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I. The 7 Best Free Online Therapy Services of 2021

eTherapyPro Best Overall

Secure, convenient, and available throughout the United States, eTherapyPro is the best overall free online therapy, offering new patients a three-day trial. Licensed therapists specialize in providing patients with a wide range of mental health support.

CIMHS Free Online Therapy for Depression Best for Interactive Therapy

Specializing in accessible cognitive behavioral therapy, the CIMHS free online therapy for depression platform centers around the principles of positive psychology. Users complete interactive worksheets and quizzes at their own pace and can download one-page summarizations for future reference.

7 Cups Best for Peer Support

Offering a strong peer network of volunteer listeners, 7 Cups provides online emotional support chat to individuals in over 189 countries. A community forum and private chat rooms allow users to also create connections with other members on the platform.

BlahTherapy Best for Text Therapy and Live Chat Sessions

24/7 anonymous text therapy is available via BlahTherapy to individuals seeking to vent about their problems to a stranger with the free chat tool. Professional therapy services are also available, and BlahTherapy hosts online groups and forums covering a wide range of mental health and emotional support topics.

iPrevail Best for On-Demand Care

Part of the Prevail Health network, iPrevail provides on-demand coaching and care. The platform uses principles of cognitive behavioral therapy to decrease mood-based disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating orders, and addiction recovery. Before release, the iPrevail platform underwent a clinical trial with the Rush University Medical Center to increase its effectiveness.

Free Online Therapy Best for Free Assessment

Multiple services are offered in partnership with other mental health support sites to help prospective patients access free online therapy services that are right for them. Individuals can choose between three types of chat support: volunteer, online therapy, and relationship counseling.

TickTalkTo Best for Accessible Care

Accessible talk therapy is available to users worldwide through TickTalkTo iOS and Android mobile applications. Verified happiness coaches provide telepsychology services to individuals seeking mental health services and match users in need with specialists to handle complex issues.

II. How We Chose the Best Free Online Therapy Services

We researched each free online therapy services and evaluated key features to ensure the mental health support offered is secure, reliable, and developed for all types of patients.

Communication Methods

Online therapy is all about convenience. We highlighted services that offer numerous communication channels for patients, including video and phone chat, email, live chat, and text messaging. We also looked for services that have a standalone mobile application and that offer on-demand 24/7 support.

Available Therapists

Therapy needs are specific to each person. We prioritized free-only therapy services that allow you to choose from multiple therapists, including the option to select your own therapist. Many of the platforms we included have an initial assessment process to identify pre-existing symptoms and match individuals with the appropriate mental health coach or licensed professional therapist.

Accessible Care

Online therapy allows you to receive care when you need it the most. We focused on services that provide accessible care, including on-demand or same-day appointments. We also considered how long a patient needs to wait for an appointment when deciding on the best free online therapy services. The programs on this list offer mental health counseling and emotional support to individuals located anywhere in the world.

III. Our Top Picks for Free Online Therapy

eTherapyPro - Best Overall

eTherapyPro homepage

eTherapyPro is a secure online therapy platform that connects patients in need with licensed professional therapists. Prospective patients complete an online questionnaire and are matched with a counselor within the first 24 hours. Each counselor works with individual patients to set achievable goals and develop a plan to reach these aspirations. Patients can switch counselors if they don’t believe they are a good fit. Individuals seeking treatment are available to schedule a live chat, live video, or phone call sessions directly with their counselor. Services are provided through a mobile application, and patients can message their counselor directly through the app.  eTherapyPro specializes in patients who are experiencing anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. The site is not designed for patients who are seeking help with addiction recovery or experiencing suicidal thoughts. Services are offered nationwide, and patients have access 24/7, 365 days per year. All eTherapyPro patients are professional therapists who work throughout the United States and hold a master’s degree or equivalent. These professionals are also licensed to practice in their state of residence.

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

What Patients Are Saying
Many users, especially first-time therapy patients, enjoy the services provided by eTherapyPro. One user writes, “This is my first time seeking therapy, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but my counselor Anais makes everything so easy, and I feel comfortable speaking to her about anything! She helps me understand the root of my issues and helps me look at things from a different perspective. She is incredibly kind, patient, and understanding. I have made tremendous progress thanks to her!”

