Free Marriage Counseling: Why ReGain Does Not Offer Free Counseling
By: William Drake
Updated July 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
Have you been scouring the internet for quality free marriage counseling or therapy services with no luck? If so, you’ll be relieved to know that you’re not the only one looking for the best marriage support available. While free online marriage counseling, individual counseling, and family counseling options are available online, free counseling options don’t provide the level of clinical support required to heal the couples, family, and individual relationship challenges that cause marriages to fall apart. Every good marriage has its fair share of challenges.
In this article, we compare free marriage counseling and therapy options vs. clinical therapy options. We also provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at the goals of a marriage, and family therapist. Finally, we equip you with the tools and advice to find alternative (and affordable) marriage counselors -- that get results. Let’s start by looking at the differences in free marriage counseling versus licensed marriage and family therapy services.
Free Counseling vs. Clinical Therapy
If you’ve ever gotten free marriage or relationship advice from someone who isn’t a licensed therapy professional, then you already have an idea of how free counseling and marriage and family therapy services work. You also know that finding a good marriage counselor is not as easy as it seems but the good news is, a wide variety of board certified marriage builders are accessible. Free marriage counselors offer introductory advice and normally point to resources and referrals for resolving immediate challenges. These are great for couples and individuals looking forward to marriage someday. However, people who need long-term marriage and family support for serious relationship issues and chronic mental health concerns require the clinical support of a licensed marriage and family therapist (or other similar therapy professional). Free counseling simply does not cover it all even when you attend regular meetings.
While people who are suffering from chronic mental health issues can benefit from the emotional support offered by free counseling and therapy services, free emotional support services aren’t a long-term substitute for clinical therapy provided by licensed marriage and family therapists. Here’s why.
The people who provide free therapy options are often unlicensed professionals who provide free therapy and emotional support options as a community service. Therefore, in such relationship counseling, important matters may be dealt with randomly. For example, many churches and community support groups offer free marriage counseling and individual counseling and important relationship services for their members. Another benefit of free marriage and family counseling and family counseling options is to connect you with volunteer support providers (or people who have taken a crash course in therapy) that are available to help you out in a pinch.
While free advice in marriage and family services and referrals are beneficial (especially in times of crisis and for unexpected issues that arise) -- in order for chronic mental health sufferers to receive proper diagnosis and treatment for managing chronic mental health disorders -- that may be contributing to the demise of the marriages and relationships, the guidance and psychotherapy support of a licensed marriage counselors like a marriage and family therapist is recommended.
The Goals Of Clinical Therapy
A licensed marriage and family therapist is one of the marriage counselors (marriage builders) that also specializes in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of chronic mental health issues. Licensed marriage counselors study for years to receive a degree in marriage and family studies and are then required to complete on-the-job-training with hands-on clinical practice Once marriage counselors complete their clinical training, these newly qualified marriage and family therapists become officially eligible to receive their license to practice as a licensed marriage and family therapists of residence. (For example, Denver marriage counselors are licensed by the State of Colorado).
Each state has its own individual requirements for prospective marriage counselors to meet before they are officially awarded a license to practice therapy.
The role of a marriage counselor is to provide treatment options and relief for people suffering from mental health issues, emotional issues, and substance abuse issues that are creating further issues in their marriage and family relationships. Marriage counselors provide testing, tips for finding a common ground, assessments and psychotherapy services geared toward helping people with marriage and family challenges to take back control of their lives. The American Association for Marriage Counseling receives thousands of requests for licensed marriage and family therapists counselors referrals each year.
Licensed marriage counselors don’t just deal with marriage and relationship issues or cover marriage counselling. The best marriage counselors offer their clients a holistic therapy (including art therapy) for solutions for healing the individuals in the family as well as each individual partner in married couples. Marriage counselors understand that married couples bring their own individual issues to the table including mental health concerns that may damage the marital bond. These marriage builders also refrain from judging. The following are three examples of chronic mental health issues that marriage counselors commonly treat.
