Best Online Group Therapy

Circles offers the best online group support at an affordable price

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Sometimes, when you’re feeling down, anxious, or depressed, all you really want to do is talk to someone who understands what you’re feeling. But anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions can also make you feel isolated and alone, like you’re the only one in the world who feels the way that you do. That’s why 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 understand what you’re dealing with because they either are dealing with it too—or they’ve experienced similar feelings in the past. 

Traditionally, group support took place in person at therapy practices, mental health clinics, community centers, or hospitals. But increasingly, groups are moving online to provide widespread access to emotional support when it is needed. Mental health companies are increasingly starting to offer group therapy or group support as affordably priced options to either complement therapy or simply provide a space for people to talk, listen, connect, and learn from peers who are going through similar life experiences. That’s why we decided to review companies that offer this kind of support; here are the ones that came up on top in our research. 

Best Online Group Therapy of 2023

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.

Best Overall : Circles


  • Price: $79 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Peer Support
Why We Chose It

Circles is our pick for best overall because it offers free support for more than a dozen topics and affordable, high-quality weekly group support for grief, loss, separation, and divorce. Held over 12 weeks, each core Circles+ group is led by a licensed therapist and capped at just 10 participants to encourage rapport and participation. You can also message other group members between sessions. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Groups are dedicated to a specific issue

  • All Circles+ groups are led by licensed therapists

  • Affordable monthly subscription

  • Circles+ groups are capped at 10 participants or less

  • You can message group members in between sessions

  • First group session is free

  • Available in all 50 states

  • Free drop-in meetings on more than a dozen topics available daily

Cons
  • Not for children or teens under 18

  • Not as effective as individual talk therapy

  • No one-on-one therapy, couples, or family therapy offered

  • Does not accept insurance

  • Closed Circles+ groups only offered for divorce, separation, grief, and loss

  • Open groups not led by licensed professionals

Overview

Founded in 2018, Circles is a mental health company that aims to provide safe, affordable, and easily accessible group support—and it delivers on its mission. For a $79 a month membership fee—far less than the average cost of $100 to $200 per session of traditional talk therapy—you can join a closed group of up to eight other people experiencing a similar issue to you, whether that’s grief, loss, separation, or divorce. The platform now also offers free drop-in meetings that provide group support for more than a dozen additional topics, including chronic illness, mental health, LGBTQIA+, and body image.

Sign-up is straightforward. You'll initially be prompted to "find your group" by choosing the topic you are primarily seeking support for. You can pick from:

  • #pretty divorced
  • Separation or Divorce
  • Narcissistic Relationships
  • Grief
  • Autism
  • Sobriety
  • Infertility
  • Caregiving
  • Mental Health
  • Cancer
  • Veterans
  • Parenting
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Disability
  • Chronic Illness

To get started, you can only choose one topic, but don't worry, you can add as many as you'd like later. After inputting your basic information, you'll be taken to a schedule showing meetings relevant to your interests. They are open to anyone on the Circles platform and can be as broad as "Coping with Mental Health" and as specific as "Are you a Single Parent Raising a Teenager?" There's a meeting going on virtually any hour of the day, although some topics are more sparsely populated than others.

If you sign up for Circles' core groups with Circles+, you will get access to a closed group of just ten people who share similar challenges to yours. However, these recurring, intimate meetings are still only offered for divorce/separation or grief/loss - the other support groups do not require any sort of commitment and welcome drop-ins, not capping the groups at any particular number of participants. Additionally, unlike the core Circles+ divorce/separation and grief/loss groups, facilitators leading these groups are not licensed professionals but rather peer leaders.

When you subscribe, you’ll be asked a series of questions about what you’re looking for in your “circle” (i.e. group), then you’ll get to choose a circle that meets at a time that is convenient for you. Each Circles+ group is led by a licensed mental health professional and meets weekly for 12 weeks for one hour, but you can also message the other group members in between sessions if you need additional peer support. And you can join from anywhere in all 50 states. You’ll also get to see the profiles of each group’s facilitators and you’ll have the opportunity to begin messaging the other members of your group in a private group chat as soon as you’re signed up. 

Circles does not offer one-on-one therapy or couples therapy, and it is not available for anyone under the age of 18. Group support is also not a replacement for psychotherapy, especially if you live with a more serious mental illness. However, it is a good supplement to one-on-one therapy, or a good option for people who just need a little extra support during a difficult or stressful time, such as after the loss of a loved one or a separation from their partner. While Circles does focus on a relatively narrow selection of topics for its core groups, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing—this focus ensures that it doesn’t misrepresent the level of care and support it can give. However, it is worth noting that you cannot join more than one group at a time at Circles. 