CIMHS Free Online Therapy for Depression - Best for Interactive Therapy

cimhs homepage

The mission of the Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions is to provide mental health services to people around the world through the use of cutting-edge technology. The CIMHS aims to provide accessible, effective, and confidential free online therapy that improves an individual’s mood and mental well-being. Based in Toronto, Canada, the non-profit organization offers a free eight-session program targeting depression, called Bliss. The program’s objective is to help individuals learn techniques to manage, monitor, and improve their overall mental health. Bliss is based on a combination of psychotherapy treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy. The principles set forth are inspired by positive psychology, focusing on helping people adopt a positive daily outlook on life. Free online therapy services include a weekly depression test to help measure mood, worksheets to practice cognitive and behavioral techniques, and online quizzes that help review the core concepts of online therapy. Illustrated examples are used to effectively convey these concepts, which are summarized in downloadable one-page sheets. All programs are self-paced and based on clinical psychology research. Bliss replaces the need for individuals seeking therapy to be located in an area with trained professionals by providing a self-help tool that is available to anyone with internet access. While Bliss is free, you will need to sign up for an account.

Price  Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Free – 8 interactive sessions Not applicable – work at your own pace Not mentioned Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
Many users enjoy the accessibility and convenience of the Bliss online therapy program. One user says, ” Bliss is simple and easy to follow, and delivers the principles of each exercise in a pleasant manner. Content is professional, clear, and concise.” Some users wish that the application offered more motivational features. “The app lacks a certain amount of tunneling, as most exercises do not include recommendations on when or how often to do them. Furthermore, the program could use some motivational features in order to encourage continuous use at the right time.”

7 CUPS - Best for Peer Support

7 cups screenshot

7 Cups is a system of trained volunteer listeners who provide emotional support via online chat to those in need. The service is completely free and anonymous, and all active listeners have completed an online course in advanced, compassionate communication developed by 7 Cups. Individuals seeking to receive emotional support can search for listeners who have a similar background or experience and specialize in specific issues. Listeners receive cheers, badges, and compassion hearts to demonstrate their commitment to the platform. They are also segmented into 27 different levels of expertise ranging from newbie to epitome. Since 2013, 7 Cups has reached over 53 million people in 189 countries. The free online psychotherapy platform is the winner of the Stanford Medicine X Health Care Design Award. 7 Cups is supported by peer-reviewed publications such as the Journal of Mental Health, Journal of Medical Internet Research, and Journal of Internet Interventions.

The 7 Cups of Tea platform also focuses on building community and offers chat rooms and forums covering a wide range of issues. These include depression, anxiety, relationships, and LGBTQ+ related challenges. Teen community forums are available, providing peer-to-peer support for youth ages 13 to 17. A mobile application can be downloaded for iOS in the App Store and Android in the Google Play store. While the online chat and community forums are free with sign up, individuals can also pursue online therapy with one of the licensed professional therapists on the platform.

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

What Patients Are Saying
Many users are happy with the service provided by 7 Cups. One user particularly enjoys how the platform encourages active participation and provides a healthy outlet for emotions. “Maybe just because I’ve never had anyone close that I’ve been able to talk through my difficult issues with, but my experience so far has been amazing! Being able to dump out all the bottled up emotions and worries has left me feeling clear-headed and a sense of purposeful direction. The platform is really great and I think it can be very helpful for anyone going through life stresses. There are too many things nowadays to stress about and too few healthy outlets for your emotions. Would definitely recommend trying out!”

