Relationship Counseling Online
Dealing with problems in your relationship can be challenging. Understanding what is happening when you are in the thick of things can be difficult. Worse yet, facing relationship problems alone can be daunting and feel futile. You recognize you need help. But you feel that obstacles are in the way — adding to the challenges you are already experiencing.
One major obstacle is navigating the logistics of getting started with counseling. Worrying about scheduling, who will watch the kids, and how you will both be in the same place at the same time can increase the stress in your relationship and make it difficult to move forward and get help.
You can get the help you need with your intimate relationship with online couples therapy.
Perhaps surprisingly, the internet can make all the difficulties of juggling life and working on your relationship easier. Relationship counseling online could be the answer for you. I offer online counseling so you can work on your marriage or relationship from anywhere. Over the past four years, I have seen many couples address their issues online and work on their relationship together without worrying about obstacles associated with in-person therapy.
Many benefits to online couples counseling exist. It can be easier to find a licensed couples therapist who fits your needs if you expand your search to cover the whole state with "couples counseling online California." Your search will significantly increase your choices of online couples therapists. Local results won't limit you. The search term "couples therapy online California" will allow you to find the best online couples therapist for you.
The ease of joining an online therapy session makes being consistent much easier. You can be anywhere with internet access to attend your appointment. You and your partner can even be in different locations. Many couples schedule online therapy during their lunch hour from their private office or in the parking lot at work in their car. You don't need childcare for online therapy, so you will not have the headache of finding a sitter. Syncing schedules and calculating travel time is no longer an obstacle. Some couples stay at work late and miss the traffic to use that time to work on their relationship. Either way, you will have no rushing or additional stress to get to my office. You can arrive online calm and ready to start.
You can do relationship counseling online in the comfort of your own home. Children can play or do homework while you work on communication to improve your relationship. Minor interruptions from time to time are no problem. Babes in arms are welcome.
An additional benefit to online couples therapy is privacy. When you meet with me online, no one in my waiting room will see you. If you live in a different part of California than me, you will not bump into me at the grocery store. Your life and your relationship are private. No one will inadvertently discover that you have been struggling. Unless you want them to know, no one will learn that you are seeking support.
Online counseling sessions are a convenient way to help you strengthen your relationship. You can work on increasing your bond, deepening trust, and how to have productive discussions instead of arguments. Many couples come to online therapy to communicate better, resolve disagreements, and work on polyamorous and ethical non-monogamous relationships. You can address complicated issues such as infidelity and co-parenting in online counseling sessions.
Working on your relationship is important. It will positively affect your other relationships, including those with your children and extended family. When you are happier in your relationship, you can connect with others better. Working on your marriage also can positively affect your individual mental health. When your relationship runs smoothly, you may find issues like stress, anger, disappointment, depression, and anxiety decrease. When you're happy with your relationship and communicating well, your happiness spreads throughout your life.
What if one of us isn't sure about couples counseling?
It's easier to get started when both of you are interested in counseling. However, it's extremely common that one of you is more invested in therapy than the other. If you're the more invested one, let your partner know how important it is to you to work on your relationship. Take the time to listen to their concerns.
A common concern is that the counselor will take sides, focus on what they are doing wrong, and put them down. One foundational principle of counseling is that the client is the relationship, not each of you as individuals. The therapist's job is to work on what's best for the relationship and not focus on individual work. I make an effort to maintain a level of equality. Each person has a chance to answer every question and share their viewpoint and ideas. The goal is to maintain a balance and improve communication.
Another common obstacle is a busy schedule. Relationship counseling online is an option that makes it easier to fit therapy into your busy life. You can join sessions from anywhere with privacy. Many couples make appointments during their lunch break and join at their private office or from their car. Others meet at the end of their workday and skip the heavy traffic. They get home faster after the session.
When your partner agrees to attend counseling with you, let them know how much you appreciate their willingness to give it a try. Once you've signed up for your first session, you can relax and wait for the counselor to do their job and create a safe environment.
What should we expect in an online couples counseling session?
When you decide to get counseling, you usually wonder about several things. Having questions is especially true for online couples counseling. Counseling with two people is different than working individually.
Some common questions about relationship counseling online:
Will we be able to talk openly?
