Best Online Couples Therapy of 2023

Couples therapy can be a great resource for couples at any relationship stage

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Couples therapy isn’t just for when relationships are crumbling—though it can help during difficult times. But long-term relationships hit snags in the road even if your partner is your best friend, because being a couple takes work. Couples therapy can make a good relationship function better. It can teach you ways to better communicate and check in with one another. It can help you transition through life changes or map out a future together. It can even help you state your needs in the bedroom, recover from an affair, or remember to set up date nights. Plus, you don’t need to leave your couch to get the best online couples therapy.

So to help you find the help you (and your relationship) needs, we’ve tested over 55 online therapy companies and 25 directories, surveyed over 105 users at each, and interviewed subject matter experts to compile a list of the best platforms. Read on to discover the ones we recommend.

Best Online Couples Therapy of 2023

Best Overall : Teladoc


Teladoc

Teladoc

Key Specs
  • Price: $99 a session 
  • Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Types of Therapy: Couples therapy, individual therapy, teen counseling, psychiatry, medication management
Why We Chose It 

Claiming to be “the oldest and largest telemedicine company” in the U.S., Teladoc has one of the largest databases of therapists to choose from, with many therapists having night and weekend availability. The service is not subscription-based, instead charging a set session fee of $99, so you use it as much as you need it. Plus, it takes many insurance plans. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Takes insurance

  • Large database of providers

  • Offers other services, including medication management, all in the same place

Cons
  • Need to sign up to see if insurance is accepted

  • Questionnaire to fit you with provider is simple and general

  • Can be pricey without insurance

Overview 

Founded in 2002 in Dallas, Texas, by G. Byron Brooks, MD, and Michael Gorton, Teladoc claims to be “the global leader in whole-person virtual care,” serving over 130 countries, 20 of which have Teladoc offices in them. Over the years, Teladoc acquired other telehealth mega-platforms, including BetterHelp, Best Doctors, and Advanced Medical.

Its whole-person philosophy means it doesn’t just provide individual and couples therapy, but everything from primary care to dermatology, and serves all ages, from newborn babies to older adults. To sign up, users fill out a quick and general questionnaire used to match them with a selection of therapists. Alternatively, users can search through all the therapists in the database themselves. Sessions take place via phone or video and are 45 minutes long.

Plans & Pricing

Teladoc has a set rate of $99 per session, and accepts many major insurance plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Medicare, and Medicaid. 

User Satisfaction
  • 97% of users rated their experience as good, very good, or excellent
  • 80% of users said most or all their needs were met
  • 87% percent of users said they are likely or very likely to recommend Teladoc

Best Budget : ReGain


ReGain logo

ReGain

Key Specs
  • Price: $60 to $90 per week 
  • Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Types of Therapy: Individual and couples
Why We Chose It 

Regain offers a month of therapy, including weekly 30-minute sessions, messaging, workshops, and a journal feature, for between $240 to $360. That might seem expensive, but it often comes out to less than seeing an in-person therapist once, especially if you don’t have insurance. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Offers both individual and couples therapy 

  • Unlimited webinars organized by topics

  • Therapists are quick to respond

  • Easy to switch therapists

Cons
  • Doesn’t take insurance

  • Not HIPAA-certified

  • Sessions can be as short as 30 minutes

  • Therapist chosen for you

Overview

Founded in 2016, ReGain is owned by BetterHelp, and boasts a roster of 12,000 licensed therapists. Providing both individual and couples therapy, ReGain claims to be able to help “whenever there is anything that interferes with your happiness or prevents you from achieving your relationship goals.” If a partner isn’t plugged in at first, they can join at any time, sharing the account. Counselors are licensed and have at least three years’ experience working with couples. The therapists specialize in couples therapy, and many are also experts in stress, anxiety, parenting, depression, addictions, trauma, anger, grief, religion, self-esteem issues, and more. Members can switch therapists easily and at any time. 