User Satisfaction  

Overall, the users we surveyed from Circles were pleased with the services Circles offered. Eighty percent of respondents said they’d rate the services they received as excellent, very good, or good, while only 3% would rate them as poor.  Another 70% said they were either very likely or likely to recommend Circles to a friend or someone like them.

In addition, 83% rated the qualification of their group facilitator as excellent, very good, or good, while 80% rated Circle’s value for money as excellent, very good, or good. Of those users that had tried another service before Circles, 86% rated the services they’d received as better than the company they’d used in the past. 

Best for Sobriety Support : Monument


  • Price: $0 to $249 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Group Therapy, Medication Management, Peer Support
Why We Chose It

Monument is the only online therapy company we reviewed that offers free, moderated online support groups for people struggling with alcohol addiction or sobriety. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Clear focus on sobriety support

  • Support groups are free to join

  • All groups are moderated by licensed therapists

  • You can join a group anonymously

  • You can chat privately with other group members

  • Groups open to people in all 50 states

  • Company also offers individual therapy and medication management

Cons
  • Not for people with other mental health concerns

  • You can’t choose your own therapist

  • Therapy plans are not available in all 50 states

Overview

Recovery groups, both in-person and online, have long been a part of alcohol addiction treatment because these groups can help people feel less isolated while also allowing members to learn from others’ shared experiences and stay accountable in their recovery. Monument stands out from the 54 other companies we reviewed because it is one of the only companies that focuses its service on helping people recover from alcohol addiction. And it is the only one that offers free, expert-moderated online alcohol support groups alongside its therapy and medication management services.

These online support groups are open to anyone in the United States, regardless of where you live or whether you signed up for a paid therapy subscription. 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 secure, confidential, and moderated by a licensed therapist who has experience dealing with alcohol addiction issues.

In addition to being free, the groups are also convenient: you can find groups to join at a variety of different meeting times during the day. There are also groups with specific topic focuses, allowing you to choose the one that will be most helpful to you. For example, some groups are aimed at people who identify as female or male, in addition to groups aimed specifically at LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. You can also find groups dedicated to specific topics, such as moderating post-quarantine drinking, relationship challenges, and preventing relapse. 

If you need additional support after group sessions, you can chat with other group members in a private channel at any time, night or day. Plus, if you prefer more individualized support, you can sign up for one of Monument’s therapy or medication management subscription plans, depending on what state you live in. 

User Satisfaction

Of the users we surveyed, 78% rated Monument’s services as excellent, very good, or good, while 78% rated their therapist qualifications as excellent, very good, or good. However, only 62% were likely to recommend the service to someone like them, perhaps due to the highly specialized nature of the service—because 97% of respondents that had tried another service rated Monument as much better, better, or a little better than other companies they’d tried before. 

Best for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy : Mindful Care

Verywell's Rating
4.2

  • Price: $49 per month for substance abuse; Individual therapy: $50 for 20-minute sessions; $100 for 40-minute sessions; $35 per group session; $75-$175 for psychiatry session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Mindful Care’s MindFit Group Therapy services are affordable, inclusive, and evidence-based. Each group is led by a licensed therapist who uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help members address various mental health challenges, from depression and anxiety to bipolar disorder to LGBTQ+ identity or relationship issues. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • All groups are led by a licensed therapist

  • Can pursue group therapy alongside therapy and psychiatry at the same company

  • Therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy in group sessions

  • Groups devoted to multiple mental health concerns

  • Inclusive group environments

  • Affordably priced group sessions

  • No commitment

  • Sessions are available at flexible times

Cons
  • Not for kids or teens under 18

  • Only available in 6 states

Overview

If you’re struggling to afford individual therapy sessions, or you’re looking for additional support outside of your regular therapy sessions, Mindful Care offers MindFit group therapy sessions for just $35 a session. You can join one of many different groups, each dedicated to a specific emotional or mental health concern, such as anxiety, negative thoughts, depression, LGBTQ+ identity issues, relationship troubles, substance use, emotional regulation, bipolar disorder, and trauma.

Unlike some of its competitors, Mindful Care’s group sessions are actually considered group therapy, not peer support groups. All groups, regardless of the topic discussed, are led by a licensed mental health care professional trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a therapeutic technique that helps you learn to identify and challenge unhelpful or destructive thought patterns that affect your behavior and emotions negatively. Group sessions are one hour long and held over a privacy-compliant video conferencing platform between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. 

