In the United States of America, many people struggle with mental health conditions and stress. Between 2020 and 2021, there was an increase in reported cases of anxiety, depression, and other mood problems. That is considerable with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the toll on businesses. As a result, people are more open to talking to others to help them get over their mental issues.
However, most people don’t want to talk to just anyone. They need professional support through some of the best online therapy platforms. When you feel overwhelmed and worried, it is not always easy to seek the help you need. People guard their privacy about sensitive matters. With the pandemic and most businesses trading remotely, it became more challenging for people seeking therapy.
Online therapy is also referred to as cyber-counseling, e-counseling, and teletherapy. Online therapists work like traditionalist therapists, but remotely.
With remote therapy, patients no longer have to worry about traveling to physical locations to get their required help. What’s more, they have better access to therapy support no matter where they reside. According to a study published by JAMA Psychiatry, rural health centers had huge achievements with telepsychiatry among people with PTSD or bipolar disorder.
Many people find it easier to use online platforms because it is private, affordable, and convenient than in-person sessions. If you have little time aside from your nine to five job or live far from such institutions, teletherapy has made talking to therapists more accessible. For instance, people living on other continents can connect with therapists in the United States.
When it comes to managing mental issues, teletherapy has helped millions of people regain their overall mental health. Whether you are fighting post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety, you can talk to a professional at any time of the day. You can beat any mental issues fast with various platforms and licensed therapists to select from.
You can make use of live video chat, text messages, or phone calls to talk to a therapist online. Many people who find it difficult talking to others about their mental health have found online therapy a perfect solution to their needs. Whether you are curious to learn about online counseling or are new to treatment, using the right platform is essential. That is why we have created a list of the best online therapy service providers to help you make an informed decision.
Top 7 Virtual Counseling Sessions
- Calmerry: Overall Best Online Therapy Services, Editor’s Pick
- TalkSpace: Licensed Online Therapy Providers for Psychiatry Issues
- Online-Therapy.com: Most Popular Therapy Platforms for Counseling
- Pride Counseling
- Teen Counseling
#1. Calmerry: Overall Best Online Therapy Services, Editor’s Pick
Life may not always slow down to take care of your mental health, but Calmerry provides convenient remote therapy support. You talk with experts conveniently without struggling to fit into their therapy packages. Calmerry begins with an online assessment, where you can answer some questions. The questions relate to your goals, preferences, and mental condition, and you have subscription options based on therapy and your responses.
The best part of using the platform is that you can talk with someone at any time or location, provided you have stable internet support. The platform offers video sessions, phone calls, and live chats. You can begin your sessions at $45 weekly, making it one of the cheapest online therapy platforms. Clients can switch their therapists without any hassle or cancel their plans too. You do not have to pay any extra fees when changing your therapist.
With Calmerry, people get help for their grief, self-esteem, emotional abuse, or relationship issues. As a beginner, you enjoy a 30% discount to help you save more money.
- Flexible schedule live sessions
- Licensed therapists
- Multiple subscription options
- Different communication channels
- Seamless customer support channels
- Service is available in all the states
- Availability of good resources
- 30% discount for beginners
- People matched with their therapists
- Lacks medication management and psychiatrists support
- Short live sessions
- No free trials
- You must be a member to access subscription prices
- Individual therapy only
=> click here to visit the official website of Calmerry
#2. TalkSpace: Licensed Online Therapy Providers for Psychiatry Issues
People who want to tend to their mental health with an online therapy platform often use TalkSpace. The venue is a video chat and text online platform offering patients access to psychiatrists. It was started in 2012 to remotely help people who want quick solutions to their mental health. The platform has celebrities like Demi Lovato and Michael Phelps as spokespersons. People feel more comfortable using its virtual support for their mental health issues. With its multiple payment options, anyone can use the platform. You can decide to use video chat or live chat for your sessions.
Meanwhile, you can talk to a therapist without an appointment via text-based communication. Regardless of your location or time of the day, someone will attend to your needs. If you are struggling with depression, addiction, or anxiety, you can benefit from the healing processes offered by licensed therapists. Additionally, people who need help with their relationships, or want stress management, including the LGBTQIA+ community, can use TalkSpace.
The platform provides online psychiatric evaluation, medication management, couples therapy, and client support. You have good insurance plans that can cover your sessions with this platform; however, you need the online assessment for your eligibility result.
