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Verywell Mind's 2022 Online Therapy Awards

Our second annual Online Therapy Awards once again celebrate the top digital platforms for supporting mental health. Since the launch of our first awards in 2021, the teletherapy world has exploded with new services and more options than ever before.

We’ve researched this entire expanding landscape of online therapy providers and selected services that made the most significant impact across 16 categories according to our expert-driven methodology. More than ever, these services are helping people across the country take charge of their mental health.

As the need for online therapy has grown, so have the services being offered. Verywell Mind is committed to helping readers understand the difference between service providers so that anyone invested in online care can find the best treatment for themselves.

How We Chose the Winners

To make our selection process both thorough and authoritative, we surveyed 5775 therapy users and 4862 directory users, interviewed over 300 therapists, and analyzed 55 online therapy services and 25 directories about what they provide and performed testing of each one to sample their offerings.

Using this research, we created a rating system to score each service across key areas in order to determine the winners in each of the 16 categories. Within our expert-driven review methodology, we rated everything from the quality and expertise of therapists to search functionality and user experience. Other key areas included: company reputation and reach, therapeutic approaches and techniques, cultural sensitivity, company privacy, specific conditions treated, and more.

The evaluation was led by a team of subject matter experts who helped to review each online therapy service with a professional, objective eye.

Meet the Experts

To help shine a light on the importance of effective mental health care and the value of a wide variety of online therapy options, we asked the mental health professionals and board-certified physicians on our Review Board for their input. Learn more about how we work with these experts to ensure that content across Verywell Mind meets the highest standards of trustworthiness and inclusiveness.

Meet the Winners

After a robust review of the ever-growing world of online therapy, here are the winners of Verywell Mind's 2022 Online Therapy Awards.

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Best Large Service

Talkspace logo

What to Know: A key to any large business is making sure its customers feel cared for. For therapy, this is maybe the key. Nobody who is struggling with their mental health wants to feel like they've been lost in the shuffle or forgotten. The most effective large online therapy services have massive portfolios of qualified and available therapists, steady customer support, and the ability to cater to a wide variety of mental health needs. For those reasons and more, Talkspace is the best large service of 2022.

Why We Chose It: As one of the first and largest online therapy providers available, Talkspace has grown to serve millions of users since its inception in 2012. With availability in all 50 states, Talkspace offers an array of comprehensive treatment plans designed to fit various budgets and needs—including individual therapy, couples therapy, teen therapy, and medication management/psychiatry.

Its matching service asks extensively about user identity (including race, gender, and culture) and the preferred identity of their provider—and the results of this attention to care are evident. In fact, 75% of users say that if they needed a new therapist, they would start their search again at Talkspace, the highest percentage of users that said the same of any large, full-service company.

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Best for Anxiety & Depression

Brightside Health logo

What to Know: An estimated 21 million American adults deal with a major depressive episode each year, over 40 million adults in the U.S. have an anxiety disorder, and the pandemic has only exacerbated these conditions. This increase in mental health needs has brought on a shortage in the availability of mental health professionals. For individuals who have anxiety and/or depression and are looking for options, Brightside has stepped up to help fill the gaps.

Best anxiety and depression therapy

Why We Chose It:
Anxiety and depression come in many forms, and Brightside specifically specializes in treating a wide range of related conditions—including generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, postpartum depression, and bipolar II. It offers membership plans where users can choose a medication plan, therapy, or both with the ability to get prescriptions delivered to their door.

Brightside reports that 75% of its members start with moderate to severe symptoms and 50% of its members start with suicidal ideation. Further, 86% of its members feel significantly better within 12 weeks and 71% of its members achieve remission levels within 12 weeks. A higher level of care than other therapy services and an overall user rating of 90% are why we ranked Brightside number one for anxiety and depression.

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Best Small Service

E-therapy cafe logo

What to Know: The best small online therapy services can provide users with more personalized care and very high-quality care. The therapeutic alliance is a key component of successful therapy, and users who feel especially cared for may have a better chance of successful outcomes. Amongst smaller providers, E-Therapy Cafe has shown a particular ability to connect with patients and provide a positive therapy experience.

