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Couples counseling typically provides people with support from a licensed therapist. Sessions can include helping with building communication skills and highlighting relationship goals.
- Best for affordability: BetterHelp
- Best for finding the right therapist: Talkspace
- Best overall: ReGain
- Best for clear timeline: Ours
- Best for a free initial consultation: Modern Intimacy
- Best for urgent care: Mindful Care
- Best for couples with children: Little Otter
- Best research-based approach: Gottman Referral Network
- Best personal growth service: Growing Self
Medical News Today chooses services that meet the following criteria:
- Health claims: MNT includes companies that make no questionable health claims.
- Trust: MNT includes companies that operate with transparency regarding their products, services, and leadership. Also, where relevant, MNT selects companies with certifications from reputable, third-party organizations.
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Couples experiencing relationship difficulties can speak with a licensed therapist who can use a range of techniques to explore any miscommunication, feelings of disconnection, or external stressors.
If a person in a couple feels they may benefit from talking therapy, multiple options are available. These include:
- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Gottman Method Couples Therapy
- Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT)
Online therapy is increasing in popularity, particularly in recent years. A
Below, we look at some couples counseling services to consider.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Best for affordability: BetterHelp
• Price: between $60–90 per week, billed every 4 weeks
• Platforms: phone call, text message, video call, live chat
BetterHelp is the largest online therapy platform worldwide. When a person signs up, the company will match them with a professional, licensed therapist. An individual also has the option of video, text messaging, or telephone sessions.
Price is dependent on location, therapist availability, and preferences.
To access any of these, a person logs on to their BetterHelp account and enters their personal online therapy room. A therapist will never be able to see their phone number. All communication will go through the online BetterHelp therapy room.
It must be noted that as of March 2023, the FTC has issued a proposed ban on BetterHelp from sharing consumers’ health data with third parties. BetterHelp have since updated their business practices in line with this.
Here, we look at some benefits of the BetterHelp service, along with some things to consider.
- multiple communication options
- easy cancellation process
- weekly cost instead of payment per session
- in line with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, making it accessible for most people
- option to remain anonymous
- marriage and family therapists available
- services unavailable for minors or those under the care of a legal guardian
- no given timeframe for when an individual or couple will match with a therapist
- services not typically covered by insurance
- option for anonymous therapy is not routine and may not benefit a couple
- no support if there is a risk of immediate danger to a person or couple
Best for finding the right therapist: Talkspace
- Price: around $400 per month, per couple, with optional live sessions for $65
- Platforms: text message via the Talkspace secure platform or video call
After a brief assessment on the Talkspace website, a person can choose their therapist from a list of recommendations. Couples can choose to have their sessions through video or text messaging.
Here are some advantages and drawbacks of Talkspace:
- may be covered by private medical insurance, which a person can confirm by contacting their insurer
- can switch therapists at no extra cost
- use live video or text message communication between a couple and their therapist
- website does not provide many specific details before people sign up
- prices vary depending on the couple and their needs
- poor user reviews regarding therapist communication frequency and customer service
As well as offering couples counseling, Talkspace provides therapy for individuals, teenagers, veterans, and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Best overall: ReGain
- Price: between $60–90 per week, billed every 4 weeks
- Platform: text message, telephone call, video call
ReGain is the world’s largest couples therapy service, with over 10,000 therapists available. Although specializing in couples therapy, it also provides individual sessions.
After a person signs up on its website, the provider will match them with a suitable therapist. A couple can choose between text messaging, telephone calls, or video sessions.
A person can choose anonymity, and the company offers an easy cancellation process.
More than 150 learning modules and worksheets support the therapeutic process.
A couple can consider the below pros and cons.
- multiple communication options
- can schedule individual sessions with a therapist for both partners in their shared couple’s account
- easily switch between therapists
- more affordable sessions
- no set time between signing up and matching with a therapist
- both partners need to be in the same location, as no three-way sessions
- may require an upfront payment
Additionally, location, therapist availability, and preference all affect the price.
ReGain will designate an online room through its private platform, and a couple will share this space with their therapist. They will then use this room for all communications.
