Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy Online Therapy Review

Culturally responsive therapy focusing on clients from marginalized communities

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Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy

Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy

The Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy is a small group practice with a mission to serve clients with marginalized identities, including the BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ communities. However, our user data shows that its stated mission isn’t necessarily reflected in its clients’ experiences. Aguirre’s small size means it can offer clients more freedom, like being able to choose a therapist and text your therapist directly, but it also means that it doesn’t have convenient processes for things like changing therapists. It also doesn't take insurance, which can be a big barrier for clients who can’t pay for sessions out of pocket. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Trauma-informed, culturally sensitive services

  • Detailed therapist bios

  • Diverse roster of therapists

  • Sliding scale and reduced fee options available, with priority given to those with marginalized identities

  • Individual and group therapy available online

  • Portal is secure and HIPAA-compliant

Cons
  • Website can sometimes be difficult to navigate

  • Doesn’t take insurance

  • No search filter for therapist profiles

  • May be difficult to switch therapists

  • Lower than average rates of customer satisfaction

Key Facts
Price
$60-$200 per session
Is Insurance Accepted?
No
Type Of Therapy
Individual Therapy
Communication Options
Messaging, Video Chat
HIPAA Compliant?
N/A
Is There an App?
No
Why Trust Us
55
Companies reviewed
5,775
Total users surveyed
350
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.
Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy

Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy

In This Article
Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy Online Therapy Review

Getting treatment for mental health issues can be difficult at the best of times. For people from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or otherwise marginalized communities, the difficulty is often compounded by discrimination, which not only increases the risk of mental and physical health problems, but can also make it trickier to get treatment.

This means, for example, that BIPOC people who experience mental illness are less likely to get treatment than their white counterparts—one in two white people with mental illness will receive treatment, compared to only one in five Asian people. And the problem doesn’t end once you receive treatment. Even well-meaning therapists may not have the appropriate cultural understanding to treat clients from marginalized backgrounds.

That’s the problem that the Aguirre Center for Inclusive Therapy seeks to address. Its therapists, who come from marginalized backgrounds themselves, use culturally affirming approaches to provide therapy to clients who hold marginalized identities. Its website says that it uses frameworks of cultural humility so that it can understand and work with clients from all socioeconomic backgrounds. In particular, it emphasizes that it is culturally responsive, LGBTQ+ affirming, trauma-informed, sex-positive, and poly/kink affirming. 

We surveyed 105 current users of the Aguirre Center in order to provide a review of its online therapy services, and contacted the Aguirre Center directly to ask some questions. However, we didn’t manage to test out the services ourselves or interview a client for issues we’ll explain below.

What Is the Aguirre Center?

The Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy is a group psychotherapy practice founded in early 2021 by Sophia Aguirre, PhD. Dr. Aguirre has over a decade of experience and previously ran her own solo practice, Latinx Psychotherapy.

The Aguirre Center specializes in providing culturally responsive psychotherapy, as well as psychological testing and evaluations. On its website, it says that it “strive[s] to provide culturally responsive and affirming services that are sensitive to the unique needs and challenges faced by marginalized communities.” It currently has 13 therapists, all of whom hold marginalized identities themselves. Dr. Aguirre, for instance, is a Latina woman. 

However, finding a therapist with a similar or identical cultural background isn’t as important to the Aguirre Center’s users as it is for the users of some of its competitors. Of our survey respondents, only 13% of the Aguirre Center’s users said that this was important to them in their search for a therapist, compared to 25% of Mindful Care’s users and 24% for Talkspace.

The Aguirre Center, being a relatively new practice, doesn’t have much of an online presence apart from its social media accounts. It has an Instagram account, a Facebook page, and a LinkedIn page, and it appears on some directories, like Therapy for Latinx

What Services Does the Aguirre Center Offer?

The Aguirre Center offers several different kinds of therapy, including individual, relational, and group therapy, as well as psychiatry and medication management services. All new clients must first undergo an initial assessment session with a therapist before deciding on their therapy plan. 

