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Online marriage counseling, or couples therapy, is a relatively new way for couples to receive therapeutic services through the internet. This alternative to traditional, in-person therapy sessions is becoming increasingly popular and is a modern solution that provides much-needed intervention and support for struggling relationships.
At the heart of online marriage counseling are licensed therapists. These professionals have a background in psychology or a related field and have specialized training in helping couples navigate the challenges in their relationships. These counselors can provide guidance, strategies, and tools to help partners communicate more effectively, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their emotional connection.
Sunday, December 10th
Dr. Jude Black, the founder of E-Therapy Cafe, brings over 25 years of experience and expertise to the platform. She started offering therapy sessions via video chat with military members stationed abroad, recognizing the need for accessible mental health support for those in challenging circumstances. This early venture into telehealth therapy laid the foundation for E-Therapy Cafe, one of the first platforms to implement this innovative approach.
Commitment to care
Dr. Black's commitment to providing care and support to individuals in the military community is reflected in the platform's motto, "Register, connect, and calm." This motto encapsulates the core principles of E-Therapy Cafe, emphasizing the ease of registration, the importance of establishing connections, and the transformative power of creating a calm and supportive environment for couples seeking marriage counseling.
Diverse team of therapists
One of the standout features of E-Therapy Cafe is its diverse team of marriage counselors and life coaches. With various specialties, including relationship counseling, marriage counseling, LGBTQ+ counseling, and military counseling, users can find a professional best suited to their unique needs. E-Therapy Cafe lets you choose your own therapist based on their photo and bio, so you can feel more comfortable and at ease during your therapy sessions. It's nice to have that personal touch, especially when it comes to something as important as your mental health and relationships.
Multiple communication options
At E-Therapy Cafe, they get that everyone has their own way of communicating and getting things done. That's why they offer different ways to connect with your therapist, like video chats, live messaging, and even e-journaling. If you're more comfortable writing than speaking, e-journaling might be the way to go. It's especially great if you don't always have access to the internet. But no matter how you like to communicate, E-Therapy Cafe has got you covered.
Simple registration process
Starting with E-Therapy Cafe is super easy. All you have to do is sign up, pick your counselor, and focus on feeling better. When you sign up, you'll fill out a quick survey with some basic questions about what you're looking for in marriage counseling. It's nothing too intense, just some simple check-the-box questions about your situation. If you want to share more, there's space for that too, but it's totally optional. E-Therapy Cafe wants to make sure you feel comfortable and supported from the very beginning, so they've made the process as simple and straightforward as possible.
Range of pricing available
E-Therapy Cafe has different pricing options to fit your budget. If you're not sure about the service, you can schedule a trial session for $50. After that, you can decide to book single sessions for $55 or go for the popular option of four sessions per month for $49 each. If you need more support, the eight-session package is a great deal at $45 per session.
What do you get in a session?
Each session is 30 minutes long and includes a video chat or instant E-chat, like messaging, or an E-journal entry of up to 700 words. What's great is that you get a thorough response from your counselor, so you know they're really listening to you. If you're not sure you want to commit to a package, you can just pay as you go. But if you do choose a package, be aware that any unused sessions won't carry over to the next month, so make sure you make the most of them.
30 minute sessions
It's worth noting that each marriage counseling session at E-Therapy Cafe is only 30 minutes long, which might feel a bit short for couples seeking counseling. It can take a little while to get into the groove and really dive deep into the heart of the matter - studies show that people tend to say the most substantial thing in the last five minutes of a session. And sometimes one person might not even get a chance to fully express their thoughts or concerns within that timeframe.
Back-to-back sessions offered
That's why it's important to have an open conversation with your therapist about how they can effectively address both of your needs within the given time constraints. But if you're looking for a more comprehensive experience, E-Therapy Cafe does allow you to book two sessions back to back. This gives you and your spouse more time to explore your concerns and make sure you're both being heard.
Your sessions can expire
If you're planning to use E-Therapy Cafe's online counseling services, it's important to keep in mind that your E-sessions will expire 30 days after you purchase them. So, it's best to schedule and use them within that timeframe to get the most out of your marriage counseling. Also, if you have a session scheduled and you're running late, make sure to notify your therapist as they will cancel the session if you're more than 10 minutes late. Be aware that if your therapist can't make it to your session, you may be placed with a life coach instead, which is not the same thing.
Canceling or rescheduling
In case you need to cancel or reschedule your session, be sure to do so at least 24 hours before your scheduled time. While prepaid fees are non-refundable, if you come to an agreement with E-Therapy Cafe, they may be able to offer a refund with a $30 processing fee.
Discounts available for some
E-Therapy Cafe also offers a 10% discount on subscription packages for military members, veterans, first responders, and college students to make counseling more accessible to those who serve or have served in these roles.
Not accepted directly by insurance
Lastly, it's important to note that E-Therapy Cafe does not accept insurance payments directly, but they can provide you with a Bill of Services if you request it. However, it's crucial to make sure that you're seeing a licensed therapist if you plan to seek insurance reimbursement, as some staff members at E-Therapy Cafe are strictly life coaches. Keep in mind that E-Therapy Cafe is considered out of network for insurance purposes, so you'll need to follow the necessary steps to seek reimbursement from your insurance provider.
Trustworthy and secure platform
At E-Therapy Cafe, your privacy is a top priority. They take the necessary steps to ensure that their website and communication channels are secure and HIPAA compliant, so you can feel at ease knowing that your personal information is safe. This creates a comfortable and safe space for you to share your concerns and work on your marriage without any worries.
Plenty of satisfied customers
E-Therapy Cafe is a hit with its users. Over 90% of them rate the service positively and are happy with their therapists' qualifications. Even better, more than 75% of users are willing to recommend E-Therapy Cafe to their friends and family. And who wouldn't want to? With a selection of therapists that impresses over 80% of users, you're sure to find someone who fits your unique needs. It's clear that E-Therapy Cafe knows what they're doing when it comes to online marriage counseling - and their happy customers are living proof.
Our top choice for marriage counseling
E-Therapy Cafe is hands down the best choice for online marriage counseling. You get to choose your own therapist from photos and bios, and there are plenty of communication options to suit your needs. Whether you're just starting out as a couple or have been together for years, E-Therapy Cafe has got you covered. While sessions are 30 minutes long, you can always book back-to-back appointments if you need more time. Plus, their personalized approach and commitment to making you feel cared for really sets them apart from other online therapy services. If you're looking for a great online marriage counseling platform, E-Therapy Cafe should definitely be at the top of your list.
Sesame is a revolutionary platform that is changing the way couples access marriage counseling and healthcare services. It focuses on providing affordable, convenient, and high-quality care by connecting couples directly with licensed therapists and healthcare providers in their area.
Connecting you with qualified therapists
Sesame believes that every couple deserves access to skilled and licensed therapists. Through a straightforward search process, you can easily find all available practitioners in your area and schedule appointments with ease. Sesame only shows you the therapists who are certified to work in your state, saving you the time and energy you'd otherwise spend trying to sort through the results yourself.
Review their profiles
Unlike some other highly-rated online counseling services, Sesame doesn't have a set group of therapists that all use the same methods. Instead, you can check out each counselor's profile and see if they're a good fit for you. It's like picking out the perfect avocado at the grocery store - you gotta give it a good once-over to make sure it's just right. Be sure the therapist you pick out has indicated they work with couples, or else you may need to try one of our other marriage counseling services.
When you and your spouse are going through a tough time, you don't want to wait for help. Sesame gets it - they understand how important it is to get therapy when you need it. Clients can benefit from possible same-day appointments, granting you quick access to care when you need it most. Some therapists listed with Sesame also have weekend and evening appointments, which is great if you work during the day.
