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I. The Top Online Therapy Platforms

BetterHelp — Best Online Therapy Overall

With more than 12,000 therapists trained to address a range of mental health needs, flexible communication methods, and affordable rates, BetterHelp tops our list as the best overall online therapy platform.

ReGain — Best Online Therapy for Couples

This platform focuses on delivering relationship counseling, with licensed counselors ready to help you address issues like resolving conflict, building trust, improving communication, and developing intimacy.

Talkspace — Best Online Therapy for Convenient Communication

Talkspace is designed for accessibility and convenience, with therapy delivered primarily via unlimited messages you and your therapist through Talkspace’s website or mobile app.

Teen Counseling — Best Online Therapy for Teens

Teen Counseling offers a safe, secure way for parents and teens to get help from a licensed therapist who specializes in working with adolescents and young adults ages 13 to 19.

Amwell — Best Online Therapy for Insurance Coverage

As a full-service telehealth platform, Amwell accepts insurance from dozens of major providers, including Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare, making therapy accessible and affordable for many.

Online-Therapy.com — Best Guided Therapy Program

Online-Therapy.com offers a virtual toolbox of approaches and activities to help you improve your mental and emotional health, including therapy sessions, journaling, worksheets, and yoga exercises.

7 Cups — Best Online Therapy for Free Services

Although 7 Cups offers paid sessions with licensed therapists, the platform also provides multiple free services, including self-help guides, online support groups, and 24/7 live chat with trained volunteer listeners.

Doctor on Demand — Best Online Therapy for Medication Management

If you need treatment options beyond talk therapy, Doctor on Demand employs licensed psychiatrists who can prescribe medications to help treat mental health issues.

MDLive — Best Online Therapy Membership Plan

With a free MDLive membership, you’ll get access to therapy and psychiatry services, as well as on-demand medical care for many common acute conditions, like colds, coughs, and allergies.

Pride Counseling — Best Online Therapy for LGBTQ+

Pride Counseling’s mission is to provide discreet, affordable, and convenient care to the LGBTQ+ community, with counselors who specialize in working with the unique needs of this population.

II. How We Chose the Best Online Therapy Platforms

We evaluated online therapy platforms based on key features that ensure these services are secure, reliable, and accessible to a wide range of patients.

Communication Methods

Engaging in online therapy is attractive because of its convenience and comfort. Telehealth platforms let you choose the communication method that best fits your schedule and comfort level. We prioritized services that offer multiple ways to connect with an online therapist, including video and phone calls, live chats, and secure email and text messaging.

Available Therapists

Whether it’s in person or online, finding the right therapist is a personal, precise process. We focused on online therapy platforms that have a large roster of available therapists with varied areas of training, including licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors. We also looked carefully at the client-therapist matching process and prioritized services that let you choose your own therapist.

Accessible Care

Online therapy means the days of waiting weeks for an in-person appointment with a mental healthcare professional are quickly becoming a thing of the past. We looked for services that facilitate sessions for clients as soon as possible, including same-day appointments. We also focused on platforms that provide on-demand services, like the ability to exchange messages with your therapist in between sessions.

III. Our Top Picks for Online Therapy Sessions

BetterHelp — Best Overall

better help screenshot

BetterHelp offers a convenient, affordable way to access quality therapy from any location. As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.

When you join BetterHelp, you’ll complete a brief questionnaire about your history, the issues you want to address, and any therapist preferences, such as gender or specialization. BetterHelp then matches you with a therapist from a roster of more than 12,000 LPCs, LCSWs, and LMFTs.

There are multiple ways to connect with a therapist on BetterHelp. Synchronous sessions can be held via phone calls, video chats, and live messaging. BetterHelp also offers unlimited messages in a secure chat room, so help and guidance are accessible in between regularly scheduled sessions. You can access BetterHelp through the website or mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android.

BetterHelp’s therapists are skilled at providing counseling for a variety of common mental health issues including anxiety, depression, grief, addictions, relationships, trauma, and more. You can request a new therapist if the one you’re assigned is not a good fit.

You’ll be billed on a monthly basis. Although BetterHelp does not accept health insurance, financial assistance may be available based on your income, and discounts may be available using referrals or promo codes.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Weekly: $80 to $100 (billed monthly) Video chat
Phone call
Live chat
No 12,000

BetterHelp Reviews

The majority of BetterHelp clients praise the service for offering convenient, compassionate care. “My counselor has helped me through my mental health and relationship issues with friends, family, and people from my past.” writes one client. “She was very empathetic and helped me to develop good coping mechanisms.”

 


ReGain — Best for Couples

regain screenshot

Even the best relationships sometimes hit rough patches, or need a little help to reach their full potential. That’s where ReGain comes in.

