How Much Does An Online Counseling Chat Cost?

By Toni Hoy|Updated March 31, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Rachael Lee Hyatt, LCSW

For many people, it may be difficult to get used to the idea of not being about to see or talk to your therapist in person. You may have heard assumptions about online therapy chat sessions being impersonal, or your therapist not being able to read your body language like they could in a traditional therapy setting, or talk to you in the same way. But let's explore online therapy chat from a different perspective. Think about how often people send text messages to friends, or have video calls with family and loved ones who are far away. Due to advancements in technology, online communication and talk can feel personal and connected. If you can connect and talk with the right counselor who has extensive education and training, online therapy chat can be as engaging as traditional therapy.

Having online access to a professional therapist is appealing because it can be incredibly convenient. You do not have to leave your house and drive to on-site facilities to talk to them. Therapy sessions can be done almost anytime you want to express how you are feeling. If you are worried about the cost of therapy, you may be surprised to learn that online therapy chat is usually more affordable than in-person talk therapy. This is because most licensed therapists who work online also work from the comfort of their home and do not need to rent out a separate space to talk to their clients. Instead, they can focus their time and attention on helping you.

how much is online therapy

Online Counselling Chat Cost Estimates

There are two major factors that affect the cost of online therapy chat: where the online service is stationed, and what features the company offer. Some online counseling services can charge anywhere from $65 to $80 per week. These services often have unique options that influence the price, such as, text chat online, telephone, webcam, and so on.

The price can also be dependent on the educational background and/or experience of the counselor. Different platforms have varying costs and payment plans. Other services might not charge like a traditional flat rate clinic but might charge according to the minute. This can range anywhere from $1.75 to $4.99 per minute of chat online.

Some online services charge per week or per month and operate by way of membership. These fees range from $140 to $260 and include unlimited messaging between you and your counselor. Becoming a member gives you access to the company’s list of licensed mental health providers. You can choose which provider best fits your needs and then have access to all the unique features that the online platform offers. Looking at it from this perspective, the cost to have weekly access to your counselor online for a month is equal to the typical cost of one face-to-face session. When considering online therapy chat, you may also want to check to see if your insurance carrier is able to cover the costs. After doing some research for your personal needs, you may find that online counseling is a much more affordable option for accessing high-quality mental health care.

Advantages of Online Chat Counseling

Along with being generally cost-efficient, most online therapy chat models rely on cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a proven method of recovery that shows a reduction of symptoms. While some counseling strategies prioritize simple and friendly conversations, CBT attempts to change thinking patterns and help teach the patients new coping skills. Mental health professionals will work with patients to help them recognize patterns in their thinking that may lead to issues in their life or work. CBT has been evaluated more cost-efficient, practical, and effective model than many other types of therapies or medications.

Related to CBT is an advantage of online counseling called the disinhibition effect. The disinhibition effect describes the loosening of social restrictions and inhibitions that are normally present in face-to-face interactions. Invisibility, or the “you can't see me” effect, can help counseling be more effective. Not seeing your therapist face-to-face can offer a feeling of protection and it might be easier to share more about yourself in a space that is not face-to-face. You don't have to worry about your tone of voice or your body language when you are chatting, so it might be easier for you to share how you are feeling or past events that were difficult.

For example, online counseling is a potentially wonderful option for those whose first language is not English. You don’t have to worry about the right way to verbally pronounce certain words, or if your therapist will understand you as you try to find the right words to say. Online chat online counseling can help eliminate this added difficult by opening up communication through written or typed text. This can give you more space and flexibility in putting your emotions into words compared to an in-person therapy session. It can be hard to talk about difficult issues in person. During online therapy chat sessions, you are able to take more time in crafting, editing, and deleting the message you want to deliver to your therapist.

Convenience is also an enormous advantage of online chat counseling. Online chat counseling provides more flexibility in scheduling because you can send messages back and forth at your own convenience without having to schedule a set time to meet. You are able to save a lot of time because you are not traveling to and from an office for an in-person appointment. You also don't have to worry about being late to an appointment because of traffic or bad weather, or missing an appointment because a babysitter canceled, or you got called into work for a meeting. Online chat counseling lets you send messages back and forth to your counselor from anywhere you want, and this is a big plus for being able to fit counseling into your life.

