Best Online Therapy Options

Updated January 26, 2022

Find the best option for you.

the therapeutic therapies
Online Therapy Sites Can Help You Get Confidential Counseling On Your Time

Content/Trigger Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include some topics that could potentially be triggering.

Before online therapy, you needed to take time out of the busy workday to drive to your therapist's office, sit in traffic, and wait in a room for your therapy appointment. These factors are often an inconvenience and barrier to face-to-face appointments with therapists. Online therapy allows people to get counseling from the comfort of their homes via secure chat, phone, and video sessions.

With online therapy, you can meet with the counselor at whatever time is convenient for you and find the best therapist to suit your specific needs and lifestyle. Whether you're seeing an individual therapist, marriage counselor, or taking part in counseling for couples -- the online counseling you get will be customized (based on your personal information) to meet your needs. For example, the site ReGain specializes in online couples services. Maybe you want to find ways to communicate with your partner better. Maybe you want to learn the best coping techniques for anxiety, stress, or depression. Online counseling via a secure platform provides licensed counseling for these issues and many more.

When you're seeking online counseling or online therapy, it's important to make sure you're getting high-quality treatment with licensed, professional counselors and other licensed mental health professionals. It's not enough to be connected to a secure platform via chat, phone, or audio. You're sharing your personal information and troubling issues -- you want to make sure you're getting excellent treatment. That's why it's important to choose the best online therapists. This article will cover the top picks of platforms that offer to counsel for couples, licensed marriage, and family counseling, as well as depression, grief, and individual counseling options.

Best Online Counseling Options To Try

According to mental health professionals and American Psychological Association (APA) - over 43 million Americans suffer from mental health disorders. A large number of people suffering from mental health issues means that about one out of every five people is affected by negative symptoms of stress, anxiety, and other common mental illnesses and concerns.

However, there is zero shame in seeking treatment for mental health issues, the same way there is zero shame in seeking treatment for physical health issues. If you broke your arm, you would seek out advice and treatment from a professional doctor. If you are struggling with depression, you should similarly seek out help and treatment from a professional counselor. Today, common mental issues highlighted by thousands of professional research studies are finally getting the proper attention. Online therapy is here to bridge that gap between the help people need, and what they help people get. Today's mental health clients can get help by chat, phone, and video sessions, from wherever they have an internet connection.
 
Let's get more specific about common issues and explore some of the best online therapist sites out there. These reputable online counseling companies help people with mental health issues and life transitions.

BetterHelp Therapy

BetterHelp specializes in the best online therapy for non-severe mental health issues. This leading therapy platform offers unlimited therapy options and is recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA). The BetterHelp platform offers a HIPAA-compliant therapy service that partners with the American Medical Student Association, Mental Health America, and the International Society for Mental Health Online. As the global leader in online therapy, BetterHelp offers a whole range of options for getting therapy online with licensed professional counselors who specialize in online therapy.

BetterHelp's Best Online Therapy Services:

  • Unlimited messaging therapy with your counselor, whenever you want. Once you are matched with a counselor according to your personal needs and what you're looking for, you will both get a secure and private "room" where you can communicate. The room is open 24/7, so you can choose whenever you want to write about issues that are troubling you, ask questions, or talk about the things going on in your life. You will get notified when your counselor replies; typically, counselors reply throughout the day.
  • Live chat, phone call, or video conferencing with your counselor, which you can schedule to communicate in real-time with the option to choose the best online therapy format for you.
  • A secure, encrypted online platform (with banking-grade 256-bit encryption).
  • Online treatments and mental health services for mental health conditions like anxiety (panic attacks), depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar, and other issues.
  • Licensed professional counselors (LPC), psychologists (Ph.D./PsyD), clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), and relationship counseling experts. They all have a Master's Degree or Doctorate Degree in their field.

BetterHelp Is An Affordable, Confidential Option

With BetterHelp, you don't have to use your real name, if you don't want to. You can remain completely anonymous throughout the entire process with your therapist. The only information they need is your emergency contact information.

As of January 2020, BetterHelp has conducted over 59,500,000 sessions, helping over 760,000 people. BetterHelp counselors are not only professional and licensed, but are also trained, experienced, and accredited. Each counselor possesses at least three years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience.

