The Pros And Cons Of Using Online Therapy For Couples Counseling

Last Updated
April 2, 2023
An example online marriage counseling sessions

Helpful Products

- Accessibility
- Flexibility
- Anonymity
- Comfort
- Wide range of therapists
- Cost-effectiveness
- Continuity of care

- Lack of non-verbal cues
- Technical issues
- Privacy concerns
- Limited interventions
- Emotional distance
- Not suitable for all situations
- Therapist licensure limitations

For many couples, going to couples counseling may be intimidating. With the help of technology, couples now have access to online therapy for couples counseling and therewith improving their relationship. Online therapy offers several advantages such as convenience and privacy but can also present some challenges.

In this blog post, we will explain more about what online therapy is and discuss the pros and cons of virtual therapy and using it for couples counseling sessions so that you can decide if it is right for you.

An example of a couple making use of mental health professional providing online couples therapy

Pros of online relationship counseling

  • Convenience and accessibility
  • Affordability
  • Increased comfort and privacy
  • Expanded options
  • Greater flexibility in session length
  • Easier access to session materials
  • Reduced stigma
  • Greater control over your environment

Cons of Using Online Therapy for Couples Counseling

  • Technical issues (Internet)
  • Limited non-verbal communication
  • Lack of physical presence
  • Potential for misunderstandings
  • Technology requirements

The Pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to online therapy and a good online therapist that focuses on couples therapy will be able to mitigate the no physical presence cons thus offering even more pros when it comes to you and your partners relationship and using online therapy.

Pros of online relationship counseling

Convenience and accessibility

One of the biggest advantages of online therapy is the convenience and accessibility it offers. With online therapy, you can schedule sessions at a time that is convenient for you without having to worry about travel time or other commitments. Online counseling can be particularly helpful for couples who have busy schedules or live in different locations. [1]


Online relationship therapy is often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling. This is because therapists who offer online counseling via an online therapy platform do not have to pay for office space or other expenses associated with traditional in-person therapy. [2]

Helpful tip: Finding the best online therapy that takes insurance can save you money while still providing quality mental health support. Always check coverage!

Helpful tip

Finding the best online therapy that takes insurance can save you money while still providing quality mental health support. Always check coverage!

Increased comfort and privacy

Online therapy allows you to participate in therapy from the comfort of your own home, which can be particularly helpful for couples who may feel uncomfortable or vulnerable in a traditional counseling setting. Additionally, online therapy provides increased anonymity and privacy, which can be particularly important for couples who are dealing with sensitive relationship issues, and a mental illness. [3] Read our blog on "How do i tell if he loves me? to get some insights on our relationship."

Expanded options

Online therapy provides a greater range of therapists to choose from, which can be particularly helpful for couples who are looking for a therapist who specializes in a particular mental health issue or a family therapist who has a particular approach to counseling. [4]

Greater flexibility in session length

Online therapy can offer greater flexibility in session length, allowing couples to schedule shorter or longer sessions as needed. This can be particularly helpful for couples who are dealing with time constraints or who need more or less time to process their emotions.[5]

Easier access to session materials

With online therapy, couples may have easier access to session materials such as worksheets or readings. This can help couples to continue their work outside of therapy sessions and reinforce the skills and concepts they are learning in the online relationship counseling sessions.[6]

Reduced stigma

For some couples, online therapy may feel less stigmatizing than traditional in-person counseling. This may be particularly true for couples who are hesitant to seek traditional therapy due to social and or cultural barriers. [7]

Greater control over your environment

With online therapy, couples have greater control over their environment during therapy sessions. This can include adjusting the lighting, temperature, and other factors to create a more comfortable and relaxing environment for therapy. [8]

Cons of Using Online Therapy for Couples Counseling

Technical issues

Online therapy requires a stable internet connection and functioning audio and video equipment. Technical issues and technical difficulties can be frustrating and may disrupt the therapeutic process. [9]

Limited non-verbal communication

With in-person therapy, mental health professionals can read non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions which provide important context for communication.

