Best Online Text Therapy Companies

Talkspace is our top pick for the best text-based therapy service

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In recent years, telehealth has exploded in popularity across all areas of medical care, including mental health services. Many people have turned to online therapy as an alternative to traditional in-office mental health care due to the convenience and ease of attending live video sessions. 

Recent studies have shown that online therapy can effectively treat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. And it’s especially helpful for people who live in remote areas, those who prefer a greater sense of privacy, and users with busy schedules.

Text-assisted therapy—whether via asynchronous messaging, SMS texting, online journaling, or live chat—can provide a flexible, accessible way to get immediate support from a qualified therapist. Text-based therapy is also a great option for people who may feel anxious about discussing their problems during a live online session with a mental health provider.

We reviewed 55 telehealth companies and compared them in terms of customer satisfaction, cost, user experience, quality of care, and overall effectiveness. Based on those results, here are our top picks for the best text-based therapy services.

Best Text Therapy Services 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 : Talkspace


  • Price: $276 - $516 monthly
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Talkspace is one of the oldest, largest, and most well-known online therapy providers. In addition to traditional online video therapy sessions, the platform offers convenient access to live chat sessions and unlimited messaging with licensed mental health professionals. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wide variety of licensed mental health professionals

  • Unlimited messaging available

  • Therapists are guaranteed to respond at least five days a week

  • Accepts insurance

  • Medication management available

Cons
  • Plan rates vary by location

  • Some insurance plans not accepted

  • Messages may be assessed with AI technology

Overview

Founded in 2012 by Roni and Oren Frank, Talkspace has become one of the world’s most popular and widely known online therapy platforms. Talkspace is our top pick for the best text-assisted therapy service because of its large selection of licensed therapists and flexible communication options. It’s also one of the few text therapy services that accepts insurance, offers medication management, and guarantees a response from your mental health provider within a certain amount of time.

Today, Talkspace serves all 50 U.S. states through online and in-app services on iOS and Android. 

Its subscription plans start at $65 per week, and include live video, audio, or chat sessions, as well as unlimited messaging with your therapist in a private “room.” After being matched with a therapist, you can message them at any time about what you’re going through. Your therapist will respond within a guaranteed time limit every day, up to five times per week. 

Most of the users in our survey were satisfied with the care they received at Talkspace. Ninety percent of users said their overall experience at Talkspace was generally positive, and 92% were impressed with their therapist’s qualifications. Many users also described their experience at Talkspace as user-friendly, with 88% of people reporting that the platform was helpful in connecting them to a therapist and 56% of users saying that Talkspace’s app was easy to use in comparison to its competitors.

Talkspace offers a variety of different subscription plans that range from $69 to $129+ a week, depending on where you live. All plans include unlimited messaging with your therapist, though the more expensive plans also include live sessions.

The company also offers psychiatry sessions ($249 for an initial evaluation, then $125 for every follow-up visit), relationship or couples therapy, and therapy for teens ages 13-17.

Best for Anxiety and Depression : Brightside


  • Price: $95-$349
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Brightside offers evidence-based online treatment with licensed mental health providers who cater specifically to people with depression and/or anxiety. The company stands out due to its personalized care plans, which pair unlimited messaging support and live video sessions with in-depth, self-paced assignments.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Therapist matching based on in-depth assessment

  • Unlimited messaging and weekly video sessions

  • Self-paced audio lessons and exercises

  • Medication management available

Cons
  • No same-day appointments

  • Can’t pick your therapist or easily switch providers

  • Additional video sessions cost extra

Overview

Brightside is an online therapy service that was founded by a team of experts—Brad Kittredge, Mimi Winsberg, MD, and Jeremy Barth—in 2017. The platform is available in all 50 states and offers adults personalized care plans, including evidence-based therapy and medication management services for those who are experiencing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.

We selected Brightside because of its commitment to comprehensive, personalized, multimodal care for depression and anxiety. Of the users we surveyed, 90% rated their experience with Brightside as “excellent,” “very good,” or “good.” Fifty-one percent of Brightside users said they were looking for depression treatment, while 60% reported dealing with anxiety symptoms. Nearly a third of the Brightside users we surveyed said they were looking for an online therapy platform that accepted their insurance

When you sign up for Brightside, you’ll take an in-depth assessment in order to be matched with a psychiatric provider (for medication management, including antidepressant prescriptions, shipping, and refills) and a psychotherapist.