- Multiple subscription packages
- Convenient and easy to use communication options
- Offers clients medication management services
- Provides counseling for couples therapy and teen therapy
- Secure and trusted site
- Availability of licensed therapists
- Provides recommended suggestions for matching therapists
- Lacks group therapy
- Its user satisfaction rating is not high
- Extra psychiatric services are costly
- Masks therapist bios on the official website
- Serious mental health issues have little support
=> click here to visit the official website of Talkspace
#3. Online-Therapy.com: Most Popular Therapy Platforms for Counseling
Most patients who desire to have cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) use Online-Therapy.com. Patients have access to excellent mental health support with its array of resources and tools. The platform offers more than talking with patients but ensures that the underlying issues are resolved. You have to begin your process with a questionnaire survey dealing with stress, anxiety, and life satisfaction. The 12 questions presented will help you match the appropriate treatment and specialists.
The primary aim is to allow people to walk through therapeutic sessions at their own pace. You have access to 24/7 customer support and unlimited messaging. However, there is a valuable benefit worth considering. Patients spend up to minutes on video chat weekly. Hence, you do not have to spend more during your sessions, and you can pay as little as $32 weekly. People on a tight budget can quickly get help from the platform.
You have a complete toolbox for your sessions, including activity planners, journals, and worksheets for different CBT sessions. The platform offers end-to-end encryption, which makes it confidential and secure.
- It offers a very low subscription package
- Easy to use system
- Extra resources available for clients
- Access to licensed therapists
- Multiple communication channels with therapists
- You can see therapist bio’s on the website
- First-month discount available
- Lacks insurance
- It does not offer medication management services
- Lacks couples therapy
- Does not provide group therapy
- Only adults can use the platform
=> click here to visit the official website of Online-therapy
#4. BetterHelp: Overall Best Online Therapy Service Provider
We picked BetterHelp because of its direct-to-client access to mental healthcare through its official online portal. With its web-based interactions, text messages, video calls, and phone calls, you connect with the company’s highly skilled experts. Additionally, it offers you a flexible plan that includes weekly, monthly, or yearly plans. You receive live chats and unlimited messaging in any package, including a weekly live therapy session.
Although the platform has numerous therapists, it has a strict hiring process. Before it hires therapists, it conducts a thorough review of employees’ references, experiences, and backgrounds. Furthermore, they also need to possess either a master’s degree or a doctorate. Most therapists have certifications as licensed professional counselors (LPC), Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), or psychologists (Ph.D./PsyD).
If you want to use a top online counseling service for your mental health needs, BetterHelp is a stellar choice. More than one million people have used the online mental health services of this platform. It provides teletherapy support for teenagers, couples, and individuals. After filling out a questionnaire, an algorithm helps match your needs with the right therapist. However, you complete the selection process when choosing a therapist.
The platform’s flexibility allows you to pick one based on race, sex, experience, and type of therapy. You can talk to a therapist whenever you want without booking an appointment. Another benefit of using BetterHelp is switching your therapist with a mere button click.
- Therapists have years of experience and are licensed
- Treatment for a range of mental health issues
- Numerous communication methods
- 7-day free trial
- Easy to use web platform and mobile app and web platform
- Offers no prescriptions
- Lacks insurance package
#5. Regain: Best Remote Therapy Service for Couples
Regain has made it easier for couples who want to communicate better with their partners. Human relationships often suffer from incompatibility due to lack of communication, poor judgment, lifestyle, and ill vices. Often, we find couples in dire situations because they have problems in their relationships. Hence, they often want to talk to a professional. However, many couples cannot visit therapists at a physical location due to time constraints. Regain has become a suitable platform for such couples who want fewer complications during their sessions.
The online counseling service specializes in marriage and relationship therapy. In addition, they offer individual support to couples. The platform uses licensed therapists to resolve parental conflicts, settle dating and intimacy issues, help people recover from breakup or divorce, or set boundaries for couples. You can access the platform via phone, tablet, or desktop.
You can get help for infidelity, domestic violence, attraction and attachment, family-related issues, online dating, or issues relating to being single.
- Private and secure
- Easy to use platform
- Experienced and licensed counselors for couple counseling.
