Before we can answer the question posed in the title above, it’d help to ask: How does couples therapy help? It’s a version of psychotherapy designed for people in a romantic relationship. They may have a specific issue they wish to address. In other cases, they want to improve their relationship in a more general sense.
Each couples therapist, of course, will have their own approach but the general concept is universal. You’re not there for individual counseling. Rather, you and the therapist are working together to treat the relationship. A recent survey found that 97 percent of couples who tried this kind of therapy reported getting the help they needed.
Why Online Couples Therapy?
As with so many aspects of life today, online couples therapy is akin to a video meeting. You can choose the telephone but the vast majority of couples opt for the video option. Some of the many reasons why people may choose teletherapy include:
- They’re partners but they do not live together
- Busy, incompatible schedules
- Lacking access to an in-person therapist in their geographical area
- Privacy (not wanting to risk running into someone at the therapy office)
- One or both partners have an illness, injury, or disability
How Does Online Couples Therapy Work?
In most cases, it’s a virtual version of in-person couples therapy. Problems and their underlying roots are identified. Negative patterns are exposed. Together with their therapist, the couples set collective goals. The therapist uses standardized tools to assess progress and direct focus and attention.
The fact that this takes place online doesn’t change the traditional model. Using video allows the therapist to perceive important cues in gestures, tone, body language, and more. Once everyone has settled into the digital format, the sessions have a rhythm and tone of their own.
A Few Reasons to Not Choose Online Couples Therapy
- When one partner feels uncomfortable in the home
- If domestic violence is present in the household
- When one partner feels strongly about being in an in-person therapy setting
- If circumstances in the home (noise, lack of privacy, etc.) can sabotage your efforts
- The couple is not knowledgeable enough to handle the technological aspects (or if their equipment is not reliable)
- If the process of doing this online causes distrust or distress to either partner
Advantages of Online Couples Therapy
- Convenience: There’s no commute and no need to pick out an outfit or put on makeup. This dramatically shortens the time commitment without compromising the quality of care.
- Scheduling: Since you’re not limited by strict office hours, you may be able to meet on a day and time that is atypical of any type of medical appointment.
- Privacy: As touched on above, there’s no concern about running into someone on your way or even in the waiting room.
- Comfort: Your therapist gets to see you on your home field. No matter what, people can assume a certain presentation when meeting in a therapy office. At home, however, you can show your therapist more of who you are.
- Application: Part of couples therapy is learning new skills. Doing this in a setting where those skills will be more often applied can be empowering. This can streamline the process from skill acquisition to skill application.
- Normalcy: For nearly three years, video meetings have quickly become the norm. Transferring this reality into the realm of therapy has never been easier or felt more normal.