The 10 Best Online Relationship Counseling of 2020

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The 10 Best Online Relationship Counseling of 2020

The 10 Best Online Relationship Counseling of 2020

Maintaining a healthy romantic relationship requires work. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for couples to seek professional help to overcome challenges that arise during the course of a partnership.

Like in-person relationship counseling, online help for couples comes in a variety of forms, including couples and marriage therapy, premarital counseling, and relationship coaching. To help couples find the best approach for them, we evaluated several platforms that provide counseling geared specifically towards couples and relationships.

By analyzing the features that are most important to clients seeking these services, we arrived at our list of the best online relationship counseling services of 2020.

The 10 Best Online Relationship Counseling Services of 2020

Our Relationship — Best Overall

Our Relationship offers a psychologist-developed, research-backed program designed to help individuals, opposite-gender, and same-gender couples learn the skills they need to have healthy, fulfilling relationships.

Growing Self Counseling and Coaching — Best for Premarital Counseling

Although Growing Self Counseling and Coaching offers multiple types of relationship therapy, for engaged couples, they offer both private premarital counseling sessions and a guided assessment and learning program.

BetterHelp — Best for Individual Counseling

Sometimes building a healthier relationship means focusing on yourself. BetterHelp offers individual counseling to help clients gain new skills and insights that they can apply to their relationships.

Couples Learn — Best Trial Option

For couples who are unsure about relationship therapy, Couples Learn provides a free consultation to help them assess their needs, and determine whether online relationship therapy is right for them.

The Relationship Suite — Best for ESL Speakers

Relationship challenges can affect all couples, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, and language. The Relationship Suite can help many non-English speakers, with services available in Spanish, French, Hebrew, and Farsi.

ReGain — Most Flexible

ReGain’s platform gives couples flexibility with how and when they communicate, with live sessions available via phone and video chat, and unlimited messaging between them and their counselor.

Talkspace — Best for Convenient Communication

With Talkspace, clients and their counselors primarily communicate by exchanging audio, video, and text messages, allowing all parties to share their thoughts and get feedback from anywhere, at any time.

MDLive — Best for Insurance Coverage

As a full-service telehealth platform, MDLive partners with many major health insurance providers in the U.S., allowing covered individuals to use their insurance for behavioral needs like relationship counseling.

Etherapy Cafe — Best for Short-Term Counseling

There’s no timeframe for relationship counseling, but for some couples, a few sessions are sufficient. Etherapy Cafe offers multiple short-term plans, including 3, 5, or 8 sessions.

Relationship Hero — Best Relationship Coaching

For some couples, relationship coaching is a better approach than therapy. Relationship Hero offers an intensive, guided program designed to help couples get the most out of their relationship.

How We Chose the Best Online Relationship Counseling

When it came to selecting our list of the top online relationship counseling providers, we focused on platforms that are accessible, flexible, and employ well-trained, competent therapists, counselors, and coaches who can give clients the quality of care they deserve.

Communication Methods

Many couples turn to online relationship counseling because it is more convenient and discreet to see a therapist from the comfort of their own home. We looked for online relationship counseling platforms that offer multiple communication methods, including video chats, phone calls, text or email messaging, and live chat, so couples have the flexibility to choose the communication mode that works best for them.

Available Therapists

To ensure that users would be able to find the ideal therapist to work with, we sought online relationship counseling platforms that employ different types of providers, including therapists, psychologists, counselors, and coaches, with different credentials and areas of expertise.

Accessible Care

Adding relationship counseling to what may already be a jam-packed schedule can be challenging. Therefore, one of our criteria was that online counseling platforms offer clients flexible options, including asynchronous communications via text, audio, or video messaging, and self-guided programs that can be done on their own time, as well as live appointments during evening and weekend hours.

Our Top Picks for Online Relationship Counseling

Our Relationship — Best Overall

ourrelationship screenshot
For couples that want an expert-designed, research-backed approach to relationship counseling, Our Relationship is worth considering.

Developed by two psychologists and tested in five nationwide studies with thousands of participants, the Our Relationship approach focuses on giving couples effective tools and resources to help them improve their communication and regain intimacy and trust.

