Best Online Premarital Counseling

Build a stronger relationship before you walk down the aisle.

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Premarital counseling may sound like something designed solely to fix conflicts, but it actually focuses on helping couples build the tools needed to approach their marriage in a healthier way through skills like improved communication, active listening, increased empathy, and more. These counseling sessions create a space to have sensitive conversations about values, beliefs, and the future, revealing any blind spots in the relationship so as to address issues before the wedding.

This type of counseling often utilizes proven techniques, such as Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and the Gottman Method, to build stronger relationships—and it seems to be effective. Research shows that couples who attended premarital counseling together before their wedding have a 30% higher martial success rate compared to those who did not.

Traditionally, premarital counseling was done in-person. However, online therapy companies now offer specific premarital counseling for those in serious relationships looking to get married who want to attend weekly sessions via video chat online. We reviewed over 33 companies to find the best ones that offered premarital counseling or couples counseling to people looking to get married. Here are the services that came in on top.

Best Online Premarital Counseling of 2022

Best Overall : Couples Therapy Inc


Key Specs
  • Cost: $50-$199 per hour for premarital counseling; retreats range from $3,500-$6500
  • Communication Options: Live video and in person
  • No. of Therapists: 54
Why We Chose It

Couples Therapy Inc. is our overall best pick because it offers premarital counseling and intensive therapy retreats aimed at building communication, trust, and empathy. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Specialized premarital counseling and retreats offered

  • Six-hour, in-depth relationship assessment with two-hour sessions

  • All licensed therapists specialize in relationship issues

Cons
  • 2-hour sessions may not be easy to fit into schedule

  • Only available in 38 states

Overview

Couples Therapy Inc. is a company dedicated to improving relationships, and as such, it specializes in many types of therapy and coaching that other online therapy companies don’t, including premarital counseling. All counselors and therapists employed by the company are trained in the Gottman Method to work with couples, which uses a very detailed assessment and researched-based intervention methods to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase trust, break down stagnancy, and increase empathy in couples. 

You’ll answer over 800 targeted questions with your counselor over two, three-hour sessions to help identify trouble spots in your marriage, which will help create a blueprint of the issues to tackle in your sessions. Then, at the end of the six hours, you can decide if you want to continue on with couples or marriage counseling to address those issues.

The company also offers a series of weekend intensive programs, which are pricey but allow you to work on building specific relationship skills. 

VeryWell surveys found that: 

  • Ninety-five percent of users would recommend Couples Therapy Inc.
  • Ninety-two percent were likely or very likely to return to their therapist.
Plans & Pricing

The premarital counseling assessment itself is six hours and priced at three tiers: $119, $159, or $199 per hour. If you’re unsure about committing, you can also sign up for a free, 20-minute consultation followed by a 15-minute meeting with a clinician of your choice. 

Couples counseling after the assessment ranges from $159-$250 per 50-minute session and intensives range in price from $2,500-$5,000. 

Best for Relationship Guidance : Growing Self


Growing Self

Courtesy of Growing Self

Key Specs
  • Cost: $65-$160 for program or private premarital counselor; $265 for online course
  • Communication Options: Video, in-person
  • No. Therapists: 52
Why We Chose It

One of Growing Self’s specializations is in premarital counseling and the company offers premarital classes, programs, and private counseling to accommodate busy couples planning for the big day.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Premarital counseling is a specialty

  • Offers flexible premarital counseling sessions and classes

  • Sliding scale of prices available

Cons
  • In-person available in Colorado only

  • No subscription plans available

Overview

If you’re looking for a company that specializes in premarital counseling, Growing Self might be the company for you. While it also offers individual therapy and more traditional couples/marriage counseling, it also specializes in providing guidance to couples before they get married by offering premarital counseling through classes, programs, and one-on-one sessions. 

