Where To Find The Best Online Couples Counseling (And How To Get Started for Free)

Updated June 18, 2024by MyTherapist Editorial Team
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Have you started asking yourself, "Is there marriage counseling near me?" Are you and your partner having issues and looking for free online couples counseling? Or are you looking for sites where you can get couples therapy techniques to recover your relationship? Many couples are choosing couples counseling online to learn how to resolve their relationship issues. This article discusses some of the best online couples counseling options available and the associated benefits of virtual therapy. You will learn about the different  options for online couples counseling chat and information on how you can find online couples counseling free.

Resolve your relationship struggles with a licensed professional

You may ask, "Is there a marriage counselor near me?" Let's start with some of the best online couples counseling sites.

Couples counseling online - how it works

If you have ever attended a traditional in-office therapy session, you may have some idea of what an online couples counseling session will be like. Online couples therapy sessions are conducted just like in-office sessions, with both partners in the relationship being treated together by the same therapist. The only difference is the location, which typically takes place in the comfort of your own home. When couples take part in counseling online, they choose their therapy provider or platform based on their needs.

Most couples get started with a free consultation or free online couples counseling chat. Once couples choose their provider, the next step is to decide how they will attend counseling. After you have decided how you will take part in therapy and schedule an appointment with your therapist online, the next step is to attend counseling sessions.

Different than in-person therapy, you and your partner can go to therapy from the same location or log in from two different locations. This is especially convenient and helpful if you and your partner are in a long-distance relationship. Not only is it a way to stay connected but you can work on resolving issues associated from being physically apart from each other. This introductory therapy session will most likely be a question-and-answer session where both of you and the therapist has the opportunity to ask and answer questions.

Therapeutic assessment and benefits

Once the question-and-answer portion of the therapy is over, your therapist typically will make recommendations specifically tailored to helping your improve the health of your relationship. This often includes goals and exercises for you and your partner to complete in between therapy sessions. You will also  receive a treatment plan that outlines your relationship's strengths and weaknesses based on your therapy session. In upcoming sessions, the couple and therapist will track the couple's progress and noticeable improvements.

Couples counseling does not have to be for those experiencing serious problems, such as adultery or a lack of shared love. Loving couples experiencing a rough patch - but are serious about keeping or saving their relationships also benefit from therapy.

When couples go to therapy, they learn to look at their relationships from a new perspective and better communication skills. Having a couples therapist in the room when important topics are discussed helps couples recognize their intimacy issues and create better strategies to deal with relationship challenges.

Couples who attend therapy online have the added benefit of attending therapy from wherever they have an uninterrupted internet connection. Regardless of their location, couples can log in for therapy using compatible desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Gone are the days of having to sit in traffic or worrying about missing your couple's therapy appointment.

Affordable and free resources for couples counseling

If you are experiencing unresolvable conflict or communication issues with your partner yet do not have the financial resources for therapy, there are free and affordable options at your disposal. You may be able to find free counseling services in your community. Your local Department of Health and Human Services will often have free counseling available to those who qualify due to income. People who have Medicaid may also qualify for free therapy with visits limited to a specific number of times per month. If you are a church person, check with your church leadership to see if you can set up meetings with a person of the clergy, who often consider counseling sessions with church people to be a part of their job. You can also look up resources at the National Resource Directory, including relationship counseling resources and links to your state health departments.

The following resources are other options if you are unable to afford therapy:

Therapy Aid Coalition

The Therapy Aid Coalition provides free and low-cost therapy to healthcare workers, first responders, and individuals affected by Hurricane Ian. However, the organization has also served individuals who have been affected by other natural disasters, including wildfires in California and Colorado.

If there is currently a crisis in your region, you might visit the Therapy Aid Coalition website to see if its therapists are currently assisting individuals affected. The organization has a network of licensed therapists prepared to help individuals in crisis situations. 

