Online Therapy for Couples: Challenges and Opportunities

Starting couples therapy can take some planning. You or your partner may feel that you are at a stage in your relationship where you cannot work through your issues yourself. You may find that you are repeating the same argument, that communication has broken down or that you are experiencing intimacy issues. This may be a point where you start to explore couples therapy as a resolution, having someone outside of the relationship listen to what you are both saying and how you are feeling can help unify you and your partner to work through your issues together instead of feeling like you are apart. When reaching out to a therapist it is important that you choose somebody that you both can work with while also being able to factor in how the sessions will fit into your schedule.

In the past few years there has been an increase in demand for online couples therapy. It is an easy and convenient way to access psychotherapy services in a manner that suits your schedule. With couples therapy you must factor in how the sessions are going to suit both people. Some people may not feel comfortable attending a psychotherapy centre and would prefer to be in the comfort of their own home, while others may feel that they may only be able to relate to their therapist in person. Both partners need to feel comfortable with an online therapy set-up in order to see the most benefit from the sessions. Online couples therapy also works for long distance relationships as it accommodates for anyone living in separate cities or countries to come together and work on their issues. Virtual therapy is a facilitating service and can allow you to work with some very skilled therapists if you feel that this option is suitable for you.

Much like engaging in other therapy methods there are pros and cons to online couples therapy. This service may not be suitable or favourable for everybody. It can also depend on how comfortable you are with technology. If you and your partner are thinking of starting online couples counselling you may start to look at the differences between online couples therapy and in-person couples therapy to help make your decision.

If you are considering starting virtual therapy, below are some of the benefits to online couples therapy:


Trying to accommodate an hourly appointment each week can seem daunting at first, it can feel difficult to fit it into your working day and if you are engaging in couples therapy you need to factor in two peoples’ schedules. Engaging in online couples therapy is an easy convenient option for trying to manage a new routine, it cuts down on travel time and means that you do not have to do as much research into finding the right therapist in your area. It is also an accessible option if you and your partner are working from home, and you may be able to access more appointment times if you have availability during the day. You can access a wider range of skilled therapists that offer online couples therapy. By accessing them online at Mind and Body Works, you are able to read a bit of background about your therapist first and understand if they are the right fit for you and your partner.

Works for long distance relationships

Being in a long-distance relationship can pose a challenge for couples. While technology allows you to maintain regular contact even though you are apart, it can also provide communication issues. You may feel anxious due to your partner not being physically present and this could cause an underlying pressure within the relationship. Online couples therapy allows a shared space for both partners to work through their issues together and can help bridge the physical distance within the relationship. You have the space together to work with your therapist without the need to negotiate one partner making a longer journey to access help.

Maybe more comfortable

The thought of going into a psychotherapy centre may feel daunting for you and your partner at first, some people may feel embarrassed if they are seen going in or they may feel that being in a centre is too clinical. When you attend online couples therapy you may feel more comfortable opening up and working through communication issues in your own personal space. It can feel more calming speaking about yourself in a space that you recognise. If you and your partner are more comfortable in your personal space, you may feel more relaxed and the dynamics of your relationship may more easily appear during your session. This allows you to engage in the work with your therapist if you feel that you are in a safe and supported environment.

While online therapy can seem like an adaptable and convenient option it is not suitable for everyone, some challenges that can be faced within online couples therapy are:

Body Language

It is harder for your therapist to pick up on you or your partners body language when they are not in the room with you. While this may seem unimportant to the content of the session, it allows the therapist to understand the dynamic of a couple when seeing them interact together. Missed cues such as a couple sitting away from each other, brushing away a hand or even one person bouncing their leg can indicate a level of discomfort within a session. While allowing the clients a space to speak is important, there is also value in understanding how your body is matching your words. If your therapist is able to see how you are speaking through your body language, they can know how to accommodate you to make you feel more comfortable in the therapy setting.

Internet Connection

Access to the internet allows us endless possibilities to connect with others online and during the pandemic times we saw an increase in platforms such as Zoom and Frankie to facilitate psychotherapy sessions. However, with internet access you cannot always be guaranteed a stable connection. If there is a connection breakdown during an online couples therapy session this can impact how a couple engages in the session. If there are feelings of frustration about the internet connection occurring during an emotional session this frustration could be transferred onto the therapy experience. It may stop you from wanting to disclose something personal or speaking with your partner as your words may not be heard by your therapist.

Less Personable

As you are not physically in the room with your therapist during an online couples therapy session you may find it harder to relate to them. You may feel a distance towards your therapist as you are engaging with them through a screen. The therapist has a harder time of seeing the dynamics of your relationship in action and may only be getting a small insight into how you act together based on what comes up in the session. If there is resistance to an online set-up by one member of the relationship it can become difficult to work through the issues that have come up.

Whether you choose online couples therapy or an in-person appointment the most important factor is that you and your partner feel comfortable in your therapy sessions. Working with a suitable therapist in a supportive environment makes the whole therapy process much easier to engage in and helps work through the issues that may be presenting in your relationship. If online couples therapy is an option that you would like to pursue, please browse the Mind and Body Works website to read about the online couples therapists we have working with us. We have a profile and biography for each therapist to help make your choice of therapist easier for you. Alternatively, you can contact us on 01 6771021 or email us at and our team can help offer you some guidance.

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