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Relationships are hard. You probably wouldn’t be reading this article if they were all sunshine and rainbows… and that’s OK. Luckily, there are loads of options for couples therapy online and evidence that they can help.
We rounded up five solid options for you and your partner to explore.
This is a type of counseling focused on romantic interpersonal relationships, and you can access it through the internet.
Online couples therapy is typically relatively inexpensive, accessible, and flexible compared to in-person sessions. It’s a great alternative if you have a super busy schedule or if you and your partner live or work in different places.
Online therapy platforms have years of experience providing quality therapy online, so they had somewhat of an advantage when most in-person therapy started introducing virtual options.
We evaluated the best online therapy services by looking at different factors. We considered price, what the prices include, and whether the online platform accepts insurance.
We also evaluated their data and health security practices to ensure that they’re up to industry standards. Lastly, we looked at customer reviews. We obviously didn’t expect everyone’s issues to be solved overnight, but we wanted to generally determine if customers were satisfied with the help they received.
Depending on what you and your partner are looking for, these options may offer a number of benefits to meet your needs.
The price ranges for these services are according to rates per session, per week, or per month.
- $ = $50–$150
- $$ = $150–$200
- $$$ = over $200
ReGain: Best overall
- Price: $ per week
- Services: live chat, phone, and video
- Why we chose it: the platform is specifically tailored to relationships, and all therapists are licensed and trained
ReGain is an online therapy service that tailors only to couples. After identifying your goals, you’ll have access to live chat, phone, and video sessions. ReGain also offers individual sessions with your therapist, so you can work on relationship issues both together and alone.
- specific to couples therapy
- all therapists are licensed and trained
- appointments can be done via live chat, phone, or video on a computer, tablet, or smartphone
- matching with a therapist is done through an algorithm, not a physical person
- three-way calls are currently unavailable, which means you and your partner have to be in the same place for appointments
- Price: $$$ per month (takes some insurance)
- Services: unlimited chatting and live video
- Why we chose it: you have unlimited access to your therapist via the 24/7 chatrooms
TalkSpace offers a messaging therapy service. With TalkSpace couples therapy, you share a therapist with your partner. You can message them at any time in a shared chatroom.
- you can message your therapist at any time of day (though they may not immediately reply)
- there are flexible payment plans that start at $79/week
- psychiatry is also available
- text therapy can feel a little impersonal
- live sessions are only 30 minutes long
Growing Self: Best for sliding scale pricing
- Price: $ per 45-minute session
- Services: live video sessions
- Why we chose it: the marriage and family specialists available are trained relationship experts
Growing Self features sliding scale pricing for couples therapy and offers a free consultation for anyone interested in their services. The cost of your session will vary based on education and experience of the therapists, all of whom are rigorously vetted.
- sliding scale payments are available if finances are a concern
- couples counselors have years of experience
- online couples counseling allows for multiple partners to join the appointment, making it a good option for long distance relationships
- you can schedule a free consultation prior to committing to anything
- some counselors are specialists, but not therapists
Couples Therapy Inc.: Best for retreats and coaching
- Price: $–$$$ depending on the type of session or service
- Services: live video sessions, intensive marriage retreats
- Why we chose it: there are several services available including online couples therapy, in-person couples therapy, affair recovery, and premarital counseling
As the name suggests, Couples Therapy Inc. specializes in couples therapy. They are unique in that they offer an in-depth three-session assessment right when you start working with a therapist.
If their couples therapy service isn’t available in your state, you can try their couples coaching call option instead.
- sessions are between 50 to 55 minutes
- many different services are available
- can also schedule in-person sessions
- only available in 30 U.S. states
- expensive (55-minute sessions can cost between $119 to $199, while retreats range from $3,500 to $6,500)
Pride Counseling: Best for LGBTQIA+ couples
- Price: $ per week
- Services: video sessions, live phone sessions, live text sessions, and 24/7 chat options
- Why we chose it: professionals specialize in helping couples in the LGBTQIA+ community
Pride Counseling tailors their services specifically to people in LGBTQIA+ communities, making them one of the best options for LGBTQIA+ couples. All the licensed professionals have experience with LGBTQIA+ people, and the intro questionnaire is tailored to be gender-inclusive.
