Help us match you to the right therapist.

What is Online Therapy?

Therapists are people who are licensed practitioners of mental health care. There are many different types of therapists. Psychotherapists help those who are having mental problems, dealing with marriage and family concerns, or other challenges in life. For example, if one has depression, a therapist can help them get back on schedule and manage those depressive episodes. A couples' therapist can help couples that are having marriage issues. A teenage therapist can help a high schooler with an identity crisis. This list goes on.

An online therapist is a therapist who communicates to you remotely through the Internet; providing web therapy services. You can talk to them through your computer, tablet, smartphone, and any other device that can connect to the Internet.

Why Online Therapy is More Popular Than Traditional Therapy


Online therapy is becoming quite popular as of lately, and it's easy to see why once you look into it. Here are some benefits.
  • For those with disabilities. Someone who can't walk may find it harder to commute to a therapist's office every week. Someone who is able-bodied but has a fear of going outdoors may benefit from online therapy.
  • Location and transportation problems. If you live in the middle of nowhere, it's harder to commute. If you don't have reliable transportation, that's another problem.
  • It's good for those who have trouble communicating. Some people can't talk at all, or have trouble talking to strangers face-to-face. Online therapy can help ease those who are having problems with communication into a place that makes them feel more comfortable.
  • You can communicate with someone on your own schedule. Online therapy is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Meanwhile, for traditional therapy, it can be a little more difficult fitting it into your schedule if you have a busy life. A stressed-out college kid who has a job on the side may find it difficult to have therapy, for example, when their schedule is all over the place.
  • There's less of a risk of bumping into someone you know or having someone see you pull into therapist's office. Despite online services having a few concerns, which we'll mention later, it does have a few benefits when it comes to privacy.
  • Online therapy tends to cost less because many of the counselors work from home and don't need to pay for a separate office.

The Many Ways You Can Talk to a Therapist Online


Texting
Using an online therapy app, you can message your therapist through instant text messaging. As you can probably expect from an instant message, it provides quick advice. However, the problem with texting therapy is that the messages tend to be shorter or less thought out. When you need instant relief, texting is the way to go.
E-mailing
Emailing your therapist allows you to provide a more detailed message, and the therapist can formulate a more detailed response as a result. What is a disadvantage of email and text messaging is that it doesn't allow for body language or tone of voice, which are typically important in a traditional therapy session.
Voice chat
Using the mobile phone or an app, you can speak to the therapist through voice. This allows for tone and emotions to come through, but no body language.
Video chat
Video chatting is always ideal if you want an experience that is almost the same as visiting a traditional counselor. You can see both body language and tone.

Testimonials


Cynthia Wiedemann(LMFT)

"I am surprised at how positive I've found the online therapy experience to be, and Cynthia is no small part of that. It is wonderful to feel like I have a helpline when I need it and I trust her to respond thoughtfully and with all the weight of her experience and expertise."

Written by A.L.

Dr. Eileen Norton(Psy.D.)

"Dr. Norton is patient and kind. Allows me the space to process my feelings, as well as offers suggestions and helpful advice. I am so happy I decided to do online therapy."

Written by M.A.

Esther Gottlieb(LCSW)

"Esther has been really great. She's incredible, attentive and knowledgeable. I was worried going into online therapy about not being able to communicate my thoughts and feelings very well through text but Esther has been patient, understanding and kind throughout all of this."

Written by K.E.

Elaine Bonitatibus(MSW, LCSW, LICSW)

"While I wasn't looking forward to signing up for any kind of therapy, Elaine is easy to talk to and has already helped in a lot of ways with how I cope with anxiety despite me being sort of new here. Would definitely recommend her expertise to anyone with a habit of worrying excessively."

Written by K.A.

The Benefits of Online Therapy


  • Low-cost treatment. When it comes to getting therapy in the United States, it's not easy to find an affordable option. Even if you have traditional health insurance, therapists often don't take insurance and ask potential clients to pay out of pocket. You're doing the hard work of seeking help, and the therapist expects you to pay for your session up front, which can cost over $200; and that generally does not include phone, video, or texting therapy sessions; interesting study about a randomized controlled trial here. It's your responsibility to get reimbursed by the health insurance company. With online therapy, sessions are much more affordable and fit into your budget so you can get help for your mental health and continue to stay well. Therapy sessions range from $40 to $70, and you can contact your online therapist as much as you need to through unlimited messaging in between sessions.
  • Accessibility. There are so many ways to speak to your therapist, whether that's on the phone, via messenger or during video chats; which means you don't have to visit your therapist's office in person. You get to pick the best option for you for whatever matter you need assistance with, whether it's personal (like depression, anxiety or eating disorders) or you would like a couples therapy session. People express their emotions in different ways, and it's not always easy, to be honest about your feelings sitting in a therapist's office. For people with social anxiety, it could exacerbate their anxious feelings causing them to shut down. Whereas, with online therapy, if you're struggling with social anxiety or severe trauma you can take the time you need to warm up to your therapist. Maybe you start with messaging and build up to sessions that are mostly or all via video chats.
  • Intimacy. There's something intimate about communicating with a therapist in the privacy of your own home or a space that you've selected to have therapy. With a traditional therapist, you're on their turf during a session. They've chosen the place for treatment, and you're a visitor in their space. With online therapy, you're in control of where you receive care for your mental health whether you're using video or unlimited messaging therapy. If you're experiencing panic, sometimes being in familiar surroundings helps rather than having to be in a space you're uncomfortable in, which is why this type of therapy is an excellent alternative to visiting a local therapist's office. You choose the surroundings, and you control when and how you get the help you need.
  • Choices – There are so many different online therapists to choose from in our network. When you're looking through your health insurance company's list of providers, you may not see a therapist who treats your mental health issues or anyone who appeals to you. Whereas with online therapy there are so many licensed & experienced professionals available, you're bound to find one whom you click with and treats your mental health issue. When you're in pain, all you want is to believe that things will get better. When you see how many online therapists could help you, you'll start to realize that there's hope that things can change and get better. There's an online therapist out there for you.

