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Online relationship therapy can be a useful tool. The best couples therapy option for your needs may vary based on price, insurance coverage, or specializations, such as affair recovery, sex counseling, LGBTQIA+ concerns, and military and veteran concerns.
- Best for flexible scheduling: ReGain
- Best if you prefer messaging: Talkspace
- Best for long-term use: Relationship Hero
- Best for sex and relationship counseling: Bound Together Counseling
- Best for affair recovery: Couples Therapy Inc.
- Best for LGBTQIA+ partners: Pride Counseling
- Best for individual therapy: Growing Self
- Best for financial assistance: Advekit
- Best for military and veteran couples: Our Relationship
- Best for insurance coverage: Thriveworks
- Best for client satisfaction: Amwell
- Best as an educational companion to counseling: Lasting
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 a plethora of resources to choose from.
Here’s what you need to know about online relationship therapy, from how it works to its many benefits.
As we searched for the best online therapy couples 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 that focus on different things like 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 inexpensive. We included multiple websites that accept insurance and others that have affordable self-pay options.
- $ = under $90 a week / per session
- $$ = over $99 a week / per session
- $$$ = over $120 a week / per session
A note on price
The services mentioned in this article have prices that will range depending on your location, insurance, and the subscription plan (or therapist) that you choose. Some services offer weekly or monthly subscriptions, while others charge on a per-session basis.
Best for flexible scheduling
- Price: approximately $80 to $100 per week, billed every 4 weeks
- Who it’s best for: couples who want to work on themselves both as individuals and as couples
- Why we chose it: can be used by anyone, anywhere at a time that’s convenient for them
By providing access to licensed therapists via the internet, ReGain allows people to work on their relationships at their own pace, at a convenient time, and from a location that suits them. ReGain offers both individual and couples counseling.
You can use a computer, tablet, or smartphone to access all sessions on ReGain. You can message your therapist at any time.
The service costs approximately $80 to $100 per week, which is billed every four weeks via PayPal or credit card and can be canceled at any time.
- there are more than 10,000 therapists on the platform
- a thorough questionnaire can assess your needs
- it’s more affordable than other online counseling platforms
- ReGain also offers individual therapy
- there’s a choice of anonymity
- all therapists are licensed, trained, and experienced
- it may take several days to be matched with a therapist, according to some reviewers
- some therapists may take a long time to respond
- both partners need to be in the same location for sessions because three-way calls are not available
Best if you prefer messaging
- Price: $69 to $109 per week, depending on which plan you choose
- Who it’s best for: couples who want 24/7 access to a therapist
- Why we chose it: provides constant access to therapists through messaging if you’re not comfortable with video chats
Clients can message their therapists 24/7, and the site’s dedicated online couples counseling section offers support through live video sessions and unlimited messaging, as well as the chance to “develop a solutions-oriented approach to rediscover your relationship’s strengths,” according to the company.
Talkspace is a subscription service with plans starting at $99 per week.
- the app is mostly text-based, which may be a preferred method of therapy for some people
- plans are flexible in price
- Talkspace offers a psychiatric service and medication management
- all therapists are licensed and must be legally able to independently practice in their state
- text therapy isn’t suitable for certain mental health conditions
- text therapy can feel limited for going deep on some topics
Best for long-term use
- Price: approximately $80 to $250 per hour
- Who it’s best for: couples who are going through problems in their relationship
- Why we chose it: dedicated only to relationships, so therapists are extremely knowledgeable in couples coaching
People who want to work on their relationships are matched with a dedicated coach, while the site provides 24/7 online support.
The service costs around $1 per minute to speak to a trained relationship coach, who can help with marriage issues, infidelity, relationship troubles, and breakups.
While the site’s coaches aren’t all licensed therapists, they’ve each been through a rigorous training program. The ease and flexibility with which users can engage with the site and be matched with coaches makes Relationship Hero an accessible option.
- flexible pricing and scheduling plans are offered
- live group sessions are available online
- couples can reach out for support 24/7
- not all coaches are licensed therapists
- live video sessions are unavailable — services are only via text or telephone call
Best for sex and relationship counseling
- Price: up to $225 per hour (sliding scale available)
- Who it’s best for: couples who want inclusive and sex-positive counseling
- Why we chose it: considers every aspect of relationships and intimacy in an empowering, sex-positive way
Bound Together offers client-centered affirming and inclusive counseling services for adolescents, adults, and couples from an empowering, sex-positive, feminist perspective.
