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I. What Is Online Marriage Counseling?

Online Marriage Counseling Badge

You might be wondering, does online marriage counseling work?  If you feel like you need marriage counseling or can benefit from couples therapy, it’s definitely worth exploring. If you can find a marriage counselor who works well with you and your partner, it can help you improve communication, help you make emotional connections, and improve your relationship and family life.

Like traditional marriage counseling, online marriage therapy helps couples explore and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Deciding to start marriage counseling can also help prevent divorce. Online marriage counseling differs from in-person in that marriage therapy is provided through live chat, phone calls, video chat, and messaging.

Through online marriage counseling and/or emotionally focused therapy, a therapist with clinical experience helps you as a couple gain insight into your relationship, develop effective tools for dealing with conflict, and strengthen your bond.

There are also different types of marriage counseling including  premarital counseling to couples marriage counseling to focused couples therapy.

To help couples navigate online marriage and couples counseling platforms, we evaluated the most popular couples therapy providers by analyzing 14 key features important to those looking for an online therapist. If you want to start marriage counseling, get to work researching these couples therapy solutions.

II. The 9 Best Online Marriage Counseling Companies of 2022

7 Cups — Best Overall

7 Cups offers online counseling, including for those who seek marriage counseling, as well as several free emotional support services. For $150 per month, you can get therapy by messaging with a licensed therapist continuously throughout the week instead of one session at a time. Therapists reply once or twice a day, Monday through Friday.

Amwell — Best for Insurance Coverage

Amwell offers online couple’s therapy with licensed therapists at a rate of $109 per session for master’s degree-level therapists or $129 per session for doctoral degree-level therapists. Amwell works with several health insurance plans, so visits may be covered by insurance.

Couples Learn — Best for Overall Marital Assessment

Couples Learn provides online couples therapy, individual therapy, and premarital counseling.

Couples Therapy Inc. — Best for Gottman Method

Couples Therapy Inc. offers online marriage counseling that begins with an assessment. From there, the therapist prescribes a mode of couple’s therapy. Therapists are certified in science-backed approaches to couples therapy, including the Gottman Method.

E-Therapy Cafe — Best for Value

E-Therapy Cafe offers several therapy programs, including a pay-as-you-go online marriage counseling program for $50 per 30-minute session. Therapy services are delivered through instant chat, live video, or a virtual journal.

Growing Self — Best for Solution Session

Growing Self offers online couples therapy, including “Solution Sessions,” with either a master’s or doctoral-level therapist. Solution Sessions provide quick advice about a specific situation and a written plan of action.

Our Relationship — Best for Self-guided Therapy

Our Relationship offers online, self-help programs for couples at $50 per month without the help of a coach or $150 per month to work with a coach. On average, these programs require about eight hours to complete over 2 months.

Regain — Best for Unlimited Messaging

Regain is an online relationship counseling platform that connects couples to licensed counselors via texting through a computer or smartphone. For $60 to $90 per week, couples can share an unlimited number of messages, also called sessions, with their marriage counselor.

Relationship Hero — Best for Membership Plan

Relationship Hero offers bundles and subscriptions for relationship coaching with certified relationship coaches. Subscription plans offer the most consistent support at an affordable rate — from $45 per month for two on-demand therapy sessions to $281.25 for 16 on-demand sessions per month.

III. How We Chose the Best Online Marriage Counseling Services

By evaluating each company based on several key parameters, we were able to provide you with an unbiased look at secure, reliable online marriage counseling and emotionally focused therapy websites.

Communication Methods

If you’re at the point where you need marriage counseling, meeting with a marriage counselor should be effortless. That’s why we looked for therapy services that offered a variety of ways to connect, including video and phone chat, email, live chat, and text messaging. Communication is important.

Available Therapists

No two therapists are alike, and marriage counselors often need to click with both partners to ensure reliable results. We’ve listed several services that offer a wide range of therapist choices and some which let you and your partner choose a therapist based on preferences. Expertise in mental health and relationship care was also considered.

Accessible Care

Meeting with your marriage counselor shouldn’t require a complete life rescheduling. By choosing a virtual service with on-demand or same-day appointments, you can ensure minimal disruption to your daily life.

IV. Our Top Picks for Online Marriage Counseling Services

7 Cups — Best Overall

7 cups screenshot

7 Cups is an online counseling platform that matches couples with a licensed therapist for ongoing professional relationship support. The service charges a flat fee of $150 per month for an unlimited number of messages exchanged through a private, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)-compliant online chat room. Therapists reply once or twice per day, Monday through Friday. In this way, communication is similar to email. While marriage therapy services aren’t delivered in real-time, couples have the opportunity to receive continuous therapy throughout the week instead of one session at a time, making it an affordable and convenient option.

