Once you decide to attend couples therapy, your next step is to find a counselor who best fits your needs. Today, you have the option of attending counseling either in-person or online, and it can sometimes be hard to know which one is better. As you explore your options for therapy, ask yourself the following questions to determine which one is right for you and your partner.
What Types of Issues Do You Need to Address?
Because there are many reasons why you may choose to attend couples marriage counseling, you need to know that the counselor is comfortable helping with the issues that affect your relationship the most. For instance, a recent report from the Pew Research Survey shows that approximately 62% of Americans support the right for gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. While this shows a definite improvement from the past, if you’re in a gay relationship, you may still find it hard to find a supportive counselor if you live in a small town with fewer options. Seeking help online provides you with more choices for finding the perfect counselor to guide you through healing your relationship.
Will You Be Going Alone or Together?
While it is always best to attend couples counseling together, your partner may not be fully on board with the idea of talking to a therapist. Fortunately, you can still go to your counseling sessions alone to address your relationship issues. If the decision is solely up to you, then you can benefit from in-person or online sessions depending upon how you feel about talking to a professional counselor alone. For instance, you may find that talking to someone in person feels more intimate than going online. Alternatively, you may find that chatting online makes it easier to open up.
Are There Distance Constraints?
If you live apart from your spouse, you’re among the over 3 million Americans who live apart from their spouse. While your reasons for living separately may be based upon work or family obligations rather than discord, just being in a long-distance relationship places you at a higher risk for divorce. The distance can also make it harder to attend in-person sessions. If this is the case, talking to a counselor online allows you to both get help at the same time without having to be in the same room. This type of arrangement is often the preferred method for military families or couples where one partner is living overseas.
Are You Comfortable Using Technology?
Couples counseling relies on good communication to help you convey your concerns and learn to work out your issues. For this reason, you must consider how you communicate best. For example, online couples therapy requires you to feel comfortable using your computer to text or video chat; your partner should also feel good about meeting online. If they don’t, then in-person sessions eliminate the technological issues that can arise from online meetings.
Do You Have Privacy Concerns?
Professional counselors always protect your confidentiality, and you can trust that they will never tell anyone about your issues with infidelity, addiction, or divorce, or any other issue you discuss with them. However, you may still worry about someone seeing your car parked outside a marriage counselor’s office, especially if you live in a tight-knit community or hold a high profile position where people notice your every movement. Although there is nothing to be ashamed about regarding marital counseling, it may simply be your preference to avoid public scrutiny. For these types of situations, online therapy is a great alternative as it allows you to meet with a counselor while you’re in the privacy of your home or office.
Now that you can go to counseling online, seeking help for your relationship can be much easier. While online therapy offers many advantages, you may still prefer to attend your sessions in-person. Either way, choosing the option that works better for you allows your relationship to flourish under the guidance of a professional counselor who can help you work through any type of issue.