The class is dedicated to teaching you how to communicate better, find agreement, and help build a strong, loving relationship that’s built to last, but unlike traditional counseling, you’re there just to learn in a classroom format—no sharing about your relationship issues required. These classes take place in the company’s Denver and Broomfield, Colorado locations, as well as online. Most take place over just a few hours, eliminating the need for you to come back for weekly sessions if can't commit to that. 

Growing Self’s Premarital program is a more structured format. You’ll begin by taking an assessment of your relationship’s strengths and vulnerabilities, which is followed by a series of private sessions with a counselor to help address them and prevent future issues in your marriage. These sessions can be held in person in Colorado or online. You can also sign up for private premarital counseling sessions as well. 

The users who tried Growing Self we surveyed said:

  • Seventy-four percent of users rated the value for money of the company to be very good and excellent.
  • Eight-two percent of users who tried another online therapy or counseling service said Growing Self was better or much better.
  • Eighty-seven percent reported they were likely or very likely to recommend the company to someone else like them. 
Plans & Pricing

Growing Self classes range in price, depending on whether they help in-person or online, but the class posts online costs $265 per couple. 

One-on-one sessions with a premarital counselor are on a sliding scale, ranging from $65 to $160 an hour. 

Best for Improving Communication and Trust : ReGain


Regain

 Regain

Key Specs
  • Cost: $240-$360+ per month
  • Communication Methods: Messaging, audio, video call
  • No. Therapists: 12,000+
Why We Chose It

ReGain is an online therapy company dedicated solely to helping couples build stronger relationships by improving communication, fostering intimacy, and navigating difficult issues—whether you’re dating, engaged, or already married. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers session via messaging, phone or video

  • Weekly 30-45 minute live sessions included in subscriptions

  • Licensed therapists all specialized in relationship counseling

  • Monthly subscription

Cons
  • You cannot pick your therapist

  • No free trial

  • Price of monthly subscription depends on where you live

Overview

ReGain was founded in 2016 with the sole mission of focusing on providing therapy and counseling to couples, whether they are newly dating, engaged, or married. The entire staff is made up of licensed therapists with specialized training in relationships and family therapy and over 1000 hours of clinical experience. 

ReGain’s services aren’t solely dedicated to premarital counseling, but couple’s therapy more generally, and the skills it focuses on—improved intimacy, conflict resolution, and better communication—are all invaluable to making a marriage work.

Once you sign up, you’ll be matched with a therapist based on your answers when filling out the intake questionnaire. Then, you’ll be given a secure “room,” accessible from a desktop or the ReGain app, where you and your partner can message your therapist in a joint messenger space, schedule your weekly sessions, and log on for therapy. All weekly sessions are 30- to 45-minutes-long, depending on your therapist’s preferences. 

Of the users who tried ReGain that we surveyed:

  • Seventy-seven percent rated ReGain as very good or excellent as a service overall.
  • Eighty-three percent said that ReGain was better than other online therapy services they tried.
  • Ninety-five percent said they were either likely or very likely to recommend it to someone like them.
Plans & Pricing

ReGain is a BetterHelp-owned company, and thus, similar to its parent company, it only offers one subscription plan with a price that varies depending on what therapist you’re matched with and where you live. (The prices you view online are geotagged.) In general, however, prices generally begin around $240 a month and include unlimited messaging with your therapist and a weekly live session. Additional weekly sessions cost $25. 

Best for Conflict Resolution : Talkspace


Key Specs
  • Cost: $240-$400+ a month
  • Communication Options: Messaging, audio, live video
  • No. Therapists: 5,000+
Why We Chose It

Not only is Talkspace one of the largest online therapy companies today, but it offers convenient, relatively affordable couples therapy through its app.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Multiple communication options available

  • Expert team of licensed therapists dedicated to couples therapy

  • Multiple subscription plans available

Cons
  • Sessions can be shorter than in-person couples therapy sessions

  • Many therapists are not available on weekends

  • Price varies depending on where you live

Overview

As one of the first online therapy platforms in the market, Talkspace has garnered plenty of fame: It has worked with celebrities like Michael Phelps and Demi Lovato to break down the stigma of seeking therapy to address mental health. And as a company, it's expanded from offering individual talk therapy to offering couples therapy and psychiatry.  