This online therapy platform is designed specifically to address relationship issues, whether you’re joining as a couple or on your own. You can get guidance on how to improve communication, trust, or intimacy in your relationship.

The process starts with answering initial questions about your relationship, the issues you want to address, and what you counselor preferences are. ReGain offers the option of signing up as a couple from the start, or starting therapy alone and inviting your partner to join at a later time.

Partners share a joint account, in which all written communication is visible to both partners as well as the therapist. Live sessions are held via phone or video chat through ReGain’s website or mobile app. However, it should be noted that currently, the ReGain platform does not support three-way calls, so couples using the platform should be in the same location.

ReGain matches clients with a therapist from a staff of more than 5,000 licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and psychologists. Regardless of credentials, all ReGain therapists have experience and expertise in couples’ therapy.

ReGain is a subscription-based service and costs between $60 to$80 per week. This platform does not accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Weekly: $60 to $80 (billed monthly) Video chat
Phone call
Live chat
No 5,000+

ReGain Reviews

ReGain clients appreciate the platform’s flexibility in scheduling and sharing thoughts between sessions. “It’s nice to be able to communicate on a whim when an issue comes up,” says one client. “You get feedback from your counselor without needing an appointment every time you want to throw something out there.”

 


Talkspace — Best for Convenient Communication

talkspace screenshot

Launched in 2012, Talkspace was a pioneer of online therapy. Since that time, it has connected over 1 million clients with licensed therapists, bringing mental health care to millions regardless of location or circumstances.

Talkspace primarily delivers therapy through unlimited text, audio, and video messaging. Doing so allows you and your therapist to communicate when and how it’s most convenient for you. It also ensures you can get support when you need it most. Additional plan tiers offer the option for live video sessions. There are also plans for couples and teen therapy.

Talkspace’s 5,000 licensed therapists take a variety of different approaches, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Psychodynamics
  • Mindfulness

You’ll start with a free consultation to learn more about Talkspace’s services and provide information so you can be matched with the most appropriate therapist.

If you need prescription medication, Talkspace can connect you with a licensed psychiatrist with prescribing privileges for more treatment methods.

Talkspace partners with a number of health insurance providers, including Cigna and Humana. You can also use Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts, or pay out of pocket for Talkspace’s services.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Weekly: $49 to $79 Text, video, and audio messaging
Video chat
Yes N/A

Talkspace Reviews

Many Talkspace clients recommend the platform to those who feel too busy to accommodate therapy in their schedule. “The convenience is unmatched,” writes one client. “I have a schedule of when to unwind and use my app, but it’s nice knowing I can access it whenever I need to.”

 


Teen Counseling — Best for Teens

teencounseling screenshot

Teens today face a number of unique pressures and challenges, making accessible mental health care specifically geared for teen needs more important than ever. Teen Counseling is a secure, convenient platform where parents and teens ages 13 to 19 can get guidance and support through these often challenging years.

Teens or parents can initiate a membership with Teen Counseling. The process starts with a series of questions to help identify the issues that need to be addressed. Teens are then matched with an appropriate counselor. Teen Counseling’s staff of therapists includes licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and psychologists. Common issues that Teen Counseling can help teens address include stress, depression, school challenges, family conflicts, LGBTQ issues, and eating disorders.

You can communicate with your therapist via video conferencing, phone calls, live text chats, and secure email messaging. Teen Counseling’s secure platform is accessible through the website or mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android devices. Communications between the teens and therapists are kept confidential, although there are exceptions for situations regarding self-harm and abuse.

A Teen Counseling membership costs $60 to $80 per week. Teen Counseling does not accept health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Weekly: $60 to $80 (billed monthly) Video chat
Phone call
No 5,000+

Teen Counseling Reviews

Teens and parents both praise this therapy platform for providing effective and sensitive care. “Working with my therapist has been great,” writes one client. “I’ve learned to control my emotions a lot better, she’s fun to talk to, and I don’t feel shy about opening up to her.”

 


Amwell — Best for Insurance Coverage

amwell screenshot

Amwell is a telehealth platform that offers mental and behavioral healthcare among its many services.

You can use Amwell to speak to a therapist on demand or schedule an appointment. All appointments are conducted via a video chat. You can connect with your therapist using Amwell’s website or mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices.

Amwell’s mental health care providers include doctoral-level psychologists, and master’s-level therapists and social workers who are trained in providing interventions and treatments via telehealth platforms. Psychiatrists are on staff to help if you need need prescription medications to manage your mental health care. Common mental health issues that Amwell’s therapists can help address include stress management, anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, grief, and more. Child and adolescent therapy is available for individuals ages 10 to 17.