A membership includes weekly 30- to 45-minute virtual therapy sessions. Extra sessions can be purchased if needed. Therapists can send clients worksheets and other resources, which clients can then fill out and send back through the platform. Members can message therapists, and therapists reply within a day. There is a journal feature with prompts to help you express yourself. Additionally, there are “Groupinars,” which are webinars led by therapists to help you with skill-building, relationships, anxiety, trauma, wellness, depression, and more.

Plans & Pricing

Couples therapy with ReGain costs between $60 to $90 per week, depending on “location, preferences, and therapist ability,” and is billed monthly. Unfortunately, you will pay more if there is more demand for therapy where you live. ReGain doesn’t accept insurance and only offers one plan option.

User Satisfaction
  • 84% of users said that services were a little better, better, or much better than services they used in the past 
  • 72% of users said they were likely or very likely to recommend the platform 
  • 77% of users rated their experience as good, very good, or excellent

Best for Premarital Counseling : Ours


Ours Online Therapy

Ours Online Therapy

Key Specs
  • Price: $500 for a four-week program or $50 for a trial week
  • Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Types of Therapy: Couples
Why We Chose It 

Ours was specifically created for premarital counseling and includes a month-long program with two virtual sessions with a therapist and four self-guided sessions using “Loveware,” based on the Gottman Method, simply the best method for couples therapy. Ours was co-created by couples therapy guru Elizabeth Earnshaw, the author of I Want This to Work.

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Based on the Gottman Method 

  • Focused directly on premarital counseling

  • Set length of time

Cons
  • Not covered by insurance

  • Therapist paired with you

  • Only two live sessions

Overview 

Ours was founded in 2020 by Jessica Holton, Adam Putterman, and Gottman-certified couples counselor Elizabeth Earnshaw, the author of I Want This to Work. The program includes two virtual sessions with a therapist chosen for you, and four self-guided sessions. 

Although Ours is specifically targeted to provide premarital counseling, it claims it can also benefit married folks, dating folks, or anyone in a relationship, as long as “you want to have important conversations and a life-changing experience.” The program is fully based on the Gottman Method, the best method for couples counseling.

Plans & Pricing

The Ours program costs $500 for two live virtual sessions and four online modules ($400 if you pay the entire fee upfront), and there is a trial week option for $50, followed by $450 for the remaining three weeks. 

User Satisfaction
  • 80% of users rated their experience as good, very good, or excellent
  • 78% of users said most or all their needs were met
  • 86% said Ours was a little better, better, or much better than services they used in the past

Best for Couples Retreats : Couples Therapy Inc.


Couples Therapy Inc. Review

Couples Therapy Inc.

Key Specs
  • Price: Couples coaching: $119 to $199; couples therapy: $159 to $250; retreats: $2,500 to $5,000
  • Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Types of Therapy: Individual, couple, retreats
Why We Chose It 

Couples Therapy Inc. offers an intense opportunity to focus on your relationship and its specific needs. Though the retreats are costly, and the therapy and counseling is more expensive than competitors, the investment of time and resources can signal that all involved are dedicated to working through the issues.  

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Based on the Gottman Method

  • Focused solely on relationships

  • Two free consultations

Cons
  • Costly

  • No payment plans or financial aid

  • Has several topics it won’t touch, including addiction

Overview 

Kathy McMahon, PsyD, launched this company in 1998. She claims she was inspired to start the program because she received bad relationship counseling in the past, which led to her divorce. Couples Therapy Inc. started in Boston, providing in-person therapy and weeklong retreats. Now mostly virtual, the company provides couples counseling, therapy, and retreats focused solely on relationships, with programs directed at issues often overlooked by similar services, including sex therapy, affair recovery, “last-shot” marriage counseling, discernment counseling, military couples counseling, and more. 

Couples Therapy Inc. has a team of over 30 licensed therapists, all trained in the Gottman Method, who practice across the US, Australia, Great Britain, and Ireland, and in Vancouver, Canada. Retreats run from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with numerous breaks. 

Plans & Pricing

One of the more costly options on this list, couples coaching costs between $119 to $199 for a 50-minute session, depending on if you want to work with a licensed therapist or relationship coach. Couples therapy costs between $159 and $250. And the weekend retreats cost between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on location and the therapist you work with. For in-person retreats, the cost doesn’t include lodging and food. There are also modified intensive sessions that are spread over several weeks, costing between $238 and $438.