Unlimited in-app messaging is a key part of Brightside’s approach to care, as it allows you to connect with your therapist in between weekly 30-minute live video sessions for continued emotional support and advice. You can also complete self-paced audio lessons and use Brightside’s free self-care resources, such as skill-building exercises and online worksheets, to complement your treatment.

Along the way, you’ll routinely assess your progress with your therapist, providing two-way feedback to make any necessary changes. Your provider can see your check-in quizzes and message you in your private portal to discuss your symptoms.

Unlike Talkspace, BetterHelp only offers one subscription plan and the price will vary depending on the therapist you’re matched with and where you live. Prices range from $80 to $100 a week depending on where you live, according to our research.

Best for Group Therapy : Circles


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

Circles offers a variety of online peer support groups dedicated to specific issues, such as grief, loss, and divorce. Each group is led by a professional mental health expert and meets for at least 12 weeks. Members can message the facilitator or other group members in between weekly sessions at any time.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Unlimited messaging with group and facilitator available

  • Small, focused peer support groups

  • Wide variety of groups dedicated to specific topics

  • Groups are led by licensed mental health professionals

  • Free for the first week

Cons
  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • Doesn’t offer medication management

  • No one-on-one therapy

  • Can’t join multiple groups

Overview

Launched in 2018, Circles is an online group therapy platform that helps people experiencing mental health concerns find meaningful ongoing support. Its founders, Irad Eichler and Dan Landa, started the company as a more effective alternative to social media peer support groups.

When you subscribe to Circles, you’ll be matched with a small group—or “circle”—of peers experiencing the same issue. Common group topics include parenting, relationships, anxiety, separation, divorce, grief, and loss, among others. Each group is facilitated by a licensed mental health therapist who guides weekly live video chats for at least 12 weeks. 

Outside the weekly live sessions, you’ll get unlimited access to a 24/7 group chat. You can message the group as a whole or message the facilitator and any other group member(s) privately to get emotional support, resources, and advice.

Group therapy isn’t a common option with online therapy platforms. Circles’ unique focus and affordable cost made it stand out from the competition. Eighty percent of our surveyed users had a positive experience with Circles, and 62% noted that their Circles facilitator seemed to be more experienced and/or qualified than other mental health providers they’d worked with in online therapy. What’s more, 80% of users said that Circles offered them “excellent,” “very good,” or “good” value for their money.

A subscription to Calmerry’s messaging therapy plan starts at $56.99 a week, though you’ll get a discounted price of $41.99 per week your first month. You can also sign up for plans that include 30-minute live video sessions, and these plans range in price from $75–$90 a month. 

Best for Flexible Communication Options : E-Therapy Cafe


  • Price: $196-360 per month; $55 a session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

E-Therapy Cafe offers multiple subscription plans and several different ways to communicate with your selected therapist or life coach, including live video and live e-chat as well as a secure online journaling option that allows you to write in-depth messages to your provider.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Variety of subscription plans available

  • Live chat and e-journaling support

  • Available all around the world

  • Military, student, and first responder discounts

Cons
  • Doesn’t offer medication management

  • Doesn’t take insurance

  • Smaller pool of available therapists and coaches than some other platforms

Overview

E-Therapy Cafe is a relatively small (yet global) online therapy service that offers individual and couples therapy to adults ages 18 and over. The company’s providers are licensed therapists, psychologists, or certified life coaches. It was launched in 2016 by Jude Black, PhD, a clinical psychologist and former military spouse who wanted to give people flexible, convenient access to online therapy. The platform is notable because of its wide selection of counseling approaches including e-journaling. You can also read therapists’ bios directly on the website, making it easy to pick a mental healthcare provider who suits your needs.

E-Therapy Cafe’s therapy options include live video sessions and live e-chats, which take place in a private portal. The e-journaling option allows you to send a message of up to 700 words to your therapist and receive a reply within 24 to 48 hours. This may be preferable for people who benefit from writing out their thoughts rather than chatting in real time.

Compared to similar online therapy platforms, E-Therapy Cafe seems to offer a wider variety of specific counseling types such as pre-wedding coaching, military and veteran counseling, therapy for college students, trauma counseling, and counseling for people in the LGBTQIA+ community. You can also get a letter of support and a prescription for an emotional support animal. 