One of the biggest advantages of these groups is that you can participate in them either on their own or as a complement to individual therapy or psychiatry appointments at Mindful Care. This is a nice perk, helping the company stand out from many of its competitors because it allows users to get all their mental health care from one place. 

However, Mindful Care’s MindFit groups are open only to residents of six states: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Michigan. This limitation is one of the main reasons it was not our best overall pick. 

User Satisfaction

Mindful Care was a popular online therapy company with our users: 92% of respondents rated the service as excellent, very good, or good, while 95% rated the therapist qualifications at the company as excellent, very good, or good. In addition, 83% of users said they’d recommend the company to a friend or someone like them, and 84% said the company was much better, better, or a little better than other services they’d tried in the past. Seventy-four percent also rated the service’s value for money as excellent, very good, or good. 

Best Flexibility : Sesh


  • Price: $60 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
Why We Chose It

Whether you want to work on breaking bad habits, managing holiday stress, or boosting your self-esteem, Sesh likely has a group session you can join to learn more and develop new coping skills. With a monthly subscription, you can join as many group sessions as you like and all sessions are led by a licensed mental health professional. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers group sessions on a wide range of topics

  • All groups are led by licensed mental health professionals

  • Easy-to-use app

  • Affordable monthly subscription

  • You can join as many groups as you want

  • Groups are capped at 10 members or less

Cons
  • No way to communicate with other group members between sessions

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

  • May not work well for people with social anxiety

  • No one-on-one therapy, couples, or family therapy offered

  • Must be 18 or older

Overview

Founded in 2020 just as the world went into lockdown, Sesh is a unique mental health company compared to the other companies we reviewed because its subscription offers you access to an unlimited number of group support sessions centered around different topics, including addiction recovery, anxiety, artistic healing, self-esteem and body positivity, relationships, cultural issues, depression, grief, parenthood, trauma, and more. 

Each group is led by a board-certified, licensed therapist and is capped at 10 participants, but the groups are not re-occurring. In other words, you may join an anxiety group each week, but you are not guaranteed to see the same people in that group session each time. While this does mean you are less likely to form a connection with other group members—which may make it more difficult for some people to feel comfortable opening up in session—it also means that you can decide how many groups you want to attend. Nothing is stopping you, for example, from joining a different group each week on a different topic or going to multiple groups in one day. This means you can work on multiple issues that are bothering you at once. 

You can either subscribe for $30 a day or $60 a month; either way, you can cancel anytime. While you can’t necessarily communicate with members between sessions, you do get access to a community support room as part of your subscription. 

Like Circles, Sesh is not therapy, nor is it a replacement for individual psychotherapy. However, it is something you can pursue at the same time as therapy or seek out if you’re working on learning new self-care skills. 

User Satisfaction

Of the users we surveyed, 78% of Sesh users rated the service as excellent, very good, or good, while 81% rated the group moderator’s qualifications to be excellent, very good, or good. In addition, 70% of users said they were very likely or likely to recommend Sesh to a friend, while 96% of those who’d tried multiple mental health services said Sesh was much better, better, or at least a little better than others they’d tried. Seventy-nine percent rated the service’s value for money as excellent, very good, or good. 

Best for Cultural Sensitivity : Kip Therapy


  • Price: $95 to $250 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

Kip offers several virtual therapy groups open to queer-identifying men, BIPOC men, queer and questioning adolescents, and transgender folks, as well as those looking to explore non-monogamy and non-traditional relationships. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Dedicated therapy groups for marginalized communities

  • Group sessions are affordably priced

  • Meet together for at least three months

  • Number of participants capped at 10

  • Led by licensed therapists with experience and cultural sensitivity

Cons
  • Must commit to three-month participation

  • Prices vary depending on whether you’re a current Kip member

  • Groups close quickly so may be difficult to join

  • Per-session rates are higher than at competitors

Overview

Minority stress, or the unique stressors that people who have faced discrimination face due to their identity, can greatly impact mental health, especially if you feel isolated. That’s why we like Kip’s group therapy options. Whether you’re a queer-identifying man looking to discuss your experiences with sex, intimacy, or homophobia; you’re curious about navigating non-monogamous relationships; or you’re an adolescent questioning your sexual identity, Kip has several dedicated groups that meet weekly over Zoom to discuss these topics.

Each group is capped at 10 people and when you sign up, you have to commit to attending for at least three months. This allows you to get to know your fellow group participants, develop trust, and feel more confident opening up. It is worth noting that the prices vary by group, and for some groups, the prices vary based on whether you’re a returning member, or a current member of Kip Therapy seeking individual, adolescent, or couples therapy at the practice. For example, the fee for returning group members to the queer men group is $40, but $55 if you’re already seeking therapy at Kip and $65 if you are not a Kip member. Session rates are only $20 per session, meanwhile, for the BIPOC men’s group.

