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The 5 Best Online Marriage Counseling Platforms of 2023 – Top Picks
Comparing the Top 5 Online Marriage Counseling Services of 2023
Marriage can be both rewarding and challenging. When you’re facing difficulties, online therapy platforms offer the convenience of professional counseling from the comfort of your own home. But when should you seek out help? Experts suggest that earlier is generally better. However, couples often wait an average of six years of being unhappy before seeking help. That’s why proactive marriage counseling can be crucial.
Online marriage counseling offers couples the flexibility to schedule sessions by chat, phone, or video, with the added benefit of being able to reach out to their licensed therapist whenever needed. In addition, virtual counseling tends to be more affordable than in-person therapy, with some platforms even operating on an income-based sliding scale.
After researching the most popular online marriage counseling services, our review team has selected the top five: Regain, Talkspace, Growing Self, Couples Therapy Inc., and Our Relationship.
Top Online Marriage Counseling Programs for 2023
- Best Online Marriage Counseling Overall: ReGain
- Best On-Demand Marriage Counseling: Talkspace
- Best Online Premarital Counseling: Growing Self
- Best for an Intensive Online Couples Retreat: Couples Therapy Inc.
- Best Self-Paced Marriage Counseling Online: Our Relationship
Comparison of the Best Online Marriage Counseling Programs
Best Overall: ReGain
|$60 to $90 per week|
User-friendly platform for both partners to share an account
Doesn’t support three-way live sessions; communication is visible to both partners
Chat, phone, video
|Best for On-Demand Therapy: Talkspace||$99 per week for live weekly sessions, billed monthly at $396 per month||Flexible, convenient with ability to message therapist||Limited therapist response and negative reviews regarding customer service and refunds||May be accepted under certain conditions||Chat with video and audio messaging, live video sessions|
Best for Premarital Counseling: Growing Self
$105 to $160 per session depending on therapist; income-based sliding scale available
Specialized premarital counseling program with wide variety of free resources
Limited therapist availability; no texting offered
May be accepted under certain conditions
Best for an Intensive Online Retreat: Couples Therapy Inc.
|$119 to $220 per session or $3,500 and up for intensive weekend retreats||Option for single sessions or intensive three-day sessions with evening and weekend availability|
|High price point||Not accepted|
Best Self-Paced Option: Our Relationship
|One-time fee of $79 or $199||Self-paced with proven efficacy and evidence-based programs for heterosexual, LGBTQ+, and military/veteran couples||Not traditional therapy||Not accepted|
Online activities and video calls
1. Top Pick for the Best Online Marriage Counseling: ReGain
- User-friendly platform
- Flexibility in scheduling
- Three-way live sessions by phone or video not currently supported
- All communication is visible to both partners
Pricing: $60 to $90 per week
Insurance: Not accepted
Session Format: Chat room, phone, video
ReGain is an online platform that specializes in relationship therapy, offering joint accounts for couples to communicate with a counselor. It is owned by BetterHelp, which also provides individual therapy services. The simplicity of its platform and the option for private or joint sessions are what makes ReGain stand out as the best overall virtual relationship and marriage counseling platform.
Scheduling sessions is made easy with ReGain. According to a survey of 1,000 online therapy users conducted in April 2022, 48 percent of respondents who chose ReGain did so because it offered appointments outside of traditional work hours or on weekends.
The registration process begins with answering questions designed to match you with a counselor, a process that may take a few hours or a few days, depending on therapist availability. Subscription fees don’t begin until you’ve been matched and can include unlimited messaging and live sessions via phone or video. While ReGain doesn’t accept insurance, it’s worth checking with your provider to see if they offer reimbursement for online counseling.
Users are given nicknames to ensure anonymity between the counselor and partners. You and your partner will communicate with your therapist in a dedicated online “room” where you can write about yourself, your relationship, and ask questions. You’ll receive a notification when your therapist reviews your messages and replies, and all communication is visible to both parties. There’s no need to schedule sessions, and you can interact as frequently or infrequently as you prefer. Live phone or video sessions can also be scheduled, although three-way live sessions aren’t currently supported, so partners will need to share a computer or smartphone for this.
The cost for online marriage therapy with ReGain is between $60 to $90 per week, depending on your location, preferences, and therapist availability. Subscription plans can be canceled or modified from your account dashboard.
ReGain’s app has received high ratings on both Google Play and the Apple app store, with a 4.5 out of 5 and a 4.7 out of 5, respectively. Reviews on the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot are mixed, with an average of 3.19 out of 5 and 3.2 out of 5, respectively. Positive reviews mention the platform’s convenience and helpful therapists, while negative reviews cite billing issues and customer service problems.