Flexible with scheduling changes
At Sesame, they also get that life can throw curveballs your way. That's why they're super flexible when it comes to scheduling changes or cancellations. All they ask is for a heads up at least three hours before your appointment. And if you have a same-day appointment and need to cancel, no worries. You have up until an hour before your scheduled time to let them know. Just remember, if you don't give them enough notice, you won't get a refund.
Streamlined registration and transparent pricing
Sesame makes it easy and efficient to sign up for marriage counseling. You don't have to fill out any lengthy questionnaires or give out a ton of personal info. Just pick the therapist you like, enter your contact and payment details, and you're all set. You'll pay the provider directly, which makes the whole process seamless and hassle-free. And if you're on a budget, no worries. Each therapist sets their own fee, so you can choose one that fits your price range. Don't forget that Sesame will also cover $20 of the therapist's fee as a thank-you for booking through their service.
Discounts for Sesame Plus members
Sesame won't take insurance, but there are other ways to save. With a Sesame Plus subscription, you can get the most out of the platform. You'll save on marriage counseling, but also on individual therapy sessions, primary care doctors, ear-nose-and-throat doctors, and more. For just $10.99 a month or $99 per year, you'll get $20 off telehealth visits and $30 off in-person visits with specialists or dentists. Plus, you'll even get a free lab or blood test each year. It's a great way to save money and stay on top of your health.
No extra discounts
Sesame doesn't offer any additional discounts beyond the ones we already mentioned. So, unfortunately, there's no special discount for military personnel, teachers, or seniors. But, they do offer a $20 discount on therapy and other healthcare services, which is already a great deal.
High trust and credibility with users
Sesame has a great reputation, with over 800 Trustpilot reviews and more than 75% of clients giving it a 5-star rating. People love how affordable it is, the quality of providers, and the fact that you can get same-day sessions. Customers also appreciate that Sesame offers telehealth, which means you don't have to leave your house for an appointment. Plus, Sesame has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, which is pretty impressive. The only downside is that there weren't many reviews on BBB's site when we checked, so it's hard to know for sure. A few negative reviews mentioned that they didn't get a refund when their counselor missed their appointment or that the counselor's personality wasn't very friendly. But overall, it seems like people are very satisfied with Sesame.
If you have any questions or want to give feedback about a provider, Sesame makes it easy to get in touch. You can give them a call during weekday or weekend hours, or shoot them an email. They're pretty responsive, so you shouldn't have to wait long to get your questions answered.
Supporting your mental health journey
Working with Sesame is hassle-free, with weekday and weekend phone hours and the option for email communication. The platform's user-friendly design ensures a quick and straightforward experience, making Sesame a simple yet effective platform to find online couples therapists and obtain discounted prices. There's no need to fill out lengthy questionnaires or divulge extensive personal information, streamlining the process for a seamless and supportive mental health journey.
A refreshing service with no red flags
To sum it up, Sesame is an all-in-one platform for both healthcare and marriage counseling. It's perfect for those who want one-stop-shopping that is affordable and doesn't require insurance. Scheduling is easy, the cancellation policy is generous, and there are plenty of discounts to take advantage of. If your priority is having all of your marriage counseling and healthcare rolled into one convenient and budget-friendly package, Sesame should be your go-to.
Octave is the marriage counseling service that's all about finding the perfect harmony for you and your partner. With nearly 200 counselors and support for 20 languages, Octave makes it easy to find the ideal marriage counselor who understands your unique needs. Say goodbye to confusing and lengthy registration processes - Octave keeps it simple with user-friendly forms that are easy to complete.
Science for the win
What sets Octave apart is its science-based approach, aiming for lasting changes that go beyond just a quick fix. This is no one-and-done session; it's a commitment to nurturing your relationship for the long haul.
Check the service area first
Before getting too carried away, make sure you're within Octave's service area - if you're in one of six states or Washington DC, you're in luck. Otherwise, you will need to look for another option.
Getting started is easy
Getting started with Octave is simple and straightforward. All you need to do is fill out a questionnaire on their homepage, sharing some basic information about yourself and your partner, as well as your mental health background and the type of support you're seeking. Based on your answers, Octave will match you with a therapist who is a great fit for your unique needs. If they need more information, they might set up a free phone consultation, which gives you a chance to discuss your situation and needs in more detail. With this personalized approach, you can rest assured that you'll be matched with a therapist who has the expertise and experience to help you work on the specific issues you're facing.
Consideration of wait time
One thing to keep in mind is that Octave's counseling service might have a wait time of a week or more before you're assigned a therapist after filling out the questionnaire. While this might not be ideal for couples looking for immediate help, it does show that Octave takes their time to find the best therapist fit for each couple and that their services are in high demand. Hang in there, and you'll be on your way to finding the perfect harmony between you and your partner in no time.
Comprehensive therapist profiles foster connection
Octave boasts an impressive team of nearly 200 therapists, each with detailed profiles that include information about their therapy style, interests, education, and even non-work-related aspects like their hobbies, their favorite leisure activities, if they have any pets, and more. This all works to create a connection between you, your partner, and your therapist before you begin working together. And, if you prefer to communicate in a language other than English, Octave offers counseling in twenty languages.
Scientifically proven methods
One of Octave's key strengths is its adoption of three clinically-proven methodologies: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy (IBCT), and The Gottman Method.
Flexible sessions for couples and individuals
Octave offers individual therapy options in addition to marriage counseling, which is great because personal growth impacts the dynamics of relationships. In individual therapy, you can explore unique challenges, past traumas, or personal goals in a safe and confidential space, gaining valuable insights into yourself for improved self-awareness and emotional regulation. Plus, working through personal struggles can contribute to a more transformative therapeutic experience that benefits your marriage.
Unclear on session length
While session length is not specified on Octave's website, it's typical for a therapy session to last around 45-60 minutes.
Unsure of cost
To find out what a session with an Octave therapist will cost you, you'll need to provide your location and your insurance. For paying out of pocket, we tried a few states and we saw rates roughly between $180 and $220, but your mileage will vary.
Octave does offer employer-based insurance options. However, keep in mind that marriage counseling must be covered, the provider must be in-network, and the user and therapist must be in the same state. If you're lucky enough to have health insurance that covers therapy, your carrier may cover up to 80% of the cost, making it much more affordable for you. Octave also stands out as one of the few online counseling platforms in-network for certain insurance providers, providing the convenience of direct billing.
If you're living in one of the states or areas where Octave provides counseling services - Washington DC, California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, or Texas - then you're in luck. Unfortunately, if you're not in one of these states, you won't be able to benefit from Octave's services.
Expensive cancellation fee
Octave's cancellation and appointment-change policy are not readily available on their website, so you'll need to reach out to your therapist yourself to find out. However, there is a hefty $100 cancellation fee for missing a session with less than 24-hour notice. This fee will show up on your credit card on file, and will not be billed to your insurance.
No mention of discounts anywhere
Octave doesn't offer any discounts for specific groups like members of the military or seniors, which is a drawback. The only way to potentially save money on couples' sessions is through your health insurance, if you meet the previously outlined requirements.
Customers like it
Client satisfaction is a big deal when it comes to marriage counseling. Fortunately, it looks like Octave is doing something right - in a third-party survey, 82% of users felt that their needs were met by Octave, with over half rating their therapists as "excellent" or "very good." Additionally, a significant percentage of respondents indicated that they would refer the service to a friend or use it again in the future if needed. Considering the size of Octave's operations, we did find it surprising that there were so few online reviews regarding customer satisfaction. That may be because therapy is such a personal thing. In this case, no news is probably good news - we also found no negative reviews anywhere we looked, including the Better Business Bureau.
