Online Couples Therapy in Toronto: The Ultimate Guide

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Published Date|
March 28, 2024

Online Couples Therapy in Toronto: The Ultimate Guide

One of the best things about living in Toronto is the access you have to so many great therapists.

Popular areas like Yonge and Eglinton are home to plenty of great therapists who are ready to help your relationship succeed.

When you consider online couples counselling, your selection of relationship therapists gets even bigger.

So how do you know which online couples counsellor is best for you?

Here at KMA Therapy, we’ve been helping clients find their ideal therapists for over 15 years. We’re here to guide you through the ins-and-outs of online therapy in order to get the support you deserve and help your relationship thrive.

After reading this article, you’ll know how to choose between in-person and online couples counselling, factors to consider when choosing an online therapist, and how to prepare for your first online therapy appointment.

In-Person vs Online Couples Counselling: Which is Better for You?

Deciding between in-person and online couples therapy can feel overwhelming, so use these factors to help you narrow down your decision.

1. How do you feel about online communication?

Are you the kind of person who is engaged during Zoom meetings and FaceTime calls, or is it harder for you to pay attention to someone on-screen?

While this can feel like an obvious thing to consider, it’s easy to overlook how important your personal preference is when beginning online therapy.

Couples counselling involves a lot of moving parts already - you’re switching between listening to your therapist on-screen, listening to your partner, and trying out exercises and communication techniques in real time.

If you know you’ll get distracted by other things going on in your home, it might be better to see a therapist in-person.

2. Are you in a long-distance relationship?

Even if you’re in a long-distance relationship, you have options when choosing between online and in-person therapy.

If one of you is set on seeing a therapist in-person, you may ask to have your partner join the conversation virtually.

Still, this isn’t always the best choice - if one person is in-person with the therapist, it’s easy for the other person to feel a bit left out when joining online.

Depending on your personal preferences, the best choice might be to have everyone join an online call. 

If this is your situation, check with your therapist to make sure they’re able to help both you and your partner - while some therapists have licenses to practice in multiple provinces, most therapists in Ontario are only licensed to practice in Ontario.

is online couples therapy right for you

3. Do you have a comfortable location for therapy?

Online couples therapy can be a convenient way to get support from the comfort of your own home - as long as you have a comfortable and private place in your home for therapy.

If you live in an apartment, are your walls sound-proof enough that your neighbours won’t interrupt your couples counselling session with loud music?

If you have kids, do you have a consistent time when they’ll be out of the house?

If you aren’t sure you’ll have a quiet and calm location for therapy at home, seeing your therapist in their office might be a better choice.

4. Is accessing a therapist’s office inconvenient?

If you’re already commuting a long way to and from work, the last thing you want to do is add another journey to your already busy days.

If travelling to a therapist’s office involves a long drive or a stressful commute, you might want to consider online therapy.

Therapy sessions might end once you say goodbye to your therapist, but that doesn’t mean the feelings you’re experiencing will conveniently wait for your next session. You don’t want to be stuck on the subway next to someone you just had an argument with.

Online therapy allows you to immediately take some space to yourself in a neutral corner if you ever need time to process a session.

You might also want to see a therapist who specializes in a specific type of couples therapy, like sex therapy. Experts can be harder to find, meaning they might also be further away from you. Online couples therapy allows you to access therapists who live further away.

Now that you know whether online couples therapy could be the right choice for you, it’s time to learn how to choose a great online therapy.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Online Couples Counsellor

Choosing the right therapist is a huge predictor of how much success you’ll have in therapy. It’s okay to be picky to make sure you get the support you deserve!

When choosing a virtual couples counsellor, make sure to consider:

  • Their licensing, qualifications, and education
  • Their cost and insurance coverage
  • Their areas of expertise
  • Their personality
  • Their location

Many therapists will offer a free consultation or paid introductory session to make sure you’re getting the right fit. Take advantage of these services and don’t be afraid to say “no” to a therapist who doesn’t feel right to you.

If you need more guidance on choosing the right therapist for you, watch this three-minute video that outlines how to know if your therapist is the right fit:

Is Location Important When Choosing a Virtual Couples Counsellor?

