Best Online Group Therapy and Support

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Therapy doesn’t have to be one-on-one with a therapist. In fact, sometimes coping with a mental health condition, trauma, or stressful event can feel incredibly isolating—like you’re the only one in the world who feels the way and that no one can understand what you’re going through. That’s where group therapy or support groups can make a big difference: They offer you the option of talking about what you’re going through with people who truly understand—because they’re dealing with it too.

Traditionally, group therapy took place in person at therapy practices, mental health clinics, community centers, or hospitals, but increasingly, groups are moving online in order to provide widespread access to the emotional and mental health support they need. Support groups have done the same. As a result, a number of companies either specialize in or offer group therapy or peer groups to their clients. Often, these groups are more affordably priced than one-on-one therapy. Read on to discover the services we think are the best at providing this type of therapy.

Best Online Group Therapy of 2022

Why Trust Us We surveyed 100 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we conducted comprehensive research with a psychotherapist. Read our Full Methodology
33 Companies reviewed
3,497 Total users surveyed
300 Data points analyzed

Best Overall : Circles

Verywell's Rating
3.8

Circles
  • Price: $79 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Communication Options: Messaging, Video Chat
Why We Chose It

As one of only a handful of companies specializing in group support, Circles stands out for its therapist-led, topic-specific group support at a reasonable weekly price. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Topic-specific therapy groups led by professionals

  • Available in all 50 states

  • You can message group members and facilitator anytime

  • Offers 1-month trial

  • Group facilitator bios posted on website

Cons
  • Doesn’t offer individual, couples, or family therapy

  • Only for adults over the age of 18

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • Can only join one group at a time

Overview

Originally founded in 2018 under the name “7 Chairs,” Circles’ mission is to provide quality online emotional group support—and it succeeds at doing that with flying colors.

All 580 groups at Circles are devoted to a specific topic, such as grief, divorce, co-parenting, challenging relationships and more. When you sign up, you will take an intake questionnaire and the company will recommend groups it thinks might suit your needs—though you ultimately choose the one you prefer. 

Most groups are led by a licensed professional therapist with 1,500 to 2,000 hours of clinical field experience, though some are led by certified life coaches. Of the users we surveyed who’d tried Circles, 81% said their group facilitator's qualifications were very good or excellent. All group facilitators have their bios posted on the website so you can make sure you feel comfortable with them. Ninety percent of our survey respondents said they were satisfied with the 120 facilitator options provided. 

What helps Circles best stand out from its competitors, though, is the small group size: Most are capped at as few as six people, which maximizes the time for group discussion. All members who are part of the group are there to discuss the same issue you are.

You can only join one group at a time to encourage members to commit to attending each week. This allows you to truly get to know your group members and encourages you to open up, join the discussion, and maximize the support you give and receive each week. You can also message your group members and the facilitator on the Circles app in between your weekly, hour-long video group sessions. However, if you decide your group is not the right fit for you, you can switch at any time with the help of the care team. 

Circles also offers a variety of supplemental content to its subscribers, including self-help exercises, webinars, and an informative blog. 

Eighty-six percent of survey respondents said they were likely or very likely to still be attending a group with a Circles therapist a year from now and 90% said they were likely or very likely to recommend Circles to someone like them. 

Plans & Pricing

Circles offers a subscription of $79 per month which includes weekly hour-long sessions with your chosen group. Your first month is free.

Because the company focuses on group therapy only, it does not accept insurance. Subscriptions are open to people living in all 50 states.

Best for Anxiety : Sesh

Verywell's Rating
3.6

Sesh Logo 2022
  • Price: $60 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Communication Options: Video Chat
Why We Chose It

Sesh offers flexible, affordably-priced, online group emotional support for a number of mental health issues, including anxiety. Plus, all groups are led by licensed therapists. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free trial session available

  • Subscription or monthly subscription available

  • All groups led by licensed therapists

  • Can join as many groups as you want

  • Easy-to-use app

    Affordably priced

Cons
  • Won’t necessarily meet with same people each week

  • Only for people over the age of 18

  • Doesn’t offer individual, couples, or family therapy

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • Website is sparse

  • No messaging capability between sessions

Overview

Founded in 2020 when the pandemic struck, Sesh was created with the goal of providing affordable, group emotional support to people all over the country who were going through challenging times. Whether you’re feeling burnout at work, struggling with becoming a new parent, experiencing difficult relationship issues, or feeling high levels of anxiety, Sesh offers you the ability to join hour-long peer support groups led by licensed therapists dedicated to these very topics. 