While Talkspace’s couples therapy isn’t just for people looking for premarital counseling, the services offered address premarital concerns as well—and you can cancel your subscription anytime, such as after the wedding, if you want. Once you sign up, you will be able to choose from a series of licensed marriage and family therapists who are trained to work with couples on issues such as family relationships; financial goals; sex and desire; fears and anxiety about marriage; and aligning expectations.

Couples counseling includes four live video sessions, in addition to the base plan of unlimited messaging. Your subscription also offers you the flexibility to have video sessions together or separately from your spouse. When you message your therapist through the messenger, Talkspace guarantees that your therapist will always respond five days a week. 

Of the Surveyed Talkspace respondents we spoke to:

  • Eighty-eight told us they were very likely or likely to still be seeing a Talkspace counselor 12 months from now.
  • Seventy-six percent who had tried another company said Talkspace was better or much better than their previous service.
  • Ninety-three percent said they were likely or very likely to recommend Talkspace to someone else like them. 
Plans & Pricing

Talkspace’s prices vary depending on who your therapist is, the plan you select, and where you live but generally range from $240-$400+ a month.

Best for Christians : Grace Wellness Center


Grace Wellness Center

 Grace Wellness Center

Key Specs
  • Cost: $80 to $125 per session
  • Platforms: Video and phone sessions
  • No. Therapists: 27
Why We Chose It

Grace Wellness Center specializes in relationship therapy with a focus on Christian values. They use biblical principles to work with couples to provide insight and identify blindspots to ensure couples go into their marriage with a better understanding of one another.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • In-person and online counseling available

  • Access to workbooks and education videos for self-led work out of session

  • Premarital counseling is a specialty

  • Sliding scale pricing

Cons
  • May not be suited for non-Christians

  • In-person sessions only available in Pennsylvania

  • Not all therapists are licensed

Overview

Founded in 2009, Grace Wellness Center was created to transform people’s lives, including their relationships. In addition to offering individual therapy with Christian therapists, the company also offers premarital counseling and couples counseling online and in-person in its Pennsylvania offices. 

All counselors are Christians and have training in relationship issues, but not all of them are licensed therapists (some are pastors). Though the company has one of the smaller staffs on this list, Grace Wellness Center has one of the highest rates of approval from users:

  • Eighty percent rated Grace Wellness Center as very good or excellent.
  • Eighty-eight percent were satisfied with their therapist’s qualifications. 
  • Ninety-three percent were likely or very likely to recommend Grace Wellness Center as a therapy option.
Plans & Pricing

At Grace Wellness Center, you pay for each counseling session separately—there are no monthly subscriptions. The cost per sessions ranges from $80 to $125, and session typically last around 50 minutes to an hour.

Best for Countdown to Wedding : e-Therapy Cafe


Key Specs
  • Cost: $196-$360 per month, or $55 individual sessions
  • Platforms: e-chat, live video, e-Journal
  • No. Therapists: 17
Why We Chose It

E-Therapy Cafe offers relationship coaching, couples counseling, wedding coaching, and marriage counseling, allowing you to do as much or as little work on your relationship as you want on your way to the altar (and after).

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • You can pick your therapist

  • Multiple subscription options

  • Multiple forms of relationship counseling offered

Cons
  • Small staff

  • Confusing website

  • Not all therapists are accepting new clients

Overview

E-Therapy Cafe is a small boutique company that stands out from many of the other companies we reviewed because it offers a variety of different services that the others do not. For example, while the company offers traditional couples and marriage counseling, it also offers wedding coaching.