To do this, Our Relationship offers online self-help programs for opposite-gender and same-gender couples, as well as individuals. These programs, which generally take 4-8 weeks to complete, include videos, activities, and exercises that are designed to help couples better understand the issues that they are having, and develop new skills and ways of addressing and resolving those issues. The program’s activities can be completed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Participants have the option of completing the program with or without a coach. It is $50 to complete the self-guided program, and $150 with a coach. Those that opt for the coaching option get four 20-minute video chat sessions with their coach, which can be used at any time during the course of the program. Appointments are available during daytime, evening, and weekend hours. While all Our Relationship coaches are trained in various areas of psychology and therapy, clients should note that they are not licensed therapists.

Although Our Relationship’s programs are intended for couples to complete together, they also offer an Individual program that one member of a relationship can complete on their own.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Program with coach: $150

Self-guided program: $50

Phone call No 13

What Patients Are Saying
Many couples who sought counseling from Our Relationship found that the platform helped more than other types of therapy. Says one user, “My husband and I had gone to traditional therapy before with little success. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I learned about both of us and our relationship.”

Growing Self Counseling and Coaching — Best for Premarital Counseling

growingself screenshot
An in-person practice with locations in California, Colorado, and Arkansas, Growing Self Counseling and Coaching also offers many types of therapy online, including marriage counseling, couples therapy, and premarital counseling.

Clients looking for premarital counseling can choose between Growing Self’s “I Do!” program, or private premarital counseling with a licensed marriage and family therapist. Premarital counseling focuses on creating agreements around topics like parenting, finances, and priorities; creating a strong emotional foundation, and identifying any potential points of conflict prior to the marriage.

Other types of relationship therapy offered by Growing Self include marriage counseling, couples therapy, relationship coaching, and dating coaching. All clients, regardless of what type of therapy or help they are seeking, can sign up for a free consultation to find out if Growing Self is the right option for them.

Growing Self’s team of therapists and coaches includes both master’s-level and doctoral-level clinicians. Rates per session vary based on the therapist’s education and experience level, and can range from $55-$150. Many clinicians have sliding scale options based on their availability and the client’s income. Although relationship therapy is typically not covered by health insurance benefits, in cases where Growing Self’s services are covered, they will accept insurance.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
45-minute session: $95 >Video chat Yes Number unspecified

What Patients Are Saying
Growing Self Counseling and Coaching clients appreciate that the platform makes it convenient for them to get the help they need. “I loved and appreciated the fact that you offer help via video chat,” says one client. “It was exactly what I was looking for and needed.”

BetterHelp — Best for Individual Counseling

betterhelp screenshot
Generally, relationship therapy is based on partners working together with a therapist. However, in situations where one partner is unwilling or unable to participate in therapy, it can still be beneficial for the other person in the relationship to seek counseling.

BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that can help individuals address issues that may be affecting their relationship, including trauma, self-esteem, anger, conflict management, and more. BetterHelp’s team of licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors can help individuals develop new skills and coping mechanisms that they can apply to strengthen all of their relationships, including those with romantic partners, family, friends, and colleagues.

During the sign-up process, clients complete a brief questionnaire about their history, the issues they are seeking to address, and any preferences they have for their therapist. Once BetterHelp matches clients with a therapist, they communicate via synchronous sessions, held via phone calls, video chats, or live messaging. BetterHelp also lets clients and their therapists exchange unlimited messages in a secure chat room, so help and guidance are accessible in between regularly scheduled sessions. Clients can access BetterHelp through their website, or via their mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android.

Clients are billed on a monthly basis. Although BetterHelp does not accept health insurance, they do offer financial assistance based on clients’ income. They also offer discounts for referrals and through promo codes.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Weekly: $60-$80 (billed monthly) >Video chat

>Phone call

>Live chat

No 12,000

What Patients Are Saying
BetterHelp’s services have helped individuals and couples pursue healthier relationships from the comfort of their own homes. “It’s a great alternative to live counseling,” writes one client. “The counselor was patient and extremely helpful. Also having an outlet to just message someone can be beneficial.”

