When it comes to your family's wellbeing, traveling to reach help should never be a factor. And now it doesn't have to be. Our online marriage counseling is available as soon as you know that you need help.
This sort of online therapeutic work has been called many things: online marriage counseling, online couples counseling or marriage counseling online but what exactly is it?
It’s confusing, as you'll find everything from ebooks and video programs to text-type “therapy” or “coaching” in the search results. Costs range from $30 a week to $300 a month for “unlimited access.”
Marriage counseling itself is a form of psychotherapy designed to help adults in intimate relationships who are struggling with their communication, sex and intimacy, collaboration, sense of belonging in their relationship, among other issues. When it is done online, it is called “online marriage counseling.”
Online therapy has been demonstrated to be as effective as face-to-face therapy in multiple studies.
Our clients are typically busy professionals. All have enormous time constraints:
…even rural folks find the professional support they need.
Super commuters are people whose jobs are far enough away from home that they must live apart from their families for days, weeks, or even months at a time.
It can also be used to define those who commute 90 miles or more on a daily basis.
New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management reports that as many as 13 percent of workers in large US cities are currently 'super-commuting.' It’s not just a trend in the USA either; reports show the number of international super commuters is on the rise as well.
Couples who live on rural farmland can be quite remote. It may take you a while to leave your own land!
Especially for the "blended" couple, where one was raised in an agricultural area and another in a city, there are adjustments. One may want frequent "get-aways," while another prefers to stay close to home. Farmers, ranchers, and those living in extremely rural areas raising crops or livestock know the challenges of finding talented therapeutic help close to home.
There are the two primary science-based methods proven to be helpful to troubled marriages. We have training in both models. There are seven certified Gottman Method Couples Therapists, four of whom train licensed professionals in this model. Others have either certification or advanced training in Emotionally-focused Couples Therapy. Trust our Team with over 500 years of combined experience focused exclusively on helping couples.
Our 28 Couples Therapists, with over 600 years of combined expertise are leaders in the field of couples therapy. Five are former Program Directors of Graduate School, or have taught at a graduate level. Seven are certified in the Gottman Method. Four of these are among the 26 Master trainers in the famous Gottman Institute of couples therapy. Several more with advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
We're not just 'online therapists.' We're online SPECIALISTS in helping couples in troubled relationships. A coordinated team who meet monthly to hone our skills and advance our effectiveness. Trainers of therapists and academic leaders known worldwide.
Our Associates have certificate training in at least two approaches to helping troubled couples. We currently have 28 couples therapists, licensed across the USA, in Puerto Rico, in Ireland, South Africa, and in Australia. Two are post-graduate interns, offering services at a lower fee.
The internet is a wild and wooly world. Online help can be conducted by anyone with an internet hook-up. Many provide a book, a few videos, and a phone call and that’s “Online Help for Couples.”
Other corporations have set up online “platforms” where over 1000+ therapists work in a chatroom anonymously and you pay a monthly fee for the privilege. There is no vetting. Anyone with a professional license to practice and some malpractice insurance can join.
A shocking 80% of therapists are convinced they already know how to do couples therapy. Yet only 12% of these therapists have ever completed a single course in couples therapy!
And a single survey course is hardly enough. Couples therapy online is very challenging and specialized work. And it’s easy to get wrong.
Why are we "experts" in marriage counseling online?
But a true expert has worked with Masters in their field. They’ve received formal training in a particular approach that they’re proud to tell you about.
For us, that means a science-based approach to helping couples. All of our clinicians have at least one formal, evidence-based certificate in couples therapy. Our skilled couples therapists need two or more credentials to be called "Associates."
These intensive classes and exams to demonstrate our knowledge IN couples therapy have happened AFTER our formal training. It’s a specialty.
Then we combine experience actually conducting couples therapy. Our team of couples therapists have over 300 years of combined experience!
We have therapists who have practiced couples therapy for over 30 years, and some as little as 5 years, but all of them have been formally trained, and not in a single “survey course” in graduate school.