Best for clear timeline: Ours
- Price: $50 for first 2 sessions plus $450 to complete if interested, or $400 for whole series in advance
- Platforms: video teleconferencing, email, texts, self-guided online sessions
Ours offers a different approach to relationship health by providing users with a clear timeline with different activities and a set ending date. According to the company website, a couple can complete the process in roughly six weeks.
The Ours website describes it as a premarital service, but the company states that they have helped many different types of couples at various stages of their journey.
The Ours process includes two 45-minute private sessions with a Guide, four 60-minute guided sessions with their proprietary Loveware system (which features guided exercises and discussion prompts), a personalized roadmap for the customers’ relationship, and extensive questions and surprises throughout.
The company’s “Guides” are coaches and not licensed therapists.
This section looks at some benefits of the Ours service for relationship health, along with some drawbacks.
- clear timeline
- personalized roadmap
- affordable compared to competitors
- efficient use of time
- open to different types of couples
- company selects coaches
- coaches not licensed
- does not seem to allow for further coaching
- only two live sessions
Best for a free initial consultation: Modern Intimacy
- Price: rates vary depending on therapist
- Platforms: teletherapy
Modern Intimacy offers persons interested in couples counseling a free 30-minute phone consultation to discuss goals and questions and recommend a therapist. The company states that its approach is to explore the intersection of mental health, relationships, and human sexuality in a judgment-free zone.
Modern Intimacy works exclusively with licensed therapists. It is only available in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, and New York, where it works with therapists licensed in those states. It does not work with insurance companies but does offer a comprehensive bill a couple can use to seek reimbursement.
At time of publication, all sessions were live and online.
This section looks at the potential positive and negative aspects of couples therapy with Modern Intimacy.
- free 30-minute initial consultation
- licensed therapists
- LGBTQIA affirming
- emphasis on quality and expertise
- only available in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, and New York
- does not work with insurance companies
- potentially expensive per session rates
Best for urgent care: Mindful Care
- Price: initial evaluation fees range from $150 – 175, ongoing fees range from $50 for 20 minutes to $100
- Platforms: online or in-person
Mindful Care emphasizes prompt access to mental health care. The website states that they can accommodate most people in 48 hours. A person meets with a board certified provider to determine whether they would benefit most from psychiatry and medication, individual or group therapy, or addiction recovery services.
The Mindful Care website states that it can offer “in-network” care. Many insurance companies and Medicare cover their services.
However, it only operates in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Michigan, and Florida.
This section looks at some advantages of Mindful Care, as well as some downsides.
- rapid access to mental health care services
- online access to prescription medication if needed
- accepts insurance
- does not directly address couples counseling
- only operates in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Michigan, and Florida
- not always possible to select provider
Best for couples with children: Little Otter
- Price: $90 for the Welcome Session, $540 for the Assessment bundle, $2,040 for the 12 session bundle, $200 for standard therapy session, $500 for Psychiatry evaluation, $250 for Psychiatry follow-up
- Platforms: virtual sessions and text messaging
With this company, the emphasis is on personalized therapy for children. Little Otter’s services include couples therapy, psychiatric care and medication management, and teletherapy for children up to age 14.
The company website states that they strive to normalize mental health care for children and provide parents with the tools and support they need to help. Little Otter is only available in 11 states.
After their initial Welcome Session, couples can log into the Little Otter app, choose a provider from their assigned care team, and schedule an appointment with that person.
Kaiser Permanente insurance includes Little Otter in its provider network. Little Otter provides “superbills” for users to request reimbursement from other providers.
Couples interested in Little Otter can consider the following pros and cons about this service.
- addresses needs of couples with children
- couples can pick their own providers
- no wait list
- offers discounted bundles
- price is high compared to competitors
- only available in 11 states
- company selects the care team
Best for research-based approach: Gottman Referral Network
- Price: varies with each therapist
- Platform: varies with each therapist
The Gottman Referral Network differs from other services described in this article because it does not directly connect individuals seeking care with mental healthcare providers. It is a directory helping couples find therapists trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.
This approach is based on more than 50 years of research into relationships. It reportedly helps support and restore troubled relationships and strengthen happy ones.
Couples seeking therapists trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy use the network website to find therapists based on their location, their specialties, the services they offer, and their level of certification. Persons then make their selections and contact the therapists independently to schedule appointments.