It is commendable that these groups are aimed at marginalized communities, but it is worth noting that the groups are very male-identifying focused. There is, for example, no BIPOC women-identifying group or queer women-identifying group. In addition, the groups do hit their caps quickly, making it challenging to get a spot. Kip is also only open to New York residents. 

User Satisfaction

Seventy-three percent of the users we surveyed rated Kip’s services as excellent, very good, or good, while 71% rated their therapist’s qualifications as excellent, very good, or good. Eighty-three percent said the services were good value for the money they spent, while 83% said the service was much better, better, or a little better than others they’d tried before. 

Best for Divorce Support : Growing Self


  • Price: $125 to $150 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

While Growing Self started as an in-person therapy practice, it has greatly expanded its offerings in-person and online and it does now include a breakup and divorce coaching group led by a licensed therapist.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Group is led by an expert divorce counselor and breakup recovery coach

  • Clear focus on breakup and divorce recovery

  • Affordably priced rates for group therapy

  • Individual therapy, premarital counseling, and couples therapy also offered

Cons
  • Individual therapy rates are pricey

  • No app

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • Website is difficult to navigate

Overview

Breakups and divorces can be incredibly challenging, 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 stands out from its competition by offering group coaching specifically for people who have recently experienced a breakup or a divorce. The group is capped to maximize participation from all members, meets weekly through online video, and is facilitated by both a divorce counselor and a breakup recovery coach. All group sessions last between 60 and 90 minutes and members get access to a private Facebook group to connect with others outside of the session. 

If you feel like you need additional therapy, Growing Self also offers individual therapy and couples therapy as well. The founder of the company and the clinical director, Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LP, LMFT, 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 the session. 

User Satisfaction

Of the users we surveyed, 90% rated the company as excellent, very good, or good, while 89% rated their therapist’s qualifications the same way. In addition, 79% said Growing Self was much better, better, or a little better than other services they’d used in the past, though only 69% said they’d recommend the service to a friend. Seventy-seven percent said it was an excellent, very good, or good value for the money. 

Best for Messaging : 7 Cups


  • Price: $150 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
Why We Chose It

While 7 Cups does not offer traditional online therapy or weekly group therapy, it is a peer-support platform that allows you to chat online with people who are experiencing the same issues as you are. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Messaging-based group support rooms

  • Available to international users and all 50 states

  • Available 24/7

  • Groups in over 140 languages

  • Free to join

Cons
  • No licensed therapist moderating the groups

  • Paywall for access to some groups

  • The number of different groups can be difficult to navigate

  • No guarantee of meeting with same participants

  • No set times for live discussions

Overview

7 Cups is different than all the other online therapy companies we reviewed; in fact, it doesn’t offer therapy at all. However, it does offer virtual peer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through virtual chat rooms dedicated to specific mental health concerns or topics. You can join from any state or country, and you are likely to be able to find a room in a language you’re comfortable with as there are groups in over 140 different languages. 

So if you’re looking for people to talk to and you don’t mind typing rather than talking in a live video session, you can log on whenever you want and chat with others who likely share the same experiences or concerns you do. You can also stay anonymous if you prefer and join as many groups as you like. 

You can join many of the groups for free, though some of the more specialized ones require a premium membership, which costs $12.95 a month. You can also pay a flat fee for longer access; the prices for this subscription range from $96 for the year to $420 for lifetime access. 

However, it’s important to note that these groups are not led by a licensed therapist and so there is no one to moderate the discussion. However, the company does state that it monitors for bullying and abuse to help you feel safe discussing your concerns and experiences online in a supportive, respectful chat room. If you want to speak with a licensed therapist, you can also sign up for asynchronous text-based therapy for $150 a month. 

User Satisfaction

Because 7 Cups doesn’t offer online therapy, we did not survey users this year as part of our review of 55 companies. However, we did survey 100 users in 2021 and it is worth noting that the company had lower satisfaction rates than many of the other services, likely because of the limitations of asynchronous messaging. Still, 85% of users did say they were likely or very likely to recommend the service last year. 