A study done by the Berkeley Well-Being Institute determined text, video, and unlimited messaging sessions with BetterHelp to be as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy with licensed professional counselors, with 98% of their clients making significant progress. All you have to do to start is to answer a few questions online, and they will match you with a licensed mental health professional within 24 hours. The next step is to chat with your therapist by messaging life or using face-to-face therapy. If you're not comfortable with your provider after trying messaging therapy - you can change counselors any time you want, no questions asked.
 
The goal of BetterHelp is to help people find a therapist that best suits their needs. Therapists and counselors at BetterHelp are trained in a variety of therapy disciplines and can provide a wide range of therapy services including treatments for addictions, panic attacks, stress, parenting, anxiety, relationship conflict, eating, sleeping, anger, family conflicts, grief, self-confidence, and more. You can also connect to our online community on Facebook and Instagram.
 
Prices range from $40 to $70 per week (billed monthly) and these prices include unlimited messaging, as well as weekly live sessions (chat, phone, or video) if you prefer.
 
the therapeutic therapies

Talkspace

Talkspace is another online therapy service that has licensed therapists and counselors. With their 24/7 available messaging, you can write to your therapist whenever you need to (using your mobile devices). When you leave messages, therapists and professional counselors check their messages twice a day (five days a week), so you'll get an answer within 12 hours. With this plan, you'll pay $260 monthly.
 
If you prefer to schedule live sessions, you may choose their Therapy Premium plan, which includes one live session per month (and therapists responding daily via online chat, 5 days/week) for $316 monthly. Their final Therapy Ultimate plan includes four live phone and video sessions per month (and therapists responding daily 5 days/week) for $396 monthly. With Talkspace, you may only do live video chat from your phone or tablet if you prefer video chatting live from your laptop or computer, BetterHelp is there for you in real-time.
 
To give you a good idea of how Talkspace works: they will assign you to a matching agent for a free initial consultation. First, you get an assessment, then you choose a plan, and then they help you find the top therapist for you. You may find a therapist's in-depth comparison of Talkspace and BetterHelp?here. Other comparisons to browse include reviews from e-counseling live boldly and bloom, and online therapy.

ReGain Therapy

ReGain specializes in online couples counseling and marriage therapy. The ReGain platform is one of the United States' leading couples therapy platforms. The popular platform specializes in therapeutic services that help intimate, dating, and married couples to mend and improve broken relationships, or to strengthen healthy relationships. ReGain has some of the best therapy providers with areas of expertise that range from a licensed marriage and family counseling to practitioners that specialize in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for individuals and couples.
ReGain Online Therapy Features At A Glance:
  • Phone, Video, and Audio Sessions
  • Offers Unlimited Video Sessions
  • SMS Text Message Sessions
  • Specializes in Couples Counseling
  • Secure, Encrypted Chat Room
  • Convenient, Private Counseling Online

7 Cups of Tea

7 Cups of Tea is a free, online, peer-to-peer chat service that provides unlimited support via their online chat system and video sessions. When you need to chat, 7 Cups of Tea will link you with a good listener that suits your needs. They also have fun activities that will help boost your mood. Whichever you feel like doing, 7 Cups of Tea offers several choices such as one-on-one chatting, group chats, forums, self-help articles, and over 100 mental health and relaxation videos. The difference with 7 Cups of Tea is that they are free, and their "therapists" are called listeners because they are not officially licensed.
 
Some of the listeners at 7 Cups of Tea are students in the process of getting their licenses, and some are volunteers who want to help people discuss issues. However, all their listeners must pass a rigorous background check and are certified in multiple areas of expertise. 7 Cups of Tea has provided over 16 million conversations for people who needed to talk, and they are there for you whether you are going through a rough time or just need to chat. They have listeners who have life experience based on your specific issues or affiliation. Also, you can join a group chat room to virtually hang out with others. They cover all subjects such as love, relationship issues, life skills, addiction, abuse, anxiety, stress, depression, and the opportunity to just vent about your day. Their website is very user-friendly, so even the most inexperienced computer or smartphone user can participate.

Breakthrough

This website has over 1,000 therapists to choose from, and an average of 30,000 visitors per month for phone and video sessions. They have an 80% success rate for those clients who used Breakthrough as directed. They provide online therapy or counseling for many mental health issues, such as anger management, depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, and addiction. Breakthrough offers messaging, online video, and phone chat. You can search for a therapist by specialty, insurance type, provider type, or location. They are professional and accept many insurance providers. Their plans start at $50 per hour, which is a bit more than the other mental health resources mentioned, but this may be due to the broader insurance acceptance. They are recommended by The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Oprah Winfrey, and The Boston Globe.