FAQ


That's up to you. No matter who you choose, your therapist will be a licensed mental health professional with a wealth of experience in the field. Their credentials are listed on their BetterHelp profile, and you have the right to pick whichever online therapist fits your particular needs. Maybe you want to learn how to manage anxiety. Perhaps you're looking to leave an abusive relationship, but you're having trouble setting boundaries. These are issues that the online therapists at BetterHelp are familiar with treating and can support you while you confront them.
When you're seeking a romantic partner, you're bound to meet people you don't want to date. The same principle applies to online therapy. If you don't click with your online therapist, you can choose another one who works for you and your needs; something that isn't always easy to do with in-office therapy. You've done something positive for your mental health by signing up for online therapy, and you deserve to see a provider who gets you so you can get support and learn to cope with your life challenges.
The beauty of online therapy is how easy it is to find someone willing to work with your hectic schedule. You might work a graveyard shift and think it's nearly impossible to find a therapist ready to see you. You can find an excellent provider who wants to find time to meet with you when you're available, whether that means during a phone conversation, video call or sending text messages. Your therapist is there to help you, and they want to make therapy a convenient and comfortable experience; even if you're unable to have traditional face-to-face therapy sessions.
Over 35,000,000 sessions show that BetterHelp does work and online therapy helps people manage their emotions and live a healthy life. Several glowing testimonials show how much clients are benefiting from their experiences with online therapists. There have also been well-documented studies about the benefits and impact of Telemental Health Services (aka... therapy online). 

Linda Godleski, M.D.; Adam Darkins, M.D., M.P.H.; John Peters, M.S. (2014) Outcomes of 98,609 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Patients Enrolled in Telemental Health Services, 2006–2010 https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ps.201100206

Wantland, D. J., Portillo, C. J., Holzemer, W. L., Slaughter, R., & McGhee, E. M. (2004). The effectiveness of Web-based vs. non-Web-based interventions: a meta-analysis of behavioral change outcomes. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 6(4). http://www.jmir.org/2004/4/e40/



Whether you're here to talk about finding a romantic partner, psychological treatments for adult depression, seeking cognitive behaviour therapy, or working through the death of a loved one, our licensed therapists can help.

Choosing a Therapist


With online therapy, you can choose between many different licensed therapists who are ready to speak to you. Working with a therapist online comes with the recognition that finding the best fit in this regard is a good thing, and thus they can match you by preference.

Issues With Online Therapy


Even though online therapy has much potential, it's not without its concerns.
  • Privacy concerns. Don't get us wrong; online therapy has a secrecy oath, just like traditional therapy. The problem is that you can talk to your therapist anywhere. Even if you're trying to be secret about it, there's a chance that someone can hear you, look at your phone, or even recognize you during a video chat. Also, your therapist should perform the session in the most private way possible.
  • You don't know who you're talking to sometimes. This is not the case with licensed therapist hubs such as BetterHelp, which have licensed therapists ready for you. However, if you're talking to someone outside these hubs, you should check and make sure they are who they say they are. While anyone can give advice and help you, if you want professional therapy, you should make sure they're a professional.
  • Online therapy tends not to be accepted by many health insurance agencies. This is not the fault of this kind of therapy per se, but instead the slow progress of an insurance provider. It can take them a while until they accept that a treatment method is proven to be effective, and until then, they usually hold out on giving anyone insurance. Talk to your insurance provider to make sure that they can give you the help you need and deserve. If enough people demand it, the coverage may change.

Interesting Facts About Online Therapy


  • Ever wanted to know about the first computer therapy session? It first started over 45 years ago, in 1972. Two computers, connected between UCLA and Stanford, had a simulated therapy session; remember, this was at a time where in-office therapy was basically the only option available to most people.
  • Another effective form of therapy is group therapy, where people who have a similar problem work together to find solutions and help cope. 1993 had the first online depression support group formed thanks to Depression Central.
  • As the Internet became more public, a popular way to communicate between two parties was a chat room; using either text typing or video chats. Strangers would meet and have a conversation. In 1995, it was discovered that a chat room could be used for therapy, and the first online chat service was formed. London-based Pink Practice allowed people to receive advice and other services by chatting.
  • Four in five Internet users have searched something related to mental health. If you think you're alone with your problems, you're wrong. Many people are dealing with mental wellness & health troubles, so don't feel like your problems are alone. Everyone has some sort of mental trial he or she may go through, and there is no shame in talking to someone who can help whether that means in-office therapy visits or online.

About BetterHelp


BetterHelp is an online counseling service designed to help people who are struggling with anxiety, depression, or just need someone to talk to or give advice. You're not alone, and we're ready to help you get well. It's easy to find a therapist online who can treat your important life concerns. We've helped millions of clients heal from issues like PTSD and manage chronic mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder. You don't have to suffer anymore, and you can find the right match without having to look for long at all. With thousands of counselors available from all parts of the world, you can find the counselor you need and be able to improve your life. 

For more information about the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, please visit the American Psychological Association.

For more information about our therapy services, please visit our FAQ section.