Compare the Best Online Group Therapy of 2023

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Circles Best Overall $79 per month No No Peer Support Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Monument Best for Sobriety Support $0 to $249 per month Yes Yes Group Therapy, Medication Management, Peer Support Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Mindful Care Best for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy $49 per month for substance abuse; Individual therapy: $50 for 20-minute sessions; $100 for 40-minute sessions; $35 per group session; $75-$175 for psychiatry session Yes No Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Sesh Best Flexibility $60 per month No No N/A Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Kip Therapy Best for Cultural Sensitivity $95 to $250 per session No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement No Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Growing Self Best for Divorce Support $125 to $150 per session No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
7 Cups Best for Messaging $150 per month No No N/A Messaging Learn More
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 ten people to maximize participation, and you get to meet with the same people each week for 12 weeks or longer. You can also message each other between sessions, which can help foster trust and encourage group members to open up. However, the subscription does require you to join every week and you cannot attend two groups at once. The groups are also limited to just four main therapy concerns. 

That’s why, if you’re looking for group therapy devoted to a wider range of topics or mental health conditions, Mindful Care’s MindFit Group Therapy might be a better fit for you. You will pay $35 per session, meaning these sessions are more expensive than Circles, but the licensed therapist leading the group discussion will be trained in CBT. This means you are more likely to learn the skills you need to help challenge unwanted, harmful thought patterns as part of your recovery. Plus, you can also sign up for individual therapy sessions and medication management at the same company. 

Companies We Also Considered

We had hoped to consider Octave for this list because, according to its website, it offers group therapy for cultural issues and racial trauma, grief and loss, parenting stress, postpartum depression, PTSD, and relationship issues. 

However, the company has temporarily suspended its group therapy sessions during the pandemic. According to its website, it will not begin offering group sessions again until it reopens its offices and begins offering in-person sessions again, but it does not have a timeline for doing so yet. We were disappointed to learn that it isn’t considering offering virtual group therapy, as it seems like this service could benefit many users, including existing clients of Octave, many of which told us they like the therapy services they already receive from the company. 

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Group Therapy

Is Online Group Therapy the Same as Peer Group Support?

Group therapy is a type of therapy where you meet with one or more licensed therapists once a week in small groups to share and discuss issues you’re experiencing. This type of psychotherapy can be effective on its own or as a complement to traditional one-on-one therapy. If you’re enrolled in group therapy, several therapeutic techniques might be used, including cognitive behavioral therapy.

Some online therapy companies offer virtual group therapy, such as Mindful Care, while others opt instead to offer either support groups or group peer support instead. The difference with these is that the therapist is not there to treat you but rather to offer emotional support. These groups generally focus on experiences, such as grief, loss, divorce, relationship difficulties, homophobia and racism, domestic violence survivorship, or stress management rather than treating a specific mental health condition. 

“Additionally, group therapy establishes a set group of attendees that generally does not change over the course of treatment,” explains Hannah Owens, LMSW, Mental Health Editor for Verywell Mind. “This differs from most support groups, in which anyone is welcome and there is no requirement to attend consistently. Therefore, in group therapy, a rapport and dynamic is established between consistent group members and the facilitator that allows trust to be built.”

What Disorders Is Group Therapy Most Effective for?

Group therapy can be helpful for the following mental health conditions:

  • Anxiety 
  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Substance use disorder

Is Online Group Support Right For You?

Group therapy or group support has several advantages. It is generally more affordable than individual therapy and it allows you to meet with, talk to, and learn from other people who are either from a similar background or are going through a similar situation as you are. 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. 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, 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. “Finding the right group is the same as finding the right therapist,” Owens explains. “You need to be able to trust that your group members will support you and be willing to work together to tackle both collective and individual issues.”

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 Support Options

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 charge a weekly or monthly fee. 
  • Is it therapy or peer support?: As mentioned above, some groups offer support groups that are moderated by a licensed therapist, but the therapist is there to guide the discussion, not to offer treatment. Others will use therapeutic techniques to help you cope with a mental health condition. 
  • 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. 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 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

How Much Does Group Therapy or Group Support Cost?

Online group therapy can range in cost, depending on whether it is moderated by a therapist, takes place in person, or 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 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.

How Long Should Online Group Therapy Last?

Generally, online therapy sessions or support groups meet for 60 to 90 minutes. 

What Is 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.

Methodology

To help find the best online therapy companies that offered online group therapy or online group support, we evaluated 55 companies offering virtual therapy by surveying 105 users from each company. We also considered the 33 companies we reviewed last year (some of which, like Octave, didn’t make this year’s list) and 25 online directories. We also hired journalists to sign up for and test most of the companies we reviewed and sent questionnaires to the companies, asking them about their services. We evaluated those results with the help of three subject matter experts and licensed therapists to choose the very best group therapy services.

Best online group therapy

Verywell Minds / Design by Amelia Manley

Article 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.
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By Simone Scully
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. Simone has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, where she was awarded the John Horgan Award for critical science and health journalism at graduation, and a bachelor's degree from the London School of Economics.

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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