- Carefully drafted questionnaire for individual or couple assessment
- Unlimited messaging
- 24/7 service to clients
- Very affordable
- Matching clients to counselors may take several days
- The algorithm matches clients instead of humans
- Regain has no free trial and no diagnosis or medication prescriptions
- Response from counselors may take some time
- Lacks video sessions or three-way phone calls
#6. Pride Counseling: Most Trusting LGBTQ Therapy Service Provider
Pride Counseling focuses on counseling the LGBTQ community. Hired therapists have three years of counseling experience to ensure convenient and private counseling. Sessions are affordable, and services are focused on the needs of the pride community. The online therapy service ensures that everyone is comfortable expressing themselves.
You have ten options to support your discreet journey of customized therapy. In addition, experienced therapists manage conditions such as eating disorders, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. The platform offers you an opportunity to talk about peer pressure, bullying stemming from sexual orientation, or gender identification. First, you have to complete a questionnaire that leads to your online therapy. Second, Pride Counseling matches you with a family and marriage therapist or clinical social worker suited for your needs depending on what you filled out.
Then, you can connect with a counselor via phone calls, video conferencing, text messaging, and live chat. The text happens in a private room that ensures no one has access to or knows what you discuss. With this privacy, you can open up without fear of speaking out. You can also use a nickname for added privacy.
With Pride Counseling, any member of the LGBTQ community can get their needs solved professionally. It links adults and teenagers with professional counsel that can relate to their requests or questions.
- Takes care of the LGBTQIA+ community
- Licensed therapists
- Communication via video call, chat, or phone
- Unlimited messaging with a subscription
- Extra discretion available
- Customized therapy options
- Affordable sessions
- Some counselors are not associated with any LGBTQIA+ community
- Lacks medication management or psychiatric services
- An algorithm assigns you to therapists with no trials or free consultations
- No bill insurance & unclear about financial aid options
#7. Teen Counseling: Best Online Therapy Provider for Teens & Parents
Teen Counseling is committed to offering therapeutic support to teens aged 13 to 19 years. The platform’s discretion in communicating with patients makes it easier for teens to talk to therapists. If you want a therapy platform that can take care of your teenagers and their needs, you may want to consider this platform.
Nowadays, many youngsters divide their attention between modern technology, social media, and lifestyle. As a result, many struggles with peer pressure, mental health, and personal matters. Teenagers often have issues like depression, stress, anxiety, addiction, or eating disorders.
While they may not want to talk to parents, they can easily open up with professional therapists. However, not every therapeutic platform can help these kids. Therefore, Teen Counseling bridges this gap by creating teen-friendly support. It boasts a comprehensive system of supporting teenagers, regardless of their needs. The therapists hired have the necessary qualifications to handle bullying, peer pressure, or mental health care. Even though the platform requires filling out questionnaires during sign-up, parents are encouraged to join. The secure therapy environment allows teens to choose their therapists and converse discreetly. There is no need for booking appointments because the session happens at the specific time selected by patients weekly.
- Easy subscription
- Licensed therapists
- Supports kids from the age of 13
- Parenting support for parents of teens
- Multiple communication options
- Subscription includes phone, Live chat, or video sessions
- Separate therapy room for teenagers and parents during sessions
- No psychiatric or medication management support
- Geotagged prices with therapist location and qualifications determining the price
- Patients cannot select therapists
- Unclear FAQs with no free trials or consultations
- The platform is not recommended for those with severe mental health issues
- No insurance
How We Made the List of Mental Health Counselors?
We reviewed numerous online therapy services regarding business practices, medical credibility, and social impact. Our team of mental health experts vetted the listed platforms with the following factors:
What We Considered
- Licensed Medical Experts: Before you can talk to mental health patients professionally, you must undergo a licensing practice. The training helps therapists learn the best way to attend to their clients. In addition, licensing boards practice confidentiality and a code of ethics that protect every client’s rights. If you must talk to a therapist, the relevant bodies must certify the person. Hence, we picked the best online therapy services with reputable reviews for hiring their therapists. For instance, Pride Counseling only employs therapists with either master’s or doctoral degrees.
- Method of Communication: Since online therapy requires remote sessions, communication is vital for clients. We ranked phone calls, video conferencing, and Live chats as the most popular means of online therapy. However, you can use email and unlimited messaging, but the process of communication varies among service providers. You decide the most convenient means of communication when talking to your therapist, and we considered the convenience of using the platforms.