Our user survey found that E-Therapy Cafe users generally had positive experiences, with 82% of people saying they were “very likely” or “likely” to recommend the service to a friend. Meanwhile, 68% of users thought E-Therapy Cafe was either “very affordable” or “affordable,” and 88% said they were impressed with the number of qualified therapists available.

E-Therapy Cafe offers three subscription plans:

  • The E-Therapy Basic Four plan includes four 30-minute sessions for $196 a month. 
  • The E-Therapy Eight plan includes eight sessions for $360 a month. 
  • You can also pay-as-you-go for sessions if you don't want to commit to a subscription. Each session costs $55. 

Best for CBT Therapy : Online-Therapy.com


  • Price: $200-$440 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

Online-Therapy.com is an online therapy platform that offers mental health treatment based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In addition to having up to two live video, audio, or text sessions per week, you can build coping skills and find support with digital worksheets, online education, unlimited messaging, an e-journal, and more.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • CBT-based therapy

  • Can guarantee responses from your therapist with “express replies”

  • Variety of available subscription plans

Cons
  • Doesn’t take insurance

  • No medication management

  • No app

Overview

Founded by former investment banker Carl Nordstorm in 2009, Online-Therapy.com is a Swedish company that provides evidence-based online mental health services based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT aims to help build problem-solving and coping skills, as well as identify and change negative patterns of thinking and behavior.

After signing up for Online-Therapy.com, you’ll have access to a self-guided, CBT-based online therapy program that includes video and audio lessons as well as worksheets, yoga videos, guided meditation, online journaling, and activity plans. You can message your assigned therapist anytime, but daily check-ins via text messaging are guaranteed. Depending on your subscription, you can also get “express replies”—guaranteed replies within a set amount of time (the website doesn’t make it clear what that set amount of time is)—as well as one to two live sessions per week via text messaging, video, or audio messaging.

Online-Therapy.com would be ideal for people looking for text-based therapy, especially those who prefer to go at their own pace. Customer support is available 24/7, and regular weekly exercises will help you gauge your progress as you move through the program.

Among the users we surveyed, 83% said they were impressed with the therapist options provided at Online-Therapy.com. Over half (52%) of users reported seeking out therapy for help with depression symptoms, while another 35% of users said they were looking for help with stress management. Overall, 85% of surveyed users described their experience with Online-Therapy.com as “excellent,” “very good,” or “good.”

Online-Therapy.com offers three subscription plans, all of which offer messaging to your therapist and daily responses from your therapist: 

  • The Basic plan: This is purely text-based therapy and costs about $40 per week. Your therapist will respond to your messages daily Monday through Friday. 
  • The Standard plan: This includes everything in the basic plan, plus weekly live sessions for roughly $60 per week.
  • The Premium plan: This includes everything in the basic and standard plan, plus two weekly live sessions and express replies for roughly $80 per week.

Best Free Resource/Text-Based Emergency Resource : Crisis Text Line


  • Price: Free
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: N/A
Why We Chose It

Crisis Text Line offers 24/7, bilingual, free support via text with volunteer crisis counselors both in the U.S. and internationally. Users can simply text 741741 (in the U.S. and Canada) to reach out for help and support during difficult moments.

Crisis Text Line provides 24/7 mental health support with a crisis counselor via text message. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free, 24/7 support with trained volunteer crisis counselors

  • Available in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Ireland

  • Offers text support in both English and Spanish

  • Crisis counselors can provide referrals for further help

  • Also available via WhatsApp

Cons
  • Volunteer crisis counselors are not licensed mental health professionals

  • Getting support may take more than five minutes during busy times 

  • No app available

Overview

If you don’t  want to wait for an appointment, or feel like you’re in crisis and need help right away, Crisis Text Line is here for you. It offers free, 24/7 emotional support from trained volunteers across the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada. Just text HOME to 741741 or reach out on WhatsApp, and you’ll be connected with a volunteer, typically within about five minutes. You can chat with a trained crisis counselor about whatever is bothering you. Most conversations last about 15 to 45 minutes.

The volunteers at Crisis Text Line aren’t medical providers. However, they can provide key support, advice, and information about resources in your area. Crisis Text Line’s international availability and bilingual services make it stand out a

The Crisis Text Line is free to use anytime and as often as you’d like. 