If you sign up for wedding coaching, you’ll be matched with a coach who will help you handle all the stress of planning and preparing for your wedding, giving you tools to cope with issues such as planning the celebration, deciding who to invite, and navigating the stresses of blending families. 

If you want more traditional couples or premarital counseling, that is also an option—you and your partner can meet with a therapist for live sessions and message them online. 

Of the users who tried E-Therapy Cafe that we surveyed:

  • Seventy-seven percent of users rated E-Therapy Cafe as either very good or excellent.
  • Seventy-percent rated the services as very good or excellent for money spent.
  • Ninety-three percent of users said they were likely or very likely to recommend E-Therapy Cafe to someone like them. 
Plans & Pricing

E-Therapy Cafe offers two subscription plans:

  • The E-Therapy FOUR plan includes four sessions for $196 a month. 
  • The E-Therapy EIGHT plan includes eight sessions for $360 a month. 

You can also pay-as-you-go for sessions at $55 each if you don't want to commit to a subscription. 

Best Online Course : Our Relationship


Key Specs
  • Cost: $79 or $199 with a coach
  • Accepts Insurance: No
  • No. Therapists: 18
Why We Chose It

Our Relationship offers a self-guided and self-paced online program to learn skills and techniques to improve your relationship. You can also opt to take the course with the guidance of a coach. 

Pros
  • Self-paced or with optional coaching sessions

  • One-time fee for the program

  • Financial aid available

Cons
  • Relationship coaches are not licensed therapists

  • Costs more to work with a coach

  • Not for couples needing long-term counseling

Overview

Founded by Dr. Brian Doss, a psychology professor at the University of Miami, Our Relationship offers a self-guided program to help you improve your relationship skills. 

Each program consists of online activities and videos designed to better understand your spouse. For an additional fee, you can also work with a live relationship coach who can join you during the day, evenings, or weekends. The entire program contains eight hours' worth of material that can be completed in six months. 

Of the users we reviewed:

  • Ninety-six percent of users were satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
  • Ninety-five percent of users would recommend Our Relationship to others.
Plans & Pricing

The program alone costs $79 and for an additional $120, you can work with a coach through the program. 

Final Verdict

Couples Therapy Inc. is our top choice for premarital counseling because it offers a thorough assessment of your relationship before your journey to the altar, providing you with a blueprint of potential issues that could arise. You decide what issues you want to work on before you tie the knot—and the company will provide you with couples therapy to help address them. The company’s prices are a bit expensive, and E-Therapy Cafe, which provides a monthly subscription, is more affordable. 

Compare the Best Online Premarital Counseling

Company Price App Available Platforms Therapy Offered
Couples Therapy Inc. Best Overall $125 to $200 per hour for assessment No Video, in-person No
Growing Self Best for Relationship Guidance $65-$160 for program or private premarital counselor; $265 for online course No Video, in-person No
ReGain Best Overall $240 to $360+ per month Yes Live Chat, messages, and video No
Talkspace Best for Guidance $240- $320+ per month Yes Text, audio, and video Yes
Grace Wellness Center Best for Christians $80 to $125 per session No Video, phone Yes
E-Therapy Cafe Best for Countdown to Wedding $196-$360 per month, or $55 individual sessions No e-chat, live video, e-Journal No
Our Relationship Best Online Course $79 to $199 per program No Video, self-guided program No

Guide for Choosing the Best Online Premarital Counseling

What Is Online Premarital Counseling?

Online premarital counseling is a form of therapy designed for engaged couples. It helps them build the tools needed to have a healthy, long-lasting marriage. Traditionally, premarital counseling is done face-to-face, but with the rise of online therapy platforms, companies have begun providing users with options and programs remotely that are specifically designed for couples.

Is Online Premarital Counseling Right for You?

Whether you’re talking about marriage with your spouse or are already engaged, premarital counseling helps you build the tools needed to establish a healthy, lasting relationship. Some therapists say a good rule of thumb is to start as soon as the ring is on the finger. 