- Availability of Therapists: While many connect instantly with a therapist online, some platforms may not have such luxury. We consider the number and availability of therapists in the listed online therapy services, and we achieved this by picking only therapy service providers with enough licensed experts. Meanwhile, more therapists and higher-quality services can help you with the right match. However, this does not mean that the crowd is the answer. Carefully check the platform you want to use and read up on therapists’ bios on the online therapy sites.
- Languages Used: If you reside in an English-speaking country, communication is more accessible because of a centralized language. However, some people find it challenging to communicate in English, especially new migrants from non-English speaking countries. When such people want to talk to therapists, using English may not help them because of their difficulty comprehending the language. That is why we considered therapy providers with support for specific languages. For instance, some online therapy services have therapists that speak French, Hindi, Spanish, Mandarin, African American Vernacular English (AAVE), and others.
- Cost of Service: Online therapy is not cheap compared to traditional therapy sessions, and the cost of service varies among teletherapy providers. As a result, we selected budget-conscious platforms like Online-Therapy.com, Calmerry, and others. However, the service cost depends on what you want from the platform.
- Matching Therapists to Clients: We used providers that offered their clients multiple therapist options. If you are matched with the wrong therapist, you will waste money and time. As a result, we highlighted online therapy services with excellent therapist checking processes.
Factors to Consider Before Booking an Online Therapist
- Security and Privacy
You cannot sacrifice your personal details during online therapy. Before you pick a platform, you should read the company’s policy on sharing data with third parties. Also, the application or site should be secure to avoid hacking of sensitive materials. Additionally, you should be comfortable using the platform without concern. Consider using extra security options like having a nickname.
- Communication Channel
There are different communication channels for remote therapy like messaging, live video, and phone calls. You decide on the right channel for helping you during a therapy session. However, you need a private place devoid of noise during your session. Keep in mind that you need a stable internet connection and a suitable device. Meanwhile, confidential laws demand that you must not have your sessions in public places.
- Insurance Coverage & Cost
Have you considered the insurance coverage of your online therapy? Most insurance companies have robust teletherapy coverage for patients. However, this coverage varies among companies. Therefore, you should speak to your insurance company before using any online therapy service. However, you can decide to pay for your sessions out of pocket. The cost of using online therapy services can begin from $100 per session. You can get platforms that offer lower prices for their patients.
- Availability & Scheduling
The opportunity of connecting with a therapist immediately online can help you make your selection. The convenience of using online therapy for your needs makes it a popular choice. Instead of visiting offices for therapy sessions, you can use your home or office for meetings. With a proper device and stable internet, you can participate in therapy sessions. When picking a particular platform, consider scheduling and availability as top factors.
The platform you are using should have licensed and experienced therapists, psychologists, or social workers with either master’s or doctorate degrees. Read the therapists’ profile on a platform before signing up for a subscription. Also, consider the number of therapists available to help patients too. In addition, the platform should be duly registered in the state.
- Approach & Specialty
Since we have different reasons why we need therapists, you should consider the specialization of an online therapy platform. You can find such information from their online bio’s, therapist directory pages, or websites. Also, research the platform to identify whether it has credibility in faith-based counseling, motivational interviewing, eye movement, and desensitization and reprocessing. You can also check for acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
- User Reviews
If you want to know more about the services of an online therapy platform, you can read user reviews. Compare the positive and negative reviews to make a comprehensive analysis. You can learn how the customer service team handles patients and evaluate any negative reviews from former patients.
- Personal Preferences
Some patients want to relate with therapists who understand them better. As a result, they pick therapists according to race, community, sex, or age. When you want to use an online therapy platform, you can check if your personal preferences complement your services when you want to use an online therapy platform.
FAQs: Best Online Counseling Sessions
- How can I use online therapy?
The process is straightforward. The online therapy services use messaging technology, phone, and video as their communication means to connect with patients. With the number of online therapy services, you need the right platform that relates to your needs and preferences. As a result, you consider the number of therapy sessions, type of therapy, and modality in any venue. In some cases, platforms offer you a customized plan, while others pick therapists based on what you want to achieve. Additionally, some platforms provide medication management and psychiatric services.
- How effective is an online therapy service?
People who may not have time to visit therapists mostly use online therapy to get help. The effectiveness of teletherapy has been reported in many studies. For example, a study revealed that remote people who received cognitive behavioral support for their depression got better months after treatment. Still, many professionals have revealed that this type of treatment also has certain drawbacks. We can see some limitations when a service provider has more patients than it can handle. In such cases, people have to wait for some time before getting help.
