The Unique Advantages Of Online Couples Counseling

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated April 3, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

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 marriage and family challenges. However, many couples may struggle to find in-person relationship or marriage counseling due to couples counseling cost, distance, or scheduling barriers when working with a therapist’s office. In these cases, many modern couples turn to 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, relationship or marriage counseling may offer you unique tools and professional help for various challenges.

Online therapy can strengthen relationships

What is online couples 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 counseling, and couples therapy online is a viable alternative. The benefits of online couples counseling typically include counseling in a more cost-effective and flexible structure, as compared to traditional face-to-face counseling services. 

Married couples can participate in online marriage therapy sessions with licensed therapists through specific online counseling websites, though it’s important to note you do not need to be married in order to seek counseling services. 

When couples opt for online counseling, they can search for a therapist to connect with from their own home or anywhere with an internet connection. In many cases, virtual therapy sessions can be used from different locations, which may be helpful for couples in separate locations. Virtual couples counseling may also feel less stressful for couples as it can be done in an environment where they feel safe. 

Benefits of 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:

Improved communication 

Couples may improve their communication and learn new techniques for constructively handling conflict and criticism through couples 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 counseling.

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 in counseling

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.

Team skills 

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 marriage counseling 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 therapists, 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 counseling

Many couples pursue individual counseling while also participating in couples counseling. 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 to find an online counselor 

There are a few methods to find a therapist online:

  • An online couples therapy platform, like Regain
  • A self-practice therapist in your state that offers telehealth therapy
  • An online group therapy 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 online therapy services: 

Counseling registration 

You and your spouse or partner may begin the process of online counseling by registering for an 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 your mental health 
  • 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 counseling session 

Your 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 counseling, 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.

Online therapy can strengthen relationships

Future sessions

In future live counseling sessions, you and your partner may bring up concerns 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, and they will respond as soon as they are able.

Virtual vs. in-person therapy: Benefits of online couples 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 $65 and $100 per weekly and $260-$400 monthly (based on factors such as your location, referral source, preferences, therapist availability and any applicable discounts or promotions that might apply) to have sessions with a qualified therapist. All ReGain therapists are licensed and have at least three years of clinical experience. 

Online marriage 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 counseling or changing therapists in an in-person setting may be more complicated. 

You can participate in multiple methods of online counseling for couples, including the following: 

Let your therapist know your goals before getting started 

Another benefit of virtual counseling 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 services can also eliminate the stress of distant commutes and travel expenses that may be associated with in-office therapeutic services. 

Therapist reviews

"Stephanie is a gem! She's very thoughtful, thorough, honest, insightful but most of all helpful. This is coming from a person who 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!"

"The longer I work with Dr. Simon, the more grateful I am to have found a counselor who strikes such a kind balance between supporting and empathizing as well as challenging and coaching. She's been invaluable to the progress I've made individually and in my relationship."


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. With online counseling, you can connect with a therapist via live video sessions from the comfort of your home at a time that works for you. Take the first step toward getting support and contact BetterHelp today.

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