The Internet has changed our lives in just about every way imaginable. It allows us to download books, movies and music, order groceries, and keep in touch with friends who live across the world in real time. There are hundreds of websites out there promising that they can use advanced algorithms to find us true love.

It has revolutionized the way we communicate. This includes couples therapy. While still in its infancy, the idea of therapy online is one that is rapidly gaining traction and becoming very successful in helping couples work out their differences. Here’s a look at online marital counseling, where it is today, how it might look in the future, and how it could help you.

Roadblocks

One of the biggest roadblocks to online therapy is licensing. Therapists are licensed to practice in specific states, and getting licensed, certified and credentialed in multiple states can be very time consuming and difficult. In many cases, it is also illegal to provide services over the web or phone unless the therapist already has a face-to-face professional relationship with the client.

Changing Laws

These laws may soon be changing, however. In 2014, New York became the first state to offer a proposed legal change that would allow medical treatment over services like Skype easier to obtain and deliver. Eventually, this would also lead to improved access to mental health treatment.  It would work by allowing a degree of portability in practice licenses.

As far as providing services goes, the VA has taken the lead, offering mental health services via telecommunications to almost 500,000 veterans through 750 clinics and150 medical facilities. This has been a boon to the many vets returning from war in dire need of counseling and therapy.

Online Marital Counseling

There are a lot of challenges to online couples therapy. The largest is that real communication generally relies upon face-to-face, in-person interaction. That is, couples need to look each other in the eyes and express their feelings verbally. Text is a cold medium and things said through that medium can easily be misunderstood.

Many online marriage counseling services, thus, focus on education rather than therapy. They teach couples the skills they might be missing so they can rebuild on their own what has been lost. This approach circumvents the need for licensing while still providing essential help in exploring the issues they may be experiencing, in understanding where the tensions in the marriage lie, getting to the roots of the problems and enabling couples to move forward.

An Effective Solution

This “marriage coaching” technique can produce serious improvements in a couple’s ability to re-learn to enjoy one another and their relationship. It can reduce fighting, improve satisfaction and help couples to overcome their problems. A recent study has evaluated one of these programs and found it to be exceptionally successful.

Of course, any course of therapy is most effective when it takes a holistic, whole-life approach. If you are committed to healing yourself and your relationship, we may be able to help. Read a bit about who we are and what we do, and get in touch with us today for more information.