Relationships are full of ups and downs. They come with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and many couples have run the full gauntlet of experiences. At times, you reach a point when things need some improvement, and that’s okay! Whether you and your partner need to address issues you’ve tried to overlook, or you’re in a new relationship and want to move forward in an intentional way, relationship therapy is a great tool to utilize.
The good news is that now, more than any other time in history, there is a wide range of options available for couples therapy that don’t involve great expense or inconvenience. When you think of therapy, you might immediately think of scenes from movies where a patient is reclined on a couch talking about their problems with a therapist. While some forms of traditional therapy still exist, it’s not the only option anymore. You have the ability to seek relationship help online or through an app, both of which are convenient, cost-friendly, and easily accessible.
The introduction of online therapy for couples has revolutionized how people seek help. We now have the opportunity to learn in a way that suits our busy lifestyles. In the past, many people only considered therapy as a last-ditch effort to save the relationship—but not anymore. Today, couples therapy is being recognized as something even happy couples should invest in as a regular part of relationship maintenance.
So, if you’re curious about what online therapy is like, consider these factors:
In the past, many couples would struggle to make their face-to-face therapy appointments, and when life got busy with kids and work, these meetings would be rescheduled and de-prioritized – at the times they were most needed. Enter: online therapy!
Online therapy works on your schedule. You still need to turn up for your appointment, but you don’t need to commute or worry about running into people you know in the waiting room. Online therapy also offers more privacy, because it is something that you can do from the comfort of your home.
Recently, an even more accessible form of therapy has emerged—relationship coaching apps. What’s more convenient than professional coaching on your phone? The app Relish provides the ability to send messages to a relationship coach any time of day, knowing they’ll get a response as soon as the coach is back online. There’s no scheduling, commuting, or obligation to commit to a certain amount of time per week.
The huge barrier to face-to-face therapy has always been the cost. Three or four months of weekly relationship therapy can run around $3200 and often isn’t covered by insurance. If money is a cause of stress in your relationship, then it’s almost impossible to justify this kind of spending on anything, including therapy!
Online therapy makes some improvements on this. While there are some completely free options (online quizzes, articles, etc.), other services have a sliding scale payment structure that’s based on your income level. Still, any face-to-face therapy, even over the computer, is still a major investment.
If you and your partner are interested in therapy, but can’t afford the price tag, consider turning to a relationship app. Most charge a yearly subscription and are much more affordable than traditional options. The beauty of app technology is it provides different ways to help, from interactive lessons to quizzes and, of course, talking to a real-life relationship coach.
Relish, for example, is $100 for a yearly subscription, which is a staggering 3.2% of what you’d pay for traditional counseling. (This is after a free trial, of course.) The best part? You’re receiving much of the same content, such as lessons on conflict resolution and communication, help with intimacy and sex, emotional support from a coach, and a space to reflect and share your thoughts with your partner.
One common reason for couples to drop out of therapy is that it isn’t really fitting for their way of doing things. For example, maybe one partner wants to focus on dissecting particular arguments or conversations, and the other wants to focus on moving forward. While differences between you and your partner are often what makes your relationship work, it can be difficult to make traditional therapy work if you’re on two different pages.
A huge benefit of relationship apps is you can navigate them however you choose! For example, one person can focus on completing an interactive lesson each week, while the other spends more time talking to their relationship coach. As long as you’re discussing what you learn with each other, there’s no wrong way to use the app.
Just like people have different learning styles in the classroom, they also have different learning styles when it comes to relationships. Most relationship apps are designed with this in mind, making sure that there is something for everyone.
Traditional, in-person therapy is often about the therapist-couple relationship. Couples will work on establishing trust with their therapist so that they feel comfortable opening up about difficult and intimate parts of their relationship, which can take time. While finding the right therapist can be a very rewarding process, it’s not something every couple has the time and money to do. What if you try out all the options in your area and still aren’t able to find a good fit?
Online therapy has worked to remove some of these barriers, providing couples with access to an almost unlimited number of potential therapists. No matter where you live, you can get the help you need, but there is still the aspect of making sure your therapist is best-suited for what you’re looking for.
This is another benefit of using relationship apps like Relish. They focus more on your wants and needs as a couple and less on the relationship with your therapist. The onboarding process reveals significant insight into your relationship style and what your problem areas are. Once you sign up, you’re immediately given helpful lessons, quizzes, and insights specifically tailored for you and your partner. Trained coaches are available every step of the way, but only when you request communication. This model expedites the process of improving your relationship and centers around you and your partner.
Whether you prefer traditional, online, or coaching app therapy, it’s certainly worth the time to explore all of your options. Couples therapy is no longer considered “taboo,” and taking the time to learn more about it is the first step towards a happier, healthier relationship!