Couples Learn — Best Trial Option

coupleslearn screenshot
Choosing to pursue relationship counseling, or deciding if online versus in-person therapy is right for you and your partner can be challenging. Couples Learn helps make the process a little easier, with a free 30-minute consultation that gives potential clients a sneak peek at what the process of online relationship counseling is like.

For those that decide to pursue counseling with Couples Learn, there are three types of services available — online couples therapy, online individual therapy, and online premarital counseling.

Couples Learn’s couples therapy focuses on topics like conflict management and resolution, restructuring priorities, and rebuilding trust and intimacy after infidelity. Couples seeking premarital counseling through Couples Learn will get help establishing priorities and goals related to finances, kids, sex, and more. Single clients can pursue therapy through Couples Learn to develop skills for forming healthy relationships, while those in relationships can use individual therapy if their partner is unwilling or unable to join them.

This California-based practice has three therapists on staff, including licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed clinical psychologists. Clients can select the therapist with whom they want to work, based on their availability. All online appointments are conducted via video chat. Clients do not need to be in the same physical location to meet with their Couples Learn therapist. Appointments through Couples Learn are available during daytime, evening, and weekend hours.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
30-minute consultation: Free

Per session: $175-$375 depending on therapist

>Video chat No 3

What Patients Are Saying
Clients praise Couples Learn for providing professional, insightful help with a variety of relationship issues. “This was my first time doing a virtual therapy session and I was surprised how connected I was able to feel,” says one client. I highly recommend [Couples Learn] to anyone looking to strengthen their partnership.”

The Relationship Suite — Best for ESL Speakers

relationshipsuite screenshot
The Relationship Suite is a New York-based private practice that offers in-person therapy as well as online counseling and a relationship tool kit that couples can use on their own or in conjunction with therapy.

For clients that speak a language other than English, The Relationship Suite’s services are available in Spanish, French, Hebrew, and Farsi, making this an accessible platform for a broader range of users.

All Relationship Suite online counseling sessions are conducted via a HIPAA-compliant video platform, so clients do not need to be in the same location to meet with their therapist. The Relationship Suite offers daytime and weekend appointments, to help clients fit their sessions into busy schedules.

The Relationship Suite’s staff includes licensed clinical social workers and licensed master’s social workers, and represents a variety of different counseling approaches, including Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), among others. The Relationship Suite’s staff is prepared to help clients with premarital counseling, marriage counseling, affair recovery therapy, blended family counseling, divorce counseling, and more.

For couples that want to work on their relationship issues without the support of a counselor, The Relationship Suite also offers the Relationship Tool Kit. This self-guided program includes audio recordings, lessons, and advice on how to address issues within the relationship, and develop new strategies for healthier communication and conflict resolution.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Relationship Tool Kit: $249 >Video chat No Number unspecified

What Patients Are Saying
Clients recommend The Relationship Suite for teaching them how to be a better partner. According to one user, “You will learn practice and easy tools that you can start using right away to improve your relationship. You will understand what gets in the way of having a fulfilling relationship.”

ReGain — Most Flexible


ReGain is a sister company of BetterHelp that focuses specifically on relationship counseling. Clients can use this platform either as a couple or individually to get assistance addressing common relationship issues like communication trust, intimacy, conflict, and more.

Clients start the process by answering initial questions about their relationship, the issues they want to address, and what their counselor preferences are. ReGain gives clients the option of signing up as a couple from the start, or starting individual therapy and inviting their partner to join at a later time.

If couples are participating in therapy together, they will share a joint account, in which all written communication is visible to both partners as well as the therapist. Live phone or video chat sessions with a therapist can be conducted via ReGain’s mobile app or website. However, customers should be aware that currently, the ReGain platform does not support three-way calls, so couples must be in the same location for their live sessions.

ReGain’s staff includes over 5,000 licensed clinical psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and psychologists. Regardless of credentials, all ReGain therapists have experience and expertise in couples’ therapy.

A ReGain membership costs $60-$80 per week, based on clients’ income. ReGain does not accept insurance for its services.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Weekly: $60-$80 per week (billed monthly) >Video chat

>Phone call

>Live chat

No 5,000+

What Patients Are Saying
ReGain clients like this app for providing quality counseling in a flexible format. “Our counselor is professional and knowledgeable,” writes one user. “She is also flexible and very responsive; we never have to wait long for her to respond. I have seen improvement in my relationship since using ReGain.”