Location can be important when choosing a virtual couples counsellor depending on whether you think you’ll ever want an in-person session.

A hybrid approach to therapy, meaning a mix of in-person and online sessions, is becoming more and more popular since it’s flexible and allows you to meet your needs in a variety of ways.

When searching for an online couples counsellor, decide early-on whether you might want in-person sessions somewhere down the line. If you’re on the fence, it’s better to choose a local online therapy who also offers in-person sessions.

For example, if you live near Yonge and Eglinton, searching for “online couples counsellors near Yonge and Eglinton” can be a great way to make sure you find a therapist who you can also see in-person.

If you know you’re only looking for a virtual therapist, you can expand your search to all of Ontario. Most licensed therapists who practice online can take on clients throughout Ontario (and are covered by insurance - but always double-check with your specific provider.)

What Equipment Do You Need for Online Couples Therapy?

You don’t need a ton of equipment for online couples therapy, but here are a few things to keep in mind.

For online therapy, you need the following equipment:

  • A laptop or tablet (smartphones aren’t ideal for online couples counselling as it’s a small screen to view together)
  • A reliable camera and microphone (either built-in or plugged-in to your device)
  • A strong internet connection

If you’re using a platform like Zoom or the Jane App, it’s a good idea to do a quick test before your first session to make sure the technology runs smoothly on your device. Zoom and Jane both have apps you can download onto a tablet in order to keep them running effectively.

How To Prepare For Your First Online Couples Therapy Session

Follow these three tips to feel prepared and empowered when walking into your first therapy session.

how to prepare for your first couples therapy online session

1. Get clear on what brings you to therapy

When preparing for your first online therapy session, it can be helpful to write down a list of reasons describing what brings you to therapy. Your reasons and your partner's reasons might be different, and that’s okay!

It can also be helpful to know what goals you want to work toward - are you interested in better communication, easier conflict resolution, or a healthier approach to finances?

It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers - your therapist’s job is to help you establish new goals, too.

2. Sort out your schedule

Therapy works best when it’s on a consistent schedule, so it can be helpful to schedule out a time every week or every other week to see your therapist.

Choose a time that works for both you and your partner and ensure you can both commit to it.

If you have kids, it can be helpful to make sure they’re out of the home during your couples counselling sessions.

Things happen and it’s okay for plans to change, but this should only happen in an emergency situation - you shouldn’t make a habit of cancelling and rescheduling sessions. It can add additional strain on your relationship if you or your partner feel like there’s not an equal level of commitment to therapy.

3. Get ready to open up and be honest

Couples counselling can involve a lot of different topics. Depending on the type of counselling and your therapist’s approach, you might end up discussing your childhood, past traumas, old relationships, your current problems, and your future goals.

Therapy can be daunting, but remember that it’s ultimately designed to help you.

Set yourself up for success in therapy by:

  • Taking time to yourself to relax
  • Getting a good night’s sleep
  • Eating a healthy meal

You might only be able to fit in therapy at the end of a busy work day, leaving you hardly any time between walking through your front door and hopping on a video call with your therapist.

It’s okay if that’s the case! Even taking a few deep breaths before logging into your session can be helpful.

Keeping a notebook of the topics you want to bring up in therapy and issues you’ve discussed previously can be a helpful way to jump into sessions even when you don’t have a lot of time to mentally prepare.

Next Steps for Beginning Virtual Couples Counselling in Toronto

After reading this article, you’re equipped with a ton of information to help you start your online couples counselling journey.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re relationship experts. For over 15 years, our dedicated team has helped our clients learn more about themselves and their partners in order to help their relationships thrive.

We offer therapy at five convenient locations across Toronto: Yonge and Eglinton, King West, Yorkville, Liberty Village, and Yonge and Sheppard, and we offer virtual counselling sessions for anyone in Ontario.

Register online to learn more about our online couples counselling or download our Therapy 101 Guide to explore how therapy can work for you.

If you’d prefer to keep reading, explore these articles we’ve chosen for you:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead
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