The 6 Best Online Marriage Counseling Programs of 2020

Improve your relationship with these services

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Regain

Verywell's Rating
4.2
Regain

Courtesy of itunes

Regain specializes in online counseling for couples, and all of their board-certified psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors are licensed and have at least three years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience. They are trained to address a variety of relationship issues, including communication, infidelity and improving sex and intimacy.

So how does it work? When you sign up for Regain, you’ll identify your goals. You’ll also share any specific preferences you and your partner have for a counselor. For example, you might state you prefer an older male therapist or a female therapist with a specific area of expertise. Regain will then match you to the best therapist for your needs.

Once you’re matched to a therapist, you and your partner will use a joint account to communicate with your therapist together via chats, phone calls, and video sessions. And you have the option of staying completely anonymous.

If you're chatting, all of your written communication will be visible to the therapist and your partner. Regan also allows you to leave messages for your therapist at any time, and they will respond to them in a timely fashion (the speed varies based on the therapist and the frequency of your interactions).

There also aren’t a set number of appointments. Instead, you and your partner will work with your therapist to determine if you’d like shorter, more frequent sessions or longer sessions that occur less frequently.

You can speak with the therapist privately as well. All you have to do is ask your therapist for a private session and you’ll be able to share information without your partner present.

The cost of treatment ranges from $80 to $100 each week depending on the plan you choose. You can cancel your subscription at any time.

Best for Unlimited Messaging: Talkspace

Verywell's Rating
4.5
Talkspace

Talkspace

Talkspace offers online therapy for a variety of mental health issues and stressors. One of the many services they provide is couples therapy.

They recommend that you begin by talking with your partner about the issues you’d like to work on in couples therapy. Then, complete their consultation process to get connected with a licensed therapist who understands your needs and goals. So areas of specialty include issues with money, parenting, sex, infidelity, in-laws, and chronic health issues.

Services for couples start at $99 per week. The plan gives you unlimited text, video, and audio messaging. You can also purchase plans that allow for live sessions. There is also a one-week free trial period.

All of Talkspace’s services are HIPAA-compliant and are available via desktop or mobile devices.

Best Self-Help Program: OurRelationship

Our Relationship

Courtesy of Our Relationship 

OurRelationship doesn’t offer individual therapy or couples counseling. Instead, it’s an online self-help program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that you can complete at your own pace.

Research on the course has found that the program was significantly effective in improving both relationship and individual functioning.

The course has been found to be most helpful when both partners complete the program together. If your partner is reluctant, the website offers suggestions on how you might motivate your partner to take the program with you. And if your partner isn’t available to complete the course with you, there is a version of the program that can be completed on your own.

In the couples version of the program, you and your partner will work together on online activities to better understand and solve relationship issues. You’ll also work on developing communication skills and learning to reconnect and trust one another.

The course takes about eight hours to complete and you can work on it at your own pace. It costs $50 and it’s available in English and Spanish on your phone, tablet, or computer. Our Relationship touts a satisfaction rating of 94 percent.

Best for Short-Term Therapy: E-Therapy Cafe

Verywell's Rating
4.0
E-Therapy Cafe

Courtesy of E-Therapy Cafe

E-Therapy Cafe offers therapy via video chat, instant message, phone calls, and online journals. The site offers therapy for a variety of issues, but couples counseling is one of their specialties.

Their website makes it clear that they don’t just offer marriage counseling, they offer relationship counseling for all partnerships. All therapists are licensed and board certified. They are known for helping couples improve communication skills, build empathy and respect, learn to effectively disagree, renew commitment, and more.

Their services may be especially helpful for couples who are looking to chat with a therapist on a short-term basis without getting a subscription plan to a longer service.

You can try one online session for $30. An additional session costs $50, but you may also purchase several sessions at a time to save money. For example, you can buy a bundle of 8 sessions for $300. Veterans, first responders, and students receive a 10 percent discount.

Best for Solution-Focused Sessions: Growing Self

Verywell's Rating
4.1
Growing Self

Courtesy of Growing Self

Growing Self offers marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, couples therapy, dating coaching, and strategies to improve communication and connection. If you aren’t sure if couples therapy is right for you, you can get a free consultation session to learn more about their services before you pay for an appointment.

Want to give it a try with your partner? The fees for counseling vary depending on the education and experience level of the clinician. A 45-minute session costs:

  • $150 with a doctor-level clinician
  • $120 with an advanced clinician
  • $105 with a master’s level clinician
  • $95 for new counselors or coaches

They offer a sliding scale fee for couples who cannot afford the full fee, and for those who qualify (based on income), the fees may be substantially lower.

A few things to note: Longer sessions are available, so if you would like 60- or 90-minute sessions, the fees are pro-rated from the standard session fee. They also offer a variety of weekend and evening appointment times (same-day services are usually available), as well as in-person treatment to couples in select areas.

Another service offered by Growing Self is a solution session, which is a 45-minute solution-focused coaching session. This will allow you can jump in and talk through your situation and leave with a clear written action plan about how to move forward.