This service may be beneficial for couples who don’t have the time to commit to live couples therapy sessions, need a low level of relationship support, or don’t feel comfortable attending a face-to-face counseling session. 7 Cups is both an app-based and web-based service, so couples can use a smartphone, computer, or tablet to access therapy care.

As an added benefit, 7 Cups offers multiple free services, including 24/7 live chat with volunteer listeners and online support groups that act as a social network of sorts. 7 Cups volunteer listeners aren’t licensed therapists, but they do complete an active listening training program, which teaches skills for compassionate communication.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$150 per month Chat Yes 180 professional therapists

What Patients Are Saying

According to clients, 7 Cups provides a comfortable space to discuss relationship issues. “Our experience with couples therapy was great. We couldn’t have found a better way to do therapy with our busy schedules,” writes one user. “We loved the convenience of sending a message to our therapist whenever we had a chance.”


Amwell — Best for Insurance Coverage

amwell screenshot

Amwell, or American Well, is an online therapy service. It’s ideal for those who seek marriage counseling with licensed therapists, including doctoral-level psychologists and master’s-level therapists with mental health expertise.. Therapy sessions are conducted via live video through Amwell’s private, secure, HIPAA-compliant web or mobile app. Amwell works with several health insurance plans, so visits may be covered by insurance.

Through online marriage counseling, therapists can help couples address a range of marital concerns, such as communication problems, conflict resolution, infidelity, parenting issues, sexual problems, and financial hardship – many of which could lead to divorce. During the first session, a therapist asks targeted questions about the nature of your marital problems and how you relate to your partner. They also ask about goals for couples therapy. The therapist then suggests a treatment plan based on your needs as a couple. Treatment may include insights to help a couple understand the factors contributing to difficulties, strategies for more constructive ways to discuss feelings and concerns, and specific tools for working out conflicts and solving problems together with your partner.

Online marriage therapy or counseling may be short-term to help couples overcome a specific problem or make a decision. It can also be long-term to address ongoing issues within the marriage, redirect a relationship that has gone off track, or develop healthier ways of relating to one another to strengthen the marriage together.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$109 per session (master’s-level clinician) or $129 per session (doctoral-level clinician) Phone, video Yes Not Mentioned

What Patients Are Saying

Amwell patients love the service for the relationship tools they gained through therapy. “My husband and I were paired with a marriage therapist that helped us improve how we communicate to decrease the number of fights we have,” explains one patient. “We are so thankful for our therapist for getting us to a better place than we’ve ever been in our marriage.”


Couples Learn — Best for Overall Marital Assessment

coupleslearn screenshot

Couples Learn provides online couples therapy and relationship counseling to increase connection, trust, and intimacy in relationships. Therapy is provided by both master’s- and doctoral-level therapists with mental health expertise, including Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Doctors of Psychology (Psy.D.s), and Doctors of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.s). Additionally, all therapists have completed more than 3,000 hours of supervised clinical training.

The cost of treatment depends on a couple’s needs, but services range from $125 to $420 per session, depending on the therapist and the length of the visit. Master’s-level therapists are on the lower end of the price range while doctoral-level therapists are on the higher end. Couples can choose who they wish to work with by booking a free consultation with them or emailing them directly. A no-cost 30-minute video consultation is offered to determine whether working together would be a good fit for you and your partner.

Couples Learn therapists are equipped to address a range of relationship issues, including affairs and infidelity, communication issues, emotional distance, lack of intimacy, and significant life events. Additionally, some therapists work with couples from an attachment-based perspective, which is an approach that examines how early childhood experiences impact adult romantic relationships.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$0 for a 30-minute consultation, then $125-$420 per session Video No Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying

Couples Learn patients value the service for the insights they gained into their relationship dynamics. “Our therapist helped us understand how our childhoods shaped how we behave in romantic relationships,” one patient says. “Based on this understanding, we were able to adopt better ways of interacting with one another that encourage intimacy instead of distance.”


Couples Therapy Inc. — Best for Gottman Method

Couples therapy inc screenshot

Couples Therapy Inc. offers online marriage counseling and marriage retreats with therapists who hold master’s or doctorate degrees in psychology. The company has therapists available in several, but not all, United States states. For couples who live in a state without an available therapist, Couples Therapy Inc. offers relationship coaching.