Talkspace — Best for Convenient Communication

talkspace screenshot
For couples with busy schedules who may find it difficult to schedule joint therapy sessions, Talkspace offers a convenient alternative.

This platform delivers therapy through unlimited text, audio, and video messaging, which allows clients and therapists to communicate when and how is most convenient for them, and get support when they need it most. For couples who feel like they would also benefit from a live session with their therapist, 30-minute video chats can be added a la carte for a flat fee of $65 per session.

Talkspace has a roster of 5,000 licensed therapists who represent a variety of different approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic, Mindfulness, and more. During the initial sign-up process, users will have a free consultation to help them learn more about Talkspace’s services, and provide information about the issues they want to work on in couples therapy. This information is used to match them with the most appropriate therapist.

One of the perks of Talkspace is that they partner with a number of health insurance providers, such as Cigna and Humana, to give employees access to care through their mental or behavioral health benefits. Therefore, clients whose employers partner with Talkspace may be able to use their health insurance benefits to cover their therapy costs. Clients can also use Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts, or pay out of pocket for Talkspace’s services.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Monthly: $396 >Text, video, and audio messaging

>Video chat

Yes Number unspecified

What Patients Are Saying
Talkspace clients praise the site for giving them a convenient option for getting the counseling they need. “Our experience with couples therapy was great,” writes one user. “Loved the convenience of writing whenever we had a chance. Our lives are so busy that I think it’d be nearly impossible to go somewhere.”

MDLive — Best for Insurance Coverage

mdlive counseling screenshot
MDLive is unique on our list in that it is a full-service telehealth platform that offers mental health care in addition to medical and dermatology services.

MDLive’s therapy services can be used by individuals or couples to address a variety of issues that affect relationships, including parenting, postpartum depression, grief and loss, stress, and more. MDLive charges a flat fee of $108 per therapy session, although since they do accept many major health insurances, the actual cost to clients can vary based on individual copays.

Users can check their insurance coverage when they sign up for an MDLive membership. It’s free to join, and the process usually takes about 15 minutes, including completing a questionnaire about your healthcare needs. Once you’re a member, you can schedule a session with one of MDLive’s licensed therapists by browsing the profiles of available providers, and selecting the one who you think is the best fit for you.

Appointments for new users are typically available within a few days of signing up. Clients can connect with their therapist via phone or video chat, accessible through MDLive’s website or their mobile app.

In addition to mental health care, an MDLive membership gives users access to on-demand care for urgent medical needs like colds, fevers, pinkeye, and more, as well as dermatologists who can treat rashes, acne, and other basic skincare needs.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Per session: $108 (Prices vary based on insurance coverage) >Video chat

>Phone call

Yes 1,000+

What Patients Are Saying
MDLive clients overwhelmingly report having positive experiences with the services they receive through this platform. “MDLive makes it easy to set up an appointment, and our therapist was pleasant and helpful,” writes one user. “I would definitely use MDLive again, and recommend it to everyone.”


E-therapy Cafe — Best for Short-Term Counseling

etherapycafe screenshot
E-therapy Cafe was founded as a secure, user-friendly platform that would give people access to quality, compassionate counseling regardless of their location. Their team consists of 11 clinical therapists and life coaches who provide counseling services to a variety of patient populations, including military, LGBTQ+, and couples.

E-Therapy Cafe offers four different plans for relationship counseling. Clients can pay as they go, at a flat rate of $50 per session, or choose a subscription plan with three, five, or eight sessions. Although clients can renew their subscriptions, these packages may make E-therapy Cafe an ideal option for couples who need a short-term solution to help them through a rough patch in their relationship. Those who aren’t sure if E-therapy Cafe is the right platform for them can take advantage of a 30-minute trial session for only $30. Clients should also note that subscriptions expire 30 days after purchase, and any unused sessions do not roll over.

