Finding Convenient Couples Counseling

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Life can be challenging independently, and when you’re in a relationship with another person, you may face their challenges on top of your own. Every couple comes with its own unique set of characters, behaviors, ideas, values, and challenges. With these differences or similarities, couples conflicts may arise. 

Couples therapists are licensed professionals trained to support couples with various goals. Whether you’re looking for premarital counseling, experiencing a challenge, planning a family, or looking to improve your intimacy, a couples therapist can offer support. Understanding how to find a professional in your area can be beneficial when seeking services for the first time, as various types of couples therapy exist.  

Can couple's therapy help my relationship?

What can a couples therapist help with?

Not all couples therapists practice the same type of therapy, and each professional may have their own specialty or concerns they are experienced in treating. For example, some therapists may hope to work primarily with clients experiencing infertility struggles, whereas others might guide couples navigating an open relationship. No matter the reason you seek therapy, various options can be available. 

Common reasons couples might seek therapy can include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Communication challenges
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • A lack of love or emotional closeness
  • Mismatching values or morals
  • Mismatching libido (sex drive) 
  • Mismatching love languages
  • Family challenges
  • Parenting conflicts
  • Infertility and family planning
  • Adoption and foster care
  • A lack of time for dates and intimacy
  • Open relationships or polyamory 
  • Infidelity (cheating or affairs) 
  • Lying and trust 
  • Life transitions
  • Financial struggles
  • Divorce and separation 
  • Long-distance relationships
  • Mental illness
  • Terminal illness
  • Grief 
  • Traumatic common experiences
  • Traumatic individual experiences 

Depending on the reason you seek therapy, you may benefit from a specialist. Doing your research before selecting a therapist can ensure you find the proper fit. In addition, note that couples therapy may not only benefit those living with a mental illness or severe relationship issues. Couples therapy can be for any couple looking to improve or grow in any aspect of a connection—including counseling trauma.

Some couples might use couples therapy to prepare for a change in the relationship, such as marriage or opening the relationship up to a third partner. These changes may not be considered harmful or conflict-oriented but can cause stress and can be long-term commitments to discuss in profound detail. Having a therapist, life coach, or other professional on your side is often highly recommended to help you consider every avenue and learn healthy long-term behavioral skills.
How to find a couples therapist near you

There are several ways to find a couples and marriage therapist in your area. Most cities have couples therapy providers, but knowing where to look and how to choose the right one can be challenging. Consider the following tips when starting your search for a marriage therapist.

Get a referral

If you currently have an individual therapist, you may be able to ask for a referral to someone they know in your area that offers couples therapy. Your provider may have some history on the types of treatment that function well for you and may be able to let you know if there are therapists near you that could help you meet your goals. 

Talking to your primary care provider can offer a similar benefit if you do not have a therapist. They might be able to refer you based on their knowledge of popular mental health service providers in your area. In addition, if you have a specific insurance plan, they may be connected with therapists in your network, so you don’t have to call and ask providers. A doctor’s referral may also increase your chances of being accepted by insurance, as it can be seen as a medical necessity. 

Search online

Some couples look online for therapists by searching for the type of couples therapist they seek. Many providers list their business information and website on Google Maps. Others might be listed on internet psychology directories that list providers and allow you to contact them. If you use a psychology directory, filter your search by state, specialty, and preferred gender. You can also filter your search by insurance plans on some websites or search online for a phrase similar to "relationship counseling or therapist near me." 

Go to a local mental health clinic

Some cities may have clinics or organizations of several practice therapists that work together under one practice name. Often, these organizations specify whether they work with couples, individuals, or a specific mental health concern. You can also try visiting a general mental health clinic and asking for suggestions on where to find a couples counselor accepting clients. 

Ask your health insurance provider

You can also reach out to your insurance company, if you have one, to ask about in-network therapists. Some insurance companies refer clients to therapists, which can cut down on your search time. However, you may have limited options finding a therapist, depending on where you live. 

What will the first couples therapy session look like?

Once you’ve found a therapist you and your partner are both interested in, you might be invited to a consultation or an intake session. This session can be short and free or a paid full-length session. Depending on their session options, you might also partake in the session online or at the therapist’s office. 

When you arrive, your therapist may ask you a few questions about your motives for seeking therapy, your goals for treatment, and the most significant challenges in your relationship. Some couples therapists may meet with each partner individually and then together to get an idea of why each partner is coming to therapy outside of their joint goals. 

You might also be asked general questions about your life and character for the therapist to get to know you. Understanding your career, parenting status, education, and daily responsibilities can help them understand what conflicts could arise or how much time you have to commit to learning skills with your partner. 

