Online Premarital Counseling Benefits

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated July 16, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Modern psychology has led to the development of many unique forms of therapy, including online counseling. As teletherapy has developed, more couples have started turning to online therapy platforms for premarital counseling

Marriage can be a rewarding and healthy part of your life, representing a significant commitment and a new chapter for you and your partner. Online premarital counseling may be a valuable tool if you and your significant other are looking to create a solid foundation for a long-term, stable and fulfilling marriage. 

Therapy can help you build the foundation for a healthy marriage

What is premarital counseling?

You may be wondering, "What is premarital counseling?" Premarital counseling is a type of relationship counseling that aims to help spouses-to-be learn more about one another, improve communication and prepare themselves for life as a married couple. There are several premarital counseling options available. Couples who wish to try this form of therapy may choose to enter premarital counseling online while others may prefer to attend in-person counseling. Many premarital counseling services offer group therapy sessions for soon-to-be-married couples. In some cases, such as when starting a blended family, couples may choose to engage in family therapy to help children and teens adjust. Additionally, some faith communities offer premarital programs. The best program for your relationship will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

Premarital counseling has several proven benefits for couples, including the following: 

  • Improved communication during times of conflict
  • Preparedness for future situations that might cause marital stress 
  • Outlets for partners to express opinions and emotions without judgment
  • The opportunity to set goals and aspirations for the marriage 
  • A more profound mutual understanding 

Premarital counseling may allow you and your spouse to be open about concerns to reduce the chance of conflict or marital stress later. A premarital counselor, often a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), is a neutral party who can provide a safe environment for challenging conversations. 

These professionals are trained to guide the conversation without offering direct advice or interjecting solutions. Instead, they offer guidance in reaching agreements or compromise independently. At times, licensed marriage counselors might offer perspective if they feel a couple may benefit from it or are not reaching the point on their own. 

What can online premarital counseling address?

Some of the topics that may be discussed in premarital counseling, as stated in premarital counseling books, could include the following:

  • Effective communication
  • How much time to spend together and apart 
  • Plans for children and parenting strategies
  • Pets
  • Current areas of conflict
  • Religion
  • Intimacy
  • Values and morals
  • Household responsibilities
  • Past adverse experiences 
  • Work and finances
  • Individual mental health concerns
  • Goals for treatment 

Let your counselor know if you're unsure what to discuss in couples therapy. They may be able to provide open-ended questions to get the conversation flowing. 

How online premarital counseling may help you

Online premarital counseling can be valuable for couples wanting to ensure they have healthy tools before marriage. You do not need to have specific relationship challenges or conflicts to participate and might use premarital counseling to strengthen your relationship and anticipate areas of concern that may arise in the future. 

A licensed online therapist can empower couples with communication habits and healthy ways to address disagreements if they occur. They often have the experience to identify which topics among married couples might cause discord and help the partners avoid these pitfalls. 

Premarital counseling also allows both partners to explore and learn more about their chosen life partner. One of the benefits of online couple counseling is the opportunity to be matched with a therapist based on your relationship's needs without having to search or be put on a waiting list for months. Often, matching processes take from 24 to 48 hours after signing up.  

Online premarital counseling for conflict resolution

If you are currently experiencing tension in your relationship, your counselor might offer conflict resolution skills to help you find helpful solutions as a team. Research shows that couples in distress often struggle to solve problems constructively. Online therapy sessions may be able to help you and your partner navigate through conflict and communication breakdowns with guided discussions, worksheets, and activities to practice with your partner These sessions are typically conducted by experienced marriage and family therapists who specialize in premarital counseling and conflict resolution.  

Studies also show that premarital counseling is a productive way of improving relationship functioning and can decrease the likelihood of divorce. They found that participants in a premarital intervention experienced an approximately 30% increase in measures of outcome success.  

Therapy can help you build the foundation for a healthy marriage

How much does premarital counseling cost?

Online premarital counseling is often more affordable than traditional face-to-face therapy. With online therapy, the therapist may not have to pay for an office, staff, utilities, or similar expenses. These savings are often passed on to the couple participating in therapy via video. The cost of traditional premarital counseling sessions can be between $100 and $200 per session, depending on the location, while online premarital counseling averages around $65 to $90 per session.  Depending on which service you choose, you may be billed weekly or monthly. Some online therapists may offer a free consultation, while other platforms offer a designated counselor.

Depending on your situation, the costs associated with premarital counseling may be covered by your health insurance provider. Many online therapists and therapy platforms accept insurance, and some workplaces offer employee assistance programs that may be used for premarital counseling. If you’re unsure whether your policy covers premarital counseling, it may be worth contacting your health insurance company.

How long does premarital counseling last?

The length of premarital counseling could depend on your goals as a couple and the extent of the issues you'd like to address. The best online premarital counseling services will be customized to your relationship. Depending on your needs, sessions might last from eight to ten weeks or more. If you and your partner find that you'd like to continue working with your therapist, request more sessions. Some couples might continue counseling into their marriage. 

What to expect during the first premarital counseling session

During your initial premarital counseling assessment, your licensed therapist may ask you and your partner a series of questions to get to know you better and establish your goals for therapy. These goals might include topics such as: 

  • Conflict resolution 
  • Figuring out family relationships
  • Learning healthy communication skills
  • Working on your mental health as a couple
  • Setting realistic expectations
  • Discussing finances
  • Sex
  • Marriage roles
  • Desires for children

The first comprehensive assessment can help your premarital counselor determine areas where you might benefit from change and create a strategic road map or treatment plan for you and your partner. 

How to find online premarital counseling

An online search for "online premarital counseling" or "couples counseling" can help you get started. However, not all online premarital counseling resources are credible. Try to take your time to find the best online service for you. Look for counseling services that provide structured guidance, and personalized counseling, and only hire licensed, experienced therapists. Like other online services, many premarital counseling platforms encourage clients to leave reviews, Reading through such reviews can give you an idea of whether you have found a trustworthy therapist. 

An online therapy resource that connects you directly with a mental health professional may help you save time in finding a professional. Many platforms ask clients to fill out a questionnaire about their goals for therapy before signing up. Your answers can help you match with a licensed therapist knowledgeable in your specific area of concern based on your answers. 

Is online premarital counseling effective?

Studies show that online therapy can help couples prepare for marriage, develop an understanding of one another, and better communicate. In a study of couples in premarital partnerships, researchers found that online therapy can increase couples' positive feelings regarding marriage, help them develop better communication skills, and provide an enhanced understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Participants also reported feeling better prepared for marriage and experienced improvements in overall satisfaction in their relationships.

If you and your partner are looking to prepare for marriage, online couples therapy through a platform like Regain can help. If you think you might be experiencing emotional or mental health challenges, individual online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp may be beneficial.With online therapy, you and your partner can participate in therapy remotely without worrying about the logistics of commuting and meeting at an office. Your therapist can also connect you with valuable resources, such as at-home exercises, which can be utilized immediately after your sessions. 


Marriage is a significant commitment that can bring several changes to the dynamic of a partnership. If these changes are navigated healthily, you may find significant fulfillment. Online premarital counseling is a constructive way of learning more about your partner, anticipating challenges, and preparing for life as a married couple. Connecting with a therapist online can be the first step toward a healthy marriage. Consider reaching out to a therapist for further guidance and to get started. 

Marriage can come with complex challenges
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