The Unique Advantages Of Online Relationship Counseling
Relationship counseling sessions can be a beneficial way to connect with your partner, learn better communication skills, problem-solve specific challenges, and develop professional coping techniques, especially if you're experiencing marital issues. However, many couples may struggle to find in-person relationship or marriage counselors due to couples counseling cost, distance, or scheduling barriers when working with a therapist’s office. In these cases, many modern couples turn to free relationship counseling online, which they may easily find through virtual therapy platforms.
Many individuals seeking relationship counseling may face conflict and challenging times in their relationships. Other couples might use online couples counseling work as a tool to improve communication and grow as a couple. If you're looking to work through marriage problems, dating difficulties, or relationship conflicts, a free session of relationship or marriage counseling online may offer you unique tools and professional help for various challenges.
What Is Online Relationship Counseling?
When you think of marriage or relationship counseling, you may envision a couple in a traditional in-person clinic discussing their concerns in front of a therapist. However, there are many other types of therapy, and couples therapy online is a viable alternative. The benefits of online couple counseling include therapy in a more cost-effective and flexible manner, as compared to traditional face to face therapy.
Married couples can participate in online marriage therapy sessions with licensed therapists through specific online therapy websites, though it’s important to note you do not need to be married in order to seek a relationship counseling session.
When couples opt for online therapy, they can search for a therapist to connect with from their own home or anywhere with an internet connection. In many cases, online therapy sessions can be accessed from different locations with internet access. Searching for virtual therapy may also feel less stressful for couples as it can be done in an environment where they feel safe.
Benefits Of Online Relationship Counseling
Consistently participating in couples counseling may lead to several long-term benefits for couples, including improved intimacy, connection, communication, and mutual respect. Depending on their motives for seeking support, different couples may benefit from this type of therapy in different ways. Below are a few benefits you and your partner may experience from online relationship therapy:
For example, they might experience an increased ability to effectively address disagreements over finances, feelings of blame, or family conflict.
Re-Engagement In Your Relationship
Many couples may feel they can re-engage in their relationship and rekindle the "spark" they may have first felt in the early stages of their love through fostering a deeper connection in couples therapy.
Maintaining A Foundation For Healthy Behaviors
You and your partner may learn to develop and maintain a foundation for your relationship to discuss challenging topics and feel confident in your ability to establish healthy behavioral patterns. Part of this foundation may include each of you taking time for individual self care.
Development Of Goals
You and your partner may learn to develop goals and priorities together, rather than focusing on individual goals that could conflict with or strain your relationship.
You and your partner may learn to work together to develop a team outlook. Instead of seeing each other as individuals working "against" each other, you may learn to see each other as a team "against the problem." Working together through significant life transitions and challenges may help you feel closer overall.
Online Relationship Therapy Tips For A Thriving Relationship
Below are several tips for making the most out of online relationship therapy:
Agree On A Counselor
When couples decide to find online marriage counseling or relationship counseling, they might have a difficult time finding a marriage counselor or couples therapist they both feel comfortable with. Couples therapists should not value one partner over the other. Additionally, if one partner does not like the marriage therapist, it may be best to consider a few other candidates before deciding. Through virtual therapy, you and your partner can switch providers, if necessary, often in a more efficient manner than with in-person counseling.
Learn To Communicate In A Healthy Way
Healthy communication can be a cornerstone of a healthy relationship. According to research, healthy communication increases rates of marital satisfaction. A virtual family and marriage therapist can guide you through healthy discussions, give you relationship advice, help you understand your communication limitations, and provide you with tools to practice at home.
According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, one of the top reasons marriages dissolve is the presence of conflict and frequent arguments, demonstrating that communication can be a crucial skill to discuss with your partner in a therapeutic environment.
Combine Online Relationship Counseling With Individual Therapy
Many couples pursue individual therapy while also participating in couples therapy. As couples therapists are there to serve the relationship as a whole, an individual counselor can focus primarily on you and your concerns, which may also positively impact the relationship.
Where Can We Find An Online Counselor?
There are a few methods for finding an online therapist:
- An online couples therapy platform, like ReGain
- A self-practice therapist in your state that offers telehealth therapy
- An online support group for couples led by a licensed therapist
- An online individual therapy platform, like BetterHelp
What To Expect Through An Online Therapy Platform
Below are a few steps you might encounter when signing up for an online therapy platform:
You and your spouse or partner may begin the process of online counseling by registering for a free account through a platform. When you register, you can use your real names or choose nicknames.
After you complete your registration, you may be prompted to complete an intake questionnaire. This questionnaire is one of the tools that online professionals may use to tailor their service to couples. It may ask you for the following information:
- If you're struggling with any mental health condition or symptoms
- What you hope to discuss in therapy
- Whether you want a BIPOC therapist
- Whether you want an LGBTQ+ therapist
- Whether you and your partner have any cultural or spiritual preferences
- Any notes you have for your potential therapist
The Intake SessionYour therapist can create a couple's assessment unique to your relationship based on the answers in your questionnaire. In your initial intake session, the therapist might also ask you and your partner what you hope to get out of therapy, and start developing a treatment plan personalized to your needs. Your therapist may provide focused relationship support based on the needs identified in your treatment plan.