Online therapy may limit non-verbal communication, like body language which can be particularly important in couples counseling. [10]

Lack of physical presence

Online therapy may make it more difficult for couples to feel fully engaged in an online relationship counseling session. Additionally, distractions and interruptions may also be more common in an online relationship therapy setting. [11]

Potential for misunderstandings

Misinterpretation of tone or inflection, as well as physical limitations such as difficulty with timing and turn-taking in conversations, can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication in an online therapy setting. Some clients may not even speak English. [12]

Technology requirements

To participate, couples must have access to the necessary technology and equipment for online relationship counseling such as a reliable internet connection, a computer or mobile device, and a webcam. This can be a barrier for couples who do not have access to this technology or who are not comfortable using it. [13]

Recognizing the Signals: When Might Couples Benefit from Therapy?

Navigating relationships can often feel like an expedition. With thrilling peaks, challenging terrains, and occasional storms, it can be tough. But how do you distinguish a normal squabble from a more serious, embedded issue? Understanding and recognizing the signs that indicate your relationship may benefit from therapy can be the first step toward a healthier, happier relationship.

Communication Breakdown

Effective communication is the backbone of any relationship. If your conversations often leave you feeling unheard, misunderstood, or even worthless, it could indicate a communication breakdown. Couples therapy can help facilitate better understanding and develop healthier communication patterns.

The Same Arguments Occur Repeatedly

Ever find yourselves caught in a loop, arguing over the same issues time and time again? It's a common sign that there are unresolved conflicts or underlying issues that you might not be able to address effectively on your own. A therapist can provide a neutral perspective and equip you with strategies to resolve these recurring disagreements.

You Feel a Disturbance in Your Intimacy

Intimacy is not just about physical closeness; it's also about emotional connection. If you find the intimacy fading, be it decreased affection, a lackluster sex life, or feelings of disconnect, couples therapy might help reignite that spark and help you reconnect on a deeper level.

Escalated or Unhealthy Conflict

Disagreements are part and parcel of every relationship. However, if conflicts escalate quickly, involve name-calling, disrespect, or even aggressive behavior, it's a red flag. A couples therapist can provide guidance and tools to manage conflict constructively.

An Affair has Occurred

Infidelity can wreak havoc on a relationship. However, it doesn't have to spell the end. If both partners are committed to healing and rebuilding trust, couples therapy can provide a safe space to navigate this challenging time.

Dissatisfaction Lingers

If a constant sense of dissatisfaction or unhappiness lingers when you think about your relationship, it might be time to seek help. It can indicate deeper issues that could benefit from professional intervention.

Important Life Decisions Lead to Conflict

Whether it's about finances, parenting, or future goals, differences in making crucial life decisions can cause severe strain. If you're unable to find common ground, a therapist could provide strategies to reach compromises that satisfy both partners.

Something Just Feels "Off"

Sometimes, you can't put a finger on what's wrong, but something just doesn't feel right. Trust your instincts. Couples therapy can provide a space to explore these feelings and identify any underlying issues.

Growing Apart Instead of Together

If you feel like you and your partner are drifting apart, or if you're evolving in different directions, therapy might be beneficial. A couples therapist can help you explore ways to grow individually, without growing apart.

In the end, remember that seeking help is not a sign of failure, but a testament to your commitment to each other and the relationship. Therapy is a tool, and there's no shame in using it to build a stronger, healthier bond.

Take note that every relationship is unique, and it's okay to seek help even if your specific situation isn't listed here. If you believe your relationship might benefit from therapy, trust your judgment. After all, it's not about finding the perfect relationship—it's about making your relationship perfect for you. [13]

Helpful tip: Unchecked anger damaging relationships can be harmful. Seek help in anger management for healthier interactions and stronger bonds. Stay calm, stay connected!

A couple discussing their great news with their therapist

Breaking Barriers: Overcoming Hesitations About Couples Therapy

While couples therapy has shown its efficacy in helping relationships thrive, there can be some hurdles that make people hesitant to take this helpful step. Understanding these concerns and finding ways to overcome them can make the path to a healthier relationship smoother and more manageable.

Fear of Judgment

Concern: "The therapist might judge us or take sides."

It's a common concern that the therapist might favor one party over the other. The fear of judgment can be daunting, making couples reluctant to open up about their relationship issues.