A Thorough Pre-treatment Assessment
We take the time to learn about you, using a unique tool called "The Gottman Relationship Checklist." This clinical tool consists of 480 questions about friendship, intimacy, how well you know your partner, how you manage emotions and conflict, how you share your values and goals, and what gives meaning to your lives. There are additional questions about parenting, housework, finances, trust, and individual areas of concern.
The questionnaire is completely confidential, fully HIPAA compliant, and your therapist will be the only person to see your responses. The Gottman Relationship Checkup is a breakthrough in couple’s therapy as it allows for a confidential, efficient way for your clinician to complete the evaluation process. By using this new technology, your assessment can be done at any time and in the setting of your choice!
You can feel confident in the results of this assessment. Drs. John and Julie Gottman created this research-based assessment in collaboration with The Gottman Institute to help couples build a personalized treatment plan with their therapist. Dr. John Gottman is a clinical psychologist who has completed more than 40 years of research on couple relationships, and is recognized as one of the top 10 most influential therapists of the last quarter century. Dr. Julie Gottman is a highly respected clinical psychologist who is sought internationally by the media and clinical organizations as an expert advisor on relationships. Together, they have dedicated their lives to helping couples, and The Gottman Relationship Checkup is the result of this life work.
We’re a family-owned business, and our President, Dr. Kathy McMahon goes through 1,000 resumes each year, looking for the best-trained couples therapists from around the world. She hand-picks and hires the best, and then we continue this professional support by attending monthly meetings, providing individual and group seminars, peer training and supervision, and case consultations.
We have a Master class of therapists in our organization who train other therapists in couples therapy approaches, and offer us guidance and direction.
You are assured of an exceptionally well-trained couples therapist.
Dr. McMahon, herself a clinical psychologist, sex therapist and certified in the Gottman Method and with training in 4 other approaches to couples therapy, stands behind this Team.
The couples we see are busy professionals. They work long hours and juggle many responsibilities. They love their kids and want to spend (dinner) time with them. They work to stay healthy, exercise, and strive to get enough sleep. It's hard to squeeze in an extra few hours to fight rush-hour, leave the kids with sitters, or exit work early.
Traveling for work is draining. Maintaining a family, juggling two careers, getting the kids to their sporting events, even eating dinner together is a big challenge. These are issues that drive people apart in the first place. Two exhausted, overworked, busy people struggling to get into the same room at the same time, to sit down and do a counseling session to work on their marriage is tough. Every week. Week after week. And it's hard to make that happen consistently:
With Marriage Counseling Online your schedule just got easier. You go home, eat dinner as a family, put the kids to bed, and sign on to work on your marriage. And because we have marriage counselors in different time zones, it's easy to find a convenient time to meet. Online marriage counseling can happen in your living room, in your office, or even in another state or country. Anywhere you can find an internet connection. Even on a smartphone!
Early morning, mid-afternoon or late night. We'll be there.
Marriage Counseling Online Wherever You Are
Traveling for work or pleasure is no longer a problem. If you have a smartphone, you have access to a session.
Relax. You are in your own private space. Put the kids to bed and curl up on the couch. Step out for lunch and sit in your car. Shut the door to your bedroom. Lock your office and hold the calls. Anyplace can be the right place to interact more naturally in your couples therapy. A more natural setting means more natural interactions. More natural interaction means more openness and vulnerability. Vulnerability means intimacy, the foundation of good couples therapy.
And that intimacy continues when we log off. You don’t have to speed off in two separate cars to pick up dinner and retrieve the kids. You can naturally continue the conversation about the meaningful topics we’ve discussed. Or just take a hot shower or take private time to journal your thoughts.
More comfort means better emotional relating, an easier time opening up and sharing, and a greater sense of team effort and purpose.
We know it takes regular practice to get good at any new skill. The same is true for couples therapy. Even more so.
Not only do you have to recognize what a change in your negative cycle looks like, you have to know what your triggers are. It all can make perfect sense when you’re in an office in front of a professional. But when you go home, and your buttons get pushed, those skills can fly out the window. You tell yourself: “That might work for other couples, but our problems are too severe!”
