Best Affordable Online Marriage Counseling Programs 2020

by Mary Haynes
updated on

We’ve dug into the online marriage counseling sites to help narrow down the best options for your relationship needs based on several critical factors like cost and the types of counseling in which each site specializes.

Best Online Marriage Counseling 2020 – Reviews

1. Regain – Best Overall

ReGain Relationship Counseling Site

Regain is an online counseling website that focuses exclusively on couple therapy and marriage counseling. All counselors with Regain are certified and licensed within their state with a minimum of three years and 1000 hours of hands-on experience in marriage, family, and couples therapy.

The counselors on the platform deal with relationship issues like communication, sex and intimacy, infidelity, and also mental health challenges that could be hampering your relationship like anger, anxiety, depression, etc.

Regain’s algorithm matches you with the best counselor based on your answers to the questionnaire and your preferences at the sign-up.

You and your partner are assigned a private chatroom where you can send unlimited text, video, or audio messages to your counselor. The reply typically comes once every day during business hours.

The counselor typically finds out the issue pertaining to your relationship and assign worksheets for the couples to complete. You also have the option to schedule Live Video sessions once every week with your counselor to discuss the relationship issues and treatment in more detail.

Regain also has a mobile app so all the communications and worksheets can be easily accessed from both laptops and smartphones.

Regain aims to take the holistic approach to marriage counseling and couples therapy.

Your counselor through constant communication via messaging and Live sessions will aim to discover the root cause of the conflict and disconnect in your relationship. The counselor will not be judgmental and help both the partners to work together and strengthen their relationship that could last long.

If you feel that your current Regain therapist doesn’t fit your needs, you can change therapists anytime. Your new therapist will have access to the old conversations which is very convenient.

Regain couples therapy cost between $40 and $70 per week. At this price point, Regain is the best cheap program that can provide excellent couples counseling.

You will pay monthly, and your total will depend on the plan you choose. You can cancel the service at any time. You can also choose to see your therapist privately on occasion, but that could mean an extra cost depending on your plan.

Pros:

  • You and your therapist decide on session lengths and frequency to fit your needs
  • Online therapy chatroom with unlimited messaging and scheduling of live sessions
  • Weekly video check-ins with your therapist plus consistent access to them via message
  • All therapists are licensed, professionals
  • Entirely focused on couples therapy

Cons:

  • No guarantee how quickly a therapist will respond to messages
  • You don’t choose your therapist to start

2. Talkspace – Best for Unlimited Messaging

talkspace couples therapy site

At Talkspace, the goal is to bring stigma-free marriage counseling with licensed counselors and therapists to more people over the internet. They achieve this goal by only utilizing state licensed therapists with over 3000 hours of experience.

When you sign up for Talkspace couples therapy, you go through a free consultation. During this consultation, you and your partner will decide which areas you’d like to focus on, and Talkspace will match you with a qualified therapist that fits your needs. You can change your therapist anytime through your dashboard.

Talkspace couple therapists deal with communication problems, commitment issues, infidelity, financial problems, in-law trouble, and mental health issues, among other specialties.

Talkspace couples therapy costs $99/week with unlimited messaging without any live session. You will communicate with your therapist via text, audio, and video messaging only five days a week. Your therapist will respond within 24 hours, but will not typically respond on weekends or at night. You can also purchase live video sessions on an a la carte basis for $65 per 30-minute session. Read Full Talkspace Review.

Pros

  • Lots of areas of expertise available
  • Free consultation
  • Highly qualified therapists

Cons

  • Live video therapy costs extra
  • No variety of plans to choose from
  • Therapists only available five days per week

3. Online-Therapy.com – Best Online CBT for Couples

online-therapy.com website platform

Online-Therapy.com utilizes the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach to couples therapy. All therapists are board-certified in their state with a master’s or doctorate in their field.

You sign up for therapy with fundamental information, so you can stay anonymous if you choose. Online-Therapy.com will then match you with an appropriate therapist for your needs. You can change therapists if you’d like at any time.

Costs for couples therapy on this site function as follows:

  • Basic $31.96 / week – Includes eight sections and 25 worksheets to help you with your specific needs. Unlimited messaging with therapist feedback occurs daily, Monday through Friday.
  • Standard $47.96 / week – Same as Basic but with the addition of live therapy sessions once per week.
  • Premium $63.96 / week – In addition to everything that comes with the previous packages, you’ll get two live chat sessions each week.