Stefani Goerlich, AASECT, LMSW, is a certified sex therapist and is qualified to discuss every aspect of relationships and intimacy. While insurance is possible pending a diagnosis, Bound Together Counseling generally offers patients a private pay model, which allows for full confidentiality.
Another great option for a certified sex therapist (CST) or a certified sexuality counselor (CSC) is the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). The AASECT has a referral directory in which you can search for a CST or CSC in your area (nationwide in the United States).
- specialties include gender-affirming care, kink-affirming practice, sex therapy, and resources for alternative relationships
- sliding-scale payment options are available
- the website offers self-guided resources through blog posts and books
- Stefani Goerlich, LMSW, is only licensed to provide mental health services in Michigan, Ohio, and Arizona. Goerlich will accept additional payment to become licensed in your state.
Best for affair recovery
- Price: approximately $119 to $199 for a 55-minute session (depending on location and therapist); intensive retreats cost between $3,500 and $6,500
- Who it’s best for: couples interested in in-person sessions or in-depth video sessions
- Why we chose it: offers general couples counseling as well as specialized services and intensive retreats
This team of over two dozen clinicians practicing in 30 U.S. states and 4 countries has an exclusive focus on relationship therapy.
Relationship coaching, counseling, and therapy range between $119 and $199 for a 55-minute session. The site also offers specialist services, including affair recovery, premarital counseling, and a sexuality retreat.
- in-person couples and sexuality retreats are offered
- specialties include infidelity recovery, discernment counseling, and individual couples therapy
- standard sessions are 50 to 55 minutes, which is longer than some other services
- no subscription plan is offered — all sessions are individually priced
- more expensive than other services
- therapists may not be certified as sex therapists (an AASECT certification includes 150 continuing education units, a practicum, and supervision)
Best for LGBTQIA+ partners
- Price: approximately $60 to $90 per week
- Who it’s best for: couples in LGBTQIA+ relationships
- Why we chose it: specializes in LGBTQIA+ concerns with therapists and counselors specifically trained in this area
Relationship counseling is one of the services offered through this online therapy for the LGBTQIA+ community. All of Pride Counseling’s professionals specialize in LGBTQIA+ concerns and are licensed therapists, psychologists, counselors, or social workers.
It costs between $60 and $90 per week to use, which is billed monthly and can be canceled at any time, although the site notes that most of its services are not billable to insurance.
As the website explains, “Whether you are here for mental health issues, LGBTQ issues, or just need someone to talk to, all of our counselors are here to listen.”
- professionals specialize in LGBTQIA+ concerns and relationships
- the subscription price includes unlimited messaging
- not all therapists are members of the LGBTQIA+ community
- therapist bios are not available
Best for individual therapy
- Price: $65 to $160, depending on the clinician’s education and experience level
- Who it’s best for: couples who are dating, engaged, or have kids
- Why we chose it: offers access to different levels of therapists depending on what you can afford
This site offers a range of services, including premarital, marriage, and parenting counseling, online couples therapy, and dating coaching.
Patients can choose from 45-minute sessions with early career therapists and coaches (prices ranging between $65 and $95) to doctoral level experts (between $115 and $160).
- sliding scale pricing is available
- free resources are available online
- individual therapy options include dating, life, and career coaching
- doctoral level experts are more expensive than other services
- no text-based therapy option
- coaches are not licensed therapists
Best for financial assistance
- Price: averages $60 to $120 per session, but some therapists may charge up to $250
- Who it’s best for: couples who want to quickly match with a therapist best for their situation
- Why we chose it: matches you with a therapist based on your needs and style
This platform was founded by Alison LaSov, a licensed marriage and family therapist, with the aim of matching individuals with therapists based on their personal style and specific needs.
Advekit provides users with options, all of which vary in cost. According to the site, the average cost of a 45- to 60-minute session can range from $60 to $120, although some therapists may charge up to $250.
Some therapists on the site accept insurance. When they do, you only pay what you owe, and you don’t need to wait for reimbursement.
Advekit uses its own algorithm to match up patients with therapists, which could take some stress out of searching for the perfect practitioner.