Athletes know that a great coach helps them perfect their work. Practice makes it perfect. A master couples therapist can also know both of you well, and know those triggers, to help you break those negative patterns.
We encourage couples to come weekly for 6-12 weeks before spreading out their online couples counseling. It keeps those new ideas you are learning fresh in your mind and breaks old, destructive patterns. Those first 6-12 sessions lay down the foundation for a new way of relating.
Online means it doesn’t matter where in the world you are at the time of your appointment. If you have a smartphone and a door to close, you’re available.
Devote this time and break the negative cycle. Then spread out your sessions and take longer to practice between consultations.
Bad marriage problems have a shelf life. Fix it soon with effective online couples counseling and you go on to enjoy many happy years together. Let it fester and distance and resentments build. Showing commitment to online couples counseling demonstrates the willingness to put your partner first. To take their complains seriously. Make it happen before the willingness to change has faded.
Re-establish emotional safety quickly and know how to respond effectively to the most challenging situations. Rebuilding trust and commitment can have enormous long-term benefits.
Imagine several common scenarios in weekly face-to-face couples therapy:
You had a fight on Saturday night. You were scheduled to see the couples therapist on Monday. On Sunday you don't "feel so good," so you cancel that appointment 24-hours in advance so as not to incur a cancellation fee. You have a sniffle. Or the kids have stayed home from school with a fever. There's a lot of good reasons not to go to couples therapy when you've just had a fight and are angry or resentful.
And so one week turns into two, and two into three. You start to wonder if you are really making strides, when you aren't really attending many sessions. And maybe your marriage is to blame.
We work with some of the most successful couples in the world. Many don't want to be seen in a therapist's waiting room. Some are therapists themselves who don't want to go to known colleagues. Online work allows you to experience the best in couples therapy with a specialist from wherever you are. And in the privacy and comfort of your own home or office.
It all starts with an extensive assessment. This lays down a treatment blueprint. You’ll complete a questionnaire we call: “The BIG BIG Book of Intimate Relationships.”
Most couples need to learn concrete skills involving:
One of you may be having a very intimate, personal problem of a sexual nature. Perhaps you can’t imagine sitting in front of another person in a clinical office.
But you need to have it resolved.
You can sit together, in a private place of your choosing, and talk to one of our skilled experts in sex therapy, using your computer…through videoconferencing.
Intimacy problems require specialized training from clinical professionals with the highest ethical standards. Board-certified, peer supervised. Find them here.
At Couples Therapy Inc., we see many of our clients in online couples therapy. Couples often wonder how many weeks of online couples therapy it will take before they notice a shift in their relationship. I tell them that many couples with straight forward communication issues can clear up these issues in as few as 8 to 12 sessions. We know this because evidence-based couples therapy is strategic, and is always focused on helping a couple achieve specific relational goals.
A mental health "General Practitioner" may have little or no overarching plan a plan or specific goals in mind. With a sloppy "problem of the week" mindset, some in-person couples therapy sessions can become a verbal hockey game of attack and defend, while the therapist hangs back passively and helplessly.
Unfortunately, conflictual couples can spin their wheels for a long time without making any real changes. Some couples in couples counseling with All Purpose Therapists (therapists who lack specific training or experience in evidence-based couples therapy) can literally spend years wandering in a therapy desert, 45 grueling minutes at a time.
The solution to this problem is not solved just by using evidence-based models of online couples therapy. However, this is a good start. Our clients are typically very busy, successful people. Finding time for couples therapy can be a real challenge. Research shows that online couples therapy sessions are every bit as effective as in-person sessions. However, the important variable that makes online couples therapy so attractive... is the ability to use time well.
Regular attendance provides traction. The easier it is for you both to do couples therapy, the more traction you will get.
With online sessions, you can be apart, or traveling on business. If a session is particularly difficult, you don't have an awkward, silent ride home. And there is no time wasted driving back and forth, or being recognized by acquaintances in the waiting room.