Why We Chose It: For the second year in a row, E-Therapy Cafe takes the lead for the best small therapy service—continuing to prove that quality of care is at the forefront of its business despite a boutique team of professionals. From college counseling to bridal coaching and relationship counseling to emotional support animal therapy, its customized programs are carefully designed to meet users wherever they are in their mental health journey.

Upon signup, E-Therapy Cafe prompts users with a detailed intake form that covers the type of therapy and therapist they're looking for, relationship and employment status, "How I feel today," options for stress level, energy level, anxiety level, and more. Its therapists offer a range of modalities and specializations as well as multiple communication methods, including an e-journal which functions like a letter your therapist can also comment on. E-Therapy Cafe also offers affordable plan options (i.e. $55 per 30-minute session) which are clearly displayed and accessible. With an overall approval rating of 94%, it's clear its users are happy as well.

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Best for Psychiatry

Talkiatry logo

What to Know: As medical doctors, psychiatrists can prescribe medication for mental health conditions. Some may also be proficient in talk therapy. This versatility can be a welcome option for many seeking care, though dispensing medication online must be done with the utmost care. That's why Talkiatry is the top option for online psychiatry.

Best for psychiatry

Why We Chose It: Talkiatry boasts a robust team of 400+ psychiatrists who represent a diverse range of specialties and identities, offering virtual visits in 30 states and counting. On its website, you can expect to find extensive bios on each provider without having to sign up—including helpful details like their title, state of licensure, education history, years of experience, and spoken languages. Specialties can range from anxiety and depression to ADHD and adjustment disorders.

It is proudly in-network with many major insurers (at least 11 different companies), addressing a common concern for users who seek treatment. And in case you are unsure, an in-depth informational insurance page is available at your disposal. Here, you can confirm if you're covered based on your input and see what other plans are available through your insurer if not. By operating like an attentive medical practice rather than a referral network, Talkiatry wins over its users, with 70% who say they would come back to Talkiatry if they needed a new provider—making it one of the highest-rated psychiatry companies for this answer—and 95% who rated the service overall as good, very good, or excellent—making it one of the most highly rated companies who prescribe medication.

With the very high need for mental health services and the dearth of available providers, access is more crucial than ever. Virtual psychiatric services play a key role in addressing that void.

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Best for Accessibility

LiveHealth logo

What to Know: While mental health matters don't discriminate, it can be harder for disabled or injured folks to access necessary treatment if services aren't designed with equity in mind. Online therapy may have helped to bridge some of these gaps with many services offering a multitude of communication options depending on the user's needs. While we can still expand greater access with improved tools and ways to benefit broader audiences, LiveHealth Online is setting the bar as our best therapy service for accessibility.

Why We Chose It: LiveHealth Online offers an easy-to-navigate website, which has been developed to comply as much as possible with latest accessibility guidelines—including features like access key assignments to allow easy keyboard navigation and closed captions for its videos. Its dedicated accessibility page also briefly describes how to access services if you have hearing, vision, or speech loss.

Alongside psychology and psychiatry services, you are also able to connect with a doctor 24/7 for medical advice, a treatment plan, and a prescription if needed. Pricing is also affordable without insurance at $59 per doctor visit, $80 for a therapist session, and $95 for a psychologist session, though with insurance, prices can veer less. Best of all, you're not locked into any contract, so you only pay for the services you use.

One huge benefit of telehealth is that disabled folks who might struggle with in-person sessions can still get care. This can mean not having to access buildings that are not suited to a mobility issue or being able to stay home if you are immunocompromised.

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Best for Relationships

Regain logo

What to Know: Every relationship has its ups and down, and sometimes the best way to get back on track with your partner is to seek the help of a trained counselor. Featuring an abundance of licensed marriage and family therapists, Regain is our top choice for couples who may need to work on their communication, understand their partner better, and much more.

Best for relationships

Why We Chose It: Regain is an excellent option for those in relationships who are looking to get their relationship back on track or simply strengthen what they already have. The therapist-client matching process is extensive—with questions around what led them to therapy, whether they live with their partner or not, their financial status, and more. Options to choose from under what led them to therapy are also personalized and thoughtful: "Learn 'good' ways to fight," "Win back my partner's love," "Discuss issues around raising kids," etc. Prospective clients also have the option to choose between individual or couples therapy.