This section looks at the positives and negatives of the Gottman Referral Network.
- couples pick their own therapist
- can select therapists based on their criteria
- no commitments required
- no vetting of therapists other than training received
- Gottman Method Couples Therapy may not be the best approach for everyone
- unknown costs until contact with therapists
Best for focusing on personal growth: Growing Self
- Price: fees vary depending on the therapist, from $105–160
- Platforms: online and in person in Denver, Colorado
The Growing Self website states that the company only works with authentic relationship experts. Their services include online marriage counseling, online couples counseling, as well as in-person services from their home base in Denver, Colorado.
The company works with a large number of therapists with different specialties, all of whom have at least master’s degrees along with specialized training.
The Growing Self process starts with a free consultation, in which persons discuss their hopes and goals, garner recommendations for the best therapists for their needs, and book appointments.
Many Growing Self therapists offer a sliding fee scale based on client income and family size.
This section looks at some positive aspects of the Growing Self approach, as well as some drawbacks.
- flexible access to therapists
- wide range of therapists with significant expertise
- simple sign up
- connecting with a therapist may take time
- does not work with insurance companies
- limited availability
The below table shows an at-a-glance comparison of the services in this article.
|BetterHelp||$60–90 per week||yes||• telephone call|
• text messages
• video call
• live chat
|Talkspace||•$400 per month|
•$65 for optional live sessions
|yes||• text messages via their platform|
• video call
|ReGain||$60–90 per week||yes||• text messages |
• telephone call
• video call
|Ours||$50 for 2 trial sessions, then $450 to complete or $400 upfront for the whole series||no||• video teleconferencing|
• text messages
• self-guided online sessions
|Modern Intimacy||rates vary depending on therapists||yes but also coaches who are not licensed therapists||teletherapy|
|Mindful Care||•$150–175 for initial evaluation|
•$50–100 for ongoing sessions
|yes||online or in-person|
|Little Otter||• $90 for the Welcome Session|
• $540 for the Assessment bundle
• $2,040 for 12-session bundle
• $200 for a standard therapy session
• $500 for a Psychiatry evaluation
• $250 for a Psychiatry follow-up
|yes||• virtual sessions|
• text messages
|Gottman Referral Network||rates vary depending on therapists||yes||platform varies depending on therapist|
|Growing Self||$105–160, depending on therapist||yes||• online|
• in-person, in Denver, Colorado
A couple may consider some of the following factors when looking for online therapy:
A couple can research different therapeutic styles to best suit their needs. They can then specify this when searching for therapists. Some common couple therapy techniques include:
- emotionally focused therapy
- discernment counseling
- Gottman Method couples therapy
- relational psychotherapy
Individuals may find it helpful to consider their specific needs. For example, if a couple requires specific help with gender identity, sexual orientation, or monogamy, seeking a therapist with experience in those areas would provide benefit.
Additional considerations may include:
- whether or not the therapist holds a valid license
- whether the therapist works with clear action plans
- whether the therapist provides work to do outside of sessions
Cost and convenience
A couple looking for online therapy should consider their budget and whether or not the sessions are flexible and suit their schedule.
Below are some common questions relating to online couples therapy.
Is online therapy as effective as in person?
A 2021 study found that some forms of Internet-based therapy provided results similar to in-person treatment. However, due to the ongoing growth of this field, further studies are necessary.
Should a person go to couples therapy alone or with a partner?
Couples should attend therapy together. However, there are options to speak to therapists separately on some platforms.
Does insurance cover couples therapy?
This is dependent on the insurance provider and the therapy service. A person should speak with their plan provider to confirm benefits.
Can LGBT couples attend couples therapy?
Yes. Some online therapy services specialize in LGBTQIA+ therapy, including:
Online couples therapy can be an affordable alternative to traditional, in-person therapy, and many companies offer convenient and reliable services.
Evidence suggests that online therapy options are equally effective as in-person therapy, providing flexible sessions and ease of use.
Some providers offer manageable subscription services and other payment plans. Additionally, some private medical insurers may also cover online couples therapy, and a person should speak with their insurer directly about this.