Anxiety - According to the Anxiety And Depression Association of America, people who suffer from an anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, often seek professional treatment including online therapy options for managing debilitating symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety sufferers are often overwhelmed with a sense of impending doom or fear that can strike at any time and last or varying periods of time.
Psychotherapy treatment has shown to be beneficial for treating symptoms of anxiety. In severe cases, anxiety medication is prescribed by a psychiatrist or medical doctor in addition to therapy. Statistics show there are approximately 40 million Americans affected by anxiety each year.
Depression - When people feel overwhelmed by a sense of sadness and loss for an extended period of time, depression is often the culprit. People who are depressed often feel lethargic, disinterested, and no longer enjoy the things that once brought them joy. It’s not uncommon for depression and anxiety symptoms to occur at the same time.
The combination of anxiety and depressive disorders can quickly become debilitating for people who are learning how to cope with their individual conditions. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression and major depressive disorder (MDD) account for up to 16 million cases of chronic mental health issues reported annually in the US. Depression affects children and adults alike, although research shows that depression and related symptoms appear to be more prevalent in women.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - When someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, it’s not uncommon for post-traumatic stress disorder to develop as a result. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that paralyzes PTSD sufferers with fear -- even in ordinary circumstances. People with PTSD may relive a traumatic event in their mind over-and-over again.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause issues with daily functioning and sleep disruption, as PTSD sufferers are re-traumatized each time they relive the experience. In the past, PTSD was thought to be limited to first-responders like police, fire, and the military. Recent research has shown that more people are suffering from PTSD due to the effects of traumatic events.
Examples of traumatic life events that can trigger episodes of PTSD include living in poverty-stricken or war-torn countries, being a victim or witness to domestic violence, and experiencing child abuse or neglect. It’s important to note that any or all of these things can lead to someone experiencing a bout of PTSD.
A medical doctor may prescribe medication as one option for people to manage symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. In most cases, your medical provider will also recommend clinical psychotherapy in conjunction with medication as a holistic solution to treat these disorders.
Marriage counselors specialize in providing diagnosis, psychotherapy treatment, and also partner with other medical providers to provide a continuum of care for people suffering from mild-to-moderate cases of chronic mental health disorders. They also ascertain that marriage therapy with an expert is a starting point when faced with options. More serious and severe mental health issues and mental disorders are referred to psychiatrists for intensive care.
People who are suffering from severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, dementia, and similar disorders often require a higher level of care that can include in-patient hospitalization.
Benefits Of Online Therapy For Mild-to-Moderate Mental Health Issues
Now that you understand the differences in free therapy vs. clinical therapy, let’s look at the benefits of getting therapy online. With millions of Americans suffering from mental illness annually, the demand for qualified mental health professionals is rapidly increasing. People who live in rural areas, those who are homebound, or caring for small children often have limited options to receive qualified therapy in their home area.
The answer to this dilemma is online therapy. Online therapy options provide people with access to high-quality mental health care services that they would receive in a therapy office, hospital, or clinic. It also helps your partner learn new things about you. Online therapy is a medium of getting closer to marriage builders without seeing them face to face. Getting online therapy and life coaching from a highly trained and licensed therapist is now as easy as logging in to apps like ReGain using your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. The registration process for seeing marriage counselors on the ReGain platform is straight-forward and easy after answering a brief questionnaire, you are matched to licensed marriage counselors who are licensed to practice in your area. The ReGain therapy matching service automatically matches you with the best. With these counseling online platform, you can discuss important relationship issues. Therefore, before you call it quits or give in to the pressure, consider relationship counseling or a session with the marriage builders on this platform.