- affordable (costs between $60 to $90 per session)
- subscription includes unlimited messaging
- most services aren’t accepted by insurance
- not all therapists or counselors are members of the LGBTQIA+ community
Deciding you’d like to seek out couples therapy can be vulnerable or even difficult. If you or your partner(s) come to this conclusion, don’t feel ashamed or bad about it. An unbiased, trained third party can help shed light on particular issues, assist with communication roadblocks, and ultimately aid in your relationship moving forward.
You may want to consider seeking out couples therapy for the following scenarios:
- pre-existing or new traumas
- premarital counseling
- sex counseling
- parenting counseling
- significant life events or transitions
- issues with communication
Studies found that online therapy, in general, can be effective. When it comes to online couples therapy, the results are similar, with many couples in a small 2020 study sharing that virtual therapy helped them to be more open.
Couples who participated in the study reported online therapy “to be positive and engaging, in spite of, and in many cases because of, connecting with the therapist through a computer screen.”
In general, couples therapy is an evidence-based intervention, which can help many couples, regardless of whether the therapy is done online or in person.
|Online couples therapy||In-person therapy|
|Sessions||The length of sessions will largely depend on the platform you choose. They can last between 30 to 55 minutes and happen via live chat, phone call, or video.||An in-person therapy session will also vary in length, but tend to be between 40 to 55 minutes. You’ll most likely show up to your appointment at your therapist’s office and talk through existing or new concerns and issues.|
|Pricing||Pricing depends on the platform, though some options offer sliding scales. Billing can occur weekly or monthly. You can expect to pay anywhere between $90 to $200/week or per session.||Billing can also occur either per session or on a weekly or monthly basis. In-person therapy can be a bit more expensive than online couples therapy, primarily because pricing will depend on the person’s practice and level of experience. On average, you can expect anywhere from $65 to $250 per session.|
|Insurance coverage||Health insurance networks don’t often cover the costs of online couples therapy (also referred to as couples teletherapy), but some do. You can reach out to your network to find out if any of the services are partially or totally covered.||Most health insurance networks will cover most or some in-person therapy costs. Your co-pay will probably be much lower if you see someone who is in your network, too, so you may want to find someone through your insurance.|
|Privacy||Many online couples therapy platforms prioritize privacy by having appointments occur in secure chat or video rooms. Generally, most sites conform to HIPAA guidelines. However, if you or your partner exhibit behaviors of wanting to hurt themselves or others, your therapy or counselor has to reach out to emergency services.||In-person therapy will be confidential and private unless you or your partner exhibit behaviors of wanting to hurt themselves or others.|
Here are a couple of the specific questions couples come in with when considering online therapy:
Are online couples therapists legit?
Online couples therapists can be licensed by state in the same way therapists you see in person are. That means they might be psychologists (PhD or PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW or LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC).
Remember to double-check when you’re selecting a platform that the therapists they use are, in fact, licensed.
Is online couples therapy covered by insurance?
Most couples therapy (online or not) is not covered by insurance, but many online platforms offer sliding scale options commensurate with the therapist’s experience or with your income levels.
Is my information safe using online couples therapy?
Online therapy is still subject to federal and state laws, like HIPAA, which help ensure patient confidentiality. Since these laws still apply to virtual appointments, you can be sure that your therapist will treat your information as confidential and cannot share it with anyone unless you authorize it.
When it comes to data security, most online therapy services have mechanisms for keeping your information secure and some even allow you to remain anonymous. Most use special data encryption that’s similar to the type of protection your data would have at a bank.
Looking into therapy online might be the first step in healing your relationship and a commitment to growing together.
You can feel secure in knowing that virtual therapy is often just as effective as face to face, and can sometimes present financial benefits compared with traditional therapy.
Once you find the right platform for you and your partner, it’s just about trusting the process and finding a therapist that you like.