You may also be invited to ask questions and get to know your therapist to ensure you’re the right fit. Intake sessions may not detail techniques or treatment planning, as they’re often reserved for getting to know each other and setting the stage for future sessions. 

Questions to ask a couples therapist

In your first session or during a quick consultation with your prospective therapist, there are a few questions you can ask to learn more about their practice, including the following. 

What techniques do you use?

Each therapist may take their own unique approach to treatment. You may find that understanding their therapy techniques can help you decide if the therapist services would be effective for your concerns. For example, some therapists use a training and homework method, providing couples with training on a specific skill and worksheets to take home for practice. Others might take a more hands-on approach, instructing couples on activities to try in session, such as roleplaying, art projects, or reimagining conflicts. 

What is your session cost, and do you accept insurance?

Forbes found that the average cost of couples therapy in the US is around $175 to $275 a session. Although the cost may be split between partners, it can be an investment for many couples. For some, insurance companies may pay for couples therapy if deemed medically necessary. However, insurance may be less likely to pay for couples sessions than individual ones. If you struggle to afford therapy, ask the provider if they offer a sliding scale system for couples with a lower income. Sliding scale means the cost you pay for therapy depends on your monthly or yearly income. 

How can we make sessions most successful?

Although therapists are there to help you and your partner meet your goals, couples can also put in the work to make therapy function. Being willing, open-minded, and considerate can help couples counseling sessions offer the most benefit. Therapy is not an activity that is done to you but one that you and your partner actively participate in with the guidance of a licensed therapist. Ask your prospective counselor how you can support them as they support you. 

Qualities to consider in a provider

Many qualities can make or break a therapeutic relationship. When seeking a couples therapist, consider the following categories. 

Subjectivity and lack of bias

Psychologists and counselors abide by a code of ethics under the American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, and their state licensing board. For many, being an ethical therapist means practicing professional subjectivity and reducing bias during sessions. Bias can look like inserting opinions, favoring one partner over the other, or discussing unprofessional ideas. Subjectivity can reduce bias by allowing therapists to consider all sides of a situation, fairly evaluate each partner, and provide respectful insertions of opinion based on research and educational background. 

Subjectivity can be essential in couples therapy because partners may be sensitive to certain opinions or preferences from their therapist. 


The best couples therapists make an effort to understand a couple’s unique circumstances, identity, and beliefs. When looking for a professional for couples therapy, ask yourself if you’d prefer them to have any of the following identities: 

  • Polyamorous
  • Black Indigenous Person Of Color (BIPOC) 
  • Spiritual or religious 
  • Immigrant 
  • LGBTQ+ 
  • Non-English speaker 
  • Transgender or non-binary
  • Disabled 

Having a therapist with a similar identity to you or your partner may allow them to use their life experience as an individual in the same identity category to support you in a way that may not be as effective from another provider. For example, polyamory can be controversial for some, and a therapist with experience with this type of identity may be more knowledgeable in the techniques to treat problems arising from it instead of judging the situation. If you struggle to find a therapist with your identity in your area, you can also consider finding one online. 


Finally, consider the modality your therapist practices. Common forms of couples therapy include the following: 

  • Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior couples therapy (DBT) 
  • Sex therapy 
  • The Gottman method
  • Family therapy 

Can couple's therapy help my relationship?

Online counseling options
Couples therapy can be expensive, difficult to find, and specialized. If you’re asking the question “where do I find couples therapy near me?”, or struggling to find a couples therapist in your area that meets your needs, online counseling may benefit you. With online therapy, you can find a couples therapist from anywhere in the world, from New York City to Brussels. Through an online platform like Regain for couples, you can meet with a couples therapist from home and get matched with someone who practices a particular specialty or has an identity you connect with. With a large database of options, and the ability to search reviews, it may be easier to find couples or marriage counselors that works for you. 

One recent study on internet-based couples therapy held over videoconference found that couples felt the video format enhanced the therapeutic connection more than in-person therapy and gave them a sense of control and comfort over their situation. Through an online platform, couples can choose between phone, video, or live chat sessions and meet from two different locations, allowing flexibility that in-person therapy does not offer. 

In addition, couples may be able to partake in individual therapy through a platform like BetterHelp if they’re looking for individual sessions outside of their couples therapy. Platforms like BetterHelp offer over 30,000 therapists trained in various modalities and specialties. 

Couples therapy offers a range of counseling benefits to couples worldwide and can be an effective form of treatment for those looking to better their relationship. If you have more questions about couples therapy, or you’re interested in meeting with a couple's therapist, consider reaching out online or in your area to get started.
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