- some therapists accept insurance
- if insurance is accepted, you don’t need to wait for reimbursement
- the first session is 50 percent off
- no text-based therapy option
- some therapists are more expensive than other services
Best for military and veterans couples
- Price: $199 per program with a coach; $79 per program without a coach
- Who it’s best for: couples who don’t want to spend a lot of money
- Why we chose it: you can work with a coach or at your own pace in a program
Our Relationship offers online self-help programs. While these programs aren’t technically therapy, results show that working through the resources with your partner can be just as effective as in-person marriage counseling.
This website offers specific programs geared toward heterosexual couples, same-gender couples, military and veteran couples, and individuals. Most programs take 1 to 2 months to complete. You can also schedule calls with a coach via Zoom or phone. Your coach will help you apply everything you’ve learned during your program.
Eligible couples can receive the programs for free through a grant from the Administration for Children and Families. Service members may also be able to receive help for free through a contract with Military OneSource.
Otherwise, you’ll pay $199 to complete a program with a coach, or $79 to complete a program without.
- you can schedule calls with your coach during the day, evening, or even on weekends
- eligible couples can receive the program for free
- if you’re working with a coach, you’ll have access to that coach for up to 2 months
- you can complete the program at your own pace
- the coaching is online only
- Our Relationship is considered self-help, not true therapy
Best for insurance coverage
- Price: $39 per month for a membership; $99 per individual session (but may be covered by insurance)
- Who it’s best for: couples who would like a variety of appointment options
- Why we chose it: both in-person and online sessions are available with potential insurance coverage
Thriveworks offers premium counseling and psychiatry services both in-person and online. You’ll find 340 office locations across the United States in almost every state.
This company is in-network with most insurance plans and has affordable self-pay rates. While prices vary based on the location, the membership fee is $39/month, and most offices charge $99 per session if you’re paying out of pocket.
Sessions last 50 to 60 minutes. Plus, new clients can schedule same-day or next-day sessions.
- Thriveworks accepts major insurance plans including Blue Cross, Anthem, Optum, United, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and others
- both counseling services and psychiatry services are available
- with so many options, it can be overwhelming to find a therapist for yourself
- membership pricing is required whether you have insurance or not
Best for client satisfaction
- Price: $109 to $129 based on therapist credentials
- Who it’s best for: young couples who aren’t married
- Why we chose it: offers individual relationship counseling as well as couples counseling
The couples therapy provided by Amwell is for adults (ages 18+) of any gender who are in an intimate relationship — you don’t have to be married. While it’s best if both partners participate, you can also do therapy on your own.
During your session, a licensed online therapist will listen to your relationship concerns and ask questions to help them understand. Then, your therapist will suggest a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
The price you’ll pay per session can vary from $109 to $129 based on the experience and credentials of the therapist.
Amwell has a 4.9-star rating, signifying that many clients are satisfied with their experience.
- Amwell accepts insurance
- you’ll pay the same price per session regardless of whether it’s an evening, weekend, or holiday
- you can’t view a list of all therapists available
Best as an educational companion to counseling
- Price: $29.99 per month, $59.99 for 3 months (in full), or $89.99 for 6 months (in full)
- Who it’s best for: couples who want to learn how to work well together
- Why we chose it: offers educational materials that serve as an adjunct to therapy and can be done on your own time
Lasting, the No. 1 couples therapy app, is a little different than other options on this list. Lasting does not offer therapy sessions or interactions with counselors within the app. However, there are live therapist-led Zoom workshops, as well as the app’s primary selling point: educational materials that are easy to understand and can be completed on your schedule. These resources aim to help couples love better and create healthier relationships.
Lasting costs $29.99 per month. You can also opt to pay bulk pricing rates of $59.99 for 3 months or $89.99 for 6 months.
- a free trial is available
- the learning modules can be done independently of your partner and completed on your own schedule
- everything is app-based, and the website can be confusing to navigate
- Lasting does not accept insurance
“Online couples therapy is the ability to work on your relationship through an online platform such as Zoom instead of coming to the physical office,” says Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, a licensed clinical professional counselor and certified Imago Relationship therapist.
Simply put, this online therapy or counseling takes place over the internet with a licensed therapist or counselor, allowing people to explore the many facets of their relationship, usually via video chat.