In future sessions, you and your partner may bring issues to your therapist and discuss them together. In the online format, your therapist may send you links to resources, worksheets to print or download, and messages. You can also message your therapist throughout the week at any time, with responses often within 24 hours.
Virtual Vs. In-Person Therapy
Sessions with an in-office therapist often last around 45 minutes to an hour. Virtual sessions can be more flexible, lasting around 30 minutes, sometimes more and sometimes less. Scheduling can also be flexible, with many therapists having options for late at night, early in the morning, or on the weekends. Couples can also attend sessions from two separate locations if they are in a long-distance relationship or have a busy schedule. Couples counseling through ReGain costs between $60 and $90 per week.
Online counseling services often offer an individualized approach to treatment. If you find that one method is not working, your therapist can work with you to change their approach. You can also request a new therapist and leave feedback if you have a challenging or exceptional experience. In contrast, the process of starting in-person therapy or changing therapists in an in-person setting may be more complicated.
You can participate in multiple methods of online therapy for couples, including the following:
- Premarital counseling
- Marital counseling
- Family therapy
- Individual therapy focused on relationships
Let your therapist know your goals before getting started.
Another benefit of virtual therapy is that you can participate in sessions with a provider from a location that feels comfortable to you, which may allow you to immediately practice skills with your partner after therapy, instead of waiting hours after a session to consider your assignments or lessons learned. Online relationship counseling can also eliminate the stress of distant commutes and travel expenses.
"Stephanie is a gem! She's very thoughtful, thorough, honest, insightful but most of all helpful. This is coming from a person that never wanted to do counseling and just "knew" I didn't need it. She's been key in helping my wife and me find our better place. She made us grow as a couple and individually. Thanks, Steph!"
Online couples counseling can offer various benefits to couples looking for support. If you're experiencing challenges with resentment, attention, affection, or other concerns, consider rebuilding your connection and gaining personalized skills with a licensed online therapist through a platform like BetterHelp for individuals or ReGain for couples.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are a few frequently asked questions on the topic of couples therapy.
Can Couple Therapy Help A Marriage?
Relationship issues therapy can be effective in supporting married couples. The benefits of counseling can include increased conflict resolution skills, improved understanding, and improved intimacy. You do not need a mental health diagnosis or specific symptoms to consider online therapy. Any couple can take advantage of the skills offered, and many couples use online therapy to grow.
What Type Of Marriage Therapy Is Most Effective?
The most effective type of therapy for couples can depend on your goals. The most common type of individual and family therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Other types of evidence-based couples therapy include Imago relationship therapy, emotionally focused therapy, or the Gottman method.
What Is Marriage Help Called?
Many subsets of couples therapy go by different names and focus on different couple counseling techniques for improving a marriage. For example, Sue Johnson created emotionally focused therapy, in which an EFT therapist works with a couple to identify dysfunctional emotion regulation patterns and proposes alternative problem-solving methods.
What Do Couples Discuss In Therapy?
Couples may discuss conflict, communication, finances, roles in the relationship, and life challenges. Counseling may help two people address unresolved conflict, affairs, concerns about children, or infidelity.
Does BetterHelp Offer Virtual Relationship Counseling?
BetterHelp offers virtual individual therapy, whereas its sister platform ReGain offers relationship-focused therapy for couples and spouses.
Do Relationship Therapists Ever Suggest Divorce In Online Counseling?
Relationship therapists function as guiding mentors for you and your partner. If your goal is not to divorce or discuss divorce, these topics do not need to come up in your sessions. Your treatment plan can be personalized based on your needs, and your therapist is not there to tell you what to do but to help you make informed decisions about your relationship.
Is Virtual Relationship Therapy Effective?
Research has found virtual relationship therapy as effective as face-to-face modalities. However, effectiveness may also depend on your and your partner's willingness, openness, and honesty in sessions.
How Much Does A Virtual Relationship Help Cost?
The cost of virtual relationship counseling varies like in-person therapy. However, many virtual options are more affordable than face-to-face sessions. If your concern is "How much does marriage counseling cost?" BetterHelp and ReGain can cost from $60 to $90 a session, whereas in-person therapy often ranges from $100 to $200 a session.
What is the advantage of couple counseling?
Can couples counseling save a relationship?
How can marriage counseling help a couple improve their relationship?
Why do people refuse couples counseling?
What is the best approach to couples therapy?
What is the most common problem addressed in couples therapy?
Why is couples therapy so hard?
Further Resources For Individuals And Couples
For more information about BetterHelp as a company, you can find information on the following platforms:
If you are in crisis, do not use BetterHelp or ReGain. You can reach out to these services:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
- Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 (and press 1) or text 838255. For support for the deaf and hard of hearing community, please use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.
- Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ Lifeline): (866)488-7386
- SAMHSA National Helpline (Substance Use): (800)662-4357
- National Eating Disorder Association Helpline:1-800-931-2237 (M-Th: 9 AM-9 PM EST, Fri 9 AM - 5 PM EST)
- Child Help Hotline: Call 1-800-422-4453 or use the online chat feature
- National Anti-Hazing Hotline: 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293)
- Physician Crisis Support Line: Call 1-888-409-0141 if you are a first responder or medical provider experiencing crises related to Covid-19
- Sexual Assault Hotline: Call RAINN at 1-800-656-4673
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