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I. The 5 Best Free Online Therapy Chats of 2021

eTherapyPro— Best Overall

eTherapyPro is the best overall resource in the United States for online therapy chat. It’s convenient, accessible, and secure. New patients can take advantage of a free three-day trial, and there are plenty of licensed therapists specializing in a wide range of mental health issues.

7 Cups— Best for Peer Support

7 Cups is a therapy network for peer support that’s based on volunteer listeners. The network provides online therapy chat support all over the world. Users can also create meaningful connections via community forums or private chat with other members of the network.

Free Online Therapy— Best for a Free Assessment

Free Online Therapy offers several services through its partnership with other mental health support websites. New patients can use the platform to find the online therapy chat services that suit them best. They can also choose their type of support system: volunteer, online therapy, or relationship counseling.

BlahTherapy— Best for Emotional Support

BlahTherapy provides therapy chat services with professional counselors or other anonymous individuals that are just like you. They also offer psychic reading services. Professional and peer services are accessible 24/7.  New patients can take a survey to get matched with the appropriate therapist for their mental health needs.

TalkwithStranger!— Best for Anonymity

TalkwithStranger! is an online platform that provides free chat rooms where individuals can remain anonymous and create connections with other users on the site. It’s 100% free and doesn’t require an account. Nicknames are used to preserve anonymity, and you can connect with people from all over the world.

II. How We Chose the Best Free Online Therapy Chats

To narrow down the best online therapy chat platforms, we took a look at what each company had to offer. We based our evaluations on reliable services and a handful of key features that most individuals suffering from mental health issues need. Some of those features include accessibility, availability of therapists, methods of communication, reliability, anonymity, and the overall support provided.

Communication Methods

When it comes to online mental health care, convenience is key. We considered the services that provide various ways for patients to connect with a mental health professional or their peers. Additionally, we made sure that each platform we evaluated offered a 24/7 hour chat feature, or close to it.

Available Therapists

Therapy chat revolves around real-time connections. It’s not like text therapy, where you have to wait around for a response. Not only should mental health professionals or chat volunteers be available, but there should be a means for patients and users to connect with the right therapists or people.

Accessible Care

The goal of teletherapy is to provide care to individuals whenever they need it. We’ve only included platforms that offer same-day appointments and 24/7 access to chat therapy sessions. The platforms we chose also allow users to immediately begin chatting or have minimal wait times for chat appointments. Some don’t even require patients to create an account. They can hop on the site and enter a chat room with users from all over the world immediately.

III. Our Top Picks for Free Online Therapy Chats

eTherapyPro - Best Overall

eTherapyPro homepage

eTherapyPro is an online therapy platform that connects patients with appropriate licensed professional therapists. New patients begin by filling out a detailed questionnaire to get matched with the right counselor within 24 hours. The counselors on the platform specialize in various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, grief, relationships, and low self-esteem. Each counselor works with their individual patients to set achievable goals and outline a plan to get there. If a patient doesn’t feel their counselor is a good fit, they can easily switch to a new one, free of charge.

Patients using the platform can schedule sessions via live chat, live phone calls, or live video sessions with their therapist. The entire platform operates on a mobile application, and patients can message their therapist directly on the app. These services are offered nationwide, 24/7, 365 days a year. eTherapyPro is not suitable for individuals seeking support for addiction or recovery or have suicidal thoughts. All the platform’s therapists are professionals with the necessary experience, certifications, and training. They are licensed to practice in their state of residence and hold a master’s degree or equivalent in their field.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Free three-day trial
$30 per live session
$100 for four live sessions
$40 per month for unlimited counseling
Live chat
Live video
Phone call
No Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
Both first-time patients and veteran users like and do well with eTherapyPro’s services. One user’s testimonial says, “I am so glad I found this app! It’s been a God-Send, to say the least. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone to collect yourself. The counselors offered are wonderful, caring, and very understanding. They’ve provided me with very useful materials to work with within our sessions. They are very well educated in their field and very knowledgeable and have a counselor for every person’s needs. Great counselors that provide amazing advice and it’s great if you don’t have time or want to sit down face to face with a counselor or want more privacy.”

7 Cups — Best for Peer Support

7 cups screenshot

7 Cups began in 2013, and since then, it has reached over 53 million people in 189 countries. The free telehealth platform is also the winner of the Stanford Medicine X Health Care Design Award and is supported by peer-reviewed publications such as the Journal of Mental Health, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and the Journal of Internet Interventions.

