How Does Online Counseling For Couples Work?

Medically reviewed by Corey Pitts, MA, LCMHC, LCAS, CCS
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Traditionally, couples therapy incorporating marriage counseling techniques takes place in person. However, in modern psychology, online therapy is available for those seeking relationship counselling. Advances in technology, and increasing demand for mental health services, have opened the door for people to benefit from online therapies, including marriage counseling. If you're seeking for help, checking for "marriage counseling near me" might be a great place to start.

Video conferencing simulates in-person interactions that a therapist guides with verbal and visual cues occurring in real-time in the comfort of any environment with an internet connection. With online couples counseling can also reach out to your therapist over the phone or through online chat, whichever is most convenient at the time. One of the benefits of online counseling is having options.

For those who have only participated in relationship counseling in person, not to mention those who have never had therapy at all, it may be difficult to picture how the mechanics of online relationship counseling work.

Learning about how couples therapy could benefit you may be a good first step help you make an informed decision about your relationship needs. As you read on, you'll learn not only how important couple therapy is but also answer the question of “ how does marriage counseling work in an online setting?”

Two people lean beside each other on the desk and smile while looking for online couples counseling using the laptop in a brightly lit office.
Online couples therapy can help couples navigate conflict

An overview of online couples counseling

Relationship therapy such as couples counseling, premarital counseling, and marriage counseling, are focused on working through relationship issues, building communication skills, and offering tools that help clients understand and resolve conflict. The best online therapy platforms help couples find a path forward to joy in their relationships.

The Internet, social media, and global events like COVID-19 have shifted how people communicate, including the rise of couples therapy online. Therefore, seeking professional therapeutic help may no longer necessitate an in-person visit to a clinical office. All forms of therapy, including couples therapy and couple sex therapy, can now be done online. Couple sex therapy is another popular topic for couples who are experiencing difficulty living their best lives as a married couple.

Online couples or marriage therapy has been found highly effective. This technology has progressed beyond a “chat room,” allowing couples to attend free marriage counseling online through video conference, phone calls, or live chat messaging. The new online therapy model allows therapists to communicate with clients at their discretion and at an ideal time for both partners and the marriage counselor

Research examining the effectiveness and benefits of online couple counseling has concluded that video sessions work? Couples report that online therapy services make some aspects of couple relationship counseling easier than seeing a marriage therapist at their office. The participants found it easier to talk about intimate relationship concerns while sitting in the comfort of their homes. In addition, it can be more convenient to schedule an online marriage counseling session than an in-person visit with a family and marriage therapist. How much does marriage counseling cost? It can be the same as that of individual therapy.  It can also vary for several reasons. Online marriage counseling or couples therapy may cost less than in person sessions if not covered by insurance. This is because online therapy platforms don’t require the large fees from licensed therapists that are needed to rent office space. Therefore, these couples and family therapists can afford to charge less for their time. In some cases, an online therapy platform accepts insurance, but it may be best to check with your provider to understand your coverage.

Couples therapy techniques, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, may work best when patients can afford to attend sessions once a week rather than once or twice a month. Couples or marriage counseling online services using video chat or phone calls can offer more convenience in this area.

You can log on from home or on vacation to receive weekly support. Because you have several sessions throughout the month, you may be more inclined to remember the last session when you meet with your therapist again: thereby, maintaining greater continuity and momentum in your counseling. You can also message your therapist at any time throughout the week, depending on the online form of therapy you’ve chosen. 


The advantages of online couples counseling

What does a couples counselor do over the Internet? The ability to conveniently take notes and refer to information from the video chat, with a partner or without, makes marriage counseling online appealing for many. In addition to having a couples session, individuals can log in individually and talk to a therapist one-on-one about sensitive relationship issues like a sexless marriage or infidelity, and explore some individual counseling concerns. 

An individual therapy session may allow each partner to talk discreetly, without judgment or defensiveness from their spouse or partner. The therapist may also better understand everyone and how to help them as a couple. 

Other advantages of attending online therapy with your partner may include the following:

  • Ease of use
  • Time management 
  • Reduced costs

Online therapy with a marriage and family therapist often resolves the problem of location and timing. The session duration may be flexible and reduce the costs of therapy services. Partners can log in together from remote locations to speak with their counselor during a couple's therapy session. They can choose a long session or multiple short sessions with a family therapist throughout the week without the added stress of travel time. People living in remote places or apart can log on from anywhere, whether at home or the office. Evening and weekend appointments could also be possible with relationship counseling online.

Online therapy users often find it easier to transfer the skills they learn during relationship therapy to their real lives. Because the sessions occur at home, where conflict resolution and real-life relationship patterns take place, they can discuss their concerns from a familiar location. It is easier to solve marital problems at home. Marital problems can include infidelity, being in love with two people at the same time, lack of intimacy, jealousy, and more.

Online couples therapy can help couples navigate conflict

Is online therapy impersonal?

Some individuals may worry that online couple therapy could feel impersonal due to a therapist being behind a screen. However, combining a comfortable home environment and a realistic virtual office environment may motivate many patients to engage. Some people could feel more comfortable sitting in their homes in a favorite chair than going in person to sit on their therapist’s couch. Studies have shown that most individuals feel most comfortable at home. 

Sites like BetterHelp for individuals, and Regain for couples, help you to find a therapist and schedule counseling services at a time that works for you. This may allow you and your partner to make decisions to work through your relationship challenges and help you avoid impulsive behaviors. 


Online couples therapy may be seen as a natural evolution of therapy and online technology that gives clients a place of comfort to receive support. You don’t need to be experiencing mental health challenges to benefit from therapy. Attending online couples therapy or individual therapy sessions with licensed marriage and family therapists can make a positive impact on the way you and your partner communicate. This is true of any kind of online couples counseling, including online premarital counseling or sex therapy. If you’re seeking therapy and interested in trying out this form of therapy session, consider reaching out to a professional for further insight. 
Marriage can come with complex challenges
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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