The company’s marriage counseling begins with a comprehensive relationship assessment that includes a detailed questionnaire with more than 800 questions, plus three video sessions with a therapist. These sessions include interviews with partners, both individually and together. Afterward, you’ll get feedback about your attachment styles, relationship strengths, and relationship weaknesses along with a prescribed mode of online couples therapy.

Couples Therapy Inc. reports that it specializes in “intensives,” or science-based therapy designed to be completed in one, two, or three full days. Private, intensive relationship counseling retreats generally are designed for couples facing a significant amount of marital distress. Weekly virtual marriage counseling options that occur in half-day intensives over several weeks are also available.

Couples Therapy, Inc. therapists have advanced Gottman Method training and eight of them are certified in the Gottman Method. This method aims to improve verbal communication, remove barriers to conflict resolution, create more empathy and compassion, and increase affection, intimacy, and respect.

Unlike most online therapy services, therapists at Couples Therapy Inc. meet as a team once per month by video conference to review clinical presentations and design psychoeducational materials.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Often less than $100 Video No 25

What Patients Are Saying

Couples Therapy Inc. patients appreciate the science-based intensives and one-on-one retreats. “We tried therapy a few times but our marriage continued to degrade,” writes one patient. “A big part of our failure was spending only 45 minutes a week on our relationship. This time was different. I want to thank our therapist for saving our marriage.”


E-Therapy Cafe — Best for Value

e therapy cafe screenshot

E-Therapy Cafe offers online counseling, including for those who need marriage counseling, with board-certified, licensed therapists through several subscription-based programs. These programs, which bundle online counseling sessions, range from $135 to $320 per month.

Additionally, E-Therapy Cafe offers a subscription-free, pay-as-you-go service at an affordable rate of $50 per 30-minute session. These options may be especially helpful for couples looking to talk with a therapist on a short-term basis. Services are delivered through instant chat, live video, or virtual journal.

E-Therapy Cafe’s marriage counseling services target actions, feelings, and thoughts that are ineffective or detrimental to relationships. It stresses that the primary therapeutic focus of marriage counseling involves improving the relationship rather than helping one partner with individual issues. In this way, online relationship counseling differs from individual therapy. E-Therapy Cafe therapists work with couples to improve communication skills, build empathy and respect, learn effective problem-solving and conflict resolution skills, strengthen intimacy, and change bad habits and destructive patterns that could lead to divorce.

Veterans, first responders, and students can receive a discount on therapy services. First-time couples can also receive a 30-minute online couples therapy session for a reduced rate of $40.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$50 per session (pay-as-you-go)
$135 Basic subscription (three e-sessions or e-journals)
$210 Premier subscription (five e-sessions or E-journals)
$320 Elite subscription (eight e-sessions or e-journals)
Video, chat No 16

What Patients Are Saying

E-Therapy Cafe patients recommend the service for the cost-effective and compassionate care that it provides. “E-Therapy Cafe helped us get our marriage back on track by providing support for us that was affordable and convenient,” writes one patient. “The therapist with whom we were speaking was so compassionate and professional.”


Growing Self — Best for Solution Session

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Growing Self offers online marriage counseling, including “Solution Sessions,” with licensed therapists through video chat and by phone. The fees for marriage counseling vary based on the education and experience level of the therapist. Costs range from $95 to $150 for a 45-minute session. Income-based, sliding scale fees may be an option for couples who can’t afford the full cost of therapy. Growing Self also offers free relationship assessments.

The relationship counseling and coaching services at Growing Self are conducted exclusively by licensed marriage and family therapists who have specialized training and experience in couples and family therapy as well as years of experience in helping couples through strategic, evidence-based, and solution-focused sessions. Growing Self reports that it takes a holistic approach to virtual marriage counseling by creating a space where both partners feel understood and respected before getting to the root of the conflict. Then, therapists work with couples to build upon the strengths in the relationship and create positive change to reach a new level of connection in the partnership.

In addition to conventional online marriage counseling, Growing Self offers “Solution Sessions.” These sessions are intensive, solution-focused coaching designed to target a specific situation. Through a Solution Session, a relationship expert helps a couple gain insight and clarity about the issue and provides a written plan of action to move forward. This solution may be beneficial for couples who don’t need ongoing marriage therapy but are seeking direction for a specific challenge.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$150 per 45-minute session (doctoral-level clinician)
$125 per 45-minute session (advanced clinician)
$105 per 45-minute session (master’s-level clinician)
$95 per 45-minute session (new counselors or coaches)
Video chat, phone Yes 44

What Patients Are Saying

Many Growing Self users recommend the service for the level of expertise and high quality of care they receive. “Our therapist makes us feel like she’s really invested in our care,” writes one user. “We can’t tell you how much counseling has helped our marriage by getting us to think about our problems in a much more productive way.”


