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Your best online couples therapy and marriage counseling may vary based on price, cultural competence, and more. See our top picks, and read our expert insights from various relationship professionals.
- Best overall: Regain | Skip to review
- Best for messaging: Talkspace | Skip to review
- Most affordable: Relationship Hero | Skip to review
- Best for retreats: Couples Therapy Inc. | Skip to review
- Best for different stages of relationships: Growing Self | Skip to review
- Best for specific needs or services: Advekit | Skip to review
- Best for military and veteran couples: Our Relationship | Skip to review
- Best for insurance: Thriveworks | Skip to review
- Best for comprehensive treatment: Amwell | Skip to review
- Best online couples therapy service with resources: Lasting | Skip to review
Many therapists and counselors have moved their services online to continue offering safe and affordable treatment via the internet.
Whether you’re exploring online therapy for the first time or you regularly visit a therapist, online relationship therapy can be a useful tool — and there are several options to choose from.
Here’s what you need to know about online relationship therapy, from how it works to its many benefits.
|$60-$90 per week
• live video chat
|• $69 per week for messaging
• $99 per week for video and messaging
• $109 per week for video, messaging, and workshops
• live video chat
|$29 to $289 depending on length of the session
• video messaging
|Couples Therapy Inc.
|$150-$275 for 55-minute session; retreats start at $3,500
• in person
|$65-$160 per session
• live video chat
|$60-$250 per session
• in person
|$199 per program with a coach; $79 without a coach
• live video chat
|price varies based on insurance; price ranges $65-$140 without insurance
|• in person
• live video chat
|$99 for therapy; $199 for psychiatry, plus $95 follow-up visits
|live video chat
|$29.99 per month; $59.99 per month; $89.99 for 6 months
|group Zoom workshops
As we searched for the best online couples therapy and marriage counseling programs, we kept a few key factors in mind:
- Specialization: No two couples are alike, and that means your therapy sessions won’t be alike, either. We included programs and platforms focusing on topics such as LGBTQIA+ partners, sex counseling, and affair recovery.
- Credentials: We looked for websites that employ professional licensed therapists, counselors, or psychiatrists.
- Price: Therapy isn’t always expensive. We included multiple websites that accept insurance and others with affordable self-pay options.
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A note on price
The services mentioned in this article have prices that will vary depending on your location, your insurance, and the subscription plan or therapist you choose. Some services offer weekly or monthly subscriptions, while others charge per session.
Simply put, online therapy or counseling takes place over the internet with a licensed therapist or counselor, allowing people to explore the many facets of their relationship, usually via video chat.
“Like individual therapy, you and your partner(s) will talk to your therapist about the challenges that you are facing both as individuals (such as anxiety, substance use, or depression) and together (topics like differences in desire, communication challenges, and infidelity),” explains Stefani Goerlich, LMSW, of Bound Together Counseling in Royal Oak, Michigan, and a member of The World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
While the pandemic popularized online therapy, it does have many benefits. “Online couples therapy can help romantic interpersonal relationships,” says Sam Nabil, CEO and lead therapist for Naya Clinics. “It is typically relatively inexpensive, accessible, and flexible compared to in-person sessions.”
You or your partner may want to see a couples therapist to help with any of the following scenarios:
We recommend keeping these considerations in mind as you look for an online couples therapy platform:
- Therapy method: Some websites offer a messaging feature, live video calls, and phone calls. Others offer only one or two of these methods. When choosing a platform, consider which method fits your lifestyle and preferences.
- Specialization: Before selecting a couples therapist, speak with your partner about what the two of you want to talk about to make sure you’re on the same page. Couples who want to work on their relationship in general may be able to choose any therapist. But those looking for help with something specific, such as infidelity or premarital counseling, may need a specialized professional.
- Scheduling: When are you available for video or phone sessions? Make sure the platform offers options that fit into your schedule. Busy couples may prefer a self-paced learning resource or a chat feature with a therapist.
During the first few sessions of couples therapy, you can expect to talk with your therapist about overarching issues and goals you have personally and as a couple. You’ll likely talk about what’s working in your relationship and what you’re working to manage.