Regardless of whether clients pay as they go or choose a subscription plan, they have the option of communicating with their counselor via 30-minute video or live chats, or e-journal messaging. Clients can mix-and-match session types, based on their needs and schedule. All sessions are conducted through E-therapy Cafe’s HIPAA-compliant website.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
30-minute trial session: $30

Per session: $50

Basic subscription: $125

Premier subscription: $200

Elite subscription: $300

>Video chat

>Live chat

>Messaging

No 11

What Patients Are Saying
Clients who use E-Therapy Cafe praise the platform for providing comfort and convenience. “There is also something relaxing and intimate about being able to talk ‘face-to-face’ with a therapist from the comfort and privacy of your own home,” says one user. “I found the online scheduling system easy and empowering to use.”

Relationship Hero — Best Relationship Coaching

relationshiphero screenshot
Relationship Hero differs slightly from the other services on our list, in that they offer relationship coaching, which is not the same thing as relationship counseling.

Both approaches focus on helping couples achieve their goals for healthier, more satisfying relationships, although the methods by which they achieve those outcomes vary somewhat. Coaching services like Relationship Hero help clients by providing practical advice that can be applied right away, while therapeutic approaches are more rooted in psychology. While relationship coaching cannot help clients address underlying mental health conditions that may be affecting their relationships, it can teach couples new strategies for dealing with conflict, communication, trust, and other common relationship challenges.

Relationship Hero’s approach involves a few different options — private relationship coaching with their certified relationship coaches; master classes tailored towards specific needs and topics, and group coaching for additional support and perspectives. Their Couples Program gives clients access to integrative practice resources, an exclusive Facebook community for real-time support, and 24/7 access to a dedicated relationship coach, for unexpected situations or questions.

Clients can access Relationship Hero’s tools and services through their website, or their mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android. This allows clients to work on their skills and get help whenever they need it, regardless of location.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Guide Plan: $29

Sage Plan: $75

Hero Plan: $300

Weekly: $59

>Live chat No 86

What Patients Are Saying
Relationship Hero clients praise the platform for helping them achieve new insights about their relationships. “Relationship Hero has been a great resource to help me understand how to navigate relationships,” writes one client. “My relationship coach is attentive, patient, and knowledgeable about the inner workings of relationships.”

Online Relationship Counseling FAQs

What is online relationship counseling

Relationship counseling, also known as couples therapy or marriage counseling, is an area of psychotherapy that specifically focuses on helping individuals in romantic partnerships improve those relationships. Couples can pursue relationship counseling at any point in a relationship, whether they are dating, engaged, or married.

Couples can use relationship counseling to address a wide range of interpersonal issues, including managing and resolving conflicts, improving communication, rebuilding trust after infidelity or other betrayals, aligning priorities and values, making decisions, and more.

With online relationship therapy, couples will communicate with their counselor synchronously, via live sessions conducted via phone or video, or asynchronously, via texts, emails, audio, or video messages.

Is online relationship counseling effective?

Regardless of whether counseling is delivered in-person or online, a key factor in its effectiveness is the client’s willingness to participate and work with their counselor.

Research into the effectiveness of online relationship counseling is limited. According to a study published in January 2020 in Frontiers in Psychology, couples who participated in online relationship counseling reported having a positive experience, and that they felt like they were effectively able to connect with their therapist via a video conferencing platform.

Other studies have shown that online platforms are an effective means of providing therapy to individuals, especially if they may not be able to access counseling through more traditional outlets.

What are the benefits of online relationship counseling?

Online relationship counseling means that clients don’t have to deal with hassles like traffic, parking, or childcare when scheduling appointments. Being able to speak to a counselor from any location means this is also an option for long-distance couples.

Talking to a counselor from the privacy of their own home may make couples feel more comfortable seeking help, and they may find it easier to open up in a familiar space.

Because online therapists don’t have the overhead of a brick-and-mortar location, these services are often available at a lower price point.

How much does online relationship counseling cost?

As with in-person therapy, the cost of online relationship counseling varies depending on the platform, pricing model, and the provider’s level of education and training.

Across the teletherapy industry, subscription-based services typically cost between $60-$100 per week, although this is usually billed monthly. Depending on the platform, this price can include live sessions with a counselor, as well as messaging in between scheduled appointments.

Other services charge clients a flat per-session fee, much like in-person therapy. These rates typically range from $65-$175, with doctoral-level psychologists charging the highest fees.

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