Overcoming the Barrier:

It's important to remember that therapists are trained professionals who adhere to strict ethical guidelines, including impartiality. Their goal is to understand both parties, provide unbiased support, and facilitate healthier communication. If you ever feel uncomfortable or judged, it's essential to voice your concerns to the therapist.

Concerns About Privacy

Concern: "Our problems will be exposed."

The thought of discussing intimate issues with a third party can be off-putting. Some may worry about confidentiality and the fear of their problems being exposed.

Overcoming the Barrier:

Therapists are bound by confidentiality laws and ethical guidelines, meaning what you discuss in therapy stays in therapy. Before starting, discuss any confidentiality concerns with your therapist to clear doubts and build trust.

Fear of the Unknown

Concern: "We don’t know what to expect."

The idea of therapy can be daunting if you've never experienced it before. Uncertainty about what will happen in a session can be a significant deterrent.

Overcoming the Barrier:

Most therapists will gladly explain the therapy process and answer any questions during an initial consultation. Online resources, like this blog, can also provide insight into what to expect from couples therapy.

Financial Considerations

Concern: "Therapy is too expensive."

The cost of therapy can be a roadblock for some couples. Therapy is an investment, but financial constraints are a real concern for many people.

Overcoming the Barrier:

Many therapists offer sliding scale fees based on income. Additionally, online therapy often comes at a reduced cost compared to traditional in-person therapy. Remember to discuss the financial aspect with your therapist to find a plan that fits your budget.

Time Constraints

Concern: "We just don't have the time."

In the fast-paced world we live in, finding time for therapy can seem like a challenge. Busy schedules can make committing to regular sessions daunting.

Overcoming the Barrier:

Flexibility is one of the key advantages of online therapy. You can schedule sessions at convenient times, and you'll save on travel time. Plus, investing time in your relationship's health can save you time in resolving conflicts in the long run. [4]


Striving for good mental health services and a healthy, harmonious relationship takes determination, but with the right online relationship counseling and excellent online therapists available, it is possible to achieve your goals as a couple. If online sessions for your mental health concerns seem like a viable option, an experienced online therapist should be consulted to ensure that you get everything you need out of your session. And for the best online mental health care for couples, we recommend our partner.


What are the things to consider before starting online therapy for couples counseling?

Consider the type of mental health services you as a couple need and strive to get the best online counseling therapist available. Lastly, make sure they are a good fit. You should also take into account the cost, privacy concerns, the technology needed to participate in sessions, insurance coverage, and any other potential scheduling conflicts. Additionally, you should discuss any expectations or goals you and your partner may have to ensure that these are met during the counseling sessions.

What are the success rates of online therapy for couples counseling?

The average success rate of relationship counseling for most couples was about 50 percent. Useful skills were learned, including how to listen to each other and appreciate the other's point of view.


  1. NCOA: What Is Online Therapy & Does It Work?
  2. American Psychological Association: A growing wave of online therapy
  3. Domental: Anonymous Therapy
  4. Talked: 8 Reasons Why Online Counselling is Better Than Face to Face
  5. Rural Health: Resources Needed for Implementing Telehealth Programs
  6. Pubmed: Effects of online stigma‐reduction programme for people experiencing mental health conditions: A systematic review and meta‐analysis
  7. Talked: 8 Reasons Why Online Counselling is Better Than Face to Face
  8. PrognoCIS EHR: Advantages and Disadvantages of Telemedicine
  9. CBC: Online communication is a lifeline during pandemic, but lacks non-verbal cues: behavioural scientist
  10. Routledge: Four Common Challenges in Teletherapy and How to Overcome Them
  12. University of Northern Iowa: Online counseling : effectiveness, benefits, roadblocks, andethical dilemmas
  13. Bustle: 12 Signs You Need Couples Counseling

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Jamie Armstrong
I have a passion for writing. I work as a Senior Marketing Manager for Islomania LLC. I have developed a strong interest in writing articles and website management during my time here. I enjoy both article writing, poetry, and story writing. In my role as a marketing manager, whether I’m writing an article, or a story, or improving other writers’ content, I always try to engage my readers and give them something to think about.
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