Before paying for the program, there are two free consultations: a 20-minute call with the client support team, and a 15-minute call with the therapist of your choice.

User Satisfaction
  • 90% of users rated their experience as good, very good, or excellent
  • 82% of users said most or all their needs were met
  • 87% said Couples Therapy Inc. was a little better, better, or much better than services they used in the past

Best for Flexibility : Talkspace


Talkspace logo

Talkspace 

Key Specs
  • Price: $396 per month and up
  • Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Types of Therapy: Individual, couples, teen, medication management
Why We Chose It

Talkspace's couples counseling package includes numerous methods of communication between you, your partner, and your therapist, with four 30-minute virtual sessions per month and unlimited text, video, and audio messages. The option of sending messages to a therapist 24/7 can be a big relief because you don’t need to hold everything in until the next live session. Talkspace also offers psychiatry services and individual therapy.  

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Variety of ways to communicate with therapist

  • Accepts some insurance plans

  • Offers medication management

Cons
  • Can be pricey

  • Sessions are only 30 minutes long

  • Often have to wait for a reply from therapist

Overview

Oren and Roni Frank founded Talkspace in 2012 to make therapy more accessible. It does so by using a combination of weekly 30-minute virtual talk therapy sessions and allowing users to contact therapists 24/7 throughout the week using text, video, and picture messages. Therapists often reply within a day.  

Talkspace employs over 1,000 licensed therapists with at least 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, serving over one million clients. Users can choose from several therapists based on their photo, availability, and bio, which includes their therapeutic approaches and how long they’ve been practicing. Aside from couples counseling, Talkspace offers individual therapy and psychiatry services.

Plans & Pricing

Talkspace plans cost $396 per month and up, based on the location and network availability of therapists. It accepts numerous insurance plans, including Premera, Cigna, Optum, Gatorcare, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. It is also sometimes covered by employers and can be discounted with a flexible spending account (FSA) or health saving account (HSA) plan. There is no free trial, but Talkspace often provides discounts during the first month, and you can have a free consultation with an agent to discuss Talkspace’s services.

User Satisfaction
  • 90% of users rated their experience as good, very good, or excellent
  • 82% of users said they were likely or very likely to recommend
  • 97% said Talkspace was a little better, better, or much better than services they used in the past

Best for Gottman Method : Gottman Referral Network


Key Specs
  • Price: Varies based on therapist
  • Insurance Accepted?: Yes, depending on therapist
  • Types of Therapy: Couples
Why We Chose It

The Gottman Method, based on over 40 years of research of thousands of people by John Gottman, PhD, and Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD, is the most esteemed form of couples therapy, and this is the official Gottman referral platform. It includes licensed therapists trained in the Gottman Method, many certified, which means they had additional experience using the method. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • All therapists are trained in the Gottman Method

  • Focused solely on couples therapy

  • Therapists have other specialties, too

Cons
  • Not all therapists take insurance

  • Some locations have very few therapists 

Overview 

Created by Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, the Gottman Referral Network links users with licensed therapists trained in the Gottman Method. Many are certified based on having additional experience. “The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy,” the website says, “are to disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy; and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.”

The Gottman Referral Network features a simple, easy-to-navigate site, which is just a search engine for therapists who qualify to be associated with the program. You can search based on where you live, whether you want in-person or online therapy, and what specialties the therapists are trained in, including affairs, anxiety, blended families, and more. There are therapists located throughout the U.S. and in 40 additional countries. Some states have very few therapists available. 

Plans & Pricing

Cost for therapy varies based on therapists, who set their own rates. Some take insurance, some don’t. Some also offer a sliding-scale payment structure. Each therapist’s rates can be found in their bio.

