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Regain Review: Is Online Couples Counseling Right for You?

Regain Review: Is Online Couples Counseling Right for You?

It is not easy to admit, but my wife and I are no strangers to marriage counseling. Over the years, we visited our marriage counselor Shana several times. When we ran into another rocky period in our marriage, we both realized that we needed help. The problem is that that my work schedule had changed, and it was impossible to find a time that worked for both of us as a couple and Shana. This seemed like it may be a good time to try online marriage counseling as an alternative.

We used a service called Regain. that is specially designed to help couples. Along the way, we discover things that were great about the experience. We also discovered important things to know about how the experience of online marriage counseling is different from in-person marriage counseling.



Regain: An Introduction

Regain starts with a brief interview asking you about the specific issues you are having. The interview also asks you if you have specific preferences about the counselor you see. This takes about 5 minutes and did a good job getting the basics out of the way. During the interview, we could specify if any specific religious affiliation was important for us, and if we prefer a male or female counselor.


Regain Helps Couples and Individuals

Regain Helps Couples and Individuals


How much does Regain cost?

Regain works on a subscription basis. For a weekly fee, you can send as many text based messages as you like to your counselor. Typically, your counselor will respond once or twice a day. You can also schedule phone, video and live-chat sessions with them. There are no specified limits to how many live sessions you can have. There is a no additional charge for the live sessions. The therapist and you will negotiate a reasonable number of live sessions. I found the live sessions invaluable for furthering our counseling process.


Regain pricing (updated January 26, 2019)

Regain charges $65 per week for the first month, billed up-front (i.e. $260 up-front). After that, you can choose a fee between $35 and $80 per week, depending on how long you are willing to commit to subscribing. Most people stick with the $65 per week plan, billed monthly.

Regain charges different rates, usually based your location. There pricing also tends to evolve over time. We found that typically it would cost $65/week for the first three month. Regain quotes their rates on a weekly basis, but bill for the full month. To get your actual monthly cost, multiply the rates above by four.

Regain Pricing January 2019

Regain Pricing January 2019


Tip: Follow the link below to see the latest rates in your area. You will go through a short questionnaire and then be asked to create an account. You will then be able to see the latest pricing once you verify your email address.


See Latest Prices
   


Getting Connected

I filled out the initial questionnaire during my lunch break at work. Regain says that they can help people working with relationships issues even if only one member of a couple will participate. In our case, both my wife and I wanted to attend. At the end of my initial questionnaire, Regain asked if I would like to invite my wife. I simply needed to provide them with her email address, and they sent her the invitation to join.

Within minutes, we were matched with our counselor Theresa. I was excited to get started and immediately sent her details of what we were looking for help with. To my surprise, minutes later my wife had also sent Theresa her view of things. It was quite something to see both her and I put down in writing what we were struggling with. I love the whole idea of putting both our feelings down in words. That is, I thought I loved the idea – until I read her words!

 Inviting You Partner

Inviting You Partner


Starting the Process

Let me back up a little and give you some background about what we were struggling with. We have two main issues in our marriage. I will call them our little issue, and our big issue. I our “little issue” was more of a difference of opinion. We both had some different thoughts about how to deal with something. We just could never find a way to agree or compromise. However, our big issue was more explosive. When we tried to talk about it at home, we lasted about 5-minutes before it exploded in a full-on war. Ten minutes after the war started, it resulted in 3-days of us not talking.

I thought it would be better to start working on our little issue with Theresa. Theresa suggested we get together for a video session for our first meeting. Regain unfortunately does not provide for 3-way video sessions, but we found a time when my wife were home and we could schedule with Theresa. This seemed a little disappointing. We hope in future Regain can allow for three-way video chats.

Unlike in-person counseling, Regain had a very easy to use scheduler (see picture below) which made it easy to set up a perfect time to meet. Our first session, we spoke in detail about our “little issue”. I think we both thought wiser of opening a conversation about the bigger one.

Immediately, Theresa was able to show us a new way of thinking about our smaller issue. She was not able to solve the issues but could make both of us feel safe and heard. She also helped us find the best words to express to one another why we felt so strongly about the issue. Our first video session ended with both of us feeling more confident in our choice. We immediately felt some relief, because we started to see a way out of our stalemate.

Over the next few days, my wife and I used the text messaging function of Regain to further explore our problems. Both she and I tried to take the feedback Theresa gave to better understand ourselves and each-other. Gradually hope was creeping in. We scheduled a few more phone and video sessions with Theresa over the next few weeks. Sometimes individually, and sometimes as a couple. We started to make significant progress on the smaller of our two issues.

Regain Chat Window

Regain Private Chat Window


The Big Issue and Important Differences with Online Marriage Counseling

After gaining some confidence with online marriage counseling, we both mutually agreed to try talking about the more explosive of our issue. We scheduled a live session with Theresa and crossed our fingers. I felt my sense of dread gradually increase the closer our session became.

On the day of our session, my wife and I both gathered in the living room. I must say the video technology really was good, because Theresa could immediately see that we were both nervous. She asked if anything was up, and we began. My wife held her cool for a few minutes as I started speaking. However, it did not take long before she had to interrupt. She interjected, and I could not help but shoot back a barbed reply. Pretty soon we had forgotten that Theresa was on video chat with us. We were so wrapped up in our argument that we completely forgot about her.

A few times she plaintively asked us to settle and explain what was going on, but we could not control our emotions enough to explain to her. After about 15-minutes of this, Theresa suggested speaking to us separately about the issue the following day. My wife and I had the good sense to heed her advice. Tensions were high and agreed with Theresa’s guidance to not discuss the issue further until we met with her.

The following day we both spent time writing and had a brief phone call with Theresa each. Tensions were high, and we were both glad that we could independently share our views with her. After our initial burst of emotion, we decided to stick to speaking to Theresa individually for a while. We found it calming. Our hope was that if we could learn to express our feeling in a reasonable way to her, we would eventually be able to do it with one another.

We loved how Regain made it possible for us to work as a couple at times, and work as individuals at time. Interestingly, all text messaging was in a shared chat-room with our counselor. By contrast, our video sessions could be private. This also seemed like something Regain could address. It would be great if we had the choice to privately message the therapist instead of sharing everything with all three of us.


Scheduling Video, Phone or Live Chat Sessions

Scheduling Video, Phone or Live Chat Sessions


Conclusion

My wife and I had come from a background of in-person counseling. We discovered that in some ways we missed in the in-person presence of our marriage counselor. However, we discovered that there were several advantages to the online format. We found that the ability to schedule appointments at odd times a huge plus. The reality of modern life makes it difficult for couples to meet at a consistent time each week. Here Regain really shined.

We also found that using the text messaging function forced us to be more thoughtful with our communication to one another. This was surprising benefit of the Regain format. There is something about the accountability of seeing your thoughts set down in words that forced both of us to be a little kinder to one-another. In the end, isn’t being kinder to one another what it is all about? Ready to give it a shot, click here to visit Regain.



Visit Regain
   



* For the sake of confidentiality, we have changed names of our couple, counselor and minor personal details in this article.


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Jennifer N.
Posted on 01/26/2019 by Jennifer N.

Jennifer is a writer for OpenCounseling. She has worked at a number of state and non-profit organizations, providing counseling, training, and policy development

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