidence to be a more assertive person. Therapy had helped me understand myself and my partner much better, in addition to implementing practices and taking action to improve a situation whereas I otherwise may feel stuck or hopeless. I really loved that he took the time to get to know me and my history before trying to “tell me what to do.” I feel like he really understands how my mind operates and therefore can give great, valuable advice, in addition to being a comforting sounding board.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are a few frequently asked questions regarding couples therapy online.
Is There Any Free Online Therapy?
There are often free hotlines, coaching services, or advice columns you can sign up for online. However, licensed therapists often come with a cost. In some cases, you might find low-cost or sliding-scale therapists. At times, platforms and websites offer trials or coupons for their services.
Is ReGain Free?
Although ReGain is not a free counseling platform, it provides a sliding-scale price model for those in relationships hoping to attend counseling online. This scale could include changes to pricing based on your income or the services you opt to receive.
Though ReGain may not be free, it can be a valuable service for gaining self-confidence, restoring mental health, and receiving relationship advice.
Is Marriage Counseling Effective?
Studies show that 70% of couples who try marriage or couples counseling find it effective. Counseling for couples can include learning communication techniques, analyzing thoughts and feelings, and managing relationship challenges. Many couples find that these skills support them through their relationship and help them gain intimacy and connection.
How Do You Get The Spark Back In A Relationship?
Getting the "spark" back in a relationship may depend on the reason behind the break. If communication issues are at the root of a broken relationship, working through communication techniques with a counselor may benefit you.
What Are The Signs You Are Not In Love Anymore?
Losing love and losing infatuation can be different experiences. Someone who has fallen out of infatuation with their partner might find that they no longer think of them every moment of the day or no longer wake up each morning, ecstatic to catch a glimpse of their name on their phone.
The signs that you are no longer in love with someone may appear over time. A gradual loss of interest in what the other person has to say, a gradual feeling of disdain or discomfort with the person, and a lingering feeling of needing to move on may signify a loss of love.
What Are The Five Stages Of Dating?
The five stages of dating may include the following:
Why Has My Partner Withdrawn?
Withdrawing behavior may be due to an avoidant attachment style. Learning more about these patterns could help you understand how you and your partner relate and what's healthiest for you.
What Is An Abusive Relationship?
There are several recognized types of abuse, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. These types may include subcategories, such as religious, spiritual, or financial abuse.
If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for support. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text "START" to 88788. You can also use the online chat.
Physical abuse includes physical violence. It may look like hitting, kicking, burning, harming, or physical intimidation, such as refusing to let someone leave by blocking exits, holding someone down against their will, or pushing someone.
Sexual abuse is forced or coerced sexual acts or behaviors without consent or behavior that bullies, demeans, or intentionally harms someone during a sexual encounter.
Emotional abuse is abuse that harms you emotionally. Emotional neglect, manipulation, and withholding of love and affection may be identified as indicators of emotional abuse. This type of abuse can happen in romantic relationships.
Someone who is emotionally abusive might demand to know where you are at all times, insist that they "check up on you" by receiving information in your emails, texts, and other forms of communication, and may suggest that you begin to pull away from friends or family.
In some cases, these signs are more covert. A controlling partner may go through your emails uninvited, show up at places you are visiting without an invitation or block communication between you and your loved ones.