They also offer a variety of classes and groups. Online classes can help you get over a breakup, find the right partner for you, or take your relationship from good to great. Online groups can help you get support for your relationship as well.

Best for an Overall Assessment: Couples Therapy Inc.

Verywell's Rating
3.3
Couples Therapy Inc.

Courtesy of Couples Therapy Inc.

Couples Therapy Inc. offers online therapy as well as couples retreats. All of their services start with a “State of the Union” assessment. The assessment is a tool that helps the therapist get to know you. It includes a 1.5- to 2-hour interview with you and your partner, video analysis of your fighting dynamics, a detailed questionnaire, and individual interviews. Afterward, you’ll receive a feedback session that lasts about one hour and twenty minutes. You’ll learn about your strengths, relationship vulnerabilities, and attachment styles. Couples Therapy offers three price points: $119, $159 and $199. Assessments are 3 double sessions.

Couples Therapy Inc. reports they can help a variety of relationships. One group they specialize in are super commuters—couples whose jobs are far enough away from home that they must be apart from their families for days, weeks, or even months at a time. A key benefit to Couples Therapy Inc. is that both partners can participate in therapy sessions even when they are apart.

The site has 24 couples therapists and they refer to themselves as online specialists who have expertise in helping couples in troubled relationships. Therapy is available in nine different languages and each therapist is licensed and credentialed.

Unlike most online therapy sites, all of the therapists on CouplesTherapy Inc. meet as a team once a month by video conference. They review clinical presentations and design psychoeducational materials together.

Since this site doesn’t have a lot of therapists, their services are not available in all states or all countries. Ongoing marriage counseling sessions cost between $145 and $295 per 80-minute session. The price varies based on the therapist’s degree and experience level. Intensive couples retreats start at $3,000 for the weekend. 

What Is Online Marriage Counseling?

Online marriage counseling is a way for couples to talk to a professional therapist via electronic means of communication. Popular forms of doing this include messaging, live chat, and video chat.

In some cases, couples may be in the same room video chatting with a therapist. In other cases, each person may message a therapist in a “private room.” This option allows for couples to receive treatment even when they aren’t physically together.

Couples may receive feedback and suggestions on key issues, like communication and conflict resolution. They may also address specific issues, such as money or parenting. 

Is Online Marriage Counseling Right for My Partner and Me?

If you and your partner are interested in relationship help, online therapy may be an option if you are both open to it. It requires that both of you commit to finding an online service that meets your needs and that both of you agree to communicate with the therapist via messaging, live chat, or video.

Online therapy may be an especially good option if one of you has a barrier that makes it difficult for both of you to see a therapist in person at the same time. Examples that might make online therapy more viable than in-person treatment might be child care issues or having a partner who travels a lot for work. 

When considering an online therapist, look for someone who specializes in the issues you’d like to address, such as financial problems or infidelity.

Is Online Marriage Counseling Really Effective?

Research on in-person treatment has found that couples counseling can be quite effective at improving marriage satisfaction. According to at least one study, 70% of couples benefit from marriage counseling. Emotion-focused therapy has shown especially promising results.

And studies of online therapy, in general, show that it is as effective as in-person therapy in treating all sorts of issues.

Is It Better to Attend Online Marriage Counseling as a Couple or Solo?

It’s best to speak with a counselor about whether to attend as a couple or solo. Some issues may be best addressed individually, such as in cases where intimate partner violence is an issue. 

In other cases, couples' counseling may work best. Most therapists address this on a case-by-case basis.

If your partner isn’t interested in treatment, you may choose to go on your own. Seeing someone by yourself might still be helpful for your relationship. 

How Much Does Online Marriage Counseling Cost?

Therapy prices can vary greatly, so it’s important to inquire about the price before you begin.

In-person couples counseling usually ranges from around $75 to $200 an hour. Online therapy may start at approximately $40 a week for unlimited messaging and go up to about $295 for an 80-minute live video session.

Seek Help Now

If you are having a personal crisis and need to talk to someone immediately, visit our national helpline database.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Lebow, Jay L., Anthony L. Chambers, Andrew Christensen, and Susan M. Johnson. “Research on the Treatment of Couple Distress.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 38, no. 1 (September 2011): 145–68.

  2. Wiebe, Stephanie A., Susan M. Johnson, Marie-France Lafontaine, Melissa Burgess Moser, Tracy L. Dalgleish, and Giorgio A. Tasca. “Two-Year Follow-up Outcomes in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: An Investigation of Relationship Satisfaction and Attachment Trajectories.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 43, no. 2 (December 20, 2016): 227–44.

  3. Karakurt G, Whiting K, van Esch C, Bolen SD, Calabrese JR. Couples Therapy for Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Marital Fam Ther. 2016;42(4):567–583. doi:10.1111/jmft.12178

  4. CentSai. “How Much Does Couples Counseling Cost & Is It Worth It?” February 7, 2020.