Online therapy sessions with ReGain marriage counselors can last for as few as 15 minutes to 60 minutes depending on your chosen method of receiving therapy. Using platforms like ReGain, online therapy clients have 24-hour access to their therapists via email, chat, phone, video chat, and SMS messaging. Online therapy clients appreciate the convenience that online therapy services provide in helping them to resolve issues with chronic mental health concerns and adding value to their lives. Again, the success rate of the platform since inception is quite commendable thus providing couples and families with a basis of trust.
When you chat with a licensed ReGain therapist online, you gain immediate access to professional and expert advice for dealing with real-life situations. You rest assured that your therapy session is secure. Again, you can easily apply tips from marriage builders to your marriage without fear. Below are some experiences of couples who tried online therapy for marriage counseling with ReGain.
Online Marriage Counseling Reviews
"Melanie saved my marriage. She is great at listening and giving practical solutions to the problems we are having. Before i started this I felt really uncomfortable but Melanie put us at ease and now I'm looking forward to the future."
"Sandtrice helped my wife and I through an extremely dark time. She gives solid advice and I would recommend her to anyone. She truly cares and there's no words to describe how valuable she's been."
Why ReGain Doesn’t Offer Free Therapy Online
The marriage counselors at ReGain are trained and licensed mental health professionals that offer clinical advice and therapeutic support for married people in crisis, those who struggle with chronic mental health issues, and people who are seeking life advice. These highly trained clinical experts and marriage builders operate independently in a professional capacity to provide online marriage counseling and a much-needed support to mental health sufferers in need.
In many cases, the marriage counselors or therapy counselors you see for marriage and family counseling operate offline practices and offer therapy services online in an effort to meet the ever-growing demand for affordable psychotherapy services. So, access to marriage builders are not limited to online interaction only. As more and more Americans begin to suffer from chronic mental illnesses and mental health disorders, online marriage counselors offer the same level of clinical therapy services as their in-office counterparts. In many cases, online marriage counselors, marriage and family therapists, and other licensed mental health professionals operate independent offline therapy practices as well.
Today’s marriage counselors are offering their services online in an effort to expand their practices and to meet the growing needs of their clients. So, if you seek marriage counseling, counseling online is a big option. Mental health clients, people looking for licensed marriage counselors in rural areas, those with no access to transportation, and those under stay-at-home, quarantine, or lockdown orders now have the same access to highly qualified marriage counselors from the comfort of their home, offices, and other private locations.
Sessions with licensed marriage counselors on the ReGain online therapy platform is the equivalent of visiting your therapist’s office, hospital, or clinic from your desktop, tablet, or smartphone. If you’ve ever used your phone, tablet, or smartphone to video chat or text a friend, then you’ll have an easy time navigating the online therapy platforms like ReGain.
If you’re ready to take the next step and give affordable marriage counselors a try, the licensed marriage counselors at ReGain are available online 24-hours a day.
Click here to get started with your free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there free marriage counseling?
If you’re experiencing a rough spot, free marriage counseling is a great idea. Marriage builders come in the form of counselors, therapists and other professionals. You can search for free marriage help and find a couple of decent options. There are a couple ways that you can pursue free marriage counseling online. The first way to seek help from a religious leader. Many religious leaders are actually trained marriage therapists counselors, and they usually offer their marriage counseling services for free. You can also check out your local community center for support groups and free classes that are aimed at helping you improve your marriage. You may find free online marriage counseling options too. Taking these free steps and engaging with your partner through these free marriage counseling resources is a great first step for improving your marriage.
If you are seeking therapy or counselling couples therapy, it’s important to have an idea of the price range and the success rate of the party you’re dealing with. There are a few options for free online marriage counseling. These can put you in touch with an online couples counselor. Even if you and your partner are ready for online couples therapy, the cost could be an inhibitor to therapy or relationship counseling. Just remember that while the initial marriage counseling options might be completely free, you’ll have to pay for a therapist.
