Traditional face-to-face psychotherapy has been around for many decades and it involves a person visiting their qualified therapist but with mental health issues on the rise (esp. due to Covid-19) and with internet bridging the gap between continents, everything has slowly become virtual and accessible with just a few clicks and that’s exactly what has happened with licensed psychotherapists as well.
With online therapy, you can get the same level of commitment and privacy as with face-to-face therapy, and, with added benefits too!
If scheduling, expense and urgency are your major pain points in starting therapy sessions, then consider subscribing to an online counselling services which gives you the access to get started with improving your mental health from real online counsellor via voice, video chat and messaging systems. It’s like having a telephone counselling but over the internet!
This is a developing feature where we will be adding more services so you can see how convenient online counselling can be!
How Online Therapy Sessions work?
All online counselling therapy session work more or less the same way; you signup, speak to an agent/bot about what your issues regarding mental health like eating disorder, addictive behaviour, self-esteem, self-harm or any other mental illness you may seem to be feeling.
Depending on the support service, you are then assigned to a qualified therapist. You then pay the fee and get started with your talking therapy.
Now the biggest dilemma here is what if you do not get along with your online counsellor, what then? Not to worry, like most in person therapy, here too you are allowed to change your online therapist at no additional cost.
You may wonder if the whole online therapy thing even works? Yes it does! There have been many studies confirming that online medium is effective!
You can effectively shape your mental health issue with CBT, Hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques, mindfulness, talking therapy, art therapy or even EMDR.
A simple Google search will bring you the required results, studies & compliance by NHS and BACP.
Your next concern could be how do you communicate? Do you use Skype, webcam, video chat or just text, because it is online counselling. The answer is simple, there are text messages, audio notes and video therapy – all of it is allowed via a secure platform. I have taken the liberty of mentioning everything with each online therapy service so you can weigh the pros and cons between each online counselling service yourself and decide which support service is the best online therapy for you.
ONLINE COUNSELLING SERVICES
The name speaks for itself.
MDLive Therapy is very specifically for mental illnesses. Simply signup for free and request to see a qualified mental health professionals. You can select a time, date and even a psychotherapist if you know whom you are looking for.
Next step is basic questionnaire that you need to fill out like medical conditions, allergies, past surgeries if any, and then you fill out your payment information. Speaking of payment, you pay $108/- for your therapy sessions each.
Something worth mentioning here, if you are looking for a provider who can prescribe medication, then yes at MDLive some specialise in psychiatry and can write a prescription for non-narcotic medications (i.e. no controlled substances), which can be sent directly to the pharmacy of your choice. You should look at their FAQ
With the clean minimalist interface and all the relevant information available to convince you that it’s a safe place to be yourself, TalkSpace comes highly recommended.
To start using their online therapy service, simply get started by their quick 60-second questionnaire.
Your messages are encrypted on their servers, and all communication between their softwares/apps and the servers are encrypted as well. Their technology is fully HIPAA compliant too.
Okay, now more about TalkSpace, once you are shown your options, select a certified therapist, pick a payment plan, and that’s it.
All therapists are fully licensed and already have over 3000 hours of clinical experience. TalkSpace has covered every question on their FAQ section , yet you can always reach them via phone or email.
For payment, they accept all major debit/credit cards. They do not have a free trial. Alternatively, if you are not happy with the therapist you have picked, you can ask them to pair you with another person. You can message your therapist 24/7 via iOS and Android apps. If you are not a messaging person, you can send voice recordings and/or video session as well.
TalkSpace doesn’t require you to be in the USA or UK, you could be anywhere in the world and still be able to get therapy in this pandemic.
Our special links give $65 off on the first month. And their refer-a-friend program gives $50 off every time someone signs up using your special code.
BetterHelp works pretty much the same way TalkSpace does except that BetterHelp has just one (slightly expensive) package.
To get started, you have to answer some basic questions about your current well-being and within few minutes you are asked to create an account.
The plans cost between $60/Week to $90/Week and its charged to either your credit card or PayPal account. They used to have a free trial as well, but for some reason they removed it.