Individual therapy involves the client talking to the therapist one-on-one. The client schedules sessions one at a time, and pays per session. The sessions range from 45 to 55 minutes in length. Duration and frequency depend on the nature of the client’s problems and their individual needs. 

Relational/couples therapy involves clients who are in a relationship meeting with a therapist together. Unlike some other practices, the Aguirre Center is poly-affirming, so clients in non-monogamous or multi-partner relationships are also welcome to relational therapy. Relational therapy can help in the process of negotiating agreements and boundaries regarding ethical non-monogamy, and negotiating power dynamics and cultural differences in polycules.

Group therapy involves the client meeting with a therapist as well as other peers, with whom they can process and develop deeper awareness of their own struggles. Groups at the Aguirre Center are limited to 5 to 8 individuals who share certain elements of their identity. For example, current groups offered include a group for young adults (early 20s to mid-30s) and a group for Latinx adults. Groups meet on a weekly basis for 90 minutes. Clients interested in becoming part of a group must first meet with the group therapist for at least two individual sessions (at a discounted rate) in order to discuss their needs and group guidelines.

Who Is the Aguirre Center For?

The Aguirre Center provides culturally responsive therapy geared towards clients from marginalized or minority backgrounds. In its individual, relational, and group therapy, it emphasizes that its therapists understand and affirm the complexities of intersectional identities.

The Aguirre Center is geared towards people who belong to one or more marginalized communities (for example, the BIPOC or LGBTQ+ communities) and who are looking for a therapist who is culturally sensitive, or for people who are in a non-monogamous or non-traditional relationship and looking to do relational therapy with their partner(s).

It offers the following services:

  • Individual (talk) therapy
  • Relational/couples therapy
  • Group therapy (for clients and for therapists)
  • Psychological assessments (including ADHD evaluations and gender affirmative evaluations)
  • Consulting and training for professionals

How Much Does the Aguirre Center Cost?

Prices at the Aguirre Center depend on the kind of therapy, as well as which therapist you’re seeking treatment from. The Aguirre Center offers general price ranges on its fee page, but certain therapists who are working as interns may offer discounted rates. In addition, the Aguirre Center offers limited sliding scale/reduced fee options based on financial need, with priority given to those from marginalized communities.

The Initial Assessment session, which is mandatory for all new clients, generally costs between $200 and $250. Intern therapists offer this service at $60.

Individual therapy costs between $125 and $200 per 45- to 55-minute session. Intern therapists offer this service at $60.

Relationship therapy costs between $150 and $215 per session (for the couple or polycule), while group therapy costs $65 per 90-minute group session. 

Therapy costs about $60 to $250 per session nationally, which puts Aguirre's price points approximately in the middle of the range. Its individual sessions (from non-intern psychotherapists) are on the higher end of the spectrum when compared to its competitors. For example, Talkspace’s plans start at $65 per week, and Kip Therapy offers therapy from non-intern therapists starting at $130 per session. 

In addition, these prices may be less affordable for Aguirre’s target audience, therapy seekers from marginalized communities. People from marginalized communities tend to be less affluent than those from historically privileged communities—for example, in 2019, the median wealth of a Latinx household was less than a tenth of the median wealth of a white household. 

That said, Aguirre’s users seem to be satisfied with the prices available. Sixty-four percent of the users we surveyed said they found Aguirre’s services affordable or very affordable, with an additional 25% saying it was somewhat affordable. 

Does the Aguirre Center Take Insurance?

The Aguirre Center does not take insurance. Its services are considered out-of-network, which means that it will not bill insurance on its clients’ behalf. You would have to pay for your sessions upfront with a debit or credit card.

Your insurance plan may have out-of-network benefits, in which case you may be able to apply for partial or total reimbursement. You would have to request a superbill, a receipt that contains insurance information, from the Aguirre Center, which you would then submit to your insurance provider. Your provider may choose to cover all, some, or none of these services. It’s a good idea to confirm your out-of-network coverage with your insurance plan before you seek therapy at the Aguirre Center. 

There is one exception: if you have a PacificSource health coverage plan, the Aguirre Center can bill your insurance directly and you wouldn’t have to submit a superbill. 