You have a couple options that will help determine the price of your online counseling or couples therapist. The first factor is whether you’ll meet your couples therapist in person or online. As a general rule, couples therapists usually charge between $75 and $200 per session, with one session per week. However, before you decide that marriage counseling is too expensive, remember that there are online counseling alternatives that are usually cheaper than the in-person counseling sessions. In fact, there are even some options for free marriage counseling online.so, if you’re not sure your insurance cover marriage counseling, you can explore other options.
You’re more likely to find free marriage counseling online than in person. The exciting part is that you get to interact with real marriage builders from the comfort of your home. You can check out ReGain and the therapy offered for both individuals and couples. You’ll be able to find the right couples counselling therapist for you and your partner, and you’ll find reasonable, competitive rates.
What to do when you can't afford couples therapy?
The first thing that you can do is explore the different options for free marriage counseling online that helps you and your partner learn once more. In the search for free marriage therapy, you’ll find several options and resources. There are many counselors and therapists who may offer services for free for a time, before you have to commit to the process and pay for the counseling sessions. There are also many religious leaders who do marriage counseling sessions for free.
There are a few options for free marriage counseling online, and while most of them are free to join, you might have to buy the materials. These counseling resources are usually made for many people, so you can’t really expect personalized therapy sessions. However, the courses and plans are full of great professional advice, and they are a great first step to strengthen your marriage and deciding if therapy sessions or online counseling is something you’d be willing to pay for.
It’s also important to check with your insurance provider. Many plans cover mental health needs, which can include therapy sessions for married couples. You can often use the insurance to cover face to face counseling sessions or online counseling.
There are also some hotlines that are especially for married couples who are seeking online counseling. Calling this hotline is free, but the counseling sessions are conducted over the phone or internet. While they are free at the outset, especially for crises in romantic relationships, they are not a long-term fix. These hotline counseling sessions are great for a short-term relief, but they aren’t a solution for long-standing or recurring problems for married couples.
Can marriage counseling be covered by insurance?
Some insurance plans do cover marriage counseling, but this is not too frequent. If you’re trying to find licensed therapists that can help with marriage advice, the first place to start is your insurance provider. Before you try to find counseling services on your own, it’s best to ask your insurance provider first, because they’ll be able to give you a list of licensed therapists and marriage counseling options whose services are covered by your insurance plan. You should also ask if the coverage extends to your partner, whether or not you’re married couples.
Once you’ve talked to your insurance provider, you can ask around for recommendations for licensed therapists or marriage counseling services. If you’re uncomfortable asking friends and family for their suggestions for marriage counseling services, you can find tons of reviews and testimonials online. From others’ advice, you’ll be able to find a couples counselor that fits your needs and gives professional advice. These programs can show you clear ways to apply what you learn to real life, which is a decent and free substitute for a counselor today.
Also, remember that when it’s time to find a psychologist, it’s okay if the first therapist doesn’t work out. If, after a few therapy sessions, you feel like the therapist isn’t a good fit for you, there’s no shame in looking for a different counselor today. The quality of therapy relies on the trust and relationship between the patient and the counselor, so it’s important to find a mental health professional that makes you feel comfortable and understood.
How can I fix my marriage without counseling?
A quick search on the internet reveals hundreds of different ways to improve your marriage without online counseling or seeing a therapist. Marriage builders attribute this to reading a book or doing a series of lessons together. These books and lessons focus on how to build up your marriage and establish habits that will help keep your marriage healthy.
The first step, though, is to establish and maintain open, honest, and non-judgmental lines of communication. This means that both of you need to be willing to listen to each other earnestly, not defensively, and respond empathetically. Once you’re able to do this with your partner, you will both be able to address the problems in your marriage without doing online counseling or couples therapy.
What is the difference between marriage counseling and couples therapy?