- Is online therapy service expensive?
Every online therapy platform has its modalities and cost package. As a result, you should learn what the platform offers before using it. Since the cost varies among providers, you can check for a platform that falls within your budget. For instance, some platforms can charge you more for live video conferencing, while others may charge less for their messaging services. When committing to a service, things to consider are the number of sessions, modalities used, medication management, psychiatric services, and other factors.
- What is the best messaging option during my online therapy?
Whether you use a phone, Live video, or call during your online therapy depends on your needs. Meanwhile, each messaging format has a significant role during your recovery process. Most people who want to get help without delay prefer the video format. Also, you may want to use video if you have lots of things to process to help the therapist read your body language and see you.
Additionally, texting could be great for your check-ins when building skills and implementing such dexterities. If you want a coaching session, texting may be suitable, but it does not replace the live sessions that are vital to your sessions. When it comes to navigating some gray areas, you may want to use phone calls. Sometimes, your sessions may get complicated and need extra support. Texting may not work in such a situation, but a phone call. Finally, the messaging format you feel more comfortable connecting with therapists is your best option.
- How can I pick the most appropriate online therapy?
With the number of online therapy services available with unique packages, it might be challenging to pick one platform. Due to the ranges of prices and plans, you may get stuck comparing these platforms. However, there are easy ways to make up your mind when selecting an online therapy for your needs.
You should consider the messaging format available for your remote therapy. You decide to use phone calls, live text chat, live video sessions, text messaging, or a combination to suit you. The plan options offered will determine the amount of interaction experienced during your session. For instance, live video sessions are more expensive than text messaging. Also, the duration you spend in your live video session will determine how much you will pay. Sometimes, you would still pay more when you request additional video sessions.
If you are unsure of what a platform offers, you should contact its customer service for further clarification. For instance, what happens when you pause your subscription because of work or illness. Or, what happens when you are not happy with the platform offering you therapy. A refund policy is essential in these instances. Have you checked if the platform you want to use has such a policy in place? Many people may choose to cancel their subscription if they are not happy with the therapists, and you should know the limitations of the refund policy.
Before committing to an online therapy platform, ensure that you have the right therapists who can attend to your needs. If a platform lacks a licensed therapist specializing in your needs, it might be a complete waste of your time and resources. Since you would be sharing your personal information, you need a therapist who matches your personality. You should be comfortable during your therapy session to open up.
- Who should not use online therapy?
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the mental health of many people. Hence, many people are seeking support from therapists. However, not every situation is suitable for remote therapy. People who have a borderline personality disorder, have suicidal thoughts, or thought disorders associated with hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized thoughts should not use online therapy.
- Who can use online therapy?
Remote therapy is suitable for people who can use technology to communicate with therapists. However, you need a functional device, a private, quiet place, and a reliable internet connection. In addition, people who live in remote or rural areas, cannot leave their homes because of health conditions or disability, are busy, or want affordable therapy sessions can use online therapy.
- Can my insurance company cover online therapy?
Many insurance companies cover remote therapy, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, you should talk to your insurance company about using online therapy.
- Is online therapy confidential and secure?
Before using an online therapy, ensure that your financial and personal privacy is protected. The only therapy platform should be transparent about collecting patients’ data. Check if there is the option of deleting personal data after canceling a plan. However, online therapy platforms can offer your information to third parties, as stated by Consumer Reports.
Finally, online therapy has its downsides that you should know. Some serious mental health issues, disorder thoughts associated with some illnesses, and cases of hallucinations are not suitable to treat online. Such conditions must be addressed with in-person therapy sessions. We hope you have found our review of the best online therapy service providers helpful and that you will consider some of them when you are thinking about signing up for remote online therapy.
Final thoughts: List of Online Therapy Programs
Online therapy has offered millions of people an easy and effective means of handling personal therapy needs. Many insurance companies cover such therapy services. Most importantly, you decide who to speak to and schedule your therapy session at your convenience. Remote therapy is effective, affordable, and private.
However, before signing up for any therapy session, check the platform’s certifications, security, online testimonials, and mode of communication. In addition, you should check if conversations are encrypted or if you can stay anonymous to therapists. Do not forget that the best online therapy requires payment. Hence, check the platform for refund policies and average costs.