7 Cups operates as a network of trained volunteer listeners who provide emotional support through live online chat. The services offered are 100% free and anonymous to make talking to a volunteer more comfortable. All volunteers must complete an advanced online course that focuses on compassionate communication developed by the creators of 7 Cups.

New users seeking emotional support can search the platform for active listeners who have a similar background, have had similar experiences, or specialize in specific issues. To demonstrate the listeners’ dedication and progress on the platform, they receive cheers, badges, and compassion hearts for the users to see. The volunteers are also classified into 27 levels of expertise, ranging from newbie to advanced.

The platform is focused on building a community for individuals seeking mental health support. It offers community chat rooms and forums for a large variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and LGBTQ+ related issues, and it has community forums dedicated to adolescents between 13 and 17. 7 Cups is a mobile application that’s free to download and join. Its community forums and online chat option are free, and individuals can choose to purchase sessions with licensed professional therapists.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Free
$150 per month for unlimited messaging
Not applicable No 180

What Patients Are Saying
Many users who signed up for emotional support are very happy with the mobile platform. One user mentioned, “7 cups is an amazing site where people can find emotional support no matter what time so 24/7. Many people in this world do not have access to emotional support for different reasons, one of which is that their finances do not allow them to get therapy. This site is primarily free. While therapists will charge a minimum fee, chatting with a trained listener is at no cost, as are the various activities offered. The site helps those who want to get help and improve their life.”

Free Online Therapy — Best for Free Assessment

freeonlinetherapy

Free Online Therapy is an online mental health platform that’s completely free to join, and it also has paid sessions with experienced licensed therapists. The platform offers counseling for struggling individuals and couples with relationship issues. On the platform, you can find free counseling chat rooms with volunteer members that are available 24/7. You can also sign up for sessions with a licensed therapist as an individual or couple.

All therapists offering services on the platform are licensed professionals who work for the mobile application known as BetterHelp. New patients must fill out a detailed questionnaire to be assessed and matched with a suitable therapist. Once new patients are matched with their therapist, they can start a seven-day free trial for private sessions. If the patients find that their therapist isn’t right for them, it’s easy — and encouraged — to make the switch until they find the right one. Couples seeking relationship counseling can also take advantage of the seven-day trial for private sessions.

Free Online Therapy also provides the necessary resources and information for individuals seeking mental health help for PTSD, suicidal thoughts, and crisis support. Other resources include a blog page with articles covering a wide range of mental health topics, including tips on guided meditation, reducing anxiety, and managing depression.

Since its beginnings, the BetterHelp platform that provides Free Online Therapy with licensed counselors has seen success in telehealth and has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Entrepreneur magazine.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Free to chat with volunteers and community
Free seven-day trial for individual and relationship counseling
$35-$75 per week for unlimited messaging with a therapist and phone and video sessions
Chat
Phone and video sessions
Not mentioned for Free Online Therapy
*BetterHelp may take certain types of insurance
Not mentioned for Free Online Therapy, but BetterHelp employs more than 2,000 licensed therapists

What Patients Are Saying
Many users on Free Online Therapy and BetterHelp have seen tremendous progress in their mental health journeys. One user writes, “it’s an amazing therapy platform. I’ve been using it since March and I wish I found it sooner. I love that I can be in the comfort of my own home and meet with my therapist every week and the customer service is amazing. If financial assistance is something you need they are happy to help and I greatly appreciate that.”

BlahTherapy — Best for Emotional Support

blahtherapy homepage

BlahTherapy is an online telehealth platform offering therapist sessions, online emotional support chat rooms, and psychic readings. Patients can choose to chat with their peers anonymously or be listeners using the free Chat With Strangers tool. Online therapy sessions are available 24/7 for a low fee. The licensed therapists on the platform specialize in a range of mental health support issues, including depression, relationships, stress and anxiety, grief, parenting issues, LGBTQ+ struggles, marital issues, addiction recovery, eating disorders, low self-esteem, abuse, personality disorders, and personal development.

New patients seeking professional mental health support can sign up and fill out a detailed questionnaire that matches them with one of over 2,000 licensed and experienced therapists. The licensed therapists found on BlahTherapy are sourced from the BetterHelp platform and have gone through rigorous training and field testing to ensure that individuals get the best online mental health support. The fee to enter sessions with a licensed therapist includes unlimited messaging and live phone and video chat sessions. Individuals are allotted a certain number of live sessions with their therapist per the basic fee but can make additional appointments at cost.