BlahTherapy - Best for Text Therapy

blahtherapy

BlahTherapy offers online therapy services, emotional support chat, and psychic reader sessions on its website. Individuals can choose to listen or share anonymously via the free chat with strangers tool, which is available without registration. Online therapy is also available 24/7, including specialized counseling in depressions, relationships, health, and mental illnesses. After filling out a questionnaire, those seeking support are matched with one of over 2,000 licensed professional therapists as part of the BetterHelp platform. Groups and forums are another BlahTherapy feature and cover a wide range of mental health and emotional support topics. Individuals looking for additional support resources can visit the BlahTherapy blog for tips on solutions to ease stress, depression, and anxiety. Professional therapy services through BetterHelp are offered at a low fee and include unlimited messaging and phone and video chat. These licensed therapists can support patients dealing with depression, marital challenges, abusive relationships, infidelity, cheating, lack of motivation, addiction recovery, eating disorders, parenting issues, LGBTQ+ issues, divorce, low self-esteem and confidence, personal development roadblocks, and personality and development disorders. More than 500,000 people have signed up for their online therapy services. The BlahTherapy platform has been featured in Mashable, The Huffington Post, and Psych Central and is available worldwide.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Number of Therapists on Staff
Free to chat with strangers
$60-$80 per month for therapist counseling through BetterHelp
Chat No Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
Many BlahTherapy have mixed reviews regarding the site, and some have suggested users take extra precautions to protect their privacy. One user writes, “The site works quite well. The majority of people on there are confused or distressed teenagers looking for guidance about family problems or relationships. However, plenty of adults go on the site, too, e.g., because they are in abusive relationships or are struggling to make ends meet. A problem with the site is that, although it works well, it’s not abundantly clear what happens to the information the chats generate.”

iPrevail - Best for Live Chat Sessions

iPrevail homepage

iPrevail provides  24/7 on-demand coaching and innovative lessons focused on mental well-being to individuals seeking mental health support. The platform uses cognitive behavioral therapy to decrease mood-based disorders such as anxiety and depression. The technique is also used for eating disorders, addiction recovery, relationship management, and financial stress. Prospective patients take an assessment test of research-based questions that are designed to identify different symptoms. Once an assessment is made, individuals start a customized program that includes interactive lessons, supportive coaching, and on-going progress assessments.

As patients progress through the iPrevail program, they gain access to new resources such as the private community board. These community forums cover depression, anxiety, anxiety awareness, substance abuse recovery, coping with PTSD, grief, loneliness, and meditation. Online coaches provide chat services in two segments groups: teens aged 13 and older and adults aged 18 and older. You are initially mated with a coach but can also browse those that are available and select your own. Coaches go through a three-level system to ensure that they can handle the complex problems that some patients may have. iPrevail is part of Prevail Health, an online behavioral health platform.

The online therapy service also received its own clinical trial, in partnership with the Rush University Medical Center. iPrevail has worked with more than 220,000 users to help improve their mental health. Resources are also available via the iPrevail website for individuals looking to learn more about the help that is available for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, grief support, panic attacks, and stress relief. Coaching from trained peer specialists is available for free. Individuals wishing to consult a licensed therapist can sign up for a subscription, which costs $9.99 per month and includes rewards such as online gift certificates for completing programs.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Free
$9.99 per month
Chat Yes Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
While iPrevail users have mixed experiences with the subscription-based therapy service, some customers recommend free peer coaching. One user says, “iPrevail is a really awesome app that lets you talk to someone one on one anytime you need someone to listen. They are easy to talk to, and it’s a great way to just vent or talk about something that’s been bothering me. It’s such a good tool to have, so I can chat on the go. They also have a bunch of other features to help me learn to manage my stress and emotions better, and I just think it’s a really great program in general.”

Free Online Therapy - Best for Free Assessment

freeonlinetherapy

Free Online Therapy is a mental health support platform for both individuals and couples. Counseling services are available for depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and eating disorders. The website offered three types of chat support: volunteer, online therapy, and relationship counselor. Volunteer chat provides free online peer counseling guided by a community that is divided into listeners and centers. Volunteer chat rooms are available 24/7 and are free with registration. The online therapy service is provided by licensed professionals via the mobile application platform BetterHelp. Prospective patients are matched with a therapist after an initial assessment. They then can receive a fully functional free seven-day trial to the private online counseling service. BetterHelp has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Entrepreneur magazine. Couples looking for relationship counseling can choose to chat with a relationship counselor and receive a free seven-day free trial. The free online therapy website acts as a resource, providing information to those seeking therapists for PTSD and suicide and crisis support. The website also includes a blog covering topics such as online depression chat rooms, how to practice guided meditation, and ways to reduce anxiety.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Number of Therapists on Staff
Free to chat