Worth the investment for marriage counseling
Octave is a premier online marriage counseling service that stands out from other platforms due to their science-based strategies. Their geographical limitations exclude them as an option for some, and their prices may be higher than some competitors, but the value of investing in your relationship may outweigh the latter concern. Taking care of your relationship's health now will lead to a happier and more loving future. If you're looking for a transformative and effective online marriage counseling experience, Octave's informed approach makes them a top choice.
Couples Learn was founded in 2014 by Dr. Sarah Schewitz, a highly respected therapist with a passion for helping couples. Dr. Schewitz's approach has been lauded as both empathetic and insightful, and she draws from her expertise in relationship and trauma recovery therapy to provide practical advice that really works.
Wide ranging expertise
She's been featured in outlets like Forbes, CNN, and The Washington Post. Her expertise includes Trauma Recovery and Imago Relationship Therapy, and she's highly trained in marriage counseling, attachment styles, and recovering from codependency, betrayal, infidelity, and narcissistic abuse. Dr. Sarah believes that exploring past experiences can help us understand our current behavior and make positive changes.
The journey to becoming a part of Couples Learn is simple, streamlined, and user-friendly.
Most Couples Learn therapists can only work in California
Couples Learn is primarily based in California, and their therapists may or may not be able to work with clients outside of the state. This information is available on each therapist's profile. However, some clients outside of California may be eligible for coaching services if their needs align with coaching goals. Dr. Sarah Schewitz, the founder of Couples Learn, is licensed in over 35 states and can provide therapy to couples in those states. That's great, but most of the rival marriage counseling services we've reviewed show you only the therapists licensed to work where you live, and there are far more options to choose from on those platforms.
Counseling vs. coaching explained
Couples Learn offers both counseling and life coaching, but aside from life coaching being offered outside of California, what's the difference? When it comes to personal and mental health, counseling and coaching have different roles to play.
Pricing is high, no discounts
Therapy sessions with Couples Learn can set you back anywhere between $175 to $450 per session. While these rates align with other top-notch specialists based in Los Angeles, they are far higher than other services we have reviewed. Couples Learn also does not offer a sliding scale fee structure due to limited client hours, and we saw no mention of discounts. However, Couples Learn therapists do seem to have more qualifications than the therapists who work for rival marriage counseling services.
Counselors have extensive training
All the counselors at Couples Learn are highly qualified with their master's or doctoral degree in psychology and additional training in love and relationships. They maintain high ethical standards and are regulated by a board. On the other hand, life coaches are not regulated by a board and may still be effective, but you'll need to do your due diligence when hiring an unregulated professional.
No in-network insurance accepted
At Couples Learn, you'll need to pay your therapist directly after each session, and then you can submit a superbill to your insurance for reimbursement. They don't accept in-network insurance, but they're happy to accept out-of-network PPO insurance. Keep in mind that most PPO plans will only reimburse a portion of the session fee (usually between 20-60%), and the amount you receive will depend on your specific plan. Also, if you have a high deductible plan, the reimbursed amounts will likely go towards your deductible instead of being paid out to you.
Smaller pool of therapists
The Couples Learn team consists of five counselors. This is a much smaller staff than the other services we've reviewed, but if they primarily operate in California, that makes sense. We noticed during the consultation booking process that most appointments were only available 3 weeks out, so if you and your spouse's issues are urgent, you might not be able to get that help right away with Couples Learn.
Detailed therapist info
Under the "Our Team" tab, you can find detailed info on each therapist's approach and values, expertise, and qualifications, and any advanced training they've undergone. This section also includes pricing, with some therapists offering 50-80 minute sessions. The 50-minute sessions range from $135 to $300, while 80-minute sessions cost between $215 and $480. And if you're looking for a quick check-in, some therapists offer shorter, 30-minute sessions at lower rates.
Convenient web-based sessions
Couples Learn makes it easy to connect with a counselor from the comfort of your own home or office. No traffic, no parking, no problem. Couples Learn offers individual therapy, premarital counseling, coaching, and of course, marriage counseling through video calling. You can have sessions once a week or every other week, and the sessions usually last 50 minutes for individuals and either 50 or 80 minutes for couples therapy. The benefit of online counseling sessions is that they will require less time and provide a level of privacy that's hard to match.
Free 30-minute consultation
If you're not sure whether online sessions will work for you and your spouse, Couples Learn offers a free 30-minute consultation. If you're in a long-distance relationship, you'll be glad to see that their online portal allows you and your partner to connect from different places using the provided link in the confirmation email. How's that for convenience?
Weekend and evening availability
If your schedule is busy during the day, no worries. Dr. Sarah may not be available in the evenings after 6pm, but other therapists can accommodate you with evening and weekend appointments. And if your preferred therapist is fully booked, just shoot them an email to ask about their waitlist. They can usually get you in within a couple of weeks.
Customize your plan based on your needs
Most clients start with weekly sessions during the first 4-6 weeks of marriage counseling with Couples Learn. After that, many switch to a bi-weekly or monthly schedule. The length of therapy can range from short-term (8-10 sessions) for a specific issue to long-term (20+ sessions) for more difficult patterns or personal development. So, depending on what you need, you can work with your counselor to create a plan that works best for you and your relationship.
Couples are front and center
Couples Learn is unique among online therapy services because its therapists are highly trained in couples therapy and have specialized expertise in working with long-distance couples. Unlike therapists who only work with individuals, Couples Learn's therapists have undergone additional training in working with couples, which is an art form that requires years of practice, advanced training, and continued supervision to master.
Additional features and services from Couples Learn
Couples Learn not only offers counseling sessions and online courses, but they also have a ton of additional resources to help with self-discovery and improving relationships. It's great to see a platform that goes beyond traditional therapy and offers tools for people to take control of their own growth and development.
Specialize in online couples counseling
The Couples Learn team knows how to handle the unique needs of both partners and make sure the relationship stays healthy. They even give you tools to take home and use on your own, which means you won't have to spend as much time in therapy. In addition, Couples Learn specializes in online couples counseling, which is a rare expertise among therapists who offer online sessions and accommodate couples more as an afterthought.
E-Learning opportunities with Couples Learn
Couples Learn extends its boundaries beyond online marriage counseling sessions to include two noteworthy courses tailored for self-paced learning.
Negative reviews are rare
According to Google and Yelp reviews, Couples Learn has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. We found one review from a client who had a bit of a rough experience when their therapist quit without warning after only two sessions. The company offered them a free session with a less experienced therapist (but, FYI, they didn't get a refund for those two sessions they had already paid for). Another client found Dr. Sarah's approach transformative in helping them overcome codependency and control issues in their marriage, to the point of saving their relationship. A third client was initially skeptical of marriage counseling but was pleasantly surprised by therapist Kirsten Siewert, who helped them strengthen their relationship through essential communication skills. Overall, Couples Learn has earned more than fifty 5-star reviews on Google and Yelp, indicating that most clients are happy with the service. That's good enough for us.
Overall, Couples Learn seems like a solid choice for online marriage counseling. They have a team of highly qualified therapists who specialize in this type of therapy, and they offer a lot of resources and courses to supplement their services. However, the counseling sessions are a bit pricey and they operate primarily in California, so there's room for improvement in terms of accessibility. But if you're looking for professional relationship assistance and are willing to pay the price, Couples Learn is definitely worth considering. The team seems dedicated to constantly improving and providing practical advice, which is always a good sign when it comes to marriage counseling.
Couples Therapy Inc. is a service for anyone seeking professional counseling for their relationships, whether you're dating, married, or thinking of tying the knot.
Work with a team of therapists
With a team of experienced therapists, specializing in marriage counseling, this service offers relationship coaching and assistance with a range of issues, from sex and affair recovery to relationship discernment. The best part? You get to work with a team of therapists who have over 20 years of expertise in the field. If you're looking for a science-based approach to relationship counseling, with experienced therapists and longer session times, Couples Therapy Inc. is an option to explore.