Now, if you are wondering what it is that you get in your package, then the answer is ‘unlimited counselling with your matched mental health care professional which by definition of their FAQ page is messaging via web platform and/or iOS/Android app, live chatting, speaking over the phone and video session as well.
If you are anything like me (hesitant & introvert), you will think a few times before typing in your payment info, which will then result in you being paired automatically with a licensed therapist!
So… look out for that email. The messaging area is neat and gives you the option for basic styling, adding attachments, marking a message ‘urgent’ and, a drop down menu for scheduling a live session with your therapist. Even if you haven’t paid for the therapist, this message will showcase his/her license and some credentials that you can Google further.
BetterHelp allows you to change your therapist if you are not satisfied with the current match.
Unlike some of the other online therapy platforms that provide targeted therapy to individuals, Circles Up is solely community-based.
So, what they do is they put together a group of around 8 individuals that are experiencing the same things as you are. What this does is that it allows you to gain a different perspective and therefore achieve a whole new level of understanding of the things you’re going through. And since your circle is online, you’ll know that the safe space is always there for you regardless of whether or not you feel up to it that particular day.
Circles Up’s got just one simple plan, billed at $79/month. You get matched with a group of people, the circle’s led by a mental health expert, and you have 24/7 access to personalised exercises focused on boosting your individual growth and resilience.
You’ll be glad to hear that Circles Up doesn’t charge you for the first week since group therapy is definitely not something that works for everyone – and that’s perfectly fine. You can test the waters, and if you’re satisfied, you can go ahead with your subscription plan.
So, with 7cups, you can either opt for free counseling through volunteer listeners or for online therapy with licensed therapists for $150/month.
We’d highly recommend the latter since nothing can substitute professional help. However, if you’ve got no one to turn to and just need to get something off your chest, you can choose their 24/7 chat feature.
To get started and match with a counselor, you need to set up a member account. This will require basic information such as your username, email address, password, and birth date.
Since the mode of communication is primarily via text, it’d help if you downloaded their app, which is available on both the App Store and Google Play.
American (AM) Well
Curing mental illness requires the best therapy with accredited and licensed therapists. Thankfully, with AM Well, you get just that!
Whether you need therapy or counseling with matters regarding anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, stress, or pride counseling, you can rely on AM Well to provide you with the care and support you need.
Sessions typically cost around $109 for Master’s level therapists and $129 for Doctorate level therapists. To get started on your journey to recovery, you need to sign up by making your account with AM Well and specify the time and date that suits you best.
Theravive provides in-person therapy and online counseling services with fully licensed counselor, clinical therapist\, and psychologists in and around areas of Canada and the United States.
One thing that sets them apart from many others is that they believe in tailored therapy based on each client’s unique situation and requirements, which is definitely a breath of fresh air from the typical regressive approach!
You can find a therapist by specifying your zip code or location and narrowing the areas you need help with, for example, marriage, addictions, depression, or anxiety. You’re then redirected to a list of therapists and counselors and profiles containing details regarding their qualifications and specialisations. This includes the session fees they charge (which typically vary from therapist to therapist), their contact details, and the counseling methods they use. Each profile is quite thorough, which helps you feel more comfortable when reaching out to them.
With Theravive, you also have the option of booking a short call. This allows you to form a first impression and decide whether or not you want to go ahead with a particular therapist.
And if you’re still new to therapy, don’t worry. You’re not alone! To help you get started, Theravive has a practical encyclopedia for any and all mental health issues. They familiarise you with different concepts and walk you through the goals of each targeted therapy, so you know exactly what to expect.
Next in line is AbleTo, previously known as Joyable – an online therapy platform dedicated to bridging the gap between the need for mental health and its treatment. All while providing accessible and high-quality therapy.
Their personalized online counseling services are powered by advanced analytics. They do this by thoroughly assessing individuals’ physical, mental, and behavioral needs and creating customized plans accordingly.
AbleTo is currently providing an 8-week-long virtual therapy program that is confidential, convenient, and above all, affordable.