While users are unable to see individualized profiles for Regain's therapists prior to signing up, the site shows that they all have a specific interest and expertise in relationship therapy, with at least three years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience. User reviews noted that they received genuine and specific feedback tailored to their unique relationship issues and that communication with both therapists and customer service was efficient. One mentioned that their therapist implemented "worksheets" which allowed the user to practice skills between sessions and send responses directly back to them.

In every relationship, each person has a unique perspective of what is happening during conflict, which often sets couples up for an impasse. A trained professional helps them understand each other’s perspectives, while ensuring that both people feel heard and validated.

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Best for Flexibility

Thriveworks logo

What to Know: Cost is one of the biggest barriers for many individuals in need of therapy. It's important for online services to be not just affordable, but flexible as well. That means making room for users who may not be able to commit to a steady therapy schedule or may need to pay per session. When it comes to flexibility, Thriveworks is the choice for 2022.

Why We Chose It: Thriveworks makes it easy to schedule a counseling session when it's most convenient for you—with same-day, next-day, and weekend availability. Some counselors even include evening hours as late as 9 p.m., ideal for those who have work or other priorities to juggle during the day. And while you're juggling priorities, it's worth mentioning Thriveworks also includes ultra-flexible 23.5-hour cancellations in case something comes up.

Even without an appointment, you can reach your provider by phone and email in between sessions. Not just an online service, Thriveworks also has 380+ brick-and-mortar locations available across the U.S. if you choose to have an in-person session with one of its 2000+ counselors and coaches. Thriveworks believes getting counseling shouldn't have to be a hassle—and judging by its offerings, it shows.

There isn't one right template for what therapy must look like, and each person gets to determine with their treatment team what their needs are. By having the flexibility to schedule sessions in the way that works best for the individual, each client gets to receive treatment tailored to their needs and preferences.

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Best for Kids & Family Therapy

Little Otter logo

What to Know: They say it takes a village to raise a child, and sometimes that village includes a trained mental health professional. The goal of family therapy is to help foster positive change in some of our most important interpersonal relationships. Family therapists may need to be well-versed in anything from addiction and abuse to grief and childhood mental health. Little Otter provides professionals trained in all of the above and more, making them our top choice for online family therapy.

Best for kids and family therapy

Why We Chose It: If you need some assistance in navigating family matters, Little Otter is a great option. All of Little Otter's providers are highly trained in early childhood and family mental health, offering care for the entire family—including infants, preschoolers, children, and early teens (0-14). Services include individual therapy, couples counseling (if you have kids), parent coaching, psychiatric care, and medication management. Throughout your care, providers offer family assessments and custom reports based on areas of challenge for your child(ren) and family and a message feature you can use to chat with them in real time.

While Little Otter does not accept most major insurance plans (Kaiser Permanente being the exception), it will provide you with the necessary paperwork that you can submit to your health insurance provider for reimbursement. And if you're unsure if Little Otter is right for you and your family, it offers a free informational call to answer any questions you may have about what you can expect from the therapeutic process. Overall, if you're looking for a therapy option that will factor in your family's dynamic and take a holistic approach to treatment, Little Otter is our pick.

Family can be the source of a lot of stress for people if they have a difficult time communicating and understanding each other. Family therapy is one of the best ways to facilitate communication between family members, which ultimately leads to greater connection and a sense of safety in the family.

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Best With Insurance

Teladoc logo

What to Know: While online therapy is a growing part of the world of healthcare, many platforms do not accept insurance the way traditional therapists or doctors might. For many people, this can be a barrier to affording necessary mental healthcare. Teladoc is in-network with many insurance providers, making it an affordable and accessible option for people who can't pay the high costs of therapy out of pocket.