Standardized therapist approach
The biggest advantage of Couples Therapy Inc. is its team of therapists: they've all gone through rigorous post-graduate training specifically for marriage counseling, and they have monthly meetings to make sure they're up-to-date on the latest developments in their field so that they can provide the best possible support to their clients. Couples Therapy Inc. uses a science-based approach, and their therapists primarily use the Gottman Method in their twelve-week program. It's a great option if you're looking for relatively quick progress in your relationship.
The BIG BIG Book: your relationship's tell-all
To kickstart your personalized journey, you and your partner must complete The BIG BIG Book questionnaire. It's an in-depth assessment that provides valuable insights about you, your spouse, and your marriage. This thorough assessment helps the therapists tailor the counseling program to meet your specific needs. You can find out more about The BIG BIG Book questionnaire by taking the free course offered by Couples Therapy Inc.
Pricing information is nowhere to be seen
We were really looking forward to learning more about Couples Therapy Inc., but were disappointed when we couldn't find any pricing information on their website. We reached out to them for answers, but unfortunately, their response, although prompt, was pretty generic and didn't address any of the questions we had. They simply told us that pricing varies by state and therapist and asked us to email them again with our state so they could recommend suitable therapists. They suggested a phone consultation, but that's not always convenient for everyone.
But a little digging paid off
We strongly believe that pricing transparency is crucial when it comes to making informed decisions about online marriage counseling services. We did our research and found pricing details from external sources, which we've included in our review. But wouldn't it be so much easier if Couples Therapy Inc. just provided all the pricing information directly on their website, even just a ballpark range? The only thing we found with a price tag was the option to attend a weekend couples retreat for $3,500 instead of doing three months of video conferencing.
No cancellation policy info, either
Similarly, Couples Therapy Inc. doesn't provide information about their cancellation and rescheduling policy on their website. This means that potential clients will have to ask about it during their consultations. We wonder what Couples Therapy Inc. has to hide if they aren't offering such basic but crucial information. We really hope that Couples Therapy Inc. takes our feedback seriously and makes the needed improvements to be more transparent.
Longer sessions for couples
The counseling sessions here are a generous 80 minutes long, giving therapists plenty of time to tackle individual issues and encourage real, authentic interaction between spouses. This extended period allows for working through common relationship dynamics like fighting, bickering, and awkward silences that naturally arise during marriage counseling. Plus, with more than 25 therapists available 20 hours a day, seven days a week, scheduling is easy as can be. And the best part? You can take advantage of the service from the comfort of your own home thanks to the flexibility of video conferencing.
Support for cross-cultural backgrounds
Couples Therapy Inc. also offers assistance to international couples, which might be helpful to military couples where one is stationed overseas. While the website doesn't mention any discounts for military or other groups, they do emphasize cultural awareness and sensitivity, with therapists who have lived or traveled abroad. Additionally, some therapists at Couples Therapy Inc. speak more than one language, which allows them to effectively communicate with clients from different linguistic backgrounds. These things could be particularly beneficial for couples who require counseling services delivered in their native language or need support in navigating cross-cultural challenges within their marriage.
Couples Therapy Inc. offers a free course on marriage counseling, but it mostly focuses on promoting their services. The course includes a few helpful videos with thought-provoking questions, but it isn't anything to write home about. They also have ebooks for sale on topics like working through infidelity, connecting spiritually with your partner, and navigating military marriages. Couples Therapy Inc.'s blog also has many articles for self-help and personal growth that showcase science-based marriage counseling and practical techniques to improve your relationship with your spouse.
Customers are happy
Surveys show that more than half of the people who used Couples Therapy Inc. gave it a thumbs up. However, over 40% of respondents found it to be a bit too pricey. And yet, 90% of those who completed the three-month program in particular expressed satisfaction and believed it was worth the cost. Over 80% of respondents in an unaffiliated survey said they'd recommend Couples Therapy Inc. to their friends and family.
You'll need to do your homework first
If you're up for the commitment of both time and finances required for a three-month program, along with filling out The BIG BIG Book assessment, Couples Therapy Inc. might just be the right fit to help you and your spouse navigate conflict and emerge with a happier, healthier marriage. During your consultation, make sure to ask about session pricing, potential discounts, and their policies regarding missed or rescheduled appointments. We hope you'll receive more direct and informative answers than we did.
Growing Self's name fits perfectly with their mission to help individuals and couples grow together. They're all about nurturing healthier relationships through their counseling and coaching services. Founded over a decade ago by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, a licensed therapist and psychologist, this platform offers a wide range of counselors and coaches who focus on personal growth and relationship development.
Founder's journey: a story of transformation and service
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder of Growing Self, but more than that, she's a beacon of hope for anyone wanting to experience personal growth and learn about themselves. Her own journey of self-discovery and her struggles have led her to become a professional counselor, driven by her commitment to helping others. Her personal experiences have given her profound insights and empathy, making her not just a therapist, but also a relatable and inspiring leader.
Signing up with Growing Self is easy. Just head to their website and fill out a short survey to let them know what kind of service you're looking for and why you're seeking marriage counseling. You can choose if you want a counselor with more experience or a more affordable option, or if you'd rather let them match you with someone. Growing Self has a great team of over fifty experienced coaches and counselors, which means lots of options for couples looking for a good match. You can check out their bios and pictures on the website, so you and your spouse can make a good choice for your unique needs. This way, you're both involved in choosing a marriage counselor, which helps you feel like you're both working together towards your goals.
Free preliminary video consultation
After providing your email, you'll hear back from Growing Self shortly. They'll set you up with the right therapist or coach to meet your indicated preferences and needs. Then you can schedule a free consultation with your recommended expert to discuss your goals and get a read on how their personality works with yours and your partner's. Video sessions offer flexibility, with appointments available in the evenings and on weekends to fit your work schedule. Overall, the sign-up process is user-friendly and makes it easy to take the first step towards personal growth and stronger relationships.
Plenty of free information for personal growth
We were happy to discover that Growing Self's website contains a wealth of helpful information. They cover a broad range of topics, from dating to marriage and beyond, and offer tons of free resources such as quizzes, questionnaires, and advice articles. We found their "How Healthy Is Your Relationship" quiz particularly enlightening. Their podcast and blog provide even more useful tips. And if you're not sure which type of marriage counseling or coaching would be best for you, their FAQ section is there to guide you.
Wide range of services offered
They offer everything from dating coaching to premarital counseling, relationship counseling and coaching, and even parent coaching if you and your partner have kids. If you're going through a tough time, they also provide breakup and divorce recovery services. No matter where you're at in your relationship, Growing Self has something that can support you through it. We were really impressed with how much they offer to help people with their personal growth journey.
The difference between coaching and marriage counseling
At Growing Self, they make a clear distinction between coaching and counseling services. So what's the difference? Well, counselors help individuals and couples navigate emotional challenges, address past traumas, and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships. On the other hand, coaches work with clients to set personal goals and develop practical strategies to overcome obstacles and achieve personal growth. Basically, they're there to help you become the best version of yourself. At Growing Self, you can choose to work with therapists or coaches, or even both together, depending on what you prefer and need.
You have to wade through anecdotes to find the price
Finding out the price for Growing Self's services can be a bit of a headache. You have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click on the pricing section, but instead of getting straightforward details, you're bombarded with pages and pages of motivational content. It's a lot like one of those recipe blogs - No, I'm not interested in hearing about the time your grandmother accidentally joined the yakuza and came out of it with a great recipe for ramen noodles. Just give me the recipe! They're trying to emphasize the value of investing in marriage counseling, but honestly, it's a bit overwhelming and off-putting. However, if you hang in there and keep looking, you might finally stumble upon the actual pricing.