The Aguirre Center’s services being out-of-network offers another barrier to people seeking therapy. Paying over $100 out of pocket with a debit or credit card may not be possible for everyone, and needing to obtain and submit a superbill also adds extra steps to what can already be a complicated process.

Does the Aguirre Center Offer Discounts?

The Aguirre Center offers limited sliding scale and reduced fee options. Priority for these is given to people from marginalized communities, including DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants. 

Additionally, intern therapists offer individual and initial assessment sessions at a reduced price.

Navigating the Aguirre Center Website

When you land on the Aguirre Center website, you’re greeted by a close-up photo of a leaf with overlaid text that reads, “Culturally-Affirming, Anti-Oppressive, & Inclusive Psychological Services.” 

screenshot of Aguirre Center website

If you scroll down, you’ll see a section labeled “Welcome” with a short blurb about the Aguirre Center, contextualizing what it is, what it does, and who it serves. Further down, in the section marked “Our Specialties,” you’ll see a list of specialties including BIPOC mental health, life transitions, and race-based stress. 

screenshot of Aguirre Center website

Below that is a section marked “Our Clinical Services.” There are six icons for different services, but four out of the six will link you to the same page (“Clinical Services”). Below that is a button marked “Request an Appointment,” and you’ll find contact information and a link to the patient portal at the bottom.

screenshot of Aguirre Center website

The navigation bar at the top contains links to several different pages, including About, Therapists, Services, Groups, Getting Started, Resources, and Blog.

Overall, the website is fairly intuitive, with two caveats. The first caveat is that several important links don’t have different pages but have different sections on one page. For example, all the services have different sections on the same page. This can make it somewhat confusing to navigate if you’re the kind of person who has multiple tabs open. If you’re looking at individual therapy and group therapy on two different tabs, you’re actually on the same page for both, which can be a bit disorienting. Similarly, fee information and the appointment form are both on the page labeled “Getting Started.” 

screenshot of Aguirre Center website

The second caveat is that several of the links are broken or don’t lead to the right page. For example, under the heading “Group Therapy” on the “Clinical Services” page, one link is supposed to take you to the group therapy page, but actually just takes you to the home page. Similarly, under “Things to Know” on the bottom bar, the FAQ link takes you to the appointment request form. These things aren’t a big deal in general, but if you spend enough time on the Aguirre Center’s website, it can be frustrating to keep clicking on links that don’t take you to the right place. 

Does the Aguirre Center Have an App?

The Aguirre Center does not have an app. Sessions are scheduled and carried out over the patient portal in your browser, which is powered by SimplePractice, a virtual practice management software.

How Do You Sign Up for Therapy at The Aguirre Center?

The sign-up process at Aguirre starts in one of two ways. Either you fill out a Google form on the Getting Started page, or you request an initial phone or video consultation. 

For the Google form, navigate to the Getting Started page on Aguirre’s website. You’ll see a form titled "New Client Appointment Request," which contains 14 required questions and five optional ones. You can fill out this form for yourself or for someone else. 

The questions range from standard ones, like name and date of birth, to ones that are more specific to the practice. The form asks you to confirm that you understand that most of the services are out-of-network, which means that you’ll have to personally pay for the sessions and then submit a bill to your insurance provider afterwards. You’ll also get the chance to note which services you’re seeking (you can pick more than one), explain the reasons you’re seeking therapy, and indicate if you have a specific therapist (or therapists) you’d like to work with. On the list of therapists, some have notes beside their name regarding things you should know. For example, a therapist may have a waitlist or provide online services only. 

The last three questions, which the form notes are completely optional, have to do with demographic information. If you choose to, you can provide information about your racial/ethnic background, gender identity and pronouns, and sexual orientation. Aguirre says that the information gathered by these questions will help it to match you with a therapist who best suits you, as some of its therapists may specialize in working with people from specific communities.

Once you’ve submitted the form, you’ll wait for Aguirre to get back to you (it says it usually takes less than 48 business hours). If it feels it is a good fit for your needs, it will proceed with scheduling an initial assessment appointment. If not, it will provide you with a referral. 