In addition to therapy sessions and feedback, you’ll also go through eight “sections” that you can read and process at your own pace. Couples have access to a shared journal and yoga and meditation videos as well.

Pros

  • Process sections and worksheets at your own pace
  • Daily therapist feedback
  • Weekly video sessions with standard and premium programs

Cons

  • No video chat in the cheapest option
  • Only one approach available from therapists

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Check our below guides:

4. Growing Self

growingself logo

Growing Self provides evidence based online couples therapy and marriage counseling services with licensed marriage and family therapists. They offer low-cost “coaching” sessions all the way up through doctorate level counseling sessions so that a variety of budgets can utilize their services. They also offer sliding scale pricing for couples who cannot afford the full fee.

You need to choose your own counselor at Growing Self. You can schedule a Free Live Video Consultation with the counselor to see if he/she best fits your needs. Ask questions or get to know each other for free, and if it’s not a good fit, you can move on to another therapist.

Growing Self counselors deal with a variety of relationship and mental health issues like anger, the cycle of negativity, emotional intimacy, sex, and action plans for marital success.

Couples therapy through Growing Self can help to improve your relationship by taking the stress and inconsistency out of treatment. You pay per session so you don’t have to commit to continuing with counseling if you don’t enjoy the process, but you can also meet same-day in many cases to handle problems as they arise.

The cost of counseling or coaching with Growing Self is as follows:

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

Live video counseling sessions are conducted via Skype, Google Hangout, Facetime, or Doxy.me. You can also attend virtual classes, join support groups, and more if you want help without having to speak directly with a therapist or in between sessions.

Pros

  • Pay per session
  • Support groups and virtual classes available
  • Fits into all budgets

Cons

  • No messaging features

5. Couples Therapy Inc

couples therapy inc logo

Couples Therapy Inc offers online marriage counseling and coaching, but it also allows you to go on virtual couples retreats when you need serious help with your relationship. These virtual retreats set Couples Therapy Inc apart from their competitors.

This site offers a wide range of therapists with a broader range of experience, including coaches trained in specific forms of relationship counseling up to Doctor of Psychology who focuses on marriage and family therapy.

You choose your own marriage counselor who is licensed to provide therapy services in your state.

Couples Therapy Inc recommends that you choose a coach if you have a few recent problems working out in your marriage but choose a licensed therapist if you have long-standing issues deeply rooted in your relationship.

Couples Therapy Inc conducts the most comprehensive online relationship assessment before the counseling begins. The assessment consists of an intensive questionnaire along with 3 online sessions with your counselor to determine how good or bad things are in your relationship. The initial online marriage assessment costs between $575 and $950 which is quite pricey as compared to other platforms.

Based on your assessment the counselor would recommend the mode of online couple counseling. It would be either ongoing sessions conducted weekly or an intensive 2-day session.

Ongoing couple therapy occurs in 80-minute sessions and costs anywhere between $145-295 per session. You can get six months or more in same-as-cash payments if you use PayPal or PayPal Credit for your payment method to help with the cost.

Pros

  • Live video sessions are the norm, but there are additional aids like worksheets
  • Gottman Checkup included in the initial assessment
  • Payment plan with PayPal or PayPal Credit

Cons

  • The initial assessment required to enter online therapy is pricey

6. Power of Two Marriage

power of two marriage logo

The team at Power of Two Marriage realized that there are already several online marriage counseling options out there, and they didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, so they instead decided to offer four options for couples to get the kind of help they need.

You can choose from DVDs and videos, e-books, live counseling sessions, or Power of Two relationship coaching.

You can take their online relationship assessment for free to figure out where you stand and what areas in your relationship need improvement. Once you’ve taken the assessment, choose the path that’s right for you.

After your 3-day free trial, costs for Power of Two break down like this: a one year plan is just $20 per month, and a monthly plan where you can cancel anytime is only $36 per month. That’s significantly cheaper than many other sites we’ve seen.