At last, the price
Deep within the pricing section, you'll discover their session costs based on the therapist's level of experience. Pricing is on a sliding scale, so depending on the therapist you choose, you could pay anywhere from $65 to $160 per 45-minute session. The doctoral-level clinicians are the most experienced and charge $160, while their advanced clinicians charge $135, and their master's level clinicians are $115. If money is tight, you might be able to get a lower rate with their sliding scale option. The early career clinicians charge $105 and might offer income-based rates as low as $65.
No discounts mentioned
At Growing Self, they don't seem to offer any discounts, be it for military personnel or other professions. Also, there's no mention of any discounts for booking multiple sessions either.
Once-a-week sessions recommended to start
To kickstart your marriage counseling journey with Growing Self, it's recommended to begin with weekly sessions. If you're envisioning a shorter-term plan, this can be a good starting point. As you progress, after about eight to ten weeks, your therapist might suggest switching to bi-weekly sessions. Eventually, as the positive changes you're working on become more concrete, the frequency might be reduced to once a month. It's essential to keep in mind that for those who experience substantial improvements in their marriage, they have often committed to attending twelve to sixteen sessions in total. If you're dedicated and consistent, you'll be more likely to see significant positive changes along the way.
Clients like it
Growing Self boasts an impressive "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, which reflects their commitment to excellence in service. The rating is solely based on their business practices and is not influenced by customer reviews, whether good or bad. We found reviews from clients expressing their satisfaction, stating that they found therapists here who catered to their needs. Many even anticipated continuing with their therapists for six months or even beyond a year, a clear testament to the Growing Self's effectiveness. In a separate survey, a whopping 90% of participants gave Growing Self a thumbs up, with a majority expressing their willingness to choose the platform again if given the chance.
We recommend Growing Self if you have a flexible budget
Growing Self is a valuable platform for personal growth and relationship development. With a diverse team of experienced counselors and coaches, the service offers a wealth of free information on their website to support clients' journeys. The only drawback is the lack of transparency in pricing - it's overwhelming to find, and once you do, you still won't know exactly how much you will be paying until you're matched with a therapist. Nevertheless, positive client feedback, an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, and a personalized approach make Growing Self a good marriage counseling choice for those committed to personal growth and stronger relationships.
Online Therapy is more than just a means of finding a therapist. They offer the standard 45-minute video, audio, or live chat sessions, just like other online marriage counseling services. But they go above and beyond by providing you with extra materials, like readings and worksheets, that will be the foundation of your session with your therapist. They even give you an online journal to help you process your thoughts and feelings.
Message your therapist whenever needed
Online Therapy also recognizes the power of connecting with the body to process emotions, so you'll also get access to yoga and meditation videos for relaxation and stress relief. Best of all, you can message your therapist whenever you need to. That's not something you get with most providers. All of these resources and the convenience of ongoing communication make Online Therapy a top-notch option for anyone seeking comprehensive and supportive marriage counseling.
Abundance of resources
With a one-month subscription to Online Therapy, you'll gain access to a comprehensive package of counseling and resources designed to help you and your spouse through hard times. The subscription includes weekly 45-minute counseling sessions conducted via live video, voice, or text chat, allowing you to engage in therapy according to your preferred comfort level. Additionally, subscribers have the unique advantage of unlimited messaging with their therapist throughout the week, providing continuous support and guidance as needed.
Worksheets, readings, yoga... oh my
Beyond the counseling sessions, you'll receive a wealth of supplementary materials, including worksheets, readings, yoga and meditation videos, and a daily journal to aid in your therapeutic journey. It feels like having a complete toolbox at your disposal. These supplementary materials added a lot of value to the counseling experience, making it more holistic and well-rounded.
The power of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Online Therapy's use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a positive. CBT is a well-respected and evidence-based approach in counseling, and its incorporation into Online Therapy's approach adds to its already well-rounded program. CBT helps address negative thought patterns and behaviors, which is particularly helpful in promoting positive change within a marriage.
Simplified sign-up process
We found signing up for Online Therapy to be pretty seamless. With simple multiple-choice questions about your background, you won't have to write an essay about your marital problems. We appreciated this aspect because sharing personal details before establishing trust with a counselor can feel awkward, especially when you don't know who might read your submission. After you provide your phone number, Online Therapy works its magic and promptly matches you with a therapist based on your questionnaire responses. We like that there's no need to wait around wondering if you'll find the right fit. This quick and effective matchmaking process is a definite plus.
A bit like being in high school again
Throughout the week, you'll engage in reading, complete thought-provoking worksheets, and journal daily. This assigned work is referred to as "sections" , and there are eight to complete in total. You're encouraged to message your therapist whenever you need support or want to share a significant moment.
Most work is self-directed
While we appreciate the abundance of resources Online Therapy offers, you should keep in mind that the bulk of the curriculum is self-directed. This means that you'll be working through eight pre-set units with your spouse, almost like following a textbook. Some have found this approach less individualized than what they were looking for in marriage counseling, especially if they went into it expecting something more like traditional therapy. At the end of each week, though, you and your spouse will have a video session with your therapist.
20% off your first month
Online Therapy differs from other services in that it's a subscription-based model renewed monthly. While the price per week is $80, the platform sweetens the deal with a 20% discount for the first month, bringing the cost down to $64 per week. You'll receive 45 minutes of therapy for each week, and you'll pay in advance for each month. If you miss a session, you won't get your money back, because your therapist will already have been paid. Included in your subscription is unlimited messaging with your therapist, an activity plan, worksheets, the yoga and meditation videos, a personal journal, and the ability to track your progress through periodic surveys. The sign-up box mentions one-on-one therapy as being part of the program, but we didn't actually come across any specific details about this feature in the marriage counseling plan info.
Fast-track to a better relationship
When you combine cognitive behavioral therapy sessions with all the useful workbooks and videos you get from Online Therapy, you and your spouse might start feeling like you can handle things on your own after several weeks. (There's also the extra motivation to finish up before your 20% discount wears off and you're paying full-price.) This has been the case for some clients, while others suggest continuing with the therapy for a few months to really process all the info, work through those eight sections, and establish a strong foundation for permanent change in your marriage.
Positive client reviews
Clients who use Online Therapy love how it helps them feel calmer, lowers their stress, and supports their personal growth. They find the counselors approachable and sympathetic, making sessions comfortable. One person mentioned that despite finding Online Therapy a bit expensive, the counselors were so great that the cost didn't stop them from using the service, and marriage counseling via telehealth in general is more flexible compared to having to schedule and travel for in-person sessions. Among the reviewers, just one felt that Online Therapy was somewhat detached and formulaic because of the fixed format of eight predetermined sessions to follow. But overall, most clients are really happy with the positive effects of Online Therapy, finding it valuable for the improvement of their relationships and reaching personal goals.
Self-guidance model may not be ideal for some couples
There are a few areas where Online Therapy could improve. While the platform offers a lot of valuable resources, it won't be a good fit for those unwilling or unable to commit to all of the self-guided homework between sessions. And while the eight-section approach may work well for some, we found it a bit rigid and impersonal. If you and your spouse have already tried working out your conflicts using other resources available to you and seeking counseling is a last resort, then a service with more personalized counseling may better fit your needs.
Lack of discounts beyond the first month
Online Therapy follows a monthly subscription model, and the price for a month of counseling and access to resources adds up to $320. While the platform offers a 20% discount for the first month, we would have appreciated more options for certain groups of people like seniors and military couples, or reduced pricing for longer-term commitment.
Availability is just okay
While Online Therapy aims to match you with a therapist quickly, there are not a lot of therapists on staff compared to other services we have reviewed. You can switch counselors at any time, but we wonder how often you can realistically do that before running out of options here. To learn more about Online Therapy's staff and their specialties, you can visit the About Us page and read their bios and view their photos. This includes the CBT Consultant and the staff on the Medical Review Board, as well as the individual therapists. Compared to other services, Online Therapy's availability is pretty average - Monday through Friday during typical work hours, no weekends or evenings. If you're in a different time zone than your therapist, they are willing to extend their hours slightly to accommodate you.