To schedule a therapy session, all you need to do is select your insurance provider from the drop-down menu. If you don’t see your insurance provider mentioned or don’t have insurance, you can scroll to the bottom of the menu and proceed accordingly.
Once you’ve set up an account, you’ll be required to answer a few questions to help them get a better idea of your current situation. And since they follow HIPAA regulations, you never have to worry about any privacy threats.
Starting therapy for the first time can be nerve-wracking. However, knowing you’re in good hands makes all the difference. With AbleTo, if you can be sure of anything, that’s knowing that you’re being dealt with licensed, accredited, and compassionate therapists and mental health professionals.
In addition, all their virtual and therapy services have been developed by licensed counselor that ensure you’re better equipped to manage anxiety, depression, and stress at the end of the 8-week program.
Clients using Sanvello have access to four different kinds of support programs, self-care, peer support, coaching, and therapy. Their mental health services are based on cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, and evidence-backed strategies for mental health concerns regarding anxiety and depression.
Some perks include:
- Daily mood and activity tracking
- Guided journeys to build life-long skills
- Coping tools to manage stressful situations such as public speaking
- Progress assessments
- A judgment-free and label-free space where you can get a fresh perspective
- Words of solace and encouragement from community members
You can consider coaching if you’re more inclined towards the “I just need someone to talk to” side. Your coach will be a real person behind the screen, guiding you throughout the way. Their iOS and Android apps allow for a decent talk therapy messaging, and they reply within 1 working day.
Coaches also conduct live classes via Sanvello, coupled with techniques online cognitive behavioral therapy, life experiences, real-world examples, and more – which you can join anonymously for added privacy.
However, if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or have a more serious mental health condition that you can’t seem to shake out of, their online counseling service program is a great option.
To schedule a session, follow the easy steps below:
- Download the Sanvello app and tap the therapy scheduling option
- Select your location
- Check your insurance coverage
- Enter your information and answer a couple of questions to help you get started
- Select a therapist from a list of therapists
- Specify a date and time as per your convenience, and you’re done!
Wellin5, a Canadian online counseling and therapy platform, offers you support through video counseling. You can avail therapy from the comfort of your home at better rates than traditional therapy.
They’ve got a wide range of topics that they specialise in helping you with, ranging from anxiety and depression to trauma, addiction, and even spirituality. Under each topic, they’ve got details regarding symptoms, how these issues can be addressed, and how Wellin5’s counselors can help.
In addition, you can choose from their single sessions, monthly subscriptions, or yearly subscription programs. Their prices vary depending on the number of sessions you have within a time period, the duration of those sessions, and whether it’s individual or couples therapy.
On average, though, you can expect to pay around $44 for a single 30-minute session. However, you can consider their monthly subscription packages to save an extra few bucks.
Wellin5 is yet to release a mobile app, though, so till then, you can schedule all your virtual counseling sessions through their website, which is extremely user-friendly.
Among the many mental health services out there, Cerebral is one of the top virtual counseling services and considered to be the best for insurance coverage
Cerebral offers medication, coaching and care counseling.
They’ve currently got three therapy options that you can choose from:
- Medication + Care Counselling: This includes evaluating your current medical health, a diagnosis, prescription by a certified medical prescriber if applicable, and monthly medication deliveries. You can also schedule video sessions with a care counselor of your choice and have access to regular progress reports. This plan costs $85/month; however, if you’re signing up for the first time, you can enjoy a discounted rate of $30/month for the first month.
- Medication + Coaching: This plan is proven most effective; it includes everything the previous package has with the additional feature of texting your coach at any given time. If you opt for this package, you’ll have to pay $79 for the first month and $195/month for the rest.
- Coaching: This membership plan will allow you to schedule weekly video sessions based on behavioral health counseling with your coach, be in constant contact and have your progress tracked by them. Cerebral’s coaching plan typically costs $145/month; however, they’re giving a $86 discount for the first month!
To get started, sign up and they’ll carry out an emotional assessment, for which you need to answer a series of clinically tested questions. These questions will help them understand your current emotional state and the mental health support you require.