User Satisfaction
  • 71% of users stated they are still using the therapist they found on the directory
  • 86% of therapists we interviewed said they found the directory’s value to be very good or excellent in terms of the price
  • 74% of users said the resources available within the company were good or very good

Best for Black Women and Girls : Therapy for Black Girls


Therapy for Black Girls

Therapy for Black Girls

Key Specs
  • Price: Varies based on therapist
  • Insurance Accepted?: Yes, depending on therapist
  • Types of Therapy: Individual, peer, couples, group, medication management
Why We Chose It 

It’s a platform made just for Black women and girls, with predominantly Black women therapists, and a podcast, blog, and community. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Made for Black women and girls

  • Has a free podcast and blog

  • Feels familial

Cons
  • Many therapists don’t take insurance

  • Search doesn’t allow you to filter for many things

  • Online community is not free

Overview 

Created by Joy Harden Bradford, PhD, in 2014 as a blog, Therapy for Black Girls added a directory of therapists in 2016. Today, Therapy for Black Girls is a space “dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls,” providing users with a free blog and podcast, as well as a community called the TfBG Sister Circle, which claims to be “a cozy corner of the internet for Black women to BE. Be in the community. Be supported. Be yourself.” 

The directory is filled with Black women therapists (and a few Black men therapists) who specialize in all different conditions, including depression, domestic violence, addictions, and more. Some provide in-person therapy, some only online. Some accept insurance, many don’t. All the site does is connect you to a therapist; you set up appointments directly with the therapist of your choice. The search features do not include filters for religion, language, or sexual orientation, so you have to do additional research if that is important to you. The directory also doesn’t list therapists’ rates, so you have to message them or check out their websites to learn more.

Plans & Pricing

The rate for couples therapy through Therapy for Black Girls varies depending on the therapist you choose. Some accept insurance, but many don’t. Some also offer sliding scale fees. 

User Satisfaction
  • 70% of our survey respondents said it was easy or very easy to find a therapist in this directory
  • 74% of our respondents said they were able to use their insurance for a session with a therapist found on the directory
  • 76% said that they were either likely or very likely to still be seeing the therapist found on the directory

Best for LGBTQIA+ : TherapyDen


Key Specs
  • Price: Varies, depending on the therapist
  • Insurance Accepted?: Yes, depending on the therapist
  • Types of Therapy: Individual, couples, group, medication management
Why We Chose It 

Although this platform is aimed at anyone seeking therapy, it shines a light on the LGBTQIA+ community, for example highlighting therapists specializing in helping the trans community. Its search engine makes it easy to filter for if the therapist is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, if they are trans or gender fluid, and most anything else.

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Search engine has in-depth filters

  • Easy to search based on insurance

  • Centers LGBTQIA+ community on front page

Cons
  • Just offers talk therapy

  • No packages

  • Can be expensive if you don’t have insurance

Overview 

Launched in 2017 by therapist Jeff Guenther, TherapyDen was created due to Guenther’s own negative experiences using other therapy search engines. He aimed to “make it progressive” and “anti-racist and social justice-y” with therapists who were “a little bit more authentic in their profile.” He says, “TherapyDen has a mandate to challenge racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination.”

The search engine allows you to search for therapists based on religion, if they are members of the LGBTQIA+ community, their race, their language, and whether they are sex positive, body positive, trans-competent and many more filters. The bios are in depth, and most providers offer free consultations. Another benefit of the platform is you can search for even the smallest insurance companies.

Plans & Pricing

TherapyDen couples therapy prices vary depending on the therapist, but it’s easy to find one by searching using your insurance. Most therapists offer free consultations.

User Satisfaction
  • 70% of users surveyed felt TherapyDen has a very good or good number of providers in each state
  • 75% said that they were able to use their health insurance to cover services
  • 60% were able to find a therapist who met all of their needs

Best for Parents : Lifestance Health


LifeStance Health

LifeStance Health

Key Specs
  • Price: From $75 to $300, if paying out of pocket
  • Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Types of Therapy: Individual, couples, group, child and adolescent, family
Why We Chose It

Lifestance Health is a traditional therapy service that provides both in-person and virtual talk therapy to couples, individuals, children, and families. Therapists are trained in targeting the issues parents often face, from perinatal depression to stress from life changes. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Therapists trained on issues parents face