“Like individual therapy, you and your partner(s) will talk to your therapist about the challenges that you are facing both as individuals (such as anxiety, substance use, or depression) and together (topics like differences in desire, communication challenges, and infidelity),” explains Stefani Goerlich, LMSW, of Bound Together Counseling and a member of The World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
While the pandemic has popularized online therapy, it does have many benefits. “Online couples therapy can help romantic interpersonal relationships,” says Sam Nabil, CEO and lead therapist for Naya Clinics. “It is typically relatively inexpensive, accessible, and flexible compared to in-person sessions.”
|Price range||Therapy method||Insurance accepted?|
• live video chat
|Relationship Hero||$–$$||• messaging|
• video messaging
|Bound Together Counseling||$–$$$||• telehealth|
• in-person (limited)
|Couples Therapy Inc.||$$$||• telehealth|
|Pride Counseling||$||• messaging|
• live video chat
|Growing Self||$–$$$||• phone|
• live video chat
|Our Relationship||$||• phone|
• live video chat
• live video chat
|Amwell||$$–$$$||• live video chat||yes|
|Lasting||$||• group Zoom workshops||no|
You and/or your partner may want to see a couples therapist to help with any of the following scenarios:
- premarital counseling
- sex counseling
- parenting counseling
- LGBTQIA+ counseling
- emotional distance
- significant life events or transitions
We recommend keeping these considerations in mind as you look for an online therapy platform:
- Therapy method: Some websites offer a messaging feature, live video calls, and phone calls. Others only provide one or two of these methods. You should think about which one fits your lifestyle and preferences prior to picking a platform.
- Specialization: Before selecting a 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.
Does online couples therapy work?
Like any form of therapy, if you’re prepared to put in the work, each session can make a difference in your relationship and whatever issues you want to work on.
“Couples counseling is only as effective as the least invested partner,” Goerlich says. “Getting on the same page in this way is crucial to your success.”
While some people might doubt the effectiveness of online therapy over in-person sessions, Slatkin 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.”
In fact, one 2014 study found that online therapy sessions for depression were just as effective as in-person therapy sessions.
Above all, though, commitment to the process is key, and partners need to be all in.
As Nabil explains, “Online couples therapy can be beneficial if you commit to finding a service that meets your needs. The key is to find the right therapist and to commit to the scheduled sessions.”
What are the benefits of online couples therapy?
Each person will likely have a set of topics they want to discuss or issues they want to work through during their 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.”
Slatkin notes some of the practicalities that make online couples therapy beneficial: “Parents of children who don’t have child care, especially during the pandemic, or do not have local competent professionals now have the opportunity to work with the best clinicians out there. It is convenient, saves commuter time and the associated stress, and can be more relaxing of an atmosphere.”
“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 Donna T. Novak, PsyD.
How do you know if you can benefit from online couples therapy?
“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.
Goerlich continues, “Whether it’s maintenance therapy, or whether you need to engage in some difficult relationship repair work, I encourage everyone to find a local provider offering online therapy and get started today.”
As already noted, partners need to be committed to undertaking online couples therapy for the process to have any chance of success.
“If you’re considering online couples therapy, consider how much you are able to hold yourself accountable and responsible for your actions alongside your partner doing the same,” Novak says.
What’s the difference between couples counseling and couples therapy?
“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, or trauma as therapy does.
Therapists tend to help clients work through more complex, long-term issues than counselors do.
Is marriage counseling covered by insurance?
Some of these online counseling companies will work with your insurance provider, 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 problems addressed during couples counseling, so most of these companies offer sliding-scale pricing that they claim is in line with insurance copayments.
How do I find a virtual couples therapist?
Most services offer an online consultation or tools to help you find the right therapist for your needs. Services may have you take a quiz about what problems you are hoping to address, or what outcomes you are looking for in counseling.
Each of these services also offers live support to help you find a therapist or schedule a consultation.
What can I do instead of couples therapy?
Some of these services offer self-help or self-guided resources if you and your partner do not want to participate in live or telehealth counseling.
You can also take steps on your own to improve your relationship, like:
- 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
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.
Amy Mackelden is the weekend editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and her bylines include Nicki Swift, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Elle, The Independent, Bustle, xoJane, and HelloGiggles. She’s written about health for MS Society, MS Trust, The Checkup, The Paper Gown, Folks, HelloFlo, Greatist, and Byrdie. She has an unhealthy love for the “Saw” movies and previously spent all of her money on Kylie Cosmetics. Find her on Instagram.