All group facilitators are either licensed therapists or psychiatrists who have undergone cultural training. Seventy-six percent of the surveyed users that’d tried Sesh said their therapists qualifications were either very good or excellent.

Best of all, you can attend as many or as few groups as you’d like each week. All you have to do is book your spot in the session you want to attend. Groups are capped at 14 participants though, so you will need to book ahead of time through the app. 

Admittedly, this means that unlike at Circles, you won’t meet with the same group of people each week at the same time, but depending on your individual needs, that can be a real perk because sometimes you want to talk about more than one issue. This is especially true if you live with anxiety.

But at Sesh, for example, you could attend a session on pregnancy anxiety one day, body positivity the next, and relationship issues the day after that. The company also offers a number of community-specific groups for folks who are Black, LatinX, LGBTQIA+, or from marginalized communities. 

Seventy-two percent of our survey respondents who’d tried other online therapy services said that Sesh was better or much better than their previous online service; 89% said they were likely or very likely to still be attending a Sesh group 12 months from now; and 94% said they were likely or very likely to recommend the company to someone like them. 

Plans & Pricing

Sesh offers both a pay-per-session option and a monthly subscription:

  • Individual sessions cost $30 each.
  • The Monthly subscription costs $60 per month and includes unlimited access to all sessions. 

All users get one free trial session. Like all companies focused on group therapy, Sesh does not accept insurance. 

Best for Breakup and Divorce Support : Growing Self

Verywell's Rating
3.0

Growing Self
  • Price: $125 to $150 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Communication Options: Video Chat
Why We Chose It

While Growing Self started as an in-person therapy practice, it has greatly expanded its offerings to include two affordably-priced, online support groups led by licensed therapists, including one dedicated to helping people cope with their breakup or divorce.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Online groups are led by licensed therapists

  • One group is focused on breakup and divorce support

  • Group support is affordably priced

  • Individual therapy, premarital counseling and marriage counseling offered as well

  • In-person options available

  • Sliding scale pricing for individual therapy

Cons
  • Individual therapy is pricey

  • Difficult to navigate website

  • No app

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • No messaging capabilities

Overview

Breakups and divorces can be incredibly challenging times, especially if they’re conflict-ridden. A 2020 study, for example, found that divorce filled with conflict can lead to worse mental health, even once the divorce is finalized. A 2019 study, meanwhile, found that even post-breakup emotional states can resemble clinical depression. However, research has also found that emotional support, including online, can help people cope and become more resilient. 

Growing Self offers two online support groups that stand out from the competition: one for individuals who are just looking for emotional support from others who are feeling isolated or stressed and one for people who’ve recently experienced a breakup or divorce. Both groups are capped to maximize participation from all members, meet weekly through online video, and are facilitated by licensed therapists with specialized experience. 

Specifically, the Breakup and Divorce group is led by a licensed therapist with a background in couples and family therapy (her bio is posted on the website) and the group is capped at six participants. All sessions last between 60 and 90 minutes and members get access to a private breakup recovery Facebook group to connect with others outside of session. 

If you feel like you need additional therapy, Growing Self also offers individual therapy and couples therapy as well. In fact, the founder of the company and clinical director is the author of a book on breakups; she specializes in compassionately helping clients break their attachments to old relationships and rebuild their lives through new skills learned in session. Individual therapy sessions can take place through Zoom or in-person if you live in certain states. 

Of the Growing Self users we surveyed, 74% said the value for money was very good or excellent for the price and 82% of those that had tried other services said it was better or much better than their previous online service. In addition, 89% said they were likely or very likely to recommend someone like them to Growing Self. 

Plans & Pricing

Growing Self does not offer a monthly therapy subscription, like some of the other companies on the list. Instead, you pay per session booked.

  • Each support group costs $40 per session.
  • Individual and Couples Therapy varies in cost depending on what therapist you work with but ranges from $105-$160 per session. 