Crisis Text Line

In moments of crisis, you can always reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741 (for US and Canada). While the Crisis Text Line does not provide therapists, it does offer trained volunteer counselors who can provide support during a crisis. The Crisis Text Line can help people who are experiencing challenges related to anxiety, depression, eating disorders, loneliness, emotional abuse, and suicidal thoughts.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please speak with a health care professional, chat with someone who can help online, or call the suicide hotline right away: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Best couples counseling sites online

We have just established that finding free relationship counseling online is possible. Now that you know how couples counseling sites work and associated benefits, let's look at some of the best couples counseling sites online. Following, we provide details on two popular subscription-based couples therapy sites - Regain.us and BetterHelp.com.

Regain.us

Regain.us is a leading couples therapy provider specializing in providing couples with therapy and counseling from licensed relationship therapists. Regain counseling is the only therapy platforms online that are dedicated solely to the topic of love and relationships.

The Regain.us platform providers have a minimum of 2000 hands-on clinical hours, which means that the therapists here are experts. Regain therapists hold an advanced degree related to their primary area of practice.

BetterHelp

BetterHelp has the following certified mental health professionals on staff.

  • Psychologists
  • Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Licensed Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists 

When one or the other partner is living with diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues, the relationship quality can be seriously affected. People who are managing a  mental illness often experience symptoms that intimate partners and families attribute to disinterest - when, in fact, they are related to an underlying condition.

If one or another partner is managing chronic mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder (BPD), in addition to attending your regular couple's therapy session, couples can also take advantage of individual counseling services.

Common symptoms for people managing mental health-related issues include:

  • Loss of interest in activities that used to bring them joy.
  • Issues functioning at work, home, and school.
  • Apathy towards life in general.
  • Degradation in their physical appearance or personal hygiene

While this isn't a comprehensive list - if you see signs of either you or your partner, understanding that there may be a deeper issue in your relationship can help you both be more compassionate towards each other as you get to the bottom of the issue and back on track to a happier life.

Free online couples counseling sites

If you would rather start with a free option for couples counseling online, a few leading sites offer online counseling free. Online counseling is a form of introductory therapy with trained coaches and listeners who can provide advice. The main difference between free online therapy and paid therapy is that when you visit a therapist, you're getting advice from highly-educated, trained, and degreed professionals who are licensed to provide therapeutic advice.

When you chat with an expert or coach, these are people who have on the job training or experience in their relevant field of counseling that doesn't have any licenses or degrees. Either choice may be the best option for you depending on your needs and financial situation - but it's important to understand the differences between them. Now that you have a better idea of how free online counseling sites work let's look at a popular free site.

7 Cups Of Tea

The 7 Cups of Tea is designed for individuals and couples who have been having issues in their relationships and seek guidance and support from trained experts.

The only identifying information you need to provide is an email address for contacts related to your sessions, including notes, upcoming appointments, and other related resources.

People like using the 7 Cups of Tea platform because it provides them with an outlet and real-life advice when struggling with issues and can't find a solution. Free counseling sites like 7 Cups help people find relief regardless of whether they have health insurance or can afford to pay a licensed professional.

As long as you understand that the sessions with 7 Cups listeners aren't intended to replace medical or therapeutic advice, then you're all set. If you decide that you want to take it one step further and try paid therapy while you're on the platform, there's an option for that too.

Today's flexible therapy options are making it easier for couples and mental health seekers to find relief online - at a price that they can afford.

Considering online couples counseling?

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Resolve your relationship struggles with a licensed professional

If in reading this you and your partner have decided online counseling is a healthy next step in your relationship, know you are on the track for an improved relationship. An online couples counselor will professionally guide you both in strategies designed to work within your relationship’s unique dynamics. In addition, you will learn effective communication skills while gaining insight about your relationship and strengthening your bond. 

Online therapy is a valuable option for couples counseling, especially if you or your partner live remotely or your schedules are simply too busy to coordinate to meet in-person. Furthermore, virtual therapy is supported by research to be a highly effective alternative for traditional in-person sessions. A 2021 study reported that couples participating in online therapy felt they had a stronger bond with their therapist and partner at home while also feeling a deeper connection because of the familiar home environment. 

Takeaway

Now you have the inside scoop on online couples counseling, including a deeper understanding of the benefits of couples therapy and where to get started online, free. You are one step closer than you were before to healing your intimate relationships. If you are ready to take the next step, contact a licensed therapy professional at BetterHelp.com to get started.

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