Power of Two pairs you with a coach who can help you throughout the process, but you also have access to a wide variety of materials to assist you as you move through your counseling journey.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Access to additional materials beyond a coach
  • Free trial and relationship assessment

Cons

  • Coaches versus trained and licensed therapists

7. Wake Counseling

wake counseling and meditation logo

Wake Counseling and Mediation is an in-person therapy service provider that now also offers online marriage counseling services in North Carolina. They focus on communication for couples who want to build a strong relationship and are currently struggling with unhappiness or anger.

You will meet with your therapist in a live video chat using HIPAA compliant telemedicine software. The difference is convenience. You don’t need to head into the office or even be in the same spot as your partner to receive online therapy.

The initial evaluation cost is $150. After that, you will pay $90 for every 45-minute session and $120 for every $60-minute session. There is limited access to your therapist between sessions, and sessions can be as often as you’d like.

Every member of the Wake Counseling team is a certified therapist or counselor in North Carolina. They all focus on different areas of couples counseling, so you can choose the therapist that you believe fits your needs.

Pros:

  • Sessions are similar to typical in-person therapy
  • Every team member is certified and licensed
  • You choose your therapist

Cons:

  • Prices are consistent with in-person therapy
  • No free evaluations or trials
  • Only available in North Carolina

8. Lasting – Best Marriage Counseling App

lasting app site

Lasting is a marriage counseling app that gives you access to materials that can help you build your relationship or repair a broken one. It also helps to find local marriage counselors near your area.

You can take Lasting’s free relationship quiz to find out where you are in your relationship and what types of help would benefit you the most.

Then you can work through the app to strengthen and heal your relationship using Emotionally Focused Therapy, Gottman, and mindfulness practices.

The app is only $12 per month or $80 per year, making it the cheapest option.

You will not get access to a live counselor or therapist using Lasting, but you will have access to science-based worksheets, audio and video resources, and exercises.

Therapists can also use this app to assign “homework” to the clients. The counselor can get idea of the issues faced by the couple through the completed worksheets on the app.

Pros

  • Inexpensive and easy to use
  • Free relationship quiz to find out what you need
  • Lots of resources available

Cons

  • No online therapy sessions or coaches to help you
  • Not intended for serious relationship issues or mediation

9. Marriage 365

marriage 365 logo

Marriage 365 is an online resource that can help to strengthen your relationship through materials like expert interviews, webcasts, workbooks, and quarterly checkups.

You can start with a seven-day free trial to help you decide if this type of help is right for you without making a financial commitment.

If you choose to pay for the service annually, then the cost is only $99. The monthly membership costs $11.99.

You can also book a Live Video coaching session with Vanessa Hogan, Marriage 365 owner, for $75.

Venessa is an experienced relationship coach and focuses on building better communication between partners, have more accountability in the marriage, and heal from any past relationship trauma. The sessions are either 30 or 60 minutes and conducted via Skype or Face Time.

Pros

  • Resources available 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Courses for a guided approach to learning
  • Inexpensive annual and monthly fees

Cons

  • No therapist or counselor to speak with directly
  • Explicitly intended for traditional marriages versus other relationships

10. Happily Ever After – Best Online Premarital Counseling

happily ever after logo

Happily Ever After is a premarital course from the folks at Marriage 365. The focus of this course is building a strong foundation for your marriage.

It starts with an assessment and then moves on to topics with videos, worksheets, and other resources to help you learn.

This premarital course forces partners to talk to one another and create an action plan for a happy marriage. You’ll have access to all resources for life with a one-time fee of $97.

You will also get extra resources, like money and anxiety tips. Upon completion of the course, you will also get the premarital counseling certificate of completion.

If you need additional help, you can sign up for a premarital counseling session with the course creators for an added fee.

Pros

  • Self-paced course
  • Free additional resources for young couples
  • Caters to engaged or recently married couples before problems arise
  • Access to live video session a la carte

Cons

  • Single course with fewer resources than other sites and apps
  • Not geared toward couples who already have relationship problems

Online Relationship Counseling Centers

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local counseling centers offer online therapy that you can utilize for marriage counseling.

RCCAustin

RCCAustin is in Austin, TX. They offer online therapy sessions for couples in the same way that they would offer in-person sessions.

RCCAustin’s teletherapy is available on a sliding scale to help all couples afford therapy. Fees range from $80-150 per 50-minute session, and you can book an appointment on a night or weekend if that’s more convenient.