Our Relationship — Best for Self-Guided Therapy

ourrelationship-screenshot

Our Relationship offers online self-help programs for individuals and couples, with or without the guidance of a coach, which can be completed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. This may be a good alternative to traditional relationship counseling for couples who are uncomfortable with sharing personal details with a stranger.

Our Relationship reports that its couples version of the program is designed to help couples better understand the underlying problems in their relationship and how to solve them. The relationship program is self-paced but takes, on average, about eight hours to complete during the course of two months. During the program, couples complete online activities together that help foster communication skills, emotional connection, and trust.

The efficacy of the Our Relationship program has been tested in a nationwide study with more than 300 couples. According to the study, Our Relationship was found to significantly improve relationship functioning, including relationship satisfaction and confidence.

The Our Relationship program costs $50 if self-guided and $150 with a coach. Coaches aren’t therapists but can help couples identify relationship difficulties and tailor the content to their specific needs. If the program is completed with a coach, couples have access to their coach for two months, including four 20-minute video calls before, during, and after completing the program.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$50 per program (without a coach)
$150 per program (with a coach)
Online course, video chat No 17 coaches

What Patients Are Saying

Many Our Relationship users recommend the program for couples who are unable to accommodate traditional marriage counseling in their schedule. “We loved the convenience factor of doing this program at our own pace,” says one user. “And our marriage is stronger for it.”


ReGain — Best for Unlimited Messaging

regain screenshot

ReGain is an online relationship counseling platform for individuals or couples who seek marriage counseling for relationship or marital issues. Services are provided by licensed and credentialed therapists via messaging through a computer or smartphone. For $60 to $90 per week, couples can share an unlimited number of messages, also called sessions, with their therapist. Sessions don’t require scheduling because they don’t occur in real-time.

For confidentiality, couples aren’t required to share their full names or contact information when they sign up to use this service. After signing up, couples are matched with a marriage counselor and invited to a virtual “room” that’s open 24/7. Here, couples can share information about their relationship, ask questions, and discuss marital concerns. Counselors respond with feedback, insights, and guidance after reviewing these messages. Couples aren’t limited to the number of messages they can send. Some couples have short, frequent interactions with their marriage counselors, while others have thorough, less frequent sessions.

ReGain’s therapists help couples and partners with issues that include improving communication, resolving conflicts and disagreements, overcoming adultery, understanding the relationship better, preventing separation and divorce, discussing issues around parenting, and improving sex and intimacy, among others.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$60-$90 per week Chat No More than 5,000 counselors

What Patients Are Saying

ReGain users value the service for offering compassionate care that’s also convenient. “The marriage counselor we were paired with was stellar,” writes one user. “We liked that we could send her a message anytime we had an issue and receive insightful feedback. She’s really helped us move our relationship forward.”


Relationship Hero — Best Membership Plan

relationshiphero screenshot

Relationship Hero offers online relationship coaching bundles and subscriptions that provide access to certified relationship coaches. Relationship coaches aren’t licensed therapists but are trained to provide guidance for a broad range of relationship issues. No appointment is necessary and coaches are generally available 24/7, which gives couples convenient access to advice.

Subscription plans offer consistent support at an affordable rate — from $45 per week for two on-demand sessions per month to $281.25 per week for 16 on-demand sessions per month. However, clients can also choose pay-by-the-minute plans based on their budget and the level of coaching they need. Coaching is provided over the phone or through live chat.

Relationship Hero offers new couples a free 10-minute consultation when signing up. During this consultation, a relationship coach gains an understanding of what type of coaching the client may benefit from. They then match couples with a relationship coach based on this information. Partners can also choose their own coach from a list. Additionally, Relationship Hero offers a money-back guarantee for up to 30-minutes of coaching services.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$268.50 Guru Plan (120 anytime minutes)
$433.50 Hero Plan (240 anytime minutes)
$45 per week (two on-demand 60-min sessions per month)
$82.50 per week (one on-demand session per week)
$150 per week (two on-demand sessions per week)
$281.25 (four on-demand sessions per week)
Chat No 78 coaches

What Patients Are Saying

Relationship Hero clients recommend the platform for the depth of understanding they gained from their coaches. “Our relationship coach gave us clear insights into both my partner’s behaviors and my own,” writes one client. “With her support, we’ve been able to create a much healthier foundation for our marriage.”

