Often, by the time someone mentions counseling, the marriage is already in a rough place. Few couples think to get counseling to prevent issues so when they finally admit they need help, they want help right away. Most of us turn to the internet when we are desperate and those looking for marriage counseling are no different. In the cyber world we live in, it is easy to believe that every need we have can be taken care of over the internet. Believe it or not, online marriage counseling is possible for couples who want to become closer or work on issues in their marriage.
Before you decide that online marriage counseling is the best option for you and your spouse, you need to realize that for counseling to work, you need to have the right counselor. Many people believe that anyone who is a licensed counselor can provide marriage counseling, too. However, the best marriage counselors often only do counseling for couples. Marriage counseling is quite different than any other type and requires the focus of the counseling be on the relationship, not on the individuals.
Why Choose Online Counseling
Many couples choose online marriage counseling because they are too embarrassed to go to a therapist when someone might see them and wonder why they are going. It is not easy for a person to ask for help and to have the added stress of wondering who may start rumors about their mental or emotional health may keep couples suffering instead of seeking counseling.
Online marriage counseling takes the worry away that you may be seen in the therapist’s office, even though you have no reason to be embarrassed. Asking for help to save your marriage takes courage and should be commended. Another reason many couples choose online marriage counseling is the convenience of completing the program at their pace. They may also feel it is easier to work on issues with their spouse than open up in front of a stranger, even with the guarantee that nothing that is said will be repeated.
Whatever your reason for checking into online marriage counseling, it can work for some couples. Many programs are available that offer the counseling you want so the first thing you and your spouse need to do is find the best option for you.
Online Marriage Counseling Options
When you begin your search, you may be surprised to find you have several options for marriage counseling. Before you make a final decision, you and your spouse need to discuss what type of program you want.
You can purchase sets of CDs or DVDs that will lecture you for several hours about working on marriage issues. Some sets of discs will come with a workbook that can help you understand their program while others may offer an online assessment. You may even be able to sign up for weekly (or daily) e-mails that offer marriage advice or tips to help you work through your marital issues.
These programs can be wonderful tools if you and your spouse are both willing to sit and listen (or watch) many hours of speeches. Even if the programs are well-done, this type of counseling can seem pointless if you do not like being lectured to. Many couples prefer to talk to a person and to have some give and take in the lecture. The ability to ask questions is also very important to most people. And, frankly, watching someone talk for hours could be very boring, even if that person is entertaining and knowledgeable.
Another option you have is to purchase books or download lessons to work on together. Again, these might help, but both people need to read and understand the books and agree to use the suggestions. Books are a great place to get ideas to help your marriage, but it is hard to stay with the process. An email can be ignored easily.
For those couples who want to talk to a counselor, you can even do that online. You can either use the phone or a video conference call to talk with a counselor. Many people choose this type of online marriage counseling because they maintain their privacy while still getting the help they need to save their marriage.
The costs of each type of program vary widely. Purchasing books is usually the cheapest option, but unless you are both willing to read and study the books, purchasing them could be a waste of money. CD and DVD programs can range from $50 to close to $1,000. Remember that the most expensive is not necessarily the best.
Live online counseling is usually charged by the hour. If you choose this option, make sure you ask how the hours are billed and what happens if you go over your “hour” (which is often 45-50 minutes). Do you get billed a specific amount or an entire hour?
No matter which option you choose for online marriage counseling, whether it works or not depends a lot on you and your spouse. You both need to be dedicated to saving your marriage or working out your issues before they can ruin your relationship. You may find that books or workbooks do an amazing job of helping you consider different solutions to your problems or you may need to talk to a marriage counselor.