Why We Chose It: For 20 years, Teladoc has served a large part of the U.S. population and beyond, with offices across 20 countries. It offers evidence-based therapy and counseling provided by licensed therapists, as well as medication evaluation and management by its board-certified psychiatrists. While you can access Teladoc virtual counseling whether you have insurance or not, 82% of users we surveyed were able to obtain coverage on service through their insurance—the highest of the companies ranking for this category. Depending on your plan, therapy visits can range from $0–$99 and psychiatry visits from $0–$299.

And, if you don't have coverage, Teladoc's mental health services are cheaper than your average sessions. Its website also lists 88 FAQs that provide in-depth information for those who have questions about insurance, billing, and prescriptions. It also scored one of the highest satisfaction ratings of all the companies we surveyed: 86% were likely or very likely to recommend Teladoc to a friend.

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Best for LGBTQIA+


What to Know: Intolerance, homophobia, and discrimination all contribute to a higher risk of mental health issues for individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community, including a much higher risk of suicide. People in these communities need compassionate care from culturally safe therapists who understand the unique mental health issues they face. National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network has continually met this challenge, making it the best online therapy option for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Best for LGBTQIA therapy

Why We Chose It: If you identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is a standout option. Its directory only lists QTPOC (queer and trans people of color) licensed, pre-licensed, and/or certified mental health practitioners working in agencies, community-based clinics, or private practice. With more than 300 practitioners, this network is essential to help these communities gain greater access to therapists who are sensitive to and understand the challenges that the individuals of this community face.

Using its directory is straightforward—you can find practitioners in your area based on zip code, address, city, or state. You can also filter practitioners based on whether they are accepting new clients, offer telehealth, sliding scale/low fee, or are featured practitioners. It also features a Statement of Community Care on its homepage, acknowledging the work involved in caring for its community and outlining its thoughtful commitment toward this healing. For these reasons, National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is our winner for best for the LGBTQIA+ community.

It's important to have access to therapists who recognize how the experience of sexual orientation and gender identity relates to mental health.

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Best Availability

BetterHelp logo

What to Know: Mental health issues tend not to operate on a set schedule. One of the potential benefits of online therapy is that you may not need to wait for your next appointment to talk to a therapist. With consistent 24/7 availability, text, chat, phone, and video options, and flexible scheduling, BetterHelp is the most available online therapy service of 2022.

Why We Chose It: With 27,555 licensed therapists ready to help, you're likely to find one on BetterHelp who meets your needs. Not to mention, its providers operate in all 50 states so you can get matched with one quickly, no matter where you live.

Once you are paired up, you can message your therapist at any time, from anywhere, or connect with them through real-time chat. You also get to schedule live phone or video sessions when it's convenient for you and can connect from any mobile device or computer.

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Best for Black Communities

Therapy for Black Girls logo

What to Know: Inequity in mental health care is a multi-pronged issue. There are not enough Black therapists, access to therapy in Black communities may be more limited, and individuals in these communities may also face additional stigma around mental health issues. Online therapy can help fill this gap, especially through a service like Therapy for Black Girls. Therapy for Black Girls features licensed therapists who understand the needs of individuals from Black communities who may be struggling with mental health as well as the barriers that have prevented them from getting help in the past.

Best for Black Communities therapy

Why We Chose It: Therapy for Black Girls is wholly devoted to destigmatizing mental healthcare within the Black community specifically. The service aims to connect Black women and girls to Black therapists (either online or in-person) who understand the unique challenges that Black women face.

When you join Therapy for Black Girls you'll have access to a free directory of Black therapists (located across all 50 states) who specialize in and are passionate about BIPOC mental healthcare, a podcast, a blog, and an online community. Regardless of any challenges you're facing, Therapy for Black Girls is an excellent choice if you're looking for a culturally-sensitive therapist who can support you in your mental health journey.

Feeling seen, heard, and understood is the cornerstone of a therapeutic alliance. Online access to Black providers bridges the significant underrepresentation gap for Black clients.

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Best Comprehensive Care


What to Know: Caring for our well-being requires a multifaceted approach: It's hard to show up as our best selves if we're caring for our physical health while neglecting our mental health (and vice versa). If you're looking for a one-stop-shop service that offers therapy, psychiatry, primary care, and even dermatology all under one roof, MDLIVE is our winner for best comprehensive care.