Although an Amwell account is required, this is not a subscription-based service. You’ll be charged a flat per-session fee of $99 for a master’s-level therapist or $110 for a doctoral-level therapist. Amwell accepts many major insurance plans, so individual copays may be less than the stated fees. Once you have an Amwell account, you can also use the platform for other needs like urgent medical care and dermatology. These services are available on a fee-for-service basis.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Master’s level: $99
Doctoral level: $110
(Prices vary based on insurance coverage)
Video chat
Phone call
Yes 350+

Amwell Reviews

Clients like using Amwell because it saves time while providing quality services. “I was pleasantly surprised to find how user-friendly Amwell was,” says one client. “I was cautiously optimistic that this would serve my needs, but from making the appointment to accessing the service, everything was phenomenal.”

 


Online-Therapy.com — Best Guided Therapy Program

online-therapy screenshot

Online-Therapy.com’s mission is to be a different type of online therapy platform. Its approach is rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health by challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors.

CBT as the basis for the platform’s eight-part guided therapy programs specifically tailored to a variety of mental and behavioral health issues, including anxiety, anger, obsessive-compulsive disorder, insomnia, addictions, and depression.

Online-Therapy.com offers its basic eight-section plan for free. You’ll get access to information and hands-on tools, such as worksheets, to help you identify and overcome mental health issues. Yoga and meditation videos, journal exercises, and activity plans can help you improve your overall mental and physical wellbeing.

If you need more support, Online-Therapy.com offers three paid plans, which offer varying levels of access to licensed therapists to work with you through the different steps of the program. The popular Standard plan, which costs $47.96 per week, includes one live session per week, via video, voice, or text chat, as well as unlimited messaging Monday through Friday. Online-Therapy.com’s Premium plan, which costs $63.96 per week, includes two live weekly sessions and express replies from the therapist.

Online-Therapy.com assigns therapists based on your profile, although you can request to switch therapists at any time. Therapy is delivered through a pre-designed program, but there is no set time limit for completing the program.

While Online-Therapy.com does not accept insurance, you can pay using a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Trial: $0
Basic: $31.96/week
Standard: $47.96/week
Premium: $63.96/week
Video chat
Phone call
Messaging
No 67

Online-Therapy.com Reviews

Online-Therapy.com clients have high praise for the company’s therapists. “My therapist is smart and intuitive, and really knows how to get to the bottom of my issues,” writes one user. Adds another, “My therapist has been instrumental in the positive changes I’ve seen so far.”

 


7 Cups — Best for Free Services

7 cups screenshot

7 Cups is a unique online therapy platform that uses technology to create a supportive community and ensure that you have someone to talk to when you need it most.

You can access professional therapy services through 7 Cups for a flat rate of $150 per month. 7 Cups matches you with an experienced licensed counselor and creates a secure room where you and your therapist can exchange unlimited messages. You can discuss a variety of mental health issues, including stress and anxiety, depression, grief, anger, and relationship issues. You’re able to exchange messages with your therapist any time, from anywhere, via 7 Cups’ website or mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.

If you’re not sure online therapy is right for you, or you don’t need the full support of a therapist, you can connect with a 7 Cups volunteer listener for free. While these listeners are not licensed therapists, they are trained to provide compassionate emotional support. Listeners offer support if you simply need to talk, whether it’s about big, existential issues, or small, everyday challenges.

According to 7 Cups, volunteer listeners come from all walks of life and have a range of diverse experiences. You can select a specific listener based on background, experience, or organization, or connect with the first available listener.

7 Cups also offers several other free tools for improving mental health and well-being, including support communities tailored to specific age groups or issues, self-help guides, and advice columns from licensed therapists.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Monthly: $150 Live chat Yes 180

7 Cups Reviews

One 7 Cups user describes the site as “a great community with kind people.” Whether you use the free services or pay for therapy sessions, you can expect exceptional support. “All the therapists and listeners are really kind and make you feel like you belong somewhere,” says another user.

 


Doctor On Demand — Best for Medication Management

doctorondemand screenshot

As the name implies, Doctor On Demand offers access to quality primary care and integrated behavioral health care whenever you need it. Doctor On Demand’s team includes licensed therapists, as well as psychiatrists who can support medication management. This makes Doctor On Demand a good option if you need medications to help treat and manage mental health conditions. The platform’s psychiatrists can order prescriptions electronically to a convenient local pharmacy.

Doctor On Demand’s therapists can help you address a number of common mental health issues, including anxiety and stress, depression, trauma, grief, relationship issues, and parenting challenges. It’s free to sign up for a Doctor On Demand account; without insurance coverage, you’ll pay a flat fee of $129 for a 25-minute session and $179 for a 50-minute session with a psychologist, and $299 for initial 45 min consultation and $129 for 15 min follow-up with a psychiatrist. However, this platform does accept many major health insurance plans. You will be able to check during the sign-up process if your health insurance covers Doctor On Demand’s services.