Chicago Center For Relationship Counseling

The Chicago Center for Relationship Counseling is in Chicago, Illinois. The therapists at CCRC focus on various marital and relationship issues, including mediation, communication, infidelity, and more.

Teletherapy services through CCRC are available via video conferencing and cost between $50-150 per session, but there is financial aid available to qualified couples.

RCCMaryland

RCCMaryland is in Columbia, Maryland, and their couples therapy sessions focus on premarital counseling, cultural concerns, communication issues, and trust issues. A teletherapy session with this group looks the same as an in-person session done by video chat.

50-minute sessions with RCCMaryland cost between $150-180 per session and the same fee for an initial consultation session before your therapy plan begins.

Uplift Therapy

Uplift Therapy is located in California and provides couples counseling with a focus on transition and divorce, family stress, LGBTQ issues, addiction, trauma, and resentment, among other things.

Teletherapy with Uplift varies based on your therapist, but you can ask about their fees in advance during your free 15-minute phone consultation. Teletherapy utilizes video chat sessions in the same way as the other local establishments we’ve discussed here.

FAQs

How Does Online Couples Counseling Work?

online marriage counseling session

Online marriage counseling sessions works similarly as in-person session except that having to head into an office, you can do so from your home in front of the laptop or mobile. There are additional perks that online counseling offers that you cannot get from in-person therapy.

Online therapy gives you the freedom to choose from thousands of counselors versus only a few locally. It allows you to bring up questions or issues as they arise since many online therapy sites and apps allow you to send messages to your counselor when you’re not in session. You also have access to other online tools like a private chatroom, marriage assessment, and worksheets. These resources help you to better track the progress of your relationship.

Is There Free Marriage Counseling Online?

There are some options if you’re looking for free online marriage counseling, but it might not look exactly like the sessions you would pay online. You can find resources like articles, books, and videos through counseling websites like TalkSpace, BetterHelp, and Regain, but it’s harder to find a licensed therapist to speak to directly for free.

Some resources to check out if you’re interested in marriage counseling online but can’t afford the typical rates would be churches, state organizations, benefits through your insurance or workplace, or a free marriage counseling hotline for your area. Many online counseling agencies also have options for financial assistance and grants if you need them.

How Much Does Online Marriage Counseling Cost?

Depending on the length of your counseling, the types of sessions you choose, and the website or app you use, online marriage counseling can cost anywhere from $25 to $295 per week. That’s a big difference in price, but it also displays a wide range of options that you have when you choose online counseling.

You’ll pay more for counselors that are available 24/7 or that allow you to text or message them daily. You’ll also pay more for additional resources like books, videos, or workbooks. If you don’t have weekly video chat sessions but instead communicate primarily through messaging you’ll likely pay less for your counseling. It’s all about your needs and choices.

Is Online Couples Therapy Effective?

There is no such thing as a perfect solution for everyone. Overall, couples therapy online can be just as effective as in-person therapy if you and your partner are willing to make the changes your counselor suggests.

There are some pros and cons you should consider before committing to online couples therapy.

Advantages:

  • More convenient than in-person sessions
  • Long-distance couples counseling is easier to achieve
  • Can feel more comfortable because sessions aren’t in a foreign environment
  • Pick your therapist from thousands nationwide
  • Easy to find licensed therapists and psychologists online

Disadvantages:

  • Harder for the counselor to read your and your partner’s body language and give advice based on what she sees
  • Tough for counselors to control sessions if things get overly emotional or physical between you and your partner
  • Children, pets, or telephones may interrupt the session
  • You may not develop a relationship with your therapist as quickly

Does Insurance Cover Online Marriage Counseling?

You can use insurance to cover some forms of marriage counseling, but it will not look the same in-session. To use your insurance for sessions, you or your partner needs to have a diagnosable mental illness like bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Although it might make your out-of-pocket costs cheaper to utilize insurance, it can also cost you privacy. Some diagnoses can make life more difficult later on when applying for jobs or purchasing a weapon.

It’s vital to think through the pros and cons before deciding if billing insurance is worth it. It may be better to apply for financial aid instead. Doing so will open up sessions to discuss relationship-based problems instead of focusing on one person’s mental illness within your relationship.