  • Provides medication management

  • Covered by insurance

Cons
  • Costly without insurance

  • No monthly plan

Overview 

Founded in 2017 by Danish J. Qureshi, Gwen Booth, and Michael K. Lester, LifeStance Health provides in-person and virtual therapy across the U.S., with over 600+ locations and 5,400 therapists. A more traditional platform, LifeStance only offers talk therapy. Still, its therapists are trained in nearly every issue someone could struggle with, from anxiety to eating disorders to addiction to postpartum depression. It offers individual, couples, group, and child therapy, allowing individuals to work on their relationship issues solo if their partner doesn’t care to attend. 

Couples therapy is provided by licensed marriage and family therapists, and typically lasts from 12 to 24 sessions. Users choose their therapists based on their insurance coverage, if they have it, and many listed are not actively taking on new clients. The site lists their picture, bio, qualification, and ratings based on other’s experiences.

Plans & Pricing

LifeStance Health's couples therapy sessions cost between $150 to $400, depending on the provider. Many therapists accept insurance, including AARP, Aetna, Fidelis, Medicare, MVP, and more.

User Satisfaction
  • 88% of users rated their experience as good, very good, or excellent
  • 75% said they were likely or very likely to recommend
  • 88% said LifeStance Health was a little better, better, or much better than services they used in the past

Best for Veterans : E-Therapy Café


Key Specs
  • Price: $55 for a 30-minute therapy session, $196 for four sessions, $360 for eight sessions
  • Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Types of Therapy: Individual, couples, military, wedding
Why We Chose It 

Although E-Therapy Café offers therapy to couples of all backgrounds, it specializes in serving current and former military members, with licensed therapists and coaches trained to serve them and a discount provided.  

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Inexpensive

  • Focused on working with military members

  • Variety of ways to connect

Cons
  • Sessions are only 30 minutes

  • Often pairs you with a coach, not therapist

  • Not many therapists or coaches to choose from

Overview

Founded in 2016 by clinical psychologist Jude Black, who was a military spouse herself, E-Therapy Café's mission statement says it aims to provide “Professional, convenient, affordable online therapy for all. Anytime. Anywhere.” Therapy sessions can be conducted via live video, phone calls, real-time chats, and e-journaling, where you write a 700-word journal entry to your therapist or coach, and they write a letter back. You can also email your therapist or life coach anytime, and they often reply within 24 hours. There is an online library of free worksheets to help you with whatever issues you are dealing with. 

Services begin with a brief questionnaire about your goals. For couples counseling, you register your partner at the same time. There are in-depth bios of therapists and life coaches available, but because there is such a small staff, even though you get to ask for a particular therapist, often you will be paired with another, and often that person will be a life coach, not a therapist. E-Therapy Café isn’t clear on the differences in services, but coaches are not as regulated and often don’t have as much background in working with mental illness. 

Many of the providers specialize in different modalities, such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and the Gottman Method.

Plans & Pricing

Therapy costs $55 for a 30-minute therapy session, or you can get a bundle of four sessions for $196 or eight sessions for $360. No insurance is accepted, but discounts are given to veterans, first responders, and students upon request. You can purchase a 30-minute trial session for $50. 

User Satisfaction
  • 94% of users rated their experience as good, very good, or excellent
  • 82% of users said most or all of their needs were met
  • 83% said E-Therapy Café was a little better, better, or much better than services they used in the past

Best for Separation/Divorce : Growing Self


Growing Self

Courtesy of Growing Self

Key Specs
  • Price: $105 to $160 per session, based on therapist qualifications
  • Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Types of Therapy: Individual, couples, group
Why We Chose It 

While Growing Self can help couples with everything from affair recovery to financial counseling to blended family counseling, it also recognizes that relationships sometimes don’t work out, so it offers divorce counseling, a heartbreak recovery course, and a breakup recovery group, held weekly.