Alternatively, instead of filling out the form, you can request an initial free phone or video consultation, which will take 15 to 20 minutes. You can reach out by email or phone to request the consultation. However, you could also request the consultation through the patient portal. In order to do this, you’ll need to scroll all the way down to the bottom of any page and click on the button that says “Patient Portal” underneath the Aguirre Center logo. 

This will take you to the portal powered by SimplePractice, where you’ll see a button for new clients and one for existing clients. Clicking on the button for new clients will take you to a page titled “Request an Appointment,” where you can choose the therapist you’d like to have for your initial consultation (there are only three options). It will ask you to choose various options for your consultation, including location (whether you want to do it online or in-person in Atlanta) and preferred time slot. Once you fill in your contact information, you can submit your request for an initial consultation and wait for a confirmation.

At the consultation, the therapist will ask you some questions to get to know you and your concerns. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask them your questions. If you and the therapist believe that you may be a good fit for Aguirre (and vice versa), you can proceed with scheduling an initial assessment appointment. 

In all, the sign-up process at Aguirre is pretty intuitive and not too long. 72% of users we surveyed said they found the sign-up process easy or very easy. This is on par with competitors like Talkspace (76%) and higher than competitors like Kip (44%).

Choosing a Therapist at The Aguirre Center

When you request an initial appointment via the Google form, you’ll have the option to express a preference for which therapist(s) you’d ideally like to work with. That makes it a good idea to go through the therapist directory before signing up. Although the Aguirre Center does have fairly detailed therapist bios, it doesn’t have any way to filter therapists. So even though there are only 13 therapists (as of November 2022), the process of choosing one can be pretty daunting.

In order to narrow the selection, I’d recommend looking through the therapists on the Google form first. The form contains notes on the therapists that aren’t on their bios. For example, if you’re in a hurry and would like to get matched ASAP, you might want to see which therapists have waitlists so that you can eliminate them from your list. 

After that, you could take a look at the directory that lists all the therapists and their specialties. If you have a specific topic that you’d like to discuss with your therapist, such as ethnic identity or mood disorders, this page will help you identify which therapists specialize in that topic. If the topic is important enough to you, therapists who don’t specialize in it could be quickly crossed off your list. 

After those two steps, you can go ahead and look through the bios of the therapists left on your list. These bios are very detailed, containing information about the therapists’ pronouns, rates, scheduling availability, areas of expertise, and professional credentials. They also have information about the therapists’ hobbies and personal approach to therapy, which can help you  get a feel for each individual therapist and decide which one(s) you’d like to work with.

Of the users we surveyed, 44% said that they chose their own therapist from the company’s list, and 36% said they chose from a curated list (based on insurance, location, or availability). It’s therefore a good idea to put some thought into your preference when you’re signing up, as Aguirre doesn’t seem to do much matching once you’ve chosen your therapist. 

Hannah Owens, LMSW, one of our subject matter experts, said this could be a problem if you’re not really sure what you want from a therapist. “Many therapy seekers—especially those seeking services for the first time—are often unsure of what they really need in a provider,” she said.

Although the website has no way to filter through the therapists, that wasn’t a big deal for most of the users who responded to our survey. Forty-seven percent said that the process of looking for a therapist was easy or very easy, with only 8% saying it was difficult or very difficult.

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at The Aguirre Center?

Once you’ve signed up for therapy, the Aguirre Center will get in touch with you, likely within two business days, to set up an initial assessment appointment. 

Messaging Your Therapist

Aguirre doesn’t have an app, so all communications with your therapist take place over email, text, or call. You can find the therapists’ email addresses on their bio page on the Aguirre website, and your therapist will give you their number when you start working with them so that you can contact them (for example, if you need to reschedule an appointment). When I emailed the main email, I received a response in less than 48 hours. 

Video Sessions

Online sessions are carried out over SimplePractice, a HIPAA-compliant virtual practice management software. Once you’ve scheduled an online therapy session, you’ll be emailed a link to connect with your therapist. A few minutes before your appointment, you can use your device to log in and enter the therapy session. Aguirre confirmed that the session will open in your browser, no matter what device you’re using. 