Couples therapy is a structured environment where you each take turns sharing your hopes, views, experiences, and ideas. I intend to create a safe place where you feel comfortable expressing yourself. However, I will not facilitate situations that turn into yelling matches or a series of attacks. We will spend our time talking about your relationship in a productive way.
How often will we meet?
The short answer is, It all depends on what works for you and your partner. Typically couples begin by meeting once a week. Choosing appointments that work for both of you depends on your work hours, availability, finances, and how long you want to work on changes between sessions. Many couples meet once a week at the same time at first and switch to every other week when they start to feel more stable. There are other options. Some couples have busy schedules, so we schedule around their commitments. Some prefer to schedule several weeks ahead, while others schedule after each session. I make an effort to be as flexible as possible.
Will our counselor be able to help us solve our problems?
Psychotherapy is not a cookie-cutter experience. I will do my best to facilitate a conversation that helps you find unique solutions that fit your situation. It is up to you to choose what works. I expect you to be clear about what you want to pursue.
Although every couple's experience may be different, here are some things you can generally expect in an online couples counseling session:
First, both you and your partner will need internet access and a computer with a webcam to join our virtual session. You'll need a private location where you can talk without being heard by others or disturbed. Your sessions last the traditional 50 minutes, and you'll be able to communicate with your counselor through a HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform.
I will start your first session by asking about your best hopes for our time together. We will explore what you want your relationship to look like when things are going well. I will ask questions based on your responses.
Your video sessions will be designed with your unique needs in mind. They can stand on their own or continue where we left off in the previous session. It's up to you. We will always address what is most important to you at the moment and go from there. Some clients like to start with how things went the previous weekend, others begin with what went well, and some want to discuss a difficult conversation they had.
How can we tell if therapy is working?
First, you should both feel comfortable in your session. If you don't, speak up. Therapists need feedback. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. Please tell me what you need. If one or both of you are uncomfortable with the direction we're going, let me know. There are several approaches we can take. We can always reassess, develop a new plan and make changes. Therapy is a fluid process intended to meet your needs. There is no set program we must follow. When you are forthcoming, we can have some useful conversations that move you towards the relationship you want. Of course, some therapists just aren't going to be the right fit, and that's okay too — that's why you should shop around a bit before settling down with one person.
If therapy is working, you should start noticing some little things changing and maybe even something big. You might start thinking about your partner differently. You could notice more feelings of empathy. The voice in your head may remind you of things about your partner that you don't always remember. You may find yourself feeling calmer and more understood. Every couple notices different things, but there will be clues.
What kinds of results should we expect from online couples therapy?
It depends on why you're coming to therapy. Even among couples seeking similar outcomes, results vary. One of the most common reasons romantic partners start treatment is communication. Some partners come to therapy to "save" their relationship. That's a tall order, but it is entirely possible. I've seen relationships heal from some pretty difficult things. However, I cannot make any promises. There are so many moving parts. Relationships are complicated. My job is not to "fix" or "save" people or relationships. No therapist can "save" a relationship. That's on you. My job is to open up the conversation and shine a light on different areas so you can make the best decisions for your relationship. Sometimes that decision is to remain friendly, live separately, and work on co-parenting.
Therapy is not manipulative. I will never tell you what to do or not do. I will ask you lots of questions to help you think about things differently and find solutions that work for you. If you're both committed to working to improve your relationship, it's a win-win situation. You get to decide together how your improved relationship will look.
You can't get results if you don't know where you want to end up. The outcome you are hoping for is central to the process. We will start by discussing what you really want. Knowing where you're going before you leave for a vacation is a good idea. The same is true for therapy. You need a destination. Once you figure out where you want to be, you can plan your journey.
Sometimes progress is hard to measure, but if you keep an eye out for little details, you will most likely see changes. It may be a shift in your tone of voice, a small kindness, or a tiny behavior change. Just keep looking. Progress is progress, and every little bit adds up.
Friendship therapy is much the same as couples therapy minus the conversations about romance and running a household together. Adult friendships can get complicated and be challenging. Life is busy. Responsibilities for work and family can get in the way of staying connected. Online friendship therapy can help you mend, maintain, or deepen your valuable friendships.
It's always a good idea to improve your relationships. Friendships are a big part of your life and deserve the attention they need to thrive.