To mend or strengthen a relationship, couples counseling is often an effective choice. But we all live busy lives, making it difficult to meet in-person on a consistent basis.
Many services have been moved online, such as schooling and doctor appointments and online couples counseling can also be effective online.
Online couples counseling offers many benefits such as a greater emotional intimacy between the couple and their counselor. This is because couples seem to be more relaxed in their home environment and feel safer to really open up. Their willingness to be so honest will only improve counseling sessions.
Also, it is much easier for couples to continue the discussion after the session is over in the comfort of their own home.
Therapy With Heart therapists are all trained and hold values consistent in supporting and affirming all couples which includes dating, open relationships, and couples in same-sex relationships. It’s important to us to create the same level of safety and premier couples therapy in this same online format that we do in our offices. As we specialize in relationships, we help couples have honest, open conversations and work towards helping partners show up in accessible, responsive ways to each other.
Just like with traditional couples counseling, virtual sessions will be held with the couple together. Couples should find a quiet place in their home and will need a video app on a computer, tablet, or phone with a strong wi-fi connection.
Couples should be advised that counseling might not be an easy road, but if they work together and really put in the work, everyone will see the many benefits of virtual couples counseling.
Yes, online couples counseling has shown to be very effective.
During sessions, couples will learn new skills to use outside of counseling that will improve their relationship and even improve their personal life. Couples will learn things like patience, forgiveness, and how to communicate more effectively. Therapy With Heart therapists create a space for both partners to feel heard and validated in their experience.
During sessions, couples will develop goals and a timeline. Couples may even be encouraged to practice certain activities at home, like engaging in specific emotional conversations with your significant other.
These tasks could include going on dates together, limiting cell phone use around each other, and reading books together.
Couples need to tackle issues as they arise by using the skills they have learned in counseling sessions. So much of our work is focused on couples being responsive to each other and deepening the emotional connection.
The first session is about making sure that all three of you feel that it’s a good fit for you moving forward.
The clinician/therapist/counselor is getting to know you and your situation and hopes for therapy including what brings you in at this time. We will review the paperwork and overall therapy process specific to online couples therapy and discuss expectations and goals for the therapy.
After the first appointment together, the therapist will then set up an individual appointment with each of you for further assessment specific to your coupleship. The appointments moving forward will all be done with the two of you as a couple on a video platform that is HIPAA compliant.
1) Online sessions can be even more focused on treatment goals than in-person. We tend to get to the heart of what is happening for clients more than we would with in-person therapy sessions.
2) The anonymity and distance can make it more comfortable to open up. In our experience, we’ve seen that clients tend to experience less shame in bringing up talking points they normally would not feel as comfortable bringing up in person.
3) Being able to meet in the comfort of your own house, or the privacy of your office allows for more convenience than traditional in-person therapy offers.
4) Reaching out to a therapist online is a much easier step to take than going to an office in-person. Getting help online can be a lot less intimidating and require a lot less effort on the part of the individual seeking help. Especially in times of extreme stress (like COVID-19) where we are encouraged to stay at home, we can still get the help we need.
1) Create a safe space around you when you decide to talk to a therapist. You will also want to make sure that your location is confidential and that you treat it as if you were coming into an office to speak to a therapist in-person.
2) Some clients have communicated that expressing their feelings online with a therapist can feel a little more awkward, but we encourage you to work through this to the best of your ability. The more open you are about sharing, the more impactful your session is going to be.
3) For couples, we recommend that you both attend the sessions on the same couch in front of a monitor. The model we work from, Emotional Based Therapy, is interactive with your partner and will ask you to turn to your partner and share things with them. The goal is to provide opportunities to hear each other in different ways, which is only possible with face-to-face interactions.
4) Try to limit anything that might take you “out of the moment.” It’s really easy to get notifications on your computer or your phone, but you will get the most out of your sessions when you are completely present with no distractions.
5) Try to create a feedback loop with your therapist by sharing your thoughts on how you think things are going. It is very helpful for the therapist to hear this feedback.
Does Online Couples Therapy sound right for you? If so, all our therapists are available for online sessions so feel free to reach out anytime to make an appointment here.