Cerebral accepts insurance from a few selected major health plans such as Aetna, Cigna, United, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Moreover, if you’ve got HSA/FSA connected to your card, you can easily cover your Cerebral subscription through it.
Similar to Cerebral, Brightside offers both medication and therapy services. They’ve got experts on board that design personalised treatment plans. These help you overcome mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and insomnia.
To start feeling like yourself again in just 12 weeks, all you need to do is:
- Answer a few questions for diagnosis purposes. This will hardly take you a minute.
- Schedule and meet your counselor virtually to establish a treatment plan and medication delivery (if applicable) based on your results.
- Get an appointment within 48 hours and stay connected via interactive messaging and appointments.
Although they have three treatment plans, which include therapy, medication, and therapy + medication, the latter has been found to be 60% more effective.
However, rest assured that you won’t be prescribed the standard, one-size-fits-all medication. Instead, Brightside matches you to an FDA-approved provider that prescribes SSRIs and SNRIs based on your data points.
Up next, we’ve got HealthSapiens. Their website is pretty straightforward and easy to navigate. They offer all online counseling services you’d find in any other therapy provider.
Regardless of whether you’re a teen, a young person, or an adult, you’ll have 24-hour virtual access to board-certified doctors from the United States that offer telephone counseling.
They’re also probably the cheapest option you’ll find out there, at just under $50 per session, as compared to other traditional therapy options that cost an arm and a leg. Currently, they’re only offering therapy targeted toward individuals and are yet to start their family and couples therapy programs.
To get started, you simply need to follow the easy steps below:
- Create your account on HealthSapiens: provide your basic information and a valid credit/debit card
- Get matched to a licensed family therapist based on your specific needs. You can switch to another therapist at any time
- Begin your virtual therapy by connecting with your therapist at any time via phone call, video call, or text
What sets Pride Counseling apart from many others in the market is that they’re targeted explicitly toward individuals in the LGBTQ community. They have been found to suffer from mental health problems at a disproportionately higher rate. One of the most prominent reasons is that the LGBTQ community is still being marginalised and not accepted by many.
Their website is short and sweet, and they also have an app available on both Apple Store and Google Play for users to download.
You’re expected to fill out a questionnaire to get started and match the right online therapist. The sets of questions typically revolve around what you identify as, what your pronouns are, your sexual orientation, and age and relationship status.
These are then followed by questions on whether you’ve been in therapy before, what your physical health is like, and questions regarding your mental health. Once you’ve completed the questionnaire, you can sign up.
Matching with a therapist can take between a couple of hours and a few days. All this generally depends on their availability. However, your subscription only starts once you’ve matched, so you don’t need to worry.
With Pride Counseling, you can expect to pay $60 to $90 every week. The final price is generally based on your current location, preferences, and therapist availability. The good news is that you cancel your subscription for any reason!
Dr on Demand
Apart from offering chronic care, urgent care, and preventive health plans, Dr on Demand also treats mental health. They provide a holistic approach, including online therapy, coaching, and psychiatry for all your behavioral needs.
Their licensed counselors and therapists have experience of over 15 years in helping clients deal with areas such as anxiety, depression, post-partum depression, stress, PTSD, grief, and loss of a loved one.
Similar to the several platforms we’ve mentioned, Dr on Demand makes finding a therapist all the easier. If you’re still contemplating getting therapy, you can take a quick test to find out whether or not you’d benefit from getting professional help. Once you’ve taken the test, you can proceed accordingly by browsing different therapists and scheduling your appointment with them.
You’ll also be required to choose the type of visit that’s the perfect fit for you. For example, you first need to specify whether you need a therapist to help you talk through your problems or a psychiatrist that’ll prescribe medication to treat your symptoms.
Moreover, in a majority of the cases, a combination of medication and therapy works best. However, if you’re not sure where to start, you don’t need to worry! You can simply discuss this with the therapist you’ve been matched with, and they’ll advise you to the best of their knowledge.
