Many therapists have reported an increase in couples counseling sessions since COVID-19 began.
This might be due to the fact that couples are home together alone and therefore can’t avoid their relationship problems. However, it could also be because this dire situation has reminded us of our priorities and many couples want to focus on improving their relationships.
You don’t have to be in crisis for couples counseling to help you. — And thanks to modern technology, you don’t even have to go to an office together to improve your relationship through therapy. You can use online couples counseling from the comfort of your own home.
Reasons for Couples Counseling
Many people think of couples counseling as a last resort. When everything is going wrong and you’re about ready to break up, you bring in a therapist. Indeed, therapy can definitely help you in times of relationship crisis.
People often come to couples’ therapy for issues such as:
- Parenting differences
- Intimacy challenges
- Lack of communication or connection
- Unresolved issues from earlier in the relationship.
Couples’ counseling can help you get back on track, even when you are in a crisis situation as a couple. That said, you don’t need to be in crisis to benefit from therapy.
People also come to couples counseling for:
- Pre-marital counseling to establish a solid relationship foundation
- Working together through a difficult time
- Addressing changes in the relationship and setting new goals especially during transition times such as when children move out of the home
- Improving intimacy, communication skills, and connection
- Nipping emerging issues in the bud
Relationships are hard. Sometimes you just need that extra support from a therapist. Marriage counselors have the experience to assist you through those tough times.
Why Online Couples Counseling?
Online couples counseling is an increasingly popular option as compared to traditional face to face therapy sessions in an office.
Of course, this is particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemic when couples might not be able to go to an office. Couples who were already in therapy can transition to online therapy. Couples who weren’t already in therapy may find that the stressors of this time, combined with increased time at home, is the perfect recipe to see if online therapy is right for them.
Online therapy offers benefits – even when you aren’t restricted by a pandemic.
Those benefits include:
- You can attend sessions “together” even if you are physically apart due to travel, different schedules, a long-distance online relationship, etc.
- Attending together from home gives your therapist a chance to see what you’re like in that home environment which can provide insight for better therapy
- Some people are more comfortable with online communication if they have never tried therapy before
- Often, although not always, online therapy sessions are more cost-effective than traditional couples’ counseling sessions
Plus, of course, online couples’ counseling offers the same benefits of other couples’ therapy.
How Does Online Couples Counseling Work?
Online couples counseling works the same as traditional therapy in terms of the content. In other words, you’ll work with your therapist using techniques and tools to improve your relationship with your partner. You’ll discuss challenging issues, learn how to hear each better and communicate more effectively, and engage in discussions that offer opportunities for vulnerability, intimacy, and relationship growth.
What’s different, slightly, is the process.
Instead of getting in the car and driving to your therapist’s office, you’ll log in to your session online. You may both sit in the same room, on the same computer. Alternatively, you may log on to the session from different computers. Either way, you’ll meet your therapist in a private, secure online chat room where the therapy session will take place.
Research studies show that online therapy is as effective as face-to-face therapy. There are some differences to consider. However, if you’re open to trying it, online couples counseling can be a great option for improving your relationship.
What if my Partner Doesn’t Want to Try Online Counseling?
More and more couples attend counseling. Nevertheless, sometimes you want to try it and your partner simply doesn’t. It’s a very frustrating experience, but there are things you can do.
Here are some tips:
- Ask your partner why they don’t want to attend couples counseling. Listen closely to their answer so that you can genuinely understand their concerns.
- Validate your partner’s concerns. Let them know that you’re listening and you’ve heard what they are worried about.
- Address your partner’s concerns with facts and support. For example, if your partner worries that online marriage counseling isn’t private, let them know that you appreciate that they want privacy for your relationship and then provide them with HIPAA-compliance information explaining how online therapy is kept secure.
- Express the reasons that you want to go to online couple counseling. Why do you think it will help? Can you share those in a non-blaming, non-shaming way with your partner?
If your partner refuses to look into online couples therapists with you, you can’t force them to do so. However, you can take control of your own life. You can attend individual online therapy sessions to work on your own feelings and experiences. You can learn to improve communication, set boundaries, and practice self-care within your relationship.
Maybe in the long term your partner will see the benefits and change their mind. If not, you’ve still done what you can to improve your life.
Book a free consultation with our experts!