BlahTherapy also has groups and forums where individuals can come together for emotional support. This feature doesn’t require registration and is 100% free. The BlahTherapy platform is available worldwide and has been featured in online publications such as Mashable, The Huffington Post, and Psych Central. The platform also provides additional support and resources through its blog page. Here individuals can read articles about coping with stress, depression, anxiety, and more.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Free to chat with strangers
$60-$80 per month for professional therapy messaging and live sessions through BetterHelp
Chat
Live phone, chat, and video sessions with licensed therapists
No
*BetterHelp may take certain types of insurance
No
*Licensed therapists are sourced through the BetterHelp platform

What Patients Are Saying
Most patients have found BlahTherapy to be a useful tool for getting emotional support. One user comments. “The listeners are the key of course. If you’re lucky enough to find a good listener, they’ll give you good advice. I do recommend the site. I’ve personally benefited from this site for anyone who wishes to anonymously (for free) and expert advice (for a fee) vent their feelings. No problem is too small. No sadness is too hard to overcome. This site is helping people. No doubt about that.”

TalkwithStranger! — Best for Anonymity

talk-with-stranger

TalkwithStranger! is a platform that provides a multitude of private chat rooms for people all over the world. There’s no signup, registration, or questionnaire to fill out before interacting with others. To start chatting, individuals choose a nickname to remain completely anonymous and then select the type of chat room they want to enter. The platform offers group chat rooms, private chat rooms, voice chat rooms, and video chat rooms.

TalkwithStranger! differs from the other platforms on this list in that it’s not a designated counseling app. The platform aims to offer a place where strangers can come together and talk about anything in the world, including their problems. People can join networks with other like-minded individuals using features such as follow, upvote, comment, and reply. The platform also allows participants to create their own profiles, save their chat histories, send photos and videos, and join interested groups.

While there are no licensed therapists on the TalkwithStranger! platform, there are plenty of resources on a variety of topics, including mental health and wellness. There are also explicit rules on the site to keep the chat rooms safe and family-friendly. Hate speech, offensive content, and anything similar is reported immediately, followed by a ban from the site.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Completely Free No No No

What Patients Are Saying
Most of the reviewers for the TalkwithStranger! platform are not individuals seeking mental health support. Most users refer to the platform as a “dating site” or a “friendship site” rather than an emotional and mental health support site. While this platform may not be a viable option for those truly in need of a mental health professional’s counseling, there’s something to be said about conversing with strangers to gain a different perspective on your struggles and issues.

IV. Free Online Therapy Chat FAQs

What is free online therapy chat?

Online therapy chat is a way for patients to chat with a licensed therapist using their computer or mobile device. The most common means of treatment include messaging, live chat, video chat, and phone calls.

The goal of online therapy chatting, in general, is to provide necessary and accessible mental health support services to individuals regardless of their geographical location, finances, and physical state. Many online therapy chat platforms are nonprofit based or run by volunteers with a background in psychology. They also take the form of peer-support chat rooms that are completely free.

Is free online therapy chat effective?

Online therapy chat is generally most effective for providing emotional support. Not all sites are equipped to handle severe cases such as addiction or suicidal tendencies. However, certain platforms source professionals to lend support for more severe cases and can carry out cognitive behavioral therapy sessions successfully.

Many studies have proven the efficacy of online therapy sessions for depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Attending a therapy session in a person’s home where they’re most comfortable adds to the positive impacts.

What are the benefits of free online therapy chat?

Online therapy chat provides an accessible resource for emotional support. It’s safe, secure, and both licensed professionals and peer volunteers are trained to offer emotional support.

Patients have a tremendous choice of licensed therapists, making it much easier to find someone qualified to meet their needs. They can also switch therapists at any time without an awkward face-to-face conversation.

Because online therapy chat is a mobile application, there’s more flexibility in scheduling. Patients also have the option to remain anonymous and choose the type of session they want.

How much does online therapy chat cost?

The costs of online therapy chat depend on the platform. Some platforms have free trials so new patients can get a feel for a live session. For ongoing therapy, individuals are expected to pay per session or on a subscription basis.

For example, 7 Cups charges $150 per month, while eTherapyPro charges $30 per session. Other platforms may charge more or less depending on what they offer, but there are typically a handful of options. Regardless of the costs, online therapy chat costs less than in-person therapy, which can range up to $250 per hour.

 

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