In-Person Sessions

Aguirre also offers in-person services at its office in Atlanta, even though the bulk of its services are online. Not all therapists offer in-person services, so Aguirre recommends you check your therapist’s bio or discuss the options with them directly. 

Clients who prefer to have their sessions in person must sign the Aguirre Center’s consent form and follow its COVID-19 policies, including providing proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the appointment. If you’re sick at the time of your scheduled appointment, your session will revert to online.

Couples Therapy Sessions

Aguirre offers couples therapy, and emphasizes that its relationship therapy extends to people in non-traditional relationships (such as polycules). On its website, it says, “We enjoy helping individuals in non-traditional relationships cultivate deeper, intimate and more satisfying partnerships from a shame-free and empowerment paradigm.​”

Group Therapy Sessions

Aguirre’s “interpersonal process groups” bring together 5 to 8 people (generally with common characteristics such as background or stage of life) who meet together on a weekly basis for 90-minute sessions. Groups are intended to be long-term and require a 10-session commitment at minimum. These sessions are generally unstructured with a focus on the relationships between the members—the individuals involved discuss their own issues, giving and receiving feedback and responses from their peers. 

These sessions are facilitated by a group therapist, who meets with each individual twice before they join the group to go over expectations and needs. The therapist may also direct the conversation, give feedback and support, share their observations about group dynamics, and help members identify themes in their discussions.

What Happens If I Miss a Session at The Aguirre Center?

The Aguirre Center requires you to provide notice 48 hours in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment. You need to email, text, or call your therapist directly to cancel or reschedule. If you don’t provide notice in time, you’ll need to pay the full cost of the appointment, and if you’re late to an appointment, it will still end at its scheduled time. Group sessions can’t be rescheduled, so if you miss one, you’ll need to pay the full fee. 

Switching Therapists at The Aguirre Center

Aguirre doesn’t mention anything about its process for switching therapists on its website. I called its office in Atlanta and the receptionist told me that a client looking to switch therapists would need to contact their therapists directly. I think this could be difficult for a client like myself—personally, I’d rather not be responsible for telling my therapist that their services aren’t working out for me.

Almost half the users we surveyed have switched therapists at Aguirre at least once (a figure that’s comparable to competitors like Talkspace and Mindful Care). However, the process of switching therapists at Aguirre is a little more difficult than at some of its competitors. Thirty-five percent of the users we surveyed who changed therapists said they had to contact customer service directly, via email or phone, which can be a daunting task. Only 26% of users at Mindful Care had to contact customer service, and the number drops to 10% at Talkspace. 

Similarly, it takes longer to be assigned a new provider at Aguirre than at many other services. Thirty-nine percent of users who switched therapists said they had to wait a week or a few weeks to be assigned a new therapist after they requested it, compared to 26% at Talkspace and 24% at Mindful Care.

Pausing or Canceling Therapy at The Aguirre Center

Aguirre’s website doesn’t mention anything about the process for pausing or canceling therapy. The receptionist I spoke to also wasn’t entirely sure about the process. She said the best bet was to discuss it with your therapist, as they may have different regulations or processes for ending therapy. Again, this seems a little disorganized for me. I’d prefer to have a clear process for ending therapy so that I know I’m doing it right and won’t be asked to schedule another session or continue paying. 

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

Therapist turnover doesn’t seem to be much of an issue at Aguirre (although this could change, as the company is only around two years old). Out of 13 therapists welcomed to the practice on its Instagram page, all but one are still at Aguirre. 

User satisfaction at Aguirre is a little lower than at some of its competitors. Of our survey respondents, 72% said they would rate Aguirre good, very good, or excellent, which is on par with Kip Therapy (a smaller competitor based in New York City). But other competitors, like Mindful Care and Talkspace, have ratings that go up to the low 90s. 

Similarly, only 60% of Aguirre’s users said they would recommend the service to a friend—higher than Kip’s 54%, but significantly lower than the 82% or 83% for Talkspace and Mindful Care respectively. Amy Marschall, PsyD, one of our subject matter experts, says that customer satisfaction is pretty important. “A business can't succeed if the customer base isn't happy with them,” she explains. 