The company does not accept insurance, though some therapists offer a sliding scale for individual therapy down to $65 per session.

Best for Alcohol Moderation & Sobriety Support : Monument

Verywell's Rating
3.8

Monument Review
  • Price: $0 to $249 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Communication Options: Messaging, Video Chat
Why We Chose It

Monument is not only one of the only online therapy companies solely focused on helping people recovering from alcohol addiction, but it is also one of the only companies that offers free, moderated online support groups for people struggling with alcohol addiction.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Clear company focus on alcohol addiction

  • Online support groups are free to join

  • Support groups are moderated by therapists

  • Can join anonymously if desired

  • Can choose your own group at time that works for you

  • Private channel chat available 24/7 with other group members

  • 3 therapy plans available with medication management

Cons
  • Not for people whose primary concern isn’t alcohol addiction

  • Therapy plans not available in all 50 states

  • You can’t choose your own therapist

Overview

Online and community-based recovery groups have long been a part of alcohol addiction treatment because these groups can help people feel less isolated; they also provide an opportunity to learn from others with shared experiences and be accountable in their recovery. Monument is the only company we reviewed that offers free, expert-moderated online alcohol support groups in addition to monthly therapy subscriptions. 

Monument’s online support groups are open to anyone in the United States and you can join them whether you sign up for a paid therapy subscription or not. You can also join the group anonymously if you choose—and you are not required to speak during the group session if you do not want to. Each online group is also secure and moderated by a therapist who has experience dealing with alcohol addiction issues.

The groups also have a variety of different focuses and meeting times, which means it is easier to find a group that is discussing issues relevant to your sobriety or moderation journey. For example, some groups are aimed at women, men, or the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities, while others are devoted to specific topics, such as moderating post-quarantine drinking, relationship challenges, and preventing relapse. 

If you need additional support after the group session, you can chat with other group members in a private channel 24/7. Or, if you prefer more individualized support, you can sign up for one of Monument’s three therapy and/or medication management subscription plans. 

Of the Monument respondents we surveyed, 75% said the services were very good or excellent; 80% said the services were better or much better than their previous online service; and 88% were likely or very likely to recommend someone like them to Monument. 

Plans & Pricing

Monument’s moderated online support groups (and forums) are free to join at any time.

If you want additional treatment, the company offers three paid subscription plans that range from $9.99 a month (with a one-time fee of $45) to $249 a month. Monument does accept some insurance plans for its monthly subscriptions and you can check your eligibility on the company website.

Best for New Yorkers : Kip Therapy

Verywell's Rating
3.8

Kip
  • Price: $75 to $175 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement
  • Communication Options: Audio, Video Chat
Why We Chose It

Kip offers a variety of specialized, dedicated online support groups aimed at specific communities or dedicated to discussing specific topics over the course of 12 weekly sessions. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Topic-specific therapy groups offered throughout the year

  • Group sessions are affordably priced

  • Tiered pricing available

  • Company also offers individual, couples, and family therapy

Cons
  • Serves NY area only

  • Individual, couples, and family therapy prices may not be affordable for all

  • No financial aid

  • Limited number of groups available

Overview

Sometimes, talking things out with a group of people who can truly relate to your experience can be incredibly healing, and Kip’s support groups stand out from the competition. The company offers a variety of support groups for specific communities of people who wish to discuss issues related to their identity, race, or cultural experience. 

For example, in the past, it’s offered groups for transgender and gender-expansive people, queer men, and BIPOC women, and it is currently planning a group for queer and questioning adolescents and one for BIPOC men in 2022. Each group meets weekly for 12 weeks.

If you need additional support, Kip also offers individual talk therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy and specializes in treating addiction, anxiety and depression, ADHD, grief, depression, racial and sexual identity issues, relationship issues, and trauma. 

However, the company began as a traditional in-person practice in New York City, and though its services have been moved online, it still only serves patients in New York. 

Of the Kip users we surveyed, 75% said the services were very good or excellent, 76% found the company better than a previous online therapy company they’d tried before, and 88% said they were likely or very likely to recommend someone like them to the company. 

