is free marriage counseling worth it?

Should You and Your Spouse Try Free Marriage Counseling?

Relationships are, at their best, joyful, life-affirming experiences full of pleasure and excitement - and at their worst, pits of despair and resentment, permeating our every moment with frustration and annoyance. Many couples this year have likely run the full gauntlet of relationship experiences, from the ‘I’m so glad I’m quarantined with you’ to ‘If I have to hear you chewing loudly one more time, I’m filing for divorce!’.

The good news is that now, more than any other time in history, we have a wide range of options available for couples therapy that don’t involve great expense or inconvenience. Our options - other than face to face therapy, which is often expensive and long term - are either online therapy services that offer couples counselling, or relationship apps that offer education and coaching. Both are good options for a few reasons, mainly the fact that you can get help anytime, anywhere.

The introduction of online therapy for couples has revolutionised how people seek help, and democratized relationship counselling - we now have the opportunity to learn the way that suits us, and be creative and authentic in how we approach our relationships. So - if you’re curious about what online therapy is like - consider these factors:


In the past, many couples would struggle to make their face to face therapy appointments, and when life got busy with kids and work, these meetings would be rescheduled and de-prioritized - at exactly the time that they were both needed. Online therapy works on your schedule - you still need to turn up for your appointment, but you don’t need to commute or worry about running into people you know in the waiting room.

Relationship apps take this one step further - apps like Relish have a private conversation with a Relationship Coach that members can check in with any time they want, knowing they’ll get a response when that coach is back online. Busy people with families and jobs find relationship apps a good fit for them, since they make it possible to get targeted help and emotional support, without adding to the list of things they have to do.

Relish has all the benefits of therapy, at a fraction of the cost. In your pocket. At your convenience. Fully customized for you and your relationship. Click here to start your free trial today!


The huge barrier to face to face therapy has always been cost. Three or four months of weekly relationship therapy can run to around $3200 - and often isn’t covered by insurance as relationships - strangely - don’t qualify for mental health (we would argue otherwise!). Online therapy makes some improvements on this - some services have a sliding scale - but realistically, talking to someone face to face - even over the computer - is a major investment. This is where relationship apps really shine. Most apps on the market charge a yearly subscription and are more affordable than therapy, since they are delivered differently and with the help of technology (eg. you might receive an interactive lesson about communication rather than talking with your therapist about it).

Relish, for example, is $100 for a yearly subscription, which is a staggering 3.2% of what you’d pay for relationship counselling - and you’re receiving many of the same content, such as education about conflict resolution and communication, help with intimacy and sex, emotional support from a Coach, and a space to reflect and share your thoughts with your partner.

One of the reasons that mental health apps have taken off so much in recent years is exactly this reason - it is now possible to deliver high quality, effective interventions to users - and this can be done in a way that is really affordable for them.


One common reason for couples to drop out of therapy is that it isn’t really fitting with their way of doing things - perhaps one partner wants to dissect each argument and conversation, whereas the other wants practical strategies and to move forward with a plan. One partner might be really avoidant and hate those emotional conversations, whereas the other might need a lot of emotional support from the therapist.

A benefit of relationship apps - which have a few different features - is that users can navigate their own way around how they use it. A person who is very practical and results driven might power through lesson content each week, ticking off the things they are learning and setting aside time to do the exercises. Someone else might do lessons here and there, but really spend time talking to their Coach and getting feedback and advice about how to resolve an issue in the relationship and deal with insecurity.

Another person might spend a lot of time on the peer forum, reading through others’ questions and comments, and benefit from giving advice and support to others as well as using the sharing function to send their thoughts with their partner. We really benefit from being able to tailor our own experiences, and learn in a way that works for us. Most relationship apps are designed with this in mind - considering what is going to be most engaging for each person, and making sure that there is something for everyone.

If you’re thinking that online therapy or a relationship app is looking pretty good right now, we’d recommend doing some research in the app store and finding one that suits your needs. Some of these apps offer free trials where you can explore the features and speak to a Coach, before making the decision to pay. Relish - the leading relationship self-care app - offers as 7-day free trial that gives you the opportunity to try out the app to see whether it is for you. You get access to Coaching and a lesson plan, as well a a personalised assessment about key issues in your relationship. Other online services also offer free or discounted trials, and it can be helpful to take advantage of these.

As noted, each of us has a different way of learning and understanding things, and you maybe someone who benefits from a lot of one-on-one time with a Coach, or more independent learning. Whatever your preference, it is certainly worth taking the time to explore all the options available - and take your first steps towards a happier relationship!

Couples everywhere are using apps to connect, communicate and make life more convenient. With Relish, you’ll learn key insights into your relationship, understand your partner better, and learn more ways to live better together. Try the #1 relationship coaching app free for one week!

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