V. Online Marriage Counseling FAQs

What is online marriage counseling?

Online marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, helps married and unmarried couples resolve conflicts and improve their relationship by talking to a therapist through electronic means of communication. Counseling is generally provided by a licensed practitioner known as a marriage and family therapist. They are mental health professionals who focus specifically on relationships. Typical delivery formats include real-time chat, video conferencing, and internet phone.

Online marriage therapy or counseling is designed to address relationship challenges both big and small.

Some couples may need only a few sessions over a short-term to help weather a particular crisis. Other couples can benefit from ongoing marriage counseling for several months, especially if the relationship has deteriorated over time. Most couples who seek marriage counseling see a therapist once a week, especially at the start of therapy.

Is online marriage counseling effective?

A growing body of medically reviewed research suggests that online therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy. One study found that virtual therapy was effective in treating anxiety disorders. Another study found that online therapy was equally as effective as in-person therapy for the treatment of depression. A review of research also suggests that psychology services delivered by video and phone are effective for adjustment disorder, anxiety, and depression.

When it comes to online couples counseling, the outcomes are similar, with many couples in one study expressing that online therapy created a more comfortable and less threatening space for discussion as a result of video conferencing. Some couples also shared that remote therapy was able to effectively simulate face-to-face interactions.

What are the benefits of online marriage counseling?

Online marriage counseling may have some advantages over in-person counseling. These benefits include:

  • Online couples therapy can allow partners who live in remote areas with limited access to traditional counseling services to connect with marriage and family therapists in other geographic locations.
  • This form of counseling may be more affordable than in-person therapy, especially for couples with limited or no insurance coverage.
  • For couples who are worried about social stigma should they seek marriage counseling, doing so online provides a greater sense of privacy.
  • Online marriage counseling can help some couples feel more at ease because they’re in the comfort of their own home. This may allow them to open up and talk more freely.

How much does online marriage counseling cost?

The fees for online couples counseling vary depending on the platform. Some platforms charge clients a per-session fee that varies based on the provider and length of the session. A live video chat with a therapist typically costs between $50 and $150 per session. Other platforms use a subscription-based pricing model that covers all available services.

Insurance coverage can also impact the cost of online marriage therapy or counseling. Some platforms and providers accept health insurance, while others don’t. However, many providers that don’t accept insurance for online counseling offer a sliding scale fee structure based on income.

author-img
LCSW

Caitlin Kingston is a licensed clinical social worker at Yale New Haven Hospital and has worked in the field since 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Penn State University and her Master of Social Work, clinical/medical social work in 2020 from Fordham University. Her licenses and certifications include LCSW, LMSW, and CASAC.

Kingston has always had a passion for helping others and knew early on that she wanted to support others in her profession. During her undergraduate studies at Penn State, she met a social worker who inspired her to pursue a career as a therapist. She’s also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with the New York School for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Kingston completed internships working in an after-school program with underprivileged youth and their families and with inmates in the high-security sector of Rikers Island jail.

Kingston’s career has included work at a drug treatment center, where she became the supervisor of intake and assessment for individuals with alcohol and substance use disorders. Today, she’s a social worker in the Psychiatric Observation Unit of the emergency department. Kingston is also trained in perinatal mental health with a focus on helping new mothers adjust to motherhood, especially in these very difficult times of isolation.

author-img
LCSW

Caitlin Kingston is a licensed clinical social worker at Yale New Haven Hospital and has worked in the field since 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Penn State University and her Master of Social Work, clinical/medical social work in 2020 from Fordham University. Her licenses and certifications include LCSW, LMSW, and CASAC.

Kingston has always had a passion for helping others and knew early on that she wanted to support others in her profession. During her undergraduate studies at Penn State, she met a social worker who inspired her to pursue a career as a therapist. She’s also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with the New York School for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Kingston completed internships working in an after-school program with underprivileged youth and their families and with inmates in the high-security sector of Rikers Island jail.

Kingston’s career has included work at a drug treatment center, where she became the supervisor of intake and assessment for individuals with alcohol and substance use disorders. Today, she’s a social worker in the Psychiatric Observation Unit of the emergency department. Kingston is also trained in perinatal mental health with a focus on helping new mothers adjust to motherhood, especially in these very difficult times of isolation.

VI. Sources

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