Unlike traditional couples therapy, premarital counseling is designed to help you address issues before conflicts arise or deal with them before years of resentment build up. If you are questioning whether or not marriage is the right path, counseling can also help you explore those areas.

In addition, premarital counseling creates spaces for harder conversations like family dynamics with future in-laws, expectations about building a family, and even finances (e.g., dealing with debt). Having a neutral third party who is trained in navigating the more sensitive topics can help a couple remove the anxiety of the unknown. 

Premarital Counseling does require a time commitment from each of you though, so if you’re not sure your schedule can accommodate—or if your partner doesn’t want to attend—it might not be for you. 

Comparing Online Premarital Counseling 

If you’re thinking about online premarital counseling, here are a few factors for you and your partner to consider:  

  • What’s your budget?
  • How much of a time commitment do you want to make?
  • Do you want to speak with a licensed marriage and family therapist or a relationship coach?
  • What method do you want to use when speaking with a therapist: video, phone, live chat, or messaging?
  • If you are Christian, do you want to speak to a therapist who will include aspects of Christianity in your sessions?
  • Do you want to choose a company that offers subscription planning or charges by session?
  • Do you want to use a platform that can host sessions while both partners are not together in the same place?
  • Will the company take insurance? 
  • How easy is it to schedule appointments with a therapist?
  • Will the therapist be available only on weekdays during the day or offer nontraditional hours?
  • Do you want to choose your own therapist or have the company match you?

Scheduling Your Online Premarital Counseling Session

When looking to start online premarital counseling, check for free trials or consultations to help you get a better understanding of what the company and therapist experience will be like. In addition, look for the therapist bios on a company’s site. You can quickly gather if they have the specific qualifications you’re looking for, whether it’s a licensed therapist or a trained relationship coach. 

Signing up is often quick and easy. Many companies will have a short online survey or assessment that is used to help find an applicable therapist. You will usually be led to choosing a therapist—or will be matched to one—and can proceed with scheduling a time. The majority of companies are very responsive in matching you to a therapist in their network, but some may require a few days' wait time. 

Keep an eye out for cancellation policies and end dates to ensure that you are only being charged for what you want to use. 

Finding an Independent Therapist

You might also choose to search for an individual therapist who focuses on premarital counseling. You can search online by typing in your city name followed by "premarital counseling therapist" or "pre-marriage counseling therapist."

A majority of independent therapists offer online services as well. Premarital counseling is a specialty that you can search for in online therapist directories such as Inclusive Therapists, Psychology Today, Good Therapy, and Gottman.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Online Premarital Counseling Cost?

Online premarital counseling can cost anywhere from a one-time fee of $79 for a self-guided program to upwards of $500 for a month. Subscription platforms may be a more affordable option, whereas sessions at private practices will be more of an investment. 

Does Insurance Cover Online Premarital Counseling?

Most insurance companies do not cover premarital counseling (or couples therapy) because generally only “medically necessary” services are covered. That’s why individual therapy—where there is an individual diagnosis of a mental health condition—is covered but premarital or couples therapy is not. 

Some companies do cover it as an added benefit, though, so check with your provider. 

It is worth noting, though, that while insurance providers might not cover premarital counseling, some states incentivize it by reimbursing part or all of your marriage license costs. 

Methodology

In order to determine the best online therapy companies that offer premarital counseling, we started with a list of 37 online therapy companies and collected data on their offerings to narrow down our list to those that offer premarital counseling courses, counseling, or specialized in relationship issues. Then, with the help of a psychologist and user surveys, we assessed each company, looking at factors such as cost, subscription or course options, therapist expertise and training, ease of use, and communication methods to determine which companies were the best.

Edited by
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

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  1. Carroll JS, Doherty WJ. Evaluating the effectiveness of premarital prevention programs: a meta-analytic review of outcome research. Family Relations. 2004;52(2):105-118. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3729.2003.00105.x