That said, the low satisfaction ratings could be in part a question of scale—Aguirre is a smaller practice with only 13 therapists, compared to the thousands at Talkspace, and it likely has fewer resources. 

More worrying is the fact that although Aguirre emphasizes its inclusive and culturally responsive practices, the user data doesn’t reflect its mission. When asked to compare Aguirre with therapy services they’d used in the past, only 3% of users said that Aguirre was better at supporting them through experiences of racism and discrimination—compared to 17% of Kip Therapy’s users, and 27% for Mindful Care. This is concerning for a company that has BIPOC mental health and race-based stress in its specialties list. 

Similarly, only one in 10 users said that Aguirre’s therapists were more supportive than other therapists when working with LGBTQIA+ clients, despite LGBTQ issues being one of Aguirre’s stated specialties. Almost four in 10 users of Kip Therapy said Kip’s therapists were more supportive of clients from the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Owens says that the discrepancy between Aguirre’s mission and our user data is especially concerning because its mission involves providing culturally sensitive care, which is “an important aspect of finding suitable and affirming mental health care for people in the BIPOC community.” 

Dr. Marschall agrees with this assessment. “I would say that is a red flag,” she says. “I would want to know what they are doing to be culturally responsive, how this value plays out in their business, and what they're doing to address their lower satisfaction rating.”

In addition, the fact that Aguirre bills out of network is a barrier for many people—particularly for people from the marginalized communities that Aguirre is supposed to cater to, who often face financial barriers that their more privileged peers don’t. “Online therapy companies that accept health insurance make mental health care far more accessible to those who cannot pay out-of-pocket,” Owens says. She recommends that therapy seekers take this into consideration when making their decision on a provider.

Although I wasn’t able to test out Aguirre’s services or interview someone who had, the information I gathered from its website and our user data seems to point to a company that has great ideals of providing inclusive therapy but struggles to live up to them. 

Aguirre has some issues that may be attributed to its smaller size and lack of resources—for example, the fact that a relatively high portion of its users had to contact customer service directly to switch therapists. 

The fact that it doesn’t bill insurance on its clients' behalf is also a big barrier, as it makes its services less affordable for people who can’t pay up to $200 out of pocket. That being said, Aguirre’s users were generally more likely than the users of its competitors to say that its therapy was good value for money (89% compared to Kip’s 65%). 

Privacy Policies at The Aguirre Center

Aguirre doesn’t have a privacy policy on its website, but it has a small section about confidentiality on its FAQ. In it, it says that it can’t even say you’re a client without your written consent, with the following exceptions that it is required by law to report:

  1. Suspected child abuse or adult dependent abuse
  2. If a patient poses imminent danger to someone else
  3. If a patient poses imminent danger to themselves, and their therapist needs to take steps other than working with the patient

Aguirre uses SimplePractice for its therapy sessions, which is governed by HIPAA. I couldn’t find anything to cause concern in its privacy policy and terms of service or in the news. In fact, it was named 2020’s best overall practice management system by research firm SoftwarePundit. 

The Aguirre Center vs. Its Competitors

We compared Aguirre against all of the 54 companies we reviewed, but there are three different competitors we found most comparable: Talkspace, Mindful Care, and Kip Therapy. Talkspace is one of the larger competitors on the market, with thousands of therapists in its roster. Mindful Care and Kip are smaller practices—the former is available in six states, and the latter is only available in the state of New York. 

In our survey, most users said Aguirre was an improvement on similar services they'd tried in the past.

In terms of cost, Aguirre is significantly more pricey on average than its competitors, whose fees start as low as $65 (for Kip). However, Aguirre does offer some sliding scale options, and its practicum interns offer therapy at $60 per session. 

Aguirre also doesn’t take insurance. Its services are considered out-of-network, which means that it will not bill your insurance for you, unlike Talkspace and Mindful Care (Kip also doesn’t accept insurance). Our subject matter experts pointed out that this may be a barrier for people who can’t afford to pay out of pocket. 