If you’re still on the hunt for the best online therapy platforms, we highly recommend looking into Wellnite. Their website is clean and easy to navigate, and they offer same-day consultations and medication deliveries, all from the comfort of your home!
Their process is fairly simple:
- You fill out a medical questionnaire that helps them with your assessment
- Get your personal evaluation conducted by a board-certified professional from the United States
- They devise a personalised treatment plan for you
- You get assigned a care team and track your monthly progress
They’re currently offering three plans:
- Medical Care + Therapy: For $195/month, you’ll get 2 video sessions with a licensed therapist, 1 video consultation with a doctor, access to member support, and wholesale medicine pricing.
- Therapy Services: For $350/month, you’ll get 6 video sessions with your therapist and access to member support throughout the week.
- Medical Care: For $75/month, you’ll get 1 video consultation and access to member support and wholesale medicine pricing.
You also have the freedom of choosing your provider. You simply have to browse through their list of certified therapists, doctors, and counselors and pick your preferred provider based on their profiles.
Up next, we’ve got Therapy 121, a confidential video counseling online therapy platform dedicated to providing affordable and accessible mental health services for everyone. And by everyone, we mean literally everyone, since you can translate their website into over 70 languages!
They offer a comprehensive range of services, such as targeted counseling for depression, anxiety, couples, and other life transitions. For each service, they walk you through a series of questions and give an in-depth into the areas they will help you work on.
Their team consists of 3 highly experienced coaches. You can have a look at their individual profiles, which are quite detailed and extensive. You can then either directly request counseling from your preferred coach or just book a therapist or have them select one for you.
All the coaches have their own packages. However, their sessions generally start from a minimum of $70/50 minutes to $672/12 weeks.
They’ve currently got 4 life coaching packages:
- Basic Package – Includes 4 hours of online/in-person coaching for 200 GBP
- Commitment Package – Includes 8 hours of online/in-person coaching for 469 GBP
- Action for Results – Includes 12 hours of online/in-person coaching for 570 GBP
- Legend Package – Includes online/in-person coaching for an entire year for 5,000 GBP
We’ve already seen how effective combining medication with therapy can be, but we bet you never thought of mental health therapy from the Biblical and spiritual perspective. With Faithful Counseling, you’ll be connected with licensed therapists who’re also practicing Christians.
Getting connected with an online therapist can generally take between a few hours to even a few days. To get started, you need to fill out a short questionnaire that will help them match you with the right therapist.
A therapy session can cost you anywhere between $60 and $90 per week, and this price varies depending on your location, the availability of therapists, and other deciding factors. You can also cancel your subscription at any time, which is great if you feel like it’s not doing you any good.
Good Therapy works more like an information and resource centre than a service where you get paired with a therapist.
On the upside, they have a huge directory of licensed therapists in many countries round the world such as Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists , Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Licensed Addiction Counselors.
The profile of each person is extensive and you can see their rates, contact information, services they provide, types of therapies performed and links to private practice (if any).
Like any good listing website, Good Therapy gives memberships to licensed professionals who wishes to be part of their reputed listing.
And that’s our roundup list of best online therapy services for mental health that we have so far tested out!
Since this is a developing feature, we will be adding more overviews or reviews of where mental health professionals are giving therapy session and virtual therapy.
Please send us your recommendations for teen counseling in the comments below and we will mention them in our feature too without mentioning your name
Great article running down the different options. I hadn’t realized the MDLive did counseling as well, that’s good to know.
With BetterHelp, one thing I’d add is that I had options at sign-up that were lower-cost besides the $180/month — including $455 per quarter which comes out to just over $150/month. For my wife and I, this service has been very worth the cost.
MD Live has a section for Psychiatry, Counselling and Dermatology. And you can see this on their home page. And, Counselling starts at $99.
Thanks for sharing this blog. Life is very busy these days and due to work pressure people are suffering from anxiety, so therapy is very relaxing to release your tensions. With the help of online/individual therapy you can easily release your tensions and anxiety.
Glad you liked it.
I appreciate the article’s assurance that online therapy can be effective, backed by studies and compliance by NHS and BACP.