And at an hour and twenty minutes, Couples Therapy Inc. online couples therapy sessions can help you safely get into conversations that matter. These are sometimes difficult, but always intimate conversations. Any skilled couples therapist has the confidence and specialized training to win the "battle for structure." Online couples therapy sessions must be sufficiently long enough (80-100 minutes versus 45) to allow for a therapeutic encounter capable of listening deeply to two people in a relationship, fairly and equitably. In Science-based couples therapy we act as if the relationship is the client.
A strong therapeutic bond can emerge from online couples therapy sessions that are of sufficient duration. The added time allows the therapist to guide couples through a process that will lead to emotional processing within the session, providing space for measurable growth and change. While the goals and aspirations of therapy will differ from couple to couple, an evidence-based approach allows our therapists to make sure that the couple is engaged in the developmental tasks necessary to heal and repair their relationship.
There a number of important factors that impact how long marriage counseling takes. The big ones are:
1. The evidence-based model being used by the therapist. Leading evidence-based models include the Gottman Method, Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and the all but extinct Integrative Couples Therapy that Gottman Method built upon. These models provide the method and the therapeutic road map.
2. What are the goals of the couple? The longer you have had problems, the greater the possibility that you will slip into a mutually inconsolable position. The best therapists lead but also collaborate with their couples on therapeutic goals. Sometimes, frankly, the couples therapist is the primary custodian of hope. Long-standing resentments usually take longer to process.
3. Do we know what social science tells us about the problem? Do the nature of their problems suggest a possible recovery arc (i.e. the first year after disclosure of an affair is the toughest on the hurt partner, many extra-marital infatuations burn out between 18 and twenty-four months in).
4. Other factors peculiar to the couple can impact how long it takes.
Some couples have been positively impacted by only one or two online couples therapy sessions. Many couples see improvement in as little as 4-6 sessions. Often these couples simply need help with clear communication, or the day to day division of household management, parenting, budgets, or common family goals. Some couples face more complicated issues or have underlying problems that require an investment of more time and effort.
But the sweet spot for most couples seems to be 10 to 12 sessions, weekly.
In some situations, couples will confront the need for changing long-standing patterns in the marriage. Sometimes these problems go back to our family of origin and were baked in the cake long before our partner showed up and asked for a slice. Family of origin attachment deficits can be particularly stubborn and may require more couples therapy to overcome. These kinds of couples could see up to 24 sessions.
Sometimes in the Big Big Book, we discover that part of the problem impacting the marriage is that one or both partners may be struggling with more serious individual issues. For example, Depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or Substance Abuse can wreak havoc on marital satisfaction.
Depression is a tragically common symptom in couples therapy, affecting just over 40% of all couples asking for couples therapy. There are times when it is best that individual therapy precedes or accompanies online couples therapy. Medical Issues are also important. Did you know, for example, that taking acetaminophen has been correlated with a neurologically measurable reduction in feelings of empathy? Careful assessment is at the heart of excellent science-based couples therapy.
This is huge. Couples who are highly motivated (take notes, do assignments, work hard, etc.) are going to get more out of therapy faster than more passive couples. Your couple therapist is not a miracle worker. You are not showing up at church for a laying on of hands. The only magic we have is in how to bring it out in you. Expect to work.
Couples who are committed to regular weekly attendance will move through therapy much more quickly. Personally I am a fan of brief therapy. Attending weekly, 8-12 sessions will give you the traction you will need move through the process with an end in mind. You could be more or less essentially done with a significant issue in your life in 90 days.
Unfortunately, sometimes I can only see a couple sporadically– every other week, or every three weeks. They start and stop the process so many times, that it may take a year or more for them to see improvement in their marriage.
It's harder to get buff when you only go to the gym once every two or three weeks.