Cancellation is as easy as it could possibly be. Some subscription-based services make you hunt to find the option to end your subscription, but with Online Therapy, it just takes one click. The same goes for canceling individual appointments.
Being different can be a good thing
Online Therapy is a great option for couples seeking innovative and effective marriage counseling solutions. They offer both joint sessions with a counselor over video chat and time by yourself - separately from your spouse - to explore the sections, complete worksheets, and write journal entries. Plus, you get unlimited messaging with your therapist and access to meditation and yoga videos. It's a unique and valuable approach to counseling that is definitely worth considering. Although the structured format of eight sections might not be for everyone, it's bound to be a great fit for those for whom a once-a-week session just isn't enough. If you're looking for a holistic marriage counseling experience, Online Therapy is definitely worth checking out.
Relationship Hero is coaching, not traditional counseling; and it brings onboard trained coaches to help you navigate your marriage's turbulence. The focus is not on analyzing the past for clues, but on addressing present difficulties and charting out a path to a harmonious tomorrow.
The coaches at Relationship Hero undergo rigorous training for consistency and to earn your trust. You can connect via video, phone, or messaging, and their coaches are accessible round the clock via messaging. Their fee structure depends on each individual coach and can be as pricey as that of certified therapists with specializations and college degrees.
These are coaches, not therapists
Therapy traditionally delves into an individual's or a couple's history to understand how past experiences might be influencing the present dynamics. Couples coaching, like what Relationship Hero provides, aims to understand the roles and dynamics each person brings into the relationship and formulate relationship goals. The focus is on either evolving the couple's interaction patterns to a healthier model or finding a peaceful, dignified way to part ways if necessary. The coach will help you identify your "sticking points" to determine what's causing your arguments, then help to change the way of thinking through different activities and reflective exercises, rather than just focusing on the cause.
Thorough certification process
Although most of us know therapists require degrees and certifications, the qualifications for a life coach might be less familiar. Relationship Hero has developed a 160-hour training regimen to make sure their coaches adhere to their standards. The training includes modules, written exams, and mock coaching sessions. The detailed curriculum is readily available on their website, breaking down the nine comprehensive modules that coaches undertake.
They offer both solo and couples sessions
Relationship Hero recommends opting for both individual and couple sessions to better understand and address specific patterns of behavior, laying the groundwork for healthier communication.
Session length? It's ambiguous
The Relationship Hero site alludes to hour-long sessions, but this may only apply to your first session. Some clients have reported having sessions that lasted 30 or 45 minutes.
Group coaching is available, which is uncommon
Relationship Hero stands out with their group coaching, a trending concept in recent years. A group of two to twelve participants from across the globe meet virtually to discuss a specified topic. It's a space to explore key issues, enhance emotional awareness, and set targets. Being part of a group enables learning from others' experiences and can make the brain more receptive to new ideas and solutions: studies suggest that witnessing others being coached in a group setting can make our minds more open to advice directed at others because personal critiques can sometimes make us defensive and less receptive.
A pool of young coaches
With close to 80 coaches to pick from, you get a glimpse of their picture, bio, coaching level (master coach, senior coach), any applicable university degrees, languages they speak, and their preferred pronouns. If you're a bit long in the tooth, these young coaches might seem a little green, perhaps lacking the depth of life experiences you've had. However, if age isn't a concern for you, or if you're younger yourself, you're likely to find a compatible marriage coach in Relationship Hero's roster.
Your journey begins with a plan
Once you're set to jump in, Relationship Hero asks you to fill out a profile questionnaire which gives the coach an insight into your personalities and your relationship dynamics. The coach then uses their Relationship Profiling Framework to pinpoint the core issues in your marriage. They will delve deeper into your relationship situation and the goals you aim for, and identify potential roadblocks that they can help you overcome - maybe even ones you haven't noticed. Finally, they will outline what should be achievable in the next few weeks or months, and suggest immediate steps you can take to start on that path, like journaling, meditation, or something else. And all of this happens in step one.
Pick your preferred way to connect
You can opt for video, phone, or messaging sessions. Relationship Hero aims to connect on your terms.
Always at your beck and call
When the going gets tough while working towards your goals, you can lean on any of Relationship Hero's 100+ coaches, at any time.
Responsibility and flexibility
Your coach will keep you in check if your actions aren't aligned with your goals. And as your situation evolves with ongoing coaching, your coach will adapt the plan as needed.
Pricing varies with the coach
Depending on the coach, the price can swing quite a bit: $80 - $250 an hour. They do mention discounts on "larger purchases", but Relationship Hero is pretty vague about what that means.
You can pull the plug on your Relationship Hero account anytime with just a click on the settings page. They don't, however, specify if you'll be refunded for any pre-paid counseling sessions.
Clients are satisfied
It seems that Relationship Hero's online marriage counseling has hit the right chord with many clients. Trustpilot data reveals that a resounding 90% of users have awarded them a five-star rating. Only a tiny 2% have been less generous, giving a one or two-star rating. A handful of negative reviews came from users with specific issues: one wanted a more mature coach (remember the predominantly youthful profile of the coaching team), and was accused of treating Relationship Hero like a dating site for this request. The other two complaints pointed towards difficulties encountered while seeking refunds.
Great for coaching, but not a substitute for therapy
We're big fans of the intensive training the coaches undergo at Relationship Hero, which guarantees uniformity and boosts clients' faith in the process. Plus, the constant open line of communication with a coach is a valuable feature we admire. Remember, Relationship Hero is all about coaching, not traditional therapy or counseling, and this is reflected in their approach. As long as you're aware that the pricing can be on par with traditional therapists, you might join the multitude of satisfied customers who rave about this service. But, if you feel the need to explore deeper past issues or traumas influencing your marriage now, you might want to consider other top-notch providers on our list that offer professional therapists and counselors for such needs.
Regain is set apart from other online marriage counseling platforms by its focus on specialization. Their counselors, all of whom specialize in relationship and family therapy, hold at least a Master's Degree in their respective fields.
Connecting you with the therapist you need
Regain doesn't employ therapists directly, but instead facilitates their connection with clients in need of their services. Regain takes care of the registration process, the initial questionnaire, and provides the portal where sessions and communication take place. This portal is where you'll engage in video calls, voice calls, live chats, and direct messaging with your therapist. And for the lovebirds out there seeking marriage counseling, you'll appreciate that the portal is dual-access. It's like a digital couples' retreat, but without the awkward icebreakers. The pricing is generally fair, but it can fluctuate by up to $30 per session. Also, the duration of each session is up to the discretion of the therapist.
Focused on marital counseling
In the realm of online therapy, Regain stands out by narrowing its focus to experts in marriage counseling. While other platforms often include marriage counseling as one item on a buffet-style menu, at Regain it's the main course. Every counselor within their ranks is a specialist in couples therapy, which increases the odds of you finding a good fit for your relationship's unique needs.
High standards of qualification
Every therapist in the Regain network holds a minimum of a Master's Degree in their field, and each has been validated and certified by their state. They also boast a minimum of three years and 1,000 hours of real-life experience. In addition, they are keen on and proficient in relationship therapy and are comfortable working with both individuals and couples.
Comprehensive initial questionnaire
Upon signing up with Regain, you will be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire. This questionnaire aids in better understanding your problems, therapy goals, and the kind of therapist you'd prefer to work with. Your spouse can join the site at any point, but it is recommended they do so during the initial questionnaire so that they can also provide their own personal information and get the same kind of understanding and attention from the therapist.