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Focused solely on relationships

  • Offers divorce therapy

  • Many experienced therapists

  • Offers groups and classes

  • Free consultations

Cons
  • Costly

  • No subscription plans

Overview

Founded in 2005 in Denver by psychologist Lisa Marie Bobby, Growing Self has offered in-person therapy since 2005 and both in-person and virtual therapy since 2010. Today, you can receive therapy over the phone, using video, or in person in Colorado and Arkansas. Growing Self focuses directly on relationships and career coaching, and claims to help you with “love, happiness, and success.”

All therapists are licensed, and many have doctorate degrees. Session fees are based on a clinician’s education, and many offer sliding scale fees. The bios on the site are short, but you can get a free consultation to make sure you click with your therapist. Therapists are trained in many modalities, including the Gottman Method, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), supportive psychotherapy, and trauma-focused therapy. Aside from therapy, there are also courses and group sessions, including a weekly breakup/divorce recovery group that is capped at six people. Growing Self offers a resource library, available to the public for free, including blog posts, free quizzes and a podcast with its founder. 

Plans & Pricing

Sessions cost between $105 to $160 based on therapist qualifications. Insurance isn’t accepted, but you can seek reimbursement from your insurance company for out-of-network therapy. Many therapists offer sliding scale payments. 

Each therapist offers a free consultation, and if you don’t click, you receive free consultations until you find the ideal therapist. 

User Satisfaction
  • 82% of users surveyed said they received some financial reimbursement from their insurance for services rendered
  • 79% felt the site is either very good or excellent in terms of user-friendliness and ease
  • 84% felt therapists’ qualifications were either very good or excellent

Best for Insurance Coverage : Alma


Key Specs
  • Price: Varies by provider
  • Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Types of Therapy: Individual, couples
Why We Chose It 

Alma streamlines the process of finding the right therapist that accepts your insurance. With a database of over 6,000 therapists and an in-depth search feature, it’s easy to find the right therapist no matter what therapy modality you seek or your gender, race, or sexual orientation (though you can’t search by religion). 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Takes most insurance

  • Traditional therapy

  • In-depth therapist directory

Cons
  • Centers on users with insurance

  • No monthly plan

  • Doesn’t allow you to search for religion

Overview

Launched in October 2018 by Harry Ritter, Alma was originally the WeWork of therapy, with a brick-and-mortar location on New York’s Madison Avenue where therapists shared offices. After the pandemic hit, Alma pivoted to providing virtual therapy. Alma makes it easy for users by processing insurance for you. Its mission is to make it “easy to find high quality, affordable mental health care.”

Users can search through Alma’s database for therapists based on education, modality, race, sexual orientation, and many other variables, making it easy to find someone you will hopefully feel understood by. Additionally, therapists offer free consultations. After you reach out, therapists typically reply within a few days.

Plans & Pricing

Many Alma providers accept some form of insurance, including Aetna, Cigna, and Optimum. If you don’t have insurance, providers set their own range of rates, and these are not listed on the website. All therapists offer free consultations, and many have sliding scale rates. 

User Satisfaction
  • 83% of users said it was easy or fairly easy to search for a specific therapist
  • 72% thought it was likely or very likely that they would still be using the therapist they found through Alma in 12 months
  • 80% rated the number of therapists who offered a sliding scale option as good or very good

Final Verdict

After the pandemic pushed many of us indoors and online, teletherapy became more prevalent than ever, and more needed. Luckily, there are online couples therapy options for almost anyone. Certain are better based on your needs, whether it be TherapyDen for having the best database to search for therapists working in the LGBTQIA+ community, Therapy for Black Girls for having a platform specifically designed for Black women and girls, or Ours for supporting couples as they prepare for marriage. 

But for the best overall platform, Teladoc takes it for numerous reasons: the price is uniform and inexpensive, whether you have insurance or not. It offers couples therapy, individual and teen counseling, and medication management. Its database is huge and allows many options for choosing the perfect therapist. 

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Couples Therapy 

What Is Online Couples Therapy? 

Online couples therapy can often be similar to traditional in-person therapy, where you talk to a therapist for a set amount of time as they support you and your partner in attaining goals such as learning to better understand each other, support each other when one struggles with anxiety, practice better communication, recognize each other’s strengths, or trust each other again after an affair. But online therapy can also integrate methods for treatment not afforded by in-person therapy, such as e-journaling and messaging with a therapist between sessions. Online couples therapy can sometimes be less expensive, and you don’t need to leave the house. 