My Therapist

MyTherapist.com is an online counseling/online therapy platform that specializes in online referrals for psychologists, therapists, social workers, and counselors who all have either a Master's or Doctorate in their field. Each has been certified by the state in which they practice and have at least 2,000 hours and three years of experience. They offer text messaging, live video or phone chats, phone calls, and video conferencing. Some of the specific topics they provide include grief counseling, parenting, depression, relationship issues, stress and anxiety, LGBT issues, family therapy (or counseling), post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, and eating disorders. Their plans start at $170 per month.

How To Find The Best Online Counselor for You

Just as there are many different HIPAA-compliant online mental health resources, there are also different types of online therapy.
Common Online Options
  • Individual Therapy: This is where you talk to a licensed, professional therapist or counselor online via audio or video (in a one-on-one format). There are many ways to do this, such as through live chat through Facetime or Skype, chat rooms, email, texting, instant messaging, and even talking on the phone. These types of therapy or counseling sessions are good for types of issues such as depression, anxiety disorder, stress, borderline personality disorder, attention deficit disorder. Online therapy should not be used for severe mental issues -- if you're in a crisis, these resources can help.
  • Group Counseling: This is when a group of individuals meets with a counselor, therapist, or other licensed mental health professional online to talk about their concerns, share their feelings, and learn new coping methods. This is good for many types of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety disorders. Groups meet via text, video, and phone sessions.
  • Marriage and Family Counseling: This is a form of relationship counseling or therapy is used when your relationship with your partner or other family members is compromised or complicated by issues like addiction, abuse, extramarital affairs, financial hardship, mental health issues, or anything else. You will likely see a therapist or counselor online together with the other family members as well as individually, to get the counseling you need. Sessions are conducted via text, video, phone, and video conference.
  • Substance Abuse Therapy: If addiction is a problem, substance abuse therapy is a good way to help improve your physical and mental health. For those going through serious withdrawal related to substance abuse -- getting therapy online is not a good option; it is recommended that you speak with a medical health professional regarding the next best steps to take. However, if you are a recovering addict needing some additional counseling to heal from the effects of substance abuse, this type of therapy is great because you do not even have to leave your house to find a therapist or other mental health professional.
  • Group Chat Rooms: Many people do not like to use group chat rooms because they usually do not have a licensed therapist or counselor running the group. Also, some people do not feel comfortable talking to strangers about their personal lives and sharing their personal information. However, some people find it much easier to talk to people they do not know and will probably never meet in real life and will participate in group therapy sessions led by a certified mental health professional. There are many types of group chat rooms where people can talk to a therapist in a group setting about topics like depression, anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, etc.

Online Counseling Allows You to Get Help Today

Now that you've read about some of the best online therapy sites out there, you can make an educated decision about which one you'd like to explore. Online therapy is a convenient option for those of us who lead busy lives and can't make it to a local therapist and is also covered by health insurance in many cases. Rather than waiting until the next session to connect with your therapist, you can message online therapists between meetings. You've read about Talkspace, BetterHelp, and more of the top sites that offer online therapy. You now have more information to make an educated decision as to which site fits your needs. How you use online therapy for health care is up to you. But remember that it's an effective form of treatment. Contact your health insurance provider directly to learn if your plan covers behavioral health services.
 
All the sites covered share a commitment to helping people work toward stability and wellness by healing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and providing relationship counseling. If you're struggling with any mental health issues or if you need relationship counseling, you don't have to suffer alone -- reach out to a therapist and get counseling online. One of the advantages of counseling online is how easy it is to sign up, and start treatment. Take the first step, start looking at the sites discussed in this article, and find the one that works for your particular mental health concerns.
 
the therapeutic therapies
Online Therapy Sites Can Help You Get Confidential Counseling On Your Time
 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of which option you choose, you should always read all rules and requirements and check out reviews first. Make sure it is a good and reputable company (that is HIPAA-compliant) before you talk to a counselor. Check them out with American Psychological Association, your state counseling or therapy licensing board, or any reputable psychological source, and see if finding a counselor with online therapy is right for you. No matter which option you end up trying, you're taking an important step forward in prioritizing your health.
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