Once you create an account, you will be able to browse profiles of available therapists and schedule an appointment at your convenience. Sessions are held via video chat, either through Doctor On Demand’s website or mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
25-minute session: $129
50-minute session: $179
(Prices vary based on insurance coverage)
Video chat
Phone call
Yes N/A

Doctor on Demand Reviews

Clients love Doctor On Demand for making mental healthcare more accessible than ever. “This app has changed my mental health experiences for the better,” says one user. “Between struggling to physically make it to appointments and struggling with being consistent, Doctor On Demand has helped me in many ways.”

 


MDLive — Best Membership Plan

MDlive screenshot

MDLive is another full-service telehealth platform that offers mental health care in addition to medical and dermatology services.

It’s free to join MDLive, and typically takes about 15 minutes to create an account, including completing a questionnaire about your healthcare needs. Once you’re a member, you can schedule a session with one of MDLive’s licensed therapists or psychiatrists.

Unlike some other services, which match you with a therapist based on your preferences, MDLive lets you browse through profiles of available providers and select the one you think is the best fit for you. Appointments for new users are typically available within a few days of signing up. You can connect with your therapist via phone or video chat, accessible through MDLive’s website or mobile app.

As MDLive accepts health insurance, costs vary based on individual copays. The flat fee for non-insured individuals is $108 per session with a therapist, or $284 for an initial session with a psychiatrist, and $108 for follow-up sessions.

In addition to mental health care, an MDLive membership gives you access to on-demand care for urgent medical needs like colds, fevers, pinkeye, and more, as well as dermatologists who can treat rashes, acne, and other basic skincare needs.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Session: $108
(Prices vary based on insurance coverage)
Video chat
Phone call
Yes 1,000+

MDLive Reviews

MDLive users value this service for being flexible and accessible whenever they need help. “I really appreciate this platform,” says one client. “I needed a last-minute therapy appointment and was able to schedule a virtual visit using MDLive. It’s very easy to use, and I love the interface and tools.”

 


Pride Counseling — Best for LGBTQ+

pride counseling screenshot

Pride Counseling was founded to provide counseling that focuses on the specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community, in a safe, judgement-free space. As an online therapy platform, Pride Counseling creates a discreet, accessible environment where you can discuss issues related to mental health, relationships, and identity.

Upon joining Pride Counseling, you’ll complete an intake questionnaire that’s used to match you with a therapist. Pride Counseling’s roster of therapists includes psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors, all of whom specialize in working with the LGBTQ+ community. Although you’ll be matched with a counselor, you can request a different one if you don’t feel it’s a good match.

Pride Counseling offers a variety of different session types for clients, including video chats, phone calls, and live text messaging sessions. You and your therapist can also exchange asynchronous messages anytime, offering an additional way to ask questions, share thoughts, and receive feedback and guidance. Pride Counseling’s platform is accessible via the website or mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices.

All of these communication methods are included in a Pride Counseling subscription, which costs between $60 and $80 per month. Pride Counseling does not accept health insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Weekly: $60 to $80 (billed monthly) Video chat
Phone call
No N/A

Pride Counseling Reviews

Multiple Pride Counseling clients call the service “life-changing.” Says one user, “I’m so glad I reached out for help. My counselor is awesome, and I feel comfortable sharing everything with her.” Clients also cite the privacy and anonymity the platform provides as a key perk of Pride Counseling.

IV. Online Therapy FAQs

Although online therapy is a relatively new way of delivering mental health care, thus far, research has shown that it is an effective way to treat a variety of common mental health issues.

Is online therapy effective?

Overall, online therapy works. Studies published in the Journal of Affective Disorders and the Journal of Anxiety Disorders have shown online therapy to be an effective treatment for common issues like anxiety and depression.

However, as with in-person therapy, the effectiveness of online therapy will vary based on multiple factors, including your relationship with your therapist, the specific issues being addressed, and your commitment to the therapeutic process.

What are the benefits of online therapy?

The primary benefit of online therapy is convenience. The ability to connect with a therapist virtually means that the process is more flexible and less time-consuming than in-person therapy. This also makes therapy more accessible if you live in remote areas or have a job or commitment that makes scheduling appointments during business hours difficult.

Online therapy is discreet and you can choose the communication method that makes you feel most comfortable. It is also typically more affordable than in-person therapy, especially as more insurance providers begin to cover telehealth services.

How much does online therapy cost?

Pricing models for online therapy services vary by platform. Some charge a flat per-session fee that can range from $99 to $179, depending on the length of the session and the therapist’s education level.

Other platforms that offer multiple communication methods charge a weekly fee that covers all available services These fees range from $50 to $100 per week, but are often billed monthly.

Whether you have insurance, and whether an online therapy provider accepts that insurance, can also impact the cost of online therapy. Many platforms that do not accept insurance offer a sliding scale or discounts to individuals based on their income.

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