If you seek marriage counseling online, you should know the basics. The biggest difference between a good marriage counseling and couples therapy is that marriage counseling usually focuses on the present and not the past. Marriage counseling will focus on the real life and the day to day functioning of the marriage. Couples therapy, on the other hand, will delve into the past of the relationship as well as the present. Couples therapy is led by a mental health professional who spends the therapy sessions going through the whole history of the relationship. If you’re not convinced to go all in yet, you can take up the free trial provided it’s available.
While every different couples therapist will provide counseling services with their own touch, there are a few common elements of counseling couples that you can expect when you’re starting couples counseling sessions. Depending on the relationships in couples therapy, there are different approaches that a couples therapist might use in the counseling sessions. These methods change according to the practice of the therapist and their observations of the individual couples. There’s a wide variety of different techniques that they’ll use during the therapy or counseling sessions.
For example, if you’re seeking sex therapy, the therapist will have a whole different plan than if you were looking for help with other aspects of your marriage. In sex therapy, a lot of the conversation in the counseling sessions will focus on anatomy and anxiety. The therapist will work together with you and your partner to help you both understand the anatomy involved with the function of sex and the pleasure of it. Plus, they’ll help you communicate effectively during sex in order to address any sex-related anxiety that you or your partner may feel.
Another approach that a couples therapist might employ is exposure therapy. With this method, the therapist will trigger anxiety on purpose so that the patient can confront it head-on in a safe space. This approach can be used for individuals and couples, and it often lends a lot of insight for both the patient and their partner. The goal is to equip both the patient and the partner with tools to deal with anxiety in the relationship.
Play therapy is another method for addressing problems in a relationship. In play therapy, the therapist takes the role of observer while the couple “plays out” a typical interaction. Then, the therapist is able to review and give advice based on their observations.
No matter what methods the therapist employs, you should expect a good marriage counseling to be a safe space to work through problems in your relationship with the help of a professional and unbiased third party.
Do marriage counselors ever recommend divorce?
In most cases, marriage counselors and therapists are very reluctant to suggest divorce. There’s no marriage free of problems or bumps in the road. However, in certain extreme cases of mental, emotional, or physical abuse, the therapist may not suggest that the two parties get a divorce explicitly but may suggest separation and do everything in their power to get the abused party away and safe from the abuser.
The marriage counselor, in most cases, will encourage both parties to work through their issues and teach them the tools to be able to do so.
How do you know when your marriage is over?
There are a few big indicators that your marriage might be over. For example, you and your partner never, or rarely, have sex anymore. Or, you’re making big financial decisions or choices about the future without telling or considering your partner. Another red flag for your marriage is if you want to cheat on your partner, whether that’s physically or emotionally.
The broadest indicator that your marriage is that you’re not invested in improving the marriage. This means that you might make excuses to spend time away from your partner, or you refuse to join online counseling or couples therapy. Or, you ignore advice from people who care about you, or you might refuse to talk about your problems with your partner or refuse to apologize to them. All of these are signs that your marriage might be over.
Can I go to marriage counseling by myself?
In a word, yes; you can do marriage counseling sessions by yourself. In these counseling sessions, you’ll meet with a counselor or therapist and talk through your marriage. While your partner won’t be there to share their side of the story and hear the advice from the counselor, it’s still a good first step towards building up your marriage. Maybe your partner will see how much you’re improving and want to join the counseling sessions, too! However, if you prefer to do it online, there’s almost always the free trial option.
How can I get free therapy?
If you’re looking for an actual certified therapist, then you probably won’t be able to find one for free. However, there are some places where you can get valuable input from a mental health professional or therapist. For example, you should check out your local community center. Local community centers often have a wide range of counseling services that are available for free. Many of these centers have mental health professionals on staff. While you may not be able to get free one-on-one counseling services, you will likely be able to join a peer support group or mental health class for free.
Or, you can check online therapy providers, especially those that provide online therapy for depression. In many cases, they’ll offer the first session or two as a free trial. Even these few counseling sessions can help you improve your marriage and mental health and give you great insight for how to move forward towards better mental health.