Free seven-day trial for counseling

Chat Not mentioned Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying

Many Free Online Therapy and BetterHelp customers have experienced tremendous growth after utilizing their services. One user writes, “I feel less stressed, anxious, and depressed. It’s really a great option for anyone looking for affordable help!” Another client says, “I experienced tremendous growth in my 1+ year with the service, and I would come back again… If you are honest with your therapist, you can see great breakthroughs and tips to learn and grow as a person.”

TickTalkTo - Best for Accessible Care

ticktalkto

Specializing in talk therapy, TickTalkTo provides those seeking mental health support a safe space to access professional help. Services are offered via a mobile application available on iOS in the App Store and via Android in the Google Play store. Individuals are matched with a happiness coach, and all psychologists on the platform are verified and vetted to ensure quality counseling. Happiness coaches can assess whether their patients need a dedicated therapist and can match them accordingly. All psychological assessments are powered by the educational company Pearson, in an effort to drive innovations in telepsychology. TickTalkTo aims to integrate online counseling and the scientific diagnosis of mental disorders, resulting in accessible care to individuals located anywhere throughout the world. The platform also helps partners with clinics and hospitals to help them optimize their digital clinic and telepsychology service. The company has received mentorship and support from The George Institute for Global Health, The Indian School of Business, The Times of India, and USNW Sydney. Based in India, the company aims to provide private, confidential, and anonymous health care to underserved communities.  Talk therapy with a happiness expert is free. Specialist counseling is available via payment plans that are customized to the user.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Number of Therapists on Staff
Free Chat Not mentioned Not Mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
Many TickTalkTo users offer very positive reviews of the mobile application. One user writes, “I am amazed by your expertise in psychology. I believe this initiative was long overdue in today’s stressful lives. Helped me in a difficult situation in my life. More importantly, an expert’s advice is just a click away via this app.”

IV. Free Online Therapy FAQs

What is free online therapy?

Free online therapy gives individuals experiencing mental health challenges a chance to receive emotional support and counseling from anywhere in the world. Like online therapy, the objective of these services is to make telepsychology accessible to individuals regardless of their geographical location. Many free online therapy services are offered by non-profit organizations, run by volunteers with a psychology background, or exist in the form of chat rooms and peer support.

Is free online therapy effective?

Free online therapy services that utilize volunteers and peer listeners can be effective in providing general emotional support. However, more complex problems and mental health issues may require the attention of a licensed professional. Studies show that structured online therapy sessions can achieve the same outcome as traditional therapy sessions. Online cognitive therapy shows to be equally as effective as in-person sessions when it comes to handling certain mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and panic disorders. However, free online therapy is not an effective solution for crisis and emergency situations.

What are the benefits of free online therapy?

Free online therapy offers accessible emotional support in a secure and confidential environment. Patients have a wider pool of therapists to choose from and don’t have to worry about finding a qualified local licensed therapist to treat specialized mental problems. Online therapy increases privacy by allowing people to remain anonymous and removes the potential trauma of seeing people they know when going to an in-person appointment. The modern convenience of mobile applications allows individuals to receive therapy from anywhere and allows for easy scheduling. Perhaps one of the most appealing benefits of free online therapy is eliminating the financial barrier that keeps some individuals from seeking mental health support.

How much does free online therapy cost?

While there are some on-going free online therapy services, these are often in the form of volunteer listeners and peer coaches that are trained but not professionally licensed. Many services offer a free trial to get a better experience regarding online therapy, but you will need to pay for regular therapy sessions. Some online therapy services offer a low monthly rate, such as iPrevail, at $9.99 per month. However, many services charge more, such as eTherapyPro ($30 per session) or 7 Cups ($150 per month). While these services are not free, they do offer an affordable and convenient alternative to traditional therapy sessions, which can average between $65 to $250 per hour.

 

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