Effective therapist matching
After registering, you'll be paired with a therapist that aligns with the needs, objectives, and preferences you indicated in the questionnaire. There are therapists who specialize in various issues such as sleep disorders, addiction, trauma, stress, eating disorders, parenting, LGBTQ+ issues, and even more. You can expect to receive the name of your matched therapist within a few hours to a few days.
Confidentiality is a priority
We commend Regain's commitment to maintaining client anonymity. You can use a pseudonym and keep all personal and contact information confidential. If you like, you have the option to choose a nickname to serve as your identity on the platform. Your emergency contact information will be requested when you register, but it will be securely stored within Regain's system. Your therapist will only have access to this information in case they deem it necessary to inform your emergency contact, which is only in extreme situations where you could be considered a danger to yourself or others.
Available around the clock
Regain knows life can get pretty busy, so they're available for therapy any day of the week and at any time of day - placing them head and shoulders above many other marriage counseling services in this regard. No more trying to cram in appointments during your already jam-packed schedule.
Understanding the chat room
Regain assigns you a chat room that is accessible 24/7. You can log in anytime to discuss your feelings or ongoing issues with your spouse, voice your concerns, and pose questions. You and your partner can chat with the therapist anytime you need to, and the chat room is private among the three of you. Your therapist will be there to offer insights, feedback, and guidance as you work together to understand and overcome the challenges you're facing. They're there to help you achieve your goals and make progress towards a healthier, happier marriage.
Video and audio sessions are also available
Video sessions can be conducted either individually or with your partner. This can be done with you and your spouse sharing a screen, or separately with one of you joining from a remote location. This is great for couples who don't live in the same place, or those who prefer a little more space from each other during sessions. Live sessions typically last between 30-45 minutes, as decided by the therapist.
The weekly cost on Regain ranges from $60-$90, billed monthly, and it depends on your location, preferences, and when therapists are available. A credit card or PayPal account will be set up for recurring billing.
Changeable appointment times or membership cancellation
Regain allows you to modify or end your membership at any time for any reason. You can do this by logging into your account and navigating to the Billing Settings and Quit Therapy options. Payment for four weeks ahead of time is required, but there's no clarity if you can get a refund for the rest of the month after cancellation - an oversight we found disappointing.
Possible individual therapist discounts
Regain doesn't specifically mention any discounts on the site, but you can check with your therapist about potential discounts, considering the networked nature of the service.
Abundant free articles
Under the Advice tab, there are nearly 130 articles related to relationships and marriage, accessible at no extra cost. Topics range from understanding common marriage issues to keeping your relationship interesting, and even tips on seducing your spouse.
When we looked at Trustpilot, about 100 reviews for Regain were found, with an average rating of 3.3 stars. Interestingly, the reviews were quite polarized, with nearly half the clients giving a five-star rating and the other half giving only one star. The highly-rated reviews praised the compatibility of the therapist match, while the one-star reviews complained about issues like the therapist being late or not showing up for sessions. Some clients also expressed dissatisfaction over not receiving a refund when they felt the service was below par. Other clients had some frustration with Regain's lack of control over their therapists, but the good news is that almost 90% of users reported high satisfaction with their therapist match. Another survey found that 61% of respondents thought Regain was affordable and that they got their money's worth.
Room for improvement
Regain can be your trusted partner in finding an experienced relationship therapist who aligns with your therapy objectives. The portal facilitates your sessions and allows messaging with your therapist around the clock. The network approach, specialization in marriage counseling, and the wide choice of therapists increase the chances of finding a perfect match. Additionally, if the match isn't ideal, you can switch therapists. We appreciate the platform's features such as the option for anonymity, partner access, and anytime messaging with your therapist. However, Regain lacks a standardized fee structure, defined session duration, and fails to take responsibility when therapists don't meet expectations. These are areas Regain needs to focus on for improvement, especially if they want to compete with our top-ranked marriage counseling services.
Ritual uses the term "experts" for their therapists and social workers, who are there to help you and your spouse do some work on yourselves and your marriage.
The Pathway approach
Each Pathway they assign you can last for a month or more, with readings and exercises you do every day before your weekly 20-minute solo chat with your expert and a monthly "extended session" with your spouse. The upside of the Pathway approach lies in its set curriculum and tasks, thoroughly vetted and approved by the company. The downside could be a sense of being pigeonholed by the curriculum's impersonal nature, rather than being recognized as unique individuals and a distinctive couple.
Their "experts" are actually social workers and therapists
Ritual uses the word "experts" to talk about the counselors who lead the sessions. We had to do some digging to find out they're your typical trained therapists, not life coaches, which wasn't clear from the get-go. Ritual's team is made up of clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists. They use techniques like Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which is about strengthening the bond between couples, and the Gottman Method, which is about building the relationship while cutting down on fights.
Getting started is... a bit of a guessing game?
When you express an interest in registering, Ritual reveals the cost, allowing you to choose between a monthly or discounted multi-month subscription. You'll then complete a survey... the contents of which are a surprise, as there's no prior indication of what it entails.
Your journey begins with a chat with one of Ritual's experts to talk about what you need and what you're hoping to get out of their service. Based on this, a customized plan is drawn up, encompassing one of their units (or "Pathways" ) to align with your specifications. Each Pathway may take between one and two months to finish before progressing to the next one. Every week, you'll have a solo 20-minute session with your specialist and a monthly extended session with your spouse.
Your profile need not include your real name. If you want to keep your personal info to yourself, Ritual won't push you to divulge it. Ritual will disclose the real names of the Ritual staff, though, which they think is important, and so do we.
You get both individual and joint sessions monthly
Every month, you'll enjoy three individual twenty-minute sessions per person and a single extended couple session. The cost? A whopping $260 per month. When considering the total of seven monthly sessions, the cost per month doesn't seem too bad. But remember, individual sessions, designed as progress check-ins for daily homework, are only 20 minutes long. If you're hoping to go deep, you might feel cut short.
A 14-day trial period
If you don't like Ritual after 2 weeks, you can get your money back. That's a serious leg up over a lot of the online marriage counseling options we've checked out.
Discount available for extended subscription
You'll get a discount if you sign up to Ritual for three or six months. That shakes out to $663 for a 3-month subscription (averaging $221/month) or $1170 for a 6-month plan (averaging $195/month).
But there are a lot of unknowns
Where do we start with the uncertainties? It took some digging to learn that the solo sessions are just 20 minutes long, the shortest we've come across. We didn't find details about the length of the "extended" couples' sessions. We're unclear about the format of these sessions - video, phone, or chat? While a cancellation policy exists, it's unclear if refunds apply for unused sessions in a month. It's also not clear if clients can switch "experts" or the number of them available for selection.
Even more questions
Session availability, outside regular hours like early morning, late evening, or weekends, isn't stated. There's no information about the specialists' profiles, languages they speak, or their areas of expertise. We're left in the dark about whether sessions are exclusively via video or if phone or chat options are available. It seems Ritual operates on a need-to-know basis, believing we don't need to know much. We beg to differ.
Client satisfaction? We're not sure
We had a tough time finding any reviews on Ritual, so we're not sure how their clients feel about them or if they would recommend them. It's just one of the many questions we have about their service.
Unable to award a high rating
If Ritual could just give us a little more info on their website, we might be more sold on what they have to offer. They do have some cool things going for them, though. The Pathways are all pre-planned and approved by the professionals overseeing this marriage counseling platform, and they give you daily tasks to help you reach your goals. Plus, you get seven live sessions every month, which is pretty rare to find anywhere else. Just keep in mind that the solo sessions are only 20 minutes and meant for checking in. If you're looking for some serious therapy time or clearer platform information, we've got a list of other online marriage counseling services that we'd recommend before Ritual.