You’ll also share your relationship history so your therapist gets a sense of your dynamic.
After this initial period, you can expect to go deeper into the issues for you or your relationship. Your therapist may suggest exercises or “homework” you can do either individually or together between sessions. If needed, your online therapist may even suggest one-on-one sessions for one or both of you.
Your couples therapist won’t take sides in your disputes or disagreements and will ideally challenge any limited beliefs you have about yourself or your relationship. They can also help you see different perspectives and encourage new ways you can effectively communicate with one another.
As with any form of therapy, if you’re prepared to put in the work, each session of couples therapy can make a difference in your relationship and any issues you want to work on.
Some people might doubt the effectiveness of online therapy over in-person sessions. However, Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, a marriage and family therapist in Maryland, says: “Even if the therapist is on the screen, it does not take away from the vital work that can be done. While some do prefer to be in person, we have seen just as beneficial results working online.”
Above all, though, commitment to the process is key, and partners need to be all in.
Each person will likely have a set of topics they want to discuss or issues they want to work through during their therapy sessions.
As Goerlich says, “I’ve noticed that some folks find it easier to say something difficult or bring up a challenging topic if they’re talking to a therapist, rather than directly to their partner. Having a neutral third person to help facilitate hard conversations can be a wonderful resource for any couple struggling to get on the same page.”
“Online couples therapy is convenient, you can do it from the comfort of your home, you can join from separate devices in separate locations, and both partners are engaging to learn and grow together,” adds licensed psychologist Dr. Donna T. Novak in Simi Valley, California.
“Don’t assume that your relationship has to be bad in order to benefit from therapy,” says Goerlich. “I work with lots of couples who want to focus on a goal like improving communication, co-parenting effectively, and improving their sex lives. If you feel as if your relationship could be stronger, you’re a candidate for therapy.”
Anyone can benefit from online couples therapy or counseling, as sessions allow people to explore their relationships in more depth and focus on sustaining their partnerships.
As already noted, partners need to be committed to undertaking online couples therapy for the process to have any chance of success.
“Counseling” and “therapy” are terms often used interchangeably, but there are differences that can affect your experience.
Typically, relationship counseling focuses more on present-day problems affecting your relationship. Counseling usually does not go as deeply into previous relationships, past arguments, and trauma as therapy does.
Therapists tend to help clients work through more complex, long-term issues than counselors do.
Some of these online counseling companies will work with your insurance, but your insurance coverage will depend on your individual plan.
In many cases, mental health care requires an official diagnosis to be covered under an insurance plan.
Not all therapists or clients may want to label concerns addressed during couples counseling, so most of these companies offer sliding-scale pricing that they claim is in line with insurance copayments.
Most online therapy services offer an online consultation or tools to help you find the right couples therapist for your needs. Online services may ask you to take a quiz about the problems you’re hoping to address or the outcomes you’re looking for from counseling.
Each of these services also offers live support to help you find a couples therapist or schedule a consultation.
You can also take steps on your own to improve your relationship, such as:
- prioritizing your relationship before other obligations
- scheduling date nights
- making time to catch up and talk
- reading a relationships book together
- planning a vacation
- discussing the positives — not just the negatives — of your relationship
Therapy can be very beneficial for couples, as it provides a structured and supportive environment to address relationship challenges, improve communication, and work toward healthier dynamics.
A licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed couples therapist with specialized training in couples therapy is typically the best choice for couples seeking therapy.
The cost of couples therapy in the United States varies widely, with in-person sessions ranging from $100–$250 per session on average.
Online therapy platforms like Talkspace or BetterHelp may offer more affordable options, typically with weekly fees ranging from $60–$100 or more. Some therapists may offer sliding scale fees based on income.
If you’re invested in making your relationship work, online therapy might be the right choice for you. With remote options growing in popularity, it’s possible to undertake therapy or counseling from your own home, which is particularly beneficial if privacy is key.
With a sliding price scale and a variety of websites offering relationship therapy and counseling, it’s never been easier to find the support you and your relationship need.