Plans & Pricing

Kip doesn’t offer a monthly subscription as many other online therapy companies do. Instead, you pay per session:

  • Group therapy costs $20-40 per session, depending on the group you join and whether you are already a patient at Kip. Some of the more expensive groups also offer a sliding scale, depending on financial need.
  • Individual, couples, and family therapy sessions range in price from $75 to $175 per session, depending on how experienced your therapist is. 

The company does not accept insurance and it does not offer financial aid.

Best for Messaging : 7 Cups of Tea

Verywell's Rating
3.0

7 Cups
  • Price: $150 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Communication Options: Messaging
Why We Chose It

Available in 189 countries and 140 different languages, 7 Cups is a good peer support platform that offers users access to a number of mental health-specific chat rooms where you can find emotional support 24/7. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Messaging-based group support

  • Available to international users

  • Available in 140 languages

  • Accessible 24/7

  • Multiple free chat rooms available

Cons
  • No live interactions available

  • Website can be overwhelming to navigate

  • Paywall for access to some mental health rooms

  • Groups are not moderated by a therapist

Overview

7 Cups was founded in 2013 as a way to provide people access to a large online network of emotional and mental health support. It's different than all the other online therapy companies we reviewed in that the focus of the company is on providing users in the U.S. and around the world with 24/7 online group chat rooms for mental health support.

All communication takes place via online messaging, whether you join one (or several) of the online group chat rooms or sign up for individual therapy. This means that you don’t have to worry about being overheard. Plus, the chat rooms are available 24/7—a perk for people who want emotional support but have busy or unpredictable schedules. All groups are monitored for bullying and abuse to make sure the group discussions remain respectful and supportive.

There are multiple groups available, all dedicated to different mental health topics or issues and users can also join as many groups as they want. Participation isn’t mandatory either and there are groups available in 140 languages. You can also speak to a trained listener if you want to speak with someone one-on-one or you can subscribe for text-based therapy with a therapist. 

Overall, the company has lower satisfaction rates than most of the companies on this list, but if you’re looking for a free or low-cost emotional support service, the company’s group chats may be what you’re looking for. Of the 7 Cups users we surveyed, 85% said they were likely or very likely to recommend the company to someone similar to them. 

Plans & Pricing

At 7 Cups, chat rooms, group chats, and sessions with trained listeners are free. You can also subscribe to premium online group chat rooms and classes for $12.95. You can also pay a flat fee for longer access, from $96 for a year to $420 for a lifetime membership. You can also subscribe to the company’s therapy plan for $150 a month. 

It’s worth noting that whether you sign up for the online groups or the therapy plan, all communication takes place via online messaging. There are no live video sessions.

Compare the Best Online Group Therapy of 2022

Overall Rating Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Communication Options
Reset All
Circles
3.8
Best Overall $79 per month No No Messaging, Video Chat Sign Up Now
Hide, not for me
Sesh
3.6
Best for Anxiety $60 per month No No Video Chat Sign Up Now
Hide, not for me
Growing Self
3.0
Best for Breakup and Divorce Support $125 to $150 per session No No Video Chat Sign Up Now
Hide, not for me
Monument
3.8
Best for Alcohol Moderation & Sobriety Support $0 to $249 per month Yes Yes Messaging, Video Chat Sign Up Now
Hide, not for me
Kip Therapy
3.8
Best for New Yorkers $75 to $175 per session No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement No Audio, Video Chat Sign Up Now
Hide, not for me
7 Cups of Tea
3.0
Best for Messaging $150 per month No No Messaging Sign Up Now
Hide, not for me

Final Verdict

Circles is our overall choice for the best online group therapy company because it offers therapist-led, topic-specific group support at a reasonable monthly price. Each group is capped at six people to maximize participation and you get to meet with the same people each week (and message each other between sessions) which fosters trust and communication. Plus, you can try out the services for free for a whole month and switch groups at any time.

However, the groups meet every week and you’ll need permission to join more than one at a time, so if you prefer to join multiple groups on different topics at once and don’t mind meeting new people each time, Sesh might be a better choice. 

Guide for Choosing the Best Online Group Therapy

Is Online Group Therapy Right for You?

Group therapy comes with a number of advantages over other types of therapy. 