Why We Chose It: Serving 24/7 health care by phone or video in all 50 states, MDLIVE's clinical network is the largest in the nation. It is comprised of doctors who are board-certified in internal medicine, family practice, emergency medicine, and pediatrics, as well as board-certified psychiatrists and licensed mental health therapists who provide talk therapy. Notably, MDLIVE board-certified doctors and licensed therapists have an average of over 10 years of experience.

As far as mental health care, the most common mental health concerns MDLIVE treats include: stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma, although its licensed therapists are trained to provide support for many mental health needs. Not to mention, MDLIVE accepts all major insurance plans. In addition to solid insurance coverage, an easy setup process, and quick response times, users seem to be happy with MDLIVE's quality care overall. It ranked as one of the best companies we surveyed for comprehensive care with 91% of users who rated MDLIVE with an excellent, very good, or good overall rating. For these reasons, MDLIVE gets our vote.

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Best Directory

GoodTherapy logo

What to Know: With many therapists fully booked, often overworked, and unable to take on new patients, finding someone who suits your needs can be a struggle—which itself can lead to additional stress. The best online therapy directories can help you track down therapists in your area who can suit your mental health needs and, better yet, are available to new clients. This year, Good Therapy takes home the prize for best directory.

Best for directory

Why We Chose It: It's no surprise: Good Therapy consistently rates high in our directory user survey. Its website is user-friendly, intuitive, and free to use: You're met with a search bar off the bat that gives you the option to find a therapist, find telehealth, find a facility, and more based on your zip code or city. Its therapist directory is extensive, and bios are detailed. There are also multiple filters that allow you to do a more comprehensive search by gender, languages spoken, industries and communities served, type of therapy used, etc.

Many providers also offer both in-person and telehealth appointments and clearly state whether they are seeing new patients. Their contact info is displayed prominently in search results with direct call and/or email buttons that connect you to the provider directly. Finding help for therapy shouldn't be a struggle, which is why Good Therapy is our pick for the best directory.

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Best Matching Service

Two Chairs logo

What to Know: As more and more users flock to online therapy to seek help for their mental health needs, many platforms are figuring out ways to streamline the process of finding the right therapist fit. Among the bevy of those that offer personalized recommendations based on user intake, Two Chairs is our pick for the best matching service.

Why We Chose It: By carefully considering factors like the client's relationships, mental health and medical history, current stressors, and more, it's clear that Two Chairs' matching approach is holistic and systems-based. But more importantly, it is the only company we looked at that relies solely on detailed client interviews to match therapists rather than surveys or algorithms—which speaks to its quality of individualized care.

The matching is also performed by licensed therapists themselves, which assures you're getting a trusted recommendation. In fact, 98% of Two Chairs clients find the right therapist on the first try with 75% who rated Two Chairs as excellent, very good, or good.

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Best for Group Therapy

Circles logo

What to Know: Sometimes, the best way for someone to cope with their mental health struggles is to share their experience with a group of people who truly know what they are going through. The best support groups foster a supportive, reassuring experience, and more and more online services are providing this form of treatment. This year, Circles is our top choice among the platforms providing group therapy.

Best for group therapy

Why We Chose It: Circles helps to connect people who are navigating similar mental health journeys in a group setting. When you sign up, you'll be asked several questions about why you're seeking therapy, the challenges you're currently facing, and what you hope to get out of group therapy. After answering these questions, you'll be matched with a "circle" of people you can chat directly with to share your experiences.

Circles offers one plan at $79 per month which includes a weekly live session led by a mental health expert (free for the first week), 24/7 access to a chat service, and therapeutic exercises among other helpful resources. Of the users we surveyed, 80% of participants rated Circles as either good or excellent and 70% would recommend this service to a friend. Circles recognizes that a strong support system that ensures you aren't alone is validating as you work through whatever life has thrown your way. Whether you're navigating grief, anxiety, or relationship issues, there's a circle for you on Circles.

Illustrations by Verywell Mind

2 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Mental Health. Major Depression.

  2. NAMI. Anxiety Disorders.