How Does Online Couples Therapy Work? 

Online couples therapy often includes traditional talk therapy, where couples meet with a therapist to discuss their relationship and issues they may be having or facing. A good couples therapist should be unbiased and non-judgmental towards both partners, seeking to understand each of them. Goals can vary: some people come to therapy because life with kids and work is so stressful they forget how much they love one another. Others want to determine if the relationship should move forward. A therapist will help you and your partner communicate better and find the tools needed to move through whatever prompted you into therapy. 

Online therapy can be effective:

  • A 2018 study found that online cognitive behavioral therapy is acceptable, effective, and practical health care for anxiety disorders and depression.
  • A 2020 study found that higher education students view online therapy positively.
  • A 2019 study found that multimodal digital psychotherapy is a potentially effective treatment for adult depression.

Compare Online Couples Therapy Providers

When comparing online couples therapy providers, consider the following:

  • Financial assistance: Therapy can be expensive, so check if the platform accepts insurance or offers sliding scale fees
  • Search filters: Look into whether the search engine allows you to search for different methods therapists use, different areas they cover, and often important qualifiers, such as race, religion, and sexuality. 
  • Availability: A lot of the time, the way you choose a therapist simply comes down to whether your schedules line up, so make sure you don’t get excited about a therapist before checking their availability. Also, decide if it’s important to you to be able to message them between sessions. 
  • Choice of therapists: While most platforms allow you to choose your therapist, others do not. It’s important to figure out how easy it is to switch if you need to break up with your therapist because you don’t click. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Insurance Cover Couples Therapy?

While some policies may, in our experience with surveying users, many don’t. There are some ways therapists can work around this by treating the couple based on diagnosing the insured member with having a mental health condition such as anxiety, addiction, depression, etc. Then the treatment is considered helping the diagnosed patient, while the other is participating in their treatment. Look into what your policy covers, then discuss your options with the therapist.

When Should We Go to Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy isn’t only for struggling couples, and can be a great way for a happy couple to explore different modes of communication. That said, couples therapy is a great option whenever you face a major life transition together, want to improve your relationship, or need a mediator to help you work through friction in your relationship. Couples therapy works best when you go before things get really bad. Every relationship needs tune-ups. 

Is Online Couples Therapy Good for Me?

Many people prefer online couples therapy to in-person therapy because they don’t have to leave the house, get a sitter, or schedule during working hours. Being home can also make people feel more comfortable so they can open up more. It also can be much easier on working families and on couples without transportation.

Is Couples Therapy Recommended for Issues Such As Abuse?

No. Couples counseling is supposed to be a safe space, which is impossible if there is a power imbalance. Abusive behavior is not only a relationship issue, it's a safety issue. Couples counseling also thrives on honest communication and a willingness by both partners to work to improve the relationship, two things that are often lacking in abusive relationships.

Is Couples Therapy Before Marriage a Good Idea?

Yes! Anytime you want a relationship to thrive, couples therapy is a great idea. If a partner is willing to do the work of couples therapy before they get married, it is a good sign they will continue to work on the relationship in the future. Couples therapy can also be a safe space to discuss difficult conversations about the future and shared goals.

Methodology

We sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users to evaluate how easy each platform is to use, how easy it is to switch therapists, the sign-up process, therapist qualifications, platforms’ privacy policies, the likelihood clients would recommend the service, subscription offers, users overall experience, and how the platform rated against other platforms.

Black married couple having online session with Therapist

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Article Sources
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  2. Hanley T, Wyatt C. A systematic review of higher education students’ experiences of engaging with online therapy. Couns Psychother Res. 2021;21(3):522-534. doi:10.1002/capr.12371 

  3. Marcelle ET, Nolting L, Hinshaw SP, Aguilera A. Effectiveness of a multimodal digital psychotherapy platform for adult depression: a naturalistic feasibility study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019;7(1):e10948. doi:10.2196/10948