Enhanced client management for couples gives you the ability to add clients to a couple profile, while also having individual profiles for each person in the couple. The couple profile, which can be used for two clients being seen together, is kept separate from the individual profiles. This allows for greater flexibility writing notes, adding diagnoses, and billing for a couple profile since it won’t appear on the individual client profile, and vice versa.
In this guide, we'll cover:
- Adding a new couple client
- Sending a new couple client intake
- Viewing the Client Portal from a couple's perspective
- Managing couple clients in your Clients and contacts list
- Sending documents to couples
- Managing and editing couple profiles
- Creating an individual client profile from a couple profile
- Creating and managing couples on the mobile app
Adding a new couple client
To add a new couple client:
- Navigate to the Calendar
- Click + Create > Create Client
- Under Client type, select Couple
Note: To learn about the different ways you can add a new client, see Adding a new client and navigating your Clients and contacts list.
After you select Couple, you can add the following information for Client 1 and Client 2:
- Legal first name
- Legal last name
- Email address
- Required for Client Portal access
- Phone number
- Required for Text and Voice Reminders
- Responsible for billing
- Checking this box will make this client the responsible party on billing documents
- Billing type
- Self-Pay or Insurance
- Primary Clinician, for group practices only
Note: You can click Add Existing Client or Contact to select an existing client or contact from your Clients and contacts list as Client 1 or Client 2 for a couple profile.
After you've finished entering each client's information, click Continue.
Sending a new couple client intake
If you've entered an email address for one of the clients in the couple profile, and have set up the Client Portal, you'll see the option to send intakes. This process is divided into three steps:
- Choose which forms you'd like to send to the client(s)
- After you've made your selections for the client(s), click Continue to Email
Important: Documents that you share with each client in a couple will only be visible to that client. If you want both clients to review or complete a document, you must share it with each client individually.
- Customize the email that you send to the client(s) with your practice documents
- After you've reviewed and made any changes, click Continue to Review
Note: To adjust the default text of this email for your entire practice, go to Settings > Client Portal > Emails and click Edit on the Welcome email. For more information, see Sending intake forms and documents to clients.
Review & Send
- Review the client(s) that will receive Client Portal access and confirm the item(s) you’re sharing with each person
- After you've finished your final review, click Share & Send Now
Viewing the Client Portal from a couple's perspective
When an individual from a couple logs into the Client Portal for the first time, they'll see the Welcome message and any documents that were shared with them. The name in the top right corner of their Client Portal will reflect the couple profile.
Note: For a help center designed specifically for your clients, see SimplePractice Client Help Center.
If a client also has their own individual client profile, the client will be able to choose which profile they'd like to manage:
The client can also click the name in the top right corner to select a different profile or sign out.
Managing couple clients in your Clients and contacts list
From the Clients and contacts page, you can manage your client and contact information. For couple clients, you can make changes to existing couple profiles, as well as create a new couple profile from two existing clients.
Note: To learn more about managing all client types, see Adding a new client and navigating your Clients and contacts list.
To update a couple’s profile on the Clients and contacts page:
- Click Manage next to the couple in question
- Select Edit Client info
You'll be taken to the Couple Info tab of the couple’s profile.
Tip: To learn how to convert a client from a couple into an individual client, see the Creating an individual client profile from a couple profile section below.
To create a couple profile from individual clients and/or contacts on your Clients and contacts page:
Click Manage next to the individual in question
- To learn more about navigating your Clients and contacts page, see Navigating your Clients and contacts list
- Select Add this Client to a Couple
- Navigate to the Client 2 tab
- Select Add Existing Client or Contact
- Use the search bar to search for the name of the client or contact you want to add to the couple
- Select the client or contact
- Click Select
Verify each client’s information and choose which client is Responsible for billing
- To learn more, see What does it mean to choose who is "Responsible for billing"?
- Click Continue
Important: Adding a client to a couple profile won’t affect their existing individual client profile. All of the records that live in an individual client's profile will remain separate from their couple profile. After a couple profile is created, any new couple appointments and documentation created for the couple will automatically be attributed to their new couple profile.
Sending documents to couples
Intake forms and other documents are important for new couple clients to complete, since completed documents do not transfer from individual client profiles. To share a document with the clients from a couple profile:
- Navigate to the couple's Overview page
- Click Share in the upper right
Select the individual(s) you want to share items with
- Clicking the green checkmark will deselect the person from receiving the item(s)
- Click Continue to Share
- On the Send intakes page, select the documents you want to share with each client and edit the email that is sent with it
Note: To learn more about resending intake forms, viewing completed documents, and checking the status of a client's intake, see Sending intake forms and documents to clients.
Managing and editing couple profiles
To manage your clients and contacts, click Clients.
Note: To learn more about navigating the Clients and contacts list and managing your clients and contacts, see Enhanced Client Management for minors.
On the Clients and contacts list, a label is assigned to each client. Couple profiles will have a Couple label, while individual clients will have an Adult or Minor label.
To edit a couple profile, click Manage > Edit Client info next to the couple in question. You’ll then be directed to the Couple Info page for the couple profile.
