Recently, online therapy has become much more popular. Since finding and connecting with a therapist can take some time, virtual meetings can be less difficult to navigate. Evidence shows that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy.
Relationships are hard and take work to be healthy and successful. Couples therapy is a great way to address issues in your relationship and learn how to better manage them. There are many advantages to online counseling, particularly for couples!
What is online couples therapy?
Also known as telecounseling or e-therapy, online counseling usually involves a virtual face-to-face meeting over a videoconferencing software. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are familiar with attending work meetings or going to school online. Virtual therapy uses the same concept. It can also involve conversations through email, text, or chat boxes.
For couples, this means you both meet with a therapist while sitting side by side. The goal is to help you communicate more effectively, develop healthy ways of dealing with conflict, and deepen your intimacy. The therapist will facilitate your conversations as you take turns speaking and actively listening. Your counselor may also make note of your body language as this mediated conflict resolution takes place.
Virtual has its advantages.
It can be more convenient to not factor in a commute or health issues when seeing your therapist. As such, you’ll find easier workarounds in your busy schedules. A therapist will also be more accessible. You can find someone you connect with who might be on the other side of your state, or has a lot of clients that they need to be strategic about penciling in.
Sessions taking place in your home mean you’re more comfortable. Sometimes, talking openly and honestly in an unfamiliar environment can be daunting. Translating the skills your therapist works with you on is much easier when the therapy itself takes place in your natural environment. You and your partner can leave the session and immediately start using better communication techniques.
If you and your partner are long-distance, online therapy is a great option. You can both be present in your appointments even if you’re not sitting side by side. Communication in a long-distance relationship is vital to its success.
What a therapist might work on with you.
A therapist will help you each identify your goals for these sessions. They might give you both homework to complete before the next session. This will help you learn strategies for communication and building trust. Be open-minded!
Your therapy sessions become the scheduled place where you can air your grievances. Therefore, your day-to-day communication with your partner might improve, since you know exactly when and where you can bring up your relationship issues.
Since the sessions take place in your home, there can be interruptions from pets, children, or other family members. There is always the risk of technological issues. On a screen, certain body language can be more difficult for your therapist to read. If you and your partner have a particularly hostile relationship, it might be hard for the therapist to control the situation.
Is online couples therapy right for you?
Virtual therapy may not work for everyone. But since it can be easier to find a therapist and schedule an appointment for an online session, you should consider being open to virtual therapy. It’s crucial that you find a therapist that you and your partner both connect with. This can take some trial and error. You might also think about each of you doing individual therapy in addition to sessions with the both of you.