Aguirre is more explicitly inclusive than the other three services, although as previously mentioned, its stated priorities don’t necessarily translate to its practices or its clients’ experiences. Aguirre’s website says it specializes in BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ mental health issues, and it is poly/kink affirming. While the other services do provide services to marginalized communities, they aren’t as clear about it from the get-go—unlike Aguirre, which mentions these things on its homepage and at the bottom of every page. If you’re in a poly or non-monogamous relationship, you may want to consider how important it is to you that your therapist is explicitly affirming of non-traditional relationships.

Aguirre doesn’t offer to match you with a therapist unless you explicitly say in your sign-up form that you have no preference. This can be an advantage if you prefer to do your research and choose a therapist on your own, or a disadvantage if you don’t have the capacity to research or don’t know what you’re looking for in a therapist. Talkspace provides a matching service that only allows you to choose from three therapists that its algorithm thinks would be a good match for you, and Mindful Care offers some form of matching service as well. Kip does not. 

Aguirre also offers group therapy, as do Mindful Care and Kip. Aguirre caps its groups at 8 members, whereas Mindful Care doesn’t mention a cap. Kip caps one of its groups at 10 members, but doesn’t mention a limit for the others. Mindful Care offers more general groups, including ones for depression and anxiety, whereas the other two have more specialized groups for marginalized communities (such as a Latinx therapy group at Aguirre or a queer men’s group at Kip). 

Final Verdict

In general, I believe that the Aguirre Center isn’t the best option for everyone, but it’s a solid option for certain groups of people. I think it’s a positive thing that it is very clear about its intention to serve marginalized communities, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ clients. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to always translate to its practices and customer satisfaction, so potential clients will need to weigh the pros and cons. 

I think Aguirre may be a good option for specific subsets of clients. For example, if it’s important to you that you be able to choose your therapist, Aguirre might be a better option than a larger company like Talkspace. I also think Aguirre is a good option for people in poly relationships, because of how clear the practice is about being poly affirming (unlike Talkspace, which uses the word “couples” exclusively and doesn’t mention anything about poly relationships).

For potential clients who are from BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ communities, there are likely better options than Aguirre, despite its stated mission of serving these communities specifically. Our subject matter experts said it was concerning that only 3% of clients believe that Aguirre is better than other companies when it comes to supporting clients through racism or discrimination. 

And for therapy seekers who aren’t really sure what they’re looking for in a service or in a therapist, it may be better to go with a larger company like Talkspace, which makes it easy for you to change therapist or cancel your subscription if necessary, rather than Aguirre, which doesn’t have systems in place for these things. 

Generally, current clients seemed to be generally ambivalent to positive about Aguirre, with only 60% saying that they would recommend Aguirre to a friend, but almost 90% saying that its services were good value for money. Aguirre is also a relatively new practice, so I’m hoping that it will find its footing and get better at serving its clients in the years to come.

Methodology

To fairly and accurately review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users of each. This allowed us to directly compare services offered by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about each company and its users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on the following factors: website usability, the sign-up and therapist matching processes, therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, the service's quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, average cost and value for money, whether it accepts insurance, how easy it is to change therapists, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood that clients would recommend them.

We also signed up for the companies in order to get a sense of how this process worked, how easy to use the platform is, and how therapy takes place at the company. Then, we worked with three subject matter experts to get their expert analysis on how suited this company is to provide quality care to therapy seekers. 

3 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. Williams DR, Lawrence JA, Davis BA, Vu C. Understanding how discrimination can affect health. Health Serv Res. 2019;54(S2):1374-1388. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.13222

  2. National Alliance on Mental Health. Mental health by the numbers.

  3. Asante-Muhammad D, Perez A, Buell J. Racial wealth snapshot: Latino Americans. National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

By Alethea Ng
Alethea Ng is a freelance writer and journalist who has reported on topics ranging from mental health to pop culture.

Edited by
Hannah Owens
Hannah Owens

Hannah Owens is the Mental Health/General Health Editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is a licensed social worker with clinical experience in community mental health.

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and
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

Learn about our editorial process