Talkspace caters to couples in all relationship phases, be it prenuptial counseling or therapy for long-established couples and married pairs. Alongside your partner, you'll engage in four live sessions each month with a therapist, and have unlimited message exchanges.
Multiple therapist matches
A unique selling point is their multiple-therapist match system, so you can choose the best fit for you from an already narrowed-down pool. As the only platform we've observed offering both psychiatry and therapy services in their online suite, and even accepting insurance, Talkspace certainly stands out. However, the therapists' availability is confined to weekdays for appointments and text responses. If weekend accessibility is a must, you may need to explore other marriage counseling providers.
Talkspace's inception a decade ago
Talkspace was founded by Roni and Oren Frank around ten years ago. Their mission was to revolutionize therapy, making it more convenient, accessible, and affordable for all. Initially, they launched with in-person group therapy, but have since evolved to facilitate video, voice, or text exchanges with therapists anytime, any day (though they'll only reply on weekdays).
A plan to set you on a recovery path
Talkspace aims to deliver clarity on what to expect from marriage counseling. You'll pinpoint areas of concern, reconnect with the strengths of your partnership, gain insights into recurring problematic patterns, develop strategies for problem-solving and conflict resolution, acquire communication tools to rebuild trust, and benefit from anytime therapist messaging.
Help for every relationship stage
Talkspace provides relationship counseling regardless of your relationship status. Whether married or not, they assist in navigating relational rough patches. You're offered guidance and a structured plan to learn conflict resolution, communication methods, and build healthier, more affectionate bonds. They also offer marriage counseling to foster a supportive, nurturing space to address and manage challenging times. Their premarital counseling is a boon for soon-to-be-married couples, ensuring a robust start to marriage by developing communication skills, identifying shared values, and aligning expectations on major life decisions like family planning.
Account creation and therapist matching process
To begin, you'll need to create an account. This is followed by a complimentary consultation with a staff therapist who will match you with a provider based on a series of questions. They'll also explain how Talkspace is used. It's a live conversation, so any concerns you have will be addressed right away.
More than one therapist for selection
Unlike other platforms where you're matched with a single therapist or life coach and only given the option to switch later, Talkspace starts you off with multiple therapist options. You're free to choose any or request a different match. Allow a few days for them to curate this list.
Who are the therapists?
Talkspace has an extensive network of therapists, but you can only select those licensed to practice where you live. Their website provides an easy-to-navigate directory of therapists, complete with photos, degrees, bios, specialties, communication methods, practice duration, Talkspace joining date, and languages spoken. You're limited to therapists licensed in your state.
Your first session begins
Once you've chosen a therapist, you're free to message them anytime, any day. They're obligated to respond twice daily on weekdays only, so don't look for an immediate reply.
Both live sessions and unrestricted messaging
Marriage counseling provides four live 45-minute calls with your therapist. You can also send text, audio, or video messages to your therapist as often as you find the need to.
The therapists have impressive qualifications
Each therapist on Talkspace holds one of four recognized degrees in their field, each demanding a Master's. Some even hold a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. All therapists have completed a minimum of 3,000 clinical hours.
Personal therapy when needed
If you're doing online sessions with your spouse, you might find that you want some individual therapy too. Don't worry, Talkspace has you covered. You can talk to your therapist about it and they can set up one-on-one sessions for you. Just keep in mind that the rates for individual therapy vary, so be sure to ask about them.
Availability of psychiatric services
Talkspace is unique in that they offer psychiatry services within their online marriage counseling suite. You can book an appointment with an on-staff psychiatrist for individual sessions outside of your subscription plan, at $249 for the initial assessment and $125 for subsequent sessions. It's great to know that you have access to this option if you need it.
When you have your first consultation to match you with a therapist, they'll ask if you plan to use insurance and can answer any questions you have, like whether or not marriage counseling is covered.
Message whenever you need
You can text your therapist as much as needed. They will respond once or more per day during weekdays. A handy "reply-by" button allows you to see when you can expect a response, so you don't need to continually check for replies.
Appointment changes or cancellation
If you need to cancel your subscription, no worries, you can do it online anytime. But just keep in mind that any unused time during your paid period won't be refunded, so maybe go for the monthly plan first before jumping into the quarterly plan to test the waters.
$100 off the top
Your first month includes a discount of $100. This may not be compatible with any insurance benefits you're applying towards your Talkspace fees.
Client reviews are a mix of satisfaction...
Clients seem to really appreciate Talkspace's feature of being able to text their therapists anytime and getting response notifications. According to a survey, about one-third of users consider Talkspace therapists to be better than those from other platforms and over 85% rate the therapist quality as good to excellent. Over 80% of users would even recommend the service to their friends and family.
However, not everything is perfect. The Better Business Bureau has only given Talkspace a "B" rating based on 65 reviews, and there have been complaints about being billed without a therapist assigned, long wait times for a therapist, poor communication when problems arise, and even denial of refunds for unrendered services. On Trustpilot, Talkspace's average rating is just 1.3 out of 5 stars. The main complaint on Trustpilot is last-minute cancellations or rescheduling by therapists and the inability to get a full refund (Talkspace firmly states no refunds, which seems unfair).
Paper vs practice
Though Talkspace's declared mission is to provide accessible and affordable care for all, we can't entirely agree that they deliver, given their higher prices compared to similar online marriage counseling services. That said, they do offer more than four monthly sessions with your therapist, including unlimited messaging (with weekday responses). Their therapists are highly qualified, boasting at least a Master's degree and a minimum of 3,000 clinical hours. On paper, Talkspace shines, but it's in practice where problems arise. Many users complain about last-minute cancellations or schedule changes by therapists without adequate notice or compensation. Clients have also cited difficulty communicating with customer service in these instances, and they've expressed dissatisfaction with the firm "no refunds" policy even when services are not delivered as expected.
Potentially risky investment
This lack of responsiveness and consideration for customers' time and resources undermines Talkspace's claim of providing accessible care. The price point, combined with service inconsistency and difficulty getting refunds, make Talkspace a potentially risky investment for couples looking for reliable and affordable therapy solutions. We recommend checking out our other reviewed online marriage counseling platforms before making a commitment to Talkspace.
Online marriage counseling can help with a wide range of issues, from infidelity and trust issues to communication breakdowns, parenting conflicts, sexual dissatisfaction, financial stress, and more. And it's not just for couples in trouble: even healthy relationships can benefit from therapy as a way to strengthen their connection and build a strong foundation.
So, how does this work remotely? Online marriage counseling operates through various digital platforms like video conferencing, phone calls, text messages, emails, and chat platforms. Therapists might use one or a combination of these methods to deliver their services. This flexibility can be highly beneficial, especially for couples who are geographically separated due to work or other commitments. Therapy sessions can be scheduled at a time that suits both partners, eliminating commuting time and the hassle of coordinating schedules. It also provides a level of privacy that might not be available with in-person sessions.
This type of counseling is particularly beneficial for couples who live in rural areas with limited access to therapy services. Additionally, it eliminates the geographical barriers that often come with choosing a therapist. This means that couples can find a counselor that suits their needs from a wider range of professionals across the country or even the world.
Wondering about the cost? Online marriage counseling can be affordable, with fees varying depending on the therapist's experience and the length and frequency of sessions. Some insurance plans cover it, so it's worth checking with your provider. There are also low-cost online therapy options and platforms that work on a sliding scale, making therapy accessible to more people.
If you're searching for a marriage counseling service, it's important to keep a few things in mind to make sure you get the best possible care and support. Here are some key factors to consider:
Top Consumer Reviews has taken the time to evaluate and rank the top online marriage counseling services available today, with the goal of helping you identify the right one for your needs. Our hope is that this information will help you reconnect with your partner, or bring your relationship to new heights.
Select any 2 Online Marriage Counseling Services to compare them head to head
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Fri, 08 Sep 2023