First, it is often more affordably priced than individual therapy because one therapist can work with a number of people at the same time.  

Secondly, group therapy allows you to meet, talk, and learn from other people who are either from a similar background or are going through a similar situation as you are. This is why group support has often been popular with people who have experienced a loss, are going through a separation or divorce, are experiencing minority stress, or are learning to manage their sobriety. 

Some people find talking to others who have gone through what they are encouraging—it gives them hope that there is a way to feel better in the future. Others find that the group offers them a safe haven—a place where they can truly open up and share what they’re going through without the risk of judgment or shame. Regularly talking with and listening to others can also help you put your own issues into perspective too.

That’s partly why group therapy is often used to treat certain mental health conditions too, such as ADHD, depression, and post-traumatic depression (PTSD), especially when the group sessions are led by a licensed therapist who can share expert guidance and advice with the group. 

When conducted online, group sessions can also afford you extra privacy that in-person sessions might not. For example, some online therapy companies allow you to be anonymous or use a pseudonym in your group sessions, which might encourage you to open up more in session.  

However, group therapy isn’t necessarily for everyone. In order to truly find a group beneficial, you need to be willing to open up and share. Admittedly, you don’t need to open up right away or during every session, but if you don’t think you’ll ever be able to join in, group therapy is likely not right for you. For example, some people with social anxiety or phobias find it too difficult to share in groups, so they might be more comfortable in individual therapy.

Similarly, in order to truly benefit, you need to click with your group. This means that you might need to try a few before you find one that works for you—and some people don’t want to go through all that trial and error.

Finally, group therapy or online support groups are not meant to replace traditional therapy or psychiatry. Depending on what mental health condition you’ve been diagnosed with, you might need medication management or individual therapy in addition to or instead of group therapy. Finally, group therapy is not meant for people in crisis or those having suicidal thoughts. 

Comparing Online Group Therapy


When looking for online group therapy or support, there are a few different factors to consider to ensure you’re joining the right group:

  • Price: Some companies offer free support groups, while others cost a weekly or monthly fee. 
  • Meeting frequency: Some groups are devoted to discussing one particular topic once, while others will meet weekly for a period of time.
  • Moderator credentials: A licensed therapist or social worker can help guide group discussions, offer expert advice, and make sure the discussion stays supportive, empathetic, and on track. The therapist-moderated groups sometimes cost more to join, though.
  • Group size: Generally the smaller the group, the more time each group member will have to share or join the discussion. 
  • Group topic: Some groups are open to everyone, while others are aimed at people from specific backgrounds or those going through a particular experience. If you look for a group that is comprised of people with similar experiences to your own, you are more likely to feel comfortable sharing and will benefit from the discussion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Difference Between Online Group Therapy and an Online Support Group?

Both group therapy and support groups involve regular meetings with a group of people to discuss mental health issues and both can be moderated by a licensed therapist.

However, in support groups, there is usually a specific issue or topic being discussed, such as divorce or grief, and the goal of each meeting is to help members cope with that issue by sharing experiences, advice, and tips.

Group therapy, meanwhile, is similar to talk therapy in that the therapist is there to lead the discussion, offer professional guidance, and help members change.

How Much Does Online Group Therapy Cost?

Online group therapy can range in cost, depending on whether it is moderated by a therapist, takes place in person, or if it occurs in a chat room. Of the companies we reviewed, the cost for group therapy ranges from $0 to $40 a session. Others offer a monthly subscription for $60 to $90+ a month.

Does Insurance Cover Online Group Therapy?

No, most insurance companies do not cover group therapy or support groups. This is because health insurance companies generally only cover services that are deemed “medically” necessary, such as individual talk therapy or psychiatry. Group therapy does not usually fit this definition.

Methodology

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy companies is comprehensive and data-driven. To review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 33 companies and surveyed 100 current users of each. This allowed us to directly and fairly compare services offered by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about each company and users’ experiences of the sign-up process, quality of therapy offered, cost, value for money, and more. 

Most of the online therapy companies did not offer group therapy or online support groups, so those were immediately ruled out. Of those that did, we considered whether the groups were therapist moderated and the focus of the groups in order to determine their purpose and effectiveness. Finally, we reviewed client satisfaction in making our final determinations.

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