Irregular attendance is frustrating for everyone and is generally much less effective. The science is clear on this. Do you want brief couples therapy? Attend faithfully, and work hard for at least 8-12 sessions. If you want to have successful marriage counseling, just decide. Pick an evidence-based specialist. Be determined. Have a solemn agreement that it is a mutual priority. Decide that you will stubbornly outlast your differences.
Couples typically start out by attending weekly, then as therapeutic goals begin to be met, they may then drop to bi-weekly and later perhaps even taper off to monthly. Gottman firmly believes that the art of being a couples therapist is to know when to get out of the way and let the couples do most of the talking and apply what they learned. In evidence-based couples therapy, there is a great deal of attention paid to relapse prevention and skill-building.
Ambivalence should be acknowledged front and center because ambivalence saps motivation. Entering couples therapy means agreeing to work on the relationship. Ambivalence is wondering whether it's worth working on at all. At Couples Therapy Inc.,, Discernment Counseling is how we work on ambivalence. It's not Couples Therapy. But at one session at a time, and a limit of 5 sessions, it sure is brief.
To enter couples therapy requires commitment. Expect to cry, laugh, and be prepared to experience some discomfort. And please be willing to work hard.
Loving well and being loved well are two of the greatest joys in life. Human beings were built for connection. Science-based online couples therapy can help you get there.
Online Couples Counseling: The Limitations
While online therapy itself is becoming increasingly common, it requires more than a fast internet connection and a willingness to join an online platform. Using a secure video-conferencing program is more than technology. It is knowing how to combine couples psychotherapy, in evidence-based lengths, with online therapy techniques, to get the best results.
A therapist should have formal training not only in their area of expertise (in this case couples therapy) but should also know the limitations of online work. That’s why we’ve studied online psychotherapy AND couples therapy extensively.
Many do not.
There are also licensing issues within the United States which are a puzzling and ever-changing array of confusing laws, allowances, or in some cases, no guidelines at all. This varies from state to state. Your license dominates over the name you give your services.
Couples Therapy Inc. has clinicians licensed in many states across the USA, nationally and Internationally. We practice marriage counseling across 19 time zones.
In addition, while most insurance companies will cover “telehealth” sessions, few insurance companies cover couples therapy. Those that do typically have a firm cap on the number of sessions they allow, before requiring that the professional label one or both parties with a mental illness.
If you are looking for evidence-based couples therapy, in all likelihood you will be paying out of pocket. We offer a six-month “same as cash” plan to assist in financing your treatment.
Illness Limitations to Online Marriage Counseling
If you have an undiagnosed mental illness, you will need help from a skilled individual therapist and/or psychiatrist. In addition, chronic physical violence between partners is inappropriate for couples therapy.
Clients who work best in an online format are able to manage their emotional reactivity, are not substance addicted, suicidal or homicidal, and are both interested in making a sincere effort to improve their relationship (or alternatively, seek out our Discernment Counseling format).
It's not magic, and your commitment to the process is absolutely essential. However, if you are not 100% satisfied with the clinical expertise and effort brought to your relationship through our unique Online Couples Therapy, contact Dr. McMahon personally so that she can make it right.
Online. With a click of a button.
And with the same level of security credit card companies use.
Pay online too, with Paypal.
Ask about 6 months same as cash.
Ask about our "Commitment to Change" Online Marriage Counseling Program
We provide real emotional incentives (financial incentives, too...) to show up for the first six weeks, when most of the work and healing takes place. It gives you the traction you need to start talking (and fighting...) more effectively, and feel better about your relationship in general.
Booking and attending six or twelve weeks in a row gives even the most troubled couple a real shot at having a happier, more satisfying intimate life. Ask about our "Commitment to Change" plan when you contact us. It will save a lot more than money. It might save your marriage.
Contact us and discuss your situation. We’ll help you to decide if this service delivery technology will help your relationship. It isn’t appropriate for every couple.
Schedule a No-Charge 15 minute Introductory phone Meeting.
Couples Therapy Inc accepts only a small number of International Couples at any one time, to give each our utmost time and attention.
Is this right for you? Ask for a Consult.
COUPLES THERAPY INC.
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