Tip: You can also access this Couple Info tab by going directly to the couple’s Overview page and clicking Edit.
There are 3 different tabs that you can edit:
- Here you can edit the status of the client, default Location, Client Notes (a field to add non-clinical notes), Date First Seen, and Referred By.
- Here you can manage the couple's individual Address, Reminders, Client Portal access, and Billing & Payments responsibility. To edit client 1 or client 2's individual details, click Manage > View/Edit Client info.
- To manage client 1 or client 2's Client Portal access or change who is responsible for billing, click Manage > Manage Client Portal & Billing.
- To manage client 1 or client 2's appointment reminders, click Manage > Edit Appointment Reminders.
Billing and Insurance
- Here you can edit the Billing Type, billing documents, billing notifications, Credit & Debit Cards on file, the Primary Client (for insurance billing), Insurance Information, and the Default Service.
- If the client designated as Responsible for billing has insurance information listed in their individual profile, it will be transferred into their new couple profile.
- If the client designated as Responsible for billing doesn’t have insurance information listed but the other member of the couple does, the other member's insurance information will migrate into the new couple profile.
- If two individual clients both have credit cards listed and are merged into a couple profile, the credit card of the client that is listed as Responsible for billing will become the default card. For more information, see What does it mean to choose who is "Responsible for Billing"?.
Creating an individual client profile from a couple profile
You have the option to create an individual client from a couple profile. If either client from the couple is coming to your practice for individual services, this will give you the flexibility to have a separate profile for that client where you can add notes, diagnoses, and other documentation.
All documentation, billing, and settings handled in individual client profiles are kept separate from couple profiles and vice versa. If you need to make changes to a client’s preferences or settings, it’s important to update their individual and couple profile independently.
Important: Once an individual is created from a couple, this action can’t be reversed unless the client is deleted. For more information, see Deleting a client.
To create an individual client profile from a couple profile:
- Navigate to the couple's Overview page > Edit > Clients
- Click Manage > Create an Individual Client for the client you want to create
- Review the client's information and click Create & Continue
- Click Create Now
After converting a client from a couple profile into an individual client, you'll see a separate profile for this client in your Clients and contacts list.
Creating a couple appointment
To create a new appointment for a couple profile:
- Navigate to the Calendar
- Click + Create > Schedule appointment
- Select the couple profile as the client
- Review and edit the other details of the appointment
- Click Done
Secure Messaging with couples
For couple profiles, you can send Secure Messages to the couple in a group thread. Alternatively, if only one of the individuals has Secure Messaging enabled, you can message the client(s) individually.
Important: Secure Messages sent to the client in their individual thread won’t be visible to the other client in the couple.
To enable Secure Messaging for a couple:
- Navigate to their Overview page > Edit > Clients
- Click Manage > Manage Client Portal & Billing
- Select Send & receive Secure Messages
- Click Save when you're done
- Repeat these steps for the other client in the couple
To send a Secure Message to a couple:
- Navigate to the couple's Overview page
- Click Message in the upper right corner
Select the thread you want to send a messaging to
- To message in a group thread, both members of the couple must have Secure Messaging enabled.
Note: It’s not required for a client to have an individual profile (in addition to the couple profile) to message the client individually.
Creating and managing couples on the mobile app
Clinicians can also create and manage couple client profiles on the SimplePractice mobile app. To learn more about the SimplePractice mobile app, see Getting started with the SimplePractice mobile app.
To create a couple profile on the SimplePractice mobile app:
- Tap the Clients tab at the bottom of your screen
- Tap + > Create Client > Client Type > Couple
- Tap Add Client
- Select an existing client or contact, or add a new client by tapping +
- Tap the Billing & Insurance tab
- Select a Billing Type (Self-Pay or Insurance)
- Select a Responsible for Billing individual
- Tap Save (iOS) or the checkmark (Android)
After you save your new couple profile, you'll be able to send the intake documents to each member of the couple. To do this:
- Tap the Details tab on a couple profile to view Client Portal, appointment reminders, and billing settings
- Tap Edit at the upper right to make changes to the clients' settings
When creating an appointment for a couple client, make sure to select the new couple profile as the client.
Contacting a couple clients
On a couple profile in the mobile app, you can tap the phone button to call a member of the couple, or tap the envelope button to email a member of the couple. After tapping the phone or envelope button, you'll be able to select the client in the couple that you want to contact.
Sharing documents for a Couple Profile
On a couple profile in the mobile app, tap Shared under Documents. Tap + to share new documents with either or both members of the couple. Tap an individual client's name to view previously shared documents for either client.
You can find answers to frequently asked questions about Enhanced Client Management for Couples, below:
- If I create a couple profile from two existing clients, what information is moved to the couple profile?
- What does it mean to choose who is "Responsible for billing"?
- How can I choose who the diagnosis is attached to?
- Do I have to create a couple using two existing clients?
- What is the best way to create a new couple from existing clients?
- Why don't my previous notes show up in the new couple profile? Can I transfer the individual client's documentation to the couple profile?
- Will my clients now have two logins for the Client Portal?