As part of the convenience afforded by online therapy, online counseling options often provide access to a very large selection of licensed mental health providers without having to be in your counselor’s area. By choosing online mental health services such as BetterHelp, you are not limiting yourself to your immediate geographic locations. You can choose from licensed therapists all across the United States. It is very important to be able to find the best counselor to fit your specific needs, and sometimes that doesn't exist near the area that you live. One of the most important factors in a successful therapeutic relationship is the trust and relationship formed between you and your counselor. Online counseling offered by trained professionals gives you many choices to find the best fit for you.

how much is online therapy

How Much Does BetterHelp Cost?

It can be a challenge for many people to pay for their therapy sessions or other mental health services. Finding reasonably priced therapy can be challenging. Depending on your personal needs and situation, it is best to seek options that are budget-friendly while still providing you with the best quality care.

At BetterHelp, you can get matched with a licensed and trained mental health professional without the burden of high costs. Online therapy at BetterHelp has a monthly cost that ranges $60-$90 per week (billed monthly) depending on your therapist’s availability and your preferences. This cost is significantly more affordable than going to an in-person appointment. Traditional therapy sessions typically range from $75-$150 per session. There are no hidden fees, and the rates are laid out for you. You can focus on getting the treatment you need.

If you're concerned about affording these rates, there are many options for financial aid available. The support team at BetterHelp can help you learn more about supplemental assistance for online mental health resources. When it comes to keeping your mental health in shape, the BetterHelp platform is adaptable to your individual financial needs.

Even better, there are four main ways you can communicate with your BetterHelp therapist: messaging in a dedicated and private online room, live chat online sessions, phone conversations, and video conferencing. All of these options are available at your disposal. You are not limited to one style of communication, and can use different ways based on your convenience. Counseling doesn't have to be expensive or difficult to obtain, and now you can receive instant help whenever you need it, in the comforts of your own home.

Read below to see how BetterHelp has helped individuals seeking affordable mental health resources:

“She’s amazing. I’ve gone to therapists that cost 3 times as much and never really clicked with me. Lauren listens, is patient, and most importantly, knows the right questions to ask, leading me to new, better ways of thinking rather than judging me or telling me what to do. 10/10 she has been so helpful.”

how much is online therapy

“After several unsuccessful programs with overpriced Manhattan therapists, I feel like I’m making the most progress with Jamie. Even though we’ve only had a couple sessions together so far, I find the 30 minute zooms with her and the worksheets she provides to be more efficient and effective than the more traditional sessions.”

how much is online therapy

Conclusion

Online therapy chat can often be less expensive than in-person therapy because there are less associated costs (such as renting out an office). Research and personal stories both show that online therapy chat can be a powerful tool for many people.  

Therapy Is Personal

Therapy is a personal experience, and not everyone will go into it seeking the same things. Keeping these nine things in mind can ensure that you will get the most out of online therapy, regardless of what your specific goals are. If you’re still wondering if therapy is right for you, and how much therapy costs, please contact us at contact@betterhelp.com. BetterHelp specializes in online therapy to help address all types of mental health concerns. If you’re interested in individual therapy, please reach out to contact@betterhelp.com. For more information about BetterHelp as a company, please find us on: 

If you need a crisis hotline or want to learn more about therapy, please see below:

For more information on mental health, please see:

Get Help Now

  • Emergency: 911

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1- 800-799-7233

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  • National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

  • Crisis Text Line: Text “DESERVE” TO 741-741

  • Lifeline Crisis Chat (Online live messaging): https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

  • Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (366-8288)

  • Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

  • Planned Parenthood Hotline: 1-800-230-PLAN (7526)

  • American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

  • National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line: 1-800-622-2255

  • National Crisis Line - Anorexia and Bulimia: 1-800-233-4357

  • LGBTQ+ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

  • TREVOR Crisis Hotline: 1-866-488-7386

  • AIDS Crisis Line: 1-800-221-7044

  • Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

  • TransLifeline: https://www.translifeline.org - 877-565-8860 APA Youtube

  • Suicide Prevention Wiki: http://suicideprevention.wikia.com

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