Best Online Chat Therapy: Convenient Therapy

Medically reviewed by Corey Pitts, MA, LCMHC, LCAS, CCS
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Have you been considering online therapy and wondering if it’s effective? Research has shown that online therapy can effectively treat many mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Below, we’ll look at online therapy and the various ways you can try this growing form of therapy. 

Benefits of online therapy

Online chatting can make a difference

Traditional in-person therapy sessions can be more expensive than sessions with an online therapist. Also, online therapy extends availability, which can be particularly helpful for individuals who live in rural areas or those who cannot commute to a therapist’s office. The remote nature of online therapy can also be beneficial for those who prefer to talk to someone outside their local community. Surveys show that people are often open to talking more about themselves and their thoughts with an online counselor than they would in person.

Some people who could benefit from treatment may decide not to seek help because they are concerned about what others might think. They might be worried about someone seeing them in the waiting room of therapist’s office.

Online therapy can be conducted in the following formats:

  • Video chat
  • Phone call
  • Audio messaging
  • Online therapy chat
  • In-app messaging

Sessions are typically conducted once or more weekly, depending on your treatment plan and the therapeutic relationship you establish with your therapist.

Online therapy as a growing, reputable service


In the past, internet-based and other computerized psychological treatments weren’t always taken seriously. However, telemental health has evolved with the advancement of technology, and more and more therapists are now seeing clients online.

BetterHelp, for example, offers individual online therapy chat sessions that adhere to the standards set by the American Psychological Association. Sessions with your online therapist are conducted via video chat with the option to add audio or in-app messaging. BetterHelp offers:

  • Couples counseling
  • Veteran counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Relationship counseling

Online therapists provide a diverse array of mental health-related services. When you begin, you may find that it is similar to in-office therapy. Clients with conditions such as anxiety or addictions can now immediately express their feelings via BetterHelp’s in-app messaging feature, and their therapist gets back to them as soon as they can. The client no longer has to wait until their weekly or monthly appointment to be able to express their concerns, ask questions, or seek advice.

What to look for in therapy

To try out online counseling chat therapy, you want to make sure that you find a reputable platform with licensed therapists. As you search for the best online therapy platform, you can do a little research to find out the qualifications of the therapists working for the site to get matched with a therapist who works best for you. 

Remember that the entire point of therapy is for you to get the help you need. You might prioritize looking for a platform that allows you to change therapists until you find a good fit. You can ease into the process by sending messages to online therapists to answer your questions before meeting up in a video call. As long as you work with a licensed and experienced therapist, you should be getting similar results as you would get from an in-person appointment, depending on your needs. 

Greater flexibility with your sessions

With BetterHelp online therapy, you can customize your sessions and scheduling. Some clients may prefer shorter sessions or texting therapy, while others benefit from longer online therapy sessions. Messaging sessions and full-length sessions can be quickly scheduled online. Message exchanges can be sent back and forth at any time via in-app messaging, allowing both parties time to think about their responses and review their communication history.

In addition, through online counseling services at BetterHelp, you can switch therapists at any time if you don’t feel comfortable with your current one. In the real world, a person with dual diagnosis-type problems, who might benefit from counselors experienced in both areas, might need to go through a lengthy process of referrals, selecting a new therapist, and building rapport with them, while an online therapy environment eliminates this whole process with a few clicks.

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Online chatting can make a difference


While online chat therapy might never fully replace physically present counselors, its wider reach opens many avenues for treating mental health challenges. If you have questions about online therapy or about mental health concerns, you don’t have to face them on your own. BetterHelp has a network of more than 25,000 licensed therapists, so you can be matched with a therapist who has experience helping people with your specific areas of concern. With BetterHelp, you can talk to a mental health professional who has training in cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapeutic modalities that may be best for your situation. Take the first step toward improved mental health and reach out to BetterHelp today.

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