- How can I tell who filled out which intake form?
- Can two members of a couple receive different appointment reminder types?
- Can I have a Telehealth appointment with members of a couple who are in different locations?
- Can I split a bill between the members of a couple?
- Can I split a couple?
If I create a couple profile from two existing clients, what information is moved to the couple profile?
When you create a couple profile from existing individual client profiles, the clients’ demographic information, insurance information, contact information, consent for email, text and voice messages, and any stored credit card information will be transferred into the couple profile.
Each client is granted Client Portal access during the creation flow if you send intake documents, and text reminders will initially be disabled for the couple profile. However, these settings can be updated independently for the individual client’s solo and couple profile after it's created.
For more information about sending intakes, see Sending intake forms and documents to clients.
When you create a new couple profile, none of the documentation from past appointments or consent forms will be moved over to the new profile and past records won’t be affected. You can use the new couple profile for all documentation and billing moving forward.
What does it mean to choose who is "Responsible for Billing"?
The client you choose to be Responsible for billing will be the financially responsible party on all billing documents.
Although both clients in the couple will be listed by name on invoices, only the individual that is marked as Responsible for billing will be listed in the To: field. This field indicates that they’re financially responsible for the appointment fee.
For superbills, the Responsible for billing client will also be listed in the Make payments to: field so that the correct client is reimbursed by the insurance payer appropriately. If needed, you can always update which client is set as Responsible for billing and recreate the associated superbills.
If the couple will be using insurance for their appointments, you can select a Primary Client based on the insured individual.
The Primary Client can be the same as or different from the Responsible for billing client. The client Responsible for billing will still be listed as the responsible party, but the Primary Client's insurance information will populate onto claim forms and superbills for insurance billing purposes. This means that you can bill insurance through the Primary Client's insurance plan, but still have the Responsible for billing individual held accountable for the remaining client responsibility.
Note: To learn how to select a Primary Client for insurance billing and update the client Responsible for billing, see Managing and editing couple profiles.
How can I choose who the diagnosis is attached to?
Diagnoses for a couple client will automatically be attached to the individual that's selected as the Primary Client. The Primary Client is the individual that's insured and will be listed on claims and superbills for insurance billing purposes.
Note: To learn how to select a Primary Client for insurance billing, see Managing and editing couple profiles.
Do I have to create a couple using two existing clients?
In addition to creating a couple using two existing clients, you can create a new profile for a couple using the same creation workflow as you would for an individual client. You can also create a couple profile by adding a new individual client to an existing client as their partner. To learn more, see Adding a new couple client.
What is the best way to create a new couple from existing clients?
The best way to create a couple profile from existing individual clients is to create them from the Clients and contacts page. To learn about this process, see Managing couple clients in your Clients and contacts list.
Note: For information on how to create a couple profile from new clients, see Adding a new couple client.
Why don’t my previous notes show up in the new couple profile? Can I transfer the individual client’s documentation to the couple profile?
When you create a new couple profile, it’ll only record notes for new appointments scheduled for this couple client moving forward. Previous notes will remain in the individual client profiles to keep client files separate and secure. There isn't a way to automatically migrate documentation from individual client files into a couple profile, however Account Owners and Practice Managers with the optional permission can export data from individual client profiles and upload it to a couple profile.
Will my clients now have two logins for the Client Portal?
No, when an individual client is added to a couple and is given Client Portal access for both profiles, they’ll be able to log in using the same email address. They can then manage either profile from the same Client Portal.
Note: To learn more, see Client Portal from a couple's perspective.
How can I tell who filled out which intake form?
You'll be able to see which client in a couple received and completed each intake form by viewing the Shared with client box on the couple Overview page. Below each document name, you'll see a status and the specific individual's initial. To learn more, see Sending documents to couples.
If the members of a couple profile have the same first and last initials, you can review the client’s Overview page instead. It’ll display the full name of which client completed a questionnaire.
Can two members of a couple receive different appointment reminder types?
Yes, appointment reminders are customizable for each individual in the couple. To learn how to edit a couple's settings, see Managing and editing couple profiles.
Can I have a Telehealth appointment with members of a couple who are in different locations?
Yes, you’re able to hold a 3-way Telehealth appointment. The individuals can each receive their own link for the call, so they can access the Telehealth appointment from different locations. To learn more about holding Telehealth appointments with couples, see Using Telehealth for multiple clients at the same time.
Can I split a bill between the members of a couple?
There isn't a way to split a bill between members of a couple. If the members want to pay equally towards appointment bills, you can alternate the party responsible for billing for each appointment or split the appointment fee between each member's credit cards evenly.
Note: You can add a nickname to a client’s credit card, which can help you keep track of which member’s card you’re charging. To learn more, see How to add a nickname to a client's credit card.
Can I split a couple?
There isn't a way to split a couple. However, you can create an individual client profile from a couple profile and delete the couple profile, if needed. To learn how to create individual clients from couple clients, see Creating an individual client profile from a couple profile.
Note: Deleting a client is permanent and cannot be undone. To learn more, see Deleting a client.