Does Online Couples Therapy Work?

In the past year our world has been turned upside down.  Our busy lives, previous filled with social events, errands, and casual get togethers, are now marked by Zoom dates, Netflix binges, and a whole lot of cooking.  For many of us the shelter in place orders have led to stress and strain in our relationship, bringing underlying issues and concerns to the surface.

Though news and initial distribution of the vaccine brings hope and lock-down restrictions have been lifted, we are still advised to stay at home, keep to our immediate family units, and practice social distancing.  If new challenging dynamics have surfaced in your relationship over the past year, online couples therapy might be the answer.

What is Online Couples Therapy?

Online couples therapy offers the same benefits as face-to-face therapy, with the added convenience and privacy of getting the help and support you need at home. Sessions are typically held via video chat and with the couple in the same location. However, online therapy has the added benefit of engaging couples who, for whatever reason, are unable to be in the same space at the time of the appointment.

Even in non-pandemic times, online therapy comes with a lot of convenience for many couples.  Those conveniences include:

  • Removing geographic / travel constraints may make it easier for those couples with busy schedules
  • Eliminate the stressors related to battling traffic while navigating from appointment to appointment
  • Decreased barriers for those clients with health or mobility limitations
  • Increased chance of finding a right-fit therapist

When Online Couples Therapy is Not a Good Idea

While online couples therapy can be very effective and beneficial to a majority of couples, there are those situations when it would not be suitable. For instance, in the case of domestic violence. Couples therapy, whether online or over the internet, treats both partners as equal in the relationships and aims to do what is best for the relationship. In cases of abuse and violence, the partners are inherently not equal (ie, partners are not contributing equally to the problems) and the goal should not be to keep a victim in a dangerous relationship.

Some instances where online therapy may not be suitable:

  • If the couple has outdated technology and/or can’t access the internet
  • One or both partners distrusts technology or feels anxious about sharing over the internet
  • One or both partners feels uncomfortable having sessions in the home and would prefer a more professional setting

Again, for a majority of couples, online therapy can be very beneficial and even preferred. If you’d like to explore treatment options and do so online, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

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