It’s important to note that most of the positive reviews on Trustpilot came from customers who were invited by ReGain to review the company, while most of the negative reviews were from people who were not invited. Additionally, ReGain is not accredited by the BBB and has an F rating due to 32 complaints filed against it and two unresolved complaints.
To learn more about ReGain and its virtual marriage counseling services, check out our detailed Regain review.
2. The Best On-Demand Marriage Counseling Online: Talkspace
For busy couples seeking a flexible and convenient approach to therapy, Talkspace offers a robust online platform that includes couples counseling. It’s no wonder why it has been named the best on-demand marriage and relationship counseling service. Here’s what you need to know about Talkspace:
- Ability to text with therapist
- Therapist response rates vary, although Talkspace promises responses five days a week
- Negative customer reviews that cite issues with customer service and receiving refunds
Cost: Talkspace charges $99 per week for live weekly sessions, which are billed monthly at $396.
Insurance: Talkspace may accept insurance for individual therapy sessions, but it is recommended that you contact your insurance provider directly to see if your benefits cover the cost of online marriage counseling.
Session Format: Talkspace offers a chat room with video and audio messaging, as well as live video sessions with your therapist.
After signing up for Talkspace, you’ll complete a short questionnaire to clarify your preferences. Then, you’ll be matched with a live person who will connect you with a therapist based on your answers. While all Talkspace therapists have at least a master’s degree, not all couples counselors are licensed marriage and family therapists.
During the therapy sessions, you and your partner will have a secure, shared online therapy space where you can communicate with your therapist at your convenience. You can log in to the chat room from your smartphone or desktop and receive notifications when your therapist has responded. Talkspace also allows you to message your therapist as needed, but responses are limited to once or twice a day, five days a week, depending on the therapist’s schedule.
Therapists on Talkspace can help you identify issues, patterns, and problematic dynamics in your relationship. They can also provide communication tools to help you rebuild trust and guide you in improving empathy and problem-solving skills.
Reviews of Talkspace are mixed. While the app store ratings are generally favorable, with Google Play users giving it 4.1 out of 5 stars and Apple users giving it 4.7 out of 5 stars, negative customer reviews mention issues using the app, billing problems, unprofessional therapists, and difficulty reaching customer service. The BBB and Trustpilot give Talkspace a B rating and 1.09 out of 5 stars, and 1.2 out of 5 stars, respectively.
Online Therapy Survey
In our online therapy survey, 78 percent of respondents who used Talkspace reported being satisfied with their therapist and the care they received. Additionally, 81 percent of respondents reported their overall satisfaction with the platform as positive or highly positive.
For a more in-depth look at Talkspace’s virtual marriage counseling platform, read our Talkspace therapy review.
3. Best Online Premarital Counseling: Growing Self
Growing Self offers online premarital counseling in addition to their online marriage counseling services. Couples who are not yet married can benefit from their services, which help develop essential relationship skills, prevent future problems, and create a long-term plan to keep the marriage strong.
Getting started with Growing Self is easy: couples can schedule a free consultation session by completing an online form or calling. During the consultation, couples can share a few details about themselves and their goals for online relationship counseling. They also indicate preferences for their therapist based on experience level, affordability, and availability. After this initial consultation, Growing Self follows up to schedule a free session with a therapist based on the couple’s needs. If the match is a good fit, the couple can book their first therapy session and go from there.
Growing Self pairs couples with an experienced mental health professional with at least a master’s degree in a mental health field, who is likely a licensed marriage and family therapist. Sessions are conducted through a secure platform that complies with data privacy laws. Three-way video calls are available for long-distance couples.
The cost of each 45-minute session varies based on the education and experience of the therapist, ranging from $105 to $160. However, couples may pay less if they qualify for Growing Self’s income-based sliding scale rates, which take into account their annual household income and family size.
It’s important to note that marriage counseling is not typically covered by insurance unless one individual in the marriage has a diagnosable mental illness and therapy sessions are used to resolve their psychiatric symptoms. Although Growing Self’s therapists are out-of-network providers, they can help couples use their insurance benefits when applicable or utilize sliding-scale payment options.
Growing Self doesn’t have any customer reviews posted on the BBB or Trustpilot, and it doesn’t have an app.
- Offers premarital counseling and marriage counseling
- Sliding-scale rates available
- Wide variety of free resources such as blogs and podcasts
- In-person therapist availability may be limited
- Lack of customer reviews online
Overall, Growing Self’s online premarital counseling offers couples a personalized approach to building a strong foundation for their future marriage.
4. Best for an Intensive Online Couples Retreat: Couples Therapy Inc.
Couples Therapy Inc. is an online relationship counseling platform with a unique offering: intensive virtual weekend retreats. We recommend Couples Therapy Inc. as the best option for couples seeking an immersive, concentrated experience of online relationship counseling.
Couples Therapy Inc. employs over two dozen clinicians who practice across 30 states and four countries, with a full list of the states where Couples Therapy Inc. doesn’t operate available on their website. The platform uses video conferencing for its online therapy sessions, which have a structured approach.
When you choose Couples Therapy Inc., you can pick a therapist from their list of available therapists based on their expertise and training, and schedule a session that suits your budget. You can also meet with a therapist individually for guidance on your relationship if your partner isn’t ready to participate.
If you opt for the intensive couples retreat, Couples Therapy Inc. starts with “The Big Big Book,” a comprehensive survey that requests a detailed history of your relationship. This helps your therapist understand your needs and prepare for the retreat.
It may take at least three weeks to start your intensive retreat due to therapist availability. Each session starts on a Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and you’ll cover your relationship story from the beginning, with further sessions on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The cost of an intensive online retreat depends on the therapist’s experience and training. You can expect to pay between $3,500 and $6,500. Couples Therapy Inc. also offers per-session online therapy for couples, priced between $119 and $220 per 55-minute session, depending on the therapist.
Couples Therapy Inc. does not accept insurance, and there are no customer reviews posted on the BBB or Trustpilot, nor does the platform have an app.
- Offers intensive virtual weekend retreats
- Option for stand-alone couples sessions
- Evening and weekend availability for stand-alone couples sessions
- High investment required
- Not available in all states
5. Best Self-Paced Marriage Counseling Online: Our Relationship
For couples seeking an alternative to traditional therapy, Our Relationship offers a unique self-help online program that guides couples to solve their own problems. With a one-time fee of $79 for the self-guided program, or $199 for the coaching program, Our Relationship is our pick for the best self-paced marriage counseling online.
Our Relationship provides a self-help online program based on integrative behavioral couples therapy. The approach aims to achieve both acceptance and change as positive outcomes for couples in therapy, according to the American Psychological Association. The online program features online activities that couples or individuals can complete to help solve relationship problems.
For those who opt for the more expensive coaching program, they receive five phone sessions with a coach. The coaches are trained to help clients get the most out of the program, with some being doctoral students, and others being licensed therapists.
Couples can choose between a self-guided program or work directly with a coach. The self-guided program costs $79, and the coaching program costs $199. Once registered, users can begin exploring the program and schedule their first coaching session, if applicable.
Our Relationship’s relationship and marriage programs are tailored to meet the needs of heterosexual couples, same-gender couples, military and veteran couples, as well as individuals who are looking for help strengthening relationships. The self-paced nature of the program enables couples to access relationship advice to work on their marriage when convenient for them and at their own pace.
According to a study published in 2016 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 300 heterosexual couples who used the Our Relationship program reported significant improvements in relationship satisfaction, communication, emotional and sexual intimacy, emotional support and trust, and commitment to the relationship compared with a group who had not completed the program.
Couples who enroll in the Our Relationship program complete lessons individually and then come together as a couple to share what they’ve learned. If they’re working with a coach, they’ll be able to schedule four more 20-minute phone calls — usually one per week — for guidance on how to apply what they’re learning to their relationship. The program is self-paced and generally takes 8 to 10 hours to complete over five to eight weeks.
Our Relationship offers a free activity for users to experience the program before committing to the full program. The program does not have an app, and there are no customer reviews posted on the BBB or Trustpilot.
- Self-paced program that is tailored to individual needs
- Users reported increased satisfaction with their relationship
- Available to all types of couples and individuals
- Coaching, not therapy
- No app available
Understanding Online Marriage Counseling: What It Is and Its Pros and Cons
Online marriage counseling is a form of therapy that helps couples work on their relationship through online sessions. It uses various online tools to assist partners in recognizing negative patterns and developing healthy communication habits. Just like traditional therapy, online marriage counseling provides professional guidance and support to couples, but the sessions are held via text messaging, phone calls, or video chats. Recent studies indicate that online counseling can be just as effective as in-person counseling, if not more so. A meta-analysis published in The Lancet in 2020 revealed that online cognitive-behavioral therapy was just as effective as face-to-face counseling.
Pros of Online Marriage Counseling
Online marriage counseling provides a convenient and flexible way for couples to work on their relationship. It eliminates the need to travel and can reduce scheduling issues, making it easier for couples to participate in sessions. Online counseling sessions may also be more affordable than in-person sessions, making it more accessible for those who may not be able to afford traditional therapy.
Cons of Online Marriage Counseling
Online marriage counseling may have its downsides. Distractions at home may be more common during online counseling sessions. Screen-based sessions may also feel less personal, and it may be easier to miss body language cues. Technical difficulties can also arise, particularly if there are issues with the internet connection. Depending on the platform used, there may be delays while waiting for a therapist to respond to messages.
Overall, online marriage counseling offers a convenient and flexible alternative to traditional therapy. It can provide the same level of professional support as in-person sessions while eliminating the need to travel. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, and couples should consider both the pros and cons before choosing online marriage counseling as their preferred form of therapy.
Exploring Online Marriage Counseling: How It Works, Who It’s For, and What It Costs
Online marriage counseling is an increasingly popular option for couples seeking therapy. It offers the convenience and flexibility of receiving professional counseling from the comfort of your own home. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how online marriage counseling works, who it’s meant for, and what it typically costs.
How Does Online Marriage Counseling Work?
Online marriage counseling sessions are typically conducted through video chat, phone calls, or text messaging. You and your partner can discuss your relationship concerns and goals with a licensed therapist, just as you would in a traditional in-person session. Some online counseling platforms also offer self-guided programs and marriage programs that you can do together with your partner.
Who Is Online Marriage Counseling Meant For?
Online marriage counseling is a great option for couples seeking relationship help or advice. It can be useful for improving communication, addressing and resolving problems in the relationship, or if you’re considering separation. Whether you’re dealing with specific issues or just looking to strengthen your relationship, online counseling can provide the support and guidance you need.
How Much Does Online Therapy Cost?
The cost of online marriage or couples counseling can vary depending on the platform and provider you work with, as well as your state of residence. Some online counseling platforms may accept insurance, while others may offer financial aid or a sliding scale fee based on your income. On average, online counseling sessions can cost anywhere from $60 to $250 per session.
Should I Attend Online Marriage Counseling Alone or With My Spouse?
Some online counseling platforms allow you to attend sessions alone, while others require you and your partner to attend sessions together. If you prefer to attend counseling by yourself, be sure to search for a platform that offers individual marriage counseling sessions.
Online marriage counseling offers couples an affordable and convenient option for seeking professional help to overcome relationship challenges from the comfort of their own homes.
After extensive research and evaluation of various providers in the market, ReGain has earned our recommendation as the best overall online marriage counseling platform. Its user-friendly platform and affordable rates make it a top choice for couples seeking help. Meanwhile, Growing Self has emerged as the best online premarital counseling platform for couples seeking to establish a strong foundation for their marriage. For intensive weekend therapy sessions with guided support, Couples Therapy Inc. is the go-to platform. If you prefer a self-paced approach to therapy, Our Relationship offers easy-to-follow online marriage coaching. For flexible, on-demand therapy sessions, Talkspace is our recommended option.
When In-Person Therapy is Necessary
While online therapy offers a range of benefits, in-person therapy sessions with a mediator may be necessary for some couples who require a more comfortable environment. In cases of domestic abuse, seeking immediate help from the National Domestic Abuse Hotline via phone (800-799-7233) or texting START to 88788 is recommended.
Why You Can Rely on Us
At Everyday Health, we take our responsibility to recommend products and services that meet our readers’ specific needs seriously. We conducted extensive independent research and evaluated each online therapy platform based on multiple criteria, including session types, therapy modes, therapist credentials, customer satisfaction, business reputation, and ease of use. Our team of experts thoroughly investigated each platform through independent research, mystery shopping, and firsthand experience to ensure that our recommendations are trustworthy.
Our Evaluation Process
We meticulously researched and evaluated each online therapy platform to recommend the best options to our readers. Our review process included analyzing the experiences of real customers through trusted third-party review sites, consulting with independent psychologists and mental health professionals, and reviewing the latest research into the efficacy of online therapy versus in-person therapy. We considered several factors, including session types, therapy modes, therapist credentials, business reputation, customer satisfaction, ease of registration, and payment options. We strive to recommend options that fit all budgets while prioritizing affordability.
After selecting the top online therapy platforms on the market, our team of licensed therapists reviewed and audited each provider to ensure that every selection we recommend is appropriate for our users. For more information about our online therapy review methodology, visit our methodology page.