Best for LGBTQIA+ : Calmerry


  • Price: $167 for a monthly subscription (Messaging only); $207 for a monthly subscription (Messaging plus one video chat per month); $269 for a monthly subscription (Messaging plus four video chats per month)
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No. Can provide superbill for reimbursement
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

Calmerry’s therapists, who have experience in serving the LGBTQIA+ community, provide affirming therapy around issues like coming out, exploring gender identity, and dealing with discrimination. The site matches you with a licensed therapist within 24 hours after you complete an intake questionnaire. In addition to unlimited audio and text messaging, users can conveniently access live video sessions with their therapist up to four times a week.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Daily check-ins with therapist via audio and text messaging

  • All mental health providers are licensed

  • Variety of subscription plans available

  • Offers LGBTQIA-affirming therapy

  • HIPAA compliant

Cons
  • Doesn’t take insurance

  • Prices aren’t entirely clear until after you create an account

  • Shorter live sessions in comparison to other platforms

Overview

Calmerry, a Wyoming-based online therapy platform, was launched by Alex Vitchenko in 2020. Calmerry offers text therapy services and live video therapy to adults ages 18 and up in all 50 U.S. states, with some specific services for the LGBTQIA+ community.

After signing up with Calmerry, you’ll be matched with a licensed therapist based on your preferences and needs. You can request an LGBTQIA+-affirming counselor who has experience working with people in the community. Affirming counselors can help you with issues related to gender identity, relationships, family, transitioning, sexuality, coming out, and sexual orientation, as well as homophobia and discrimination (at home and in the workplace). 

Calmerry’s messaging-only subscription plan costs $42 a week and offers unlimited messaging with your provider in a private virtual therapy room five days per week. Your therapist will typically reply to you one to two times per day during working days. You can add up to four live video sessions per week to your subscription plan, but all plans include unlimited messaging.

According to our survey, 91% of users thought Calmerry was “much better,” “better,” or “a little better” than similar services they’d used in the past. Twenty-four percent of Calmerry users said that, in comparison to other online therapy platforms, they felt the company was more culturally supportive when working with people in the LGBTQIA+ community. People who subscribed to Calmerry also found the service user-friendly, with 81% of users reporting that the signup process was “easy” or “very easy.”

Best for Teens : TeenCounseling


  • Price: $240 to $360 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

At Teen Counseling, teens ages 13 to 19 can find support for common issues like bullying, self-esteem, anger, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and more. Teens and parents can work with a licensed therapist, psychologist, or social worker in a secure online messaging “room.” Live sessions are also available via video, phone, or chat.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers licensed therapy to teens ages 13 to 19

  • Parents who need support can also access therapy

  • Both parents and teens get separate dedicated messaging rooms

  • Sessions can take place by video, phone, or live chat

Cons
  • Doesn’t take insurance

  • No medication management or psychiatry services

  • Prices vary based on location and therapist

  • Number of sessions included in a monthly subscription is unclear

Overview

Owned by BetterHelp, Teen Counseling offers online therapy with licensed therapists to teens ages 13 to 19. Therapists can help address a variety of mental health concerns teens commonly report, including bullying, depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, body image, issues with school and relationships, and eating disorders, among others. 

In our survey, anxiety was the most common concern reported by Teen Counseling users, with 60% saying they were seeking help for anxiety symptoms. Eighty-five percent of users had a positive experience with the service, rating it as “excellent,” “very good,” or “good.” And, 88% of users said the platform was better than similar ones they’d used in the past. 

Each teen and their parent gets a designated, private online “room” where they can message their assigned therapist at any time, day or night. These messages won’t be shared, so both the parent and teen can feel safe in their online space. A monthly subscription also includes live therapy sessions, which take place via text, phone, or video. 

Best for Peer Counseling : 7 Cups


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

7 Cups offers a global emotional support community where people from around the world can find free, 24/7, anonymous support from trained volunteer “active listeners” as well as their peers. Common chat room topics include grief, loneliness, breakups, chronic illness, and caregiving. If you’d like to talk to a licensed counselor, an affordable monthly subscription allows you to message a therapist in a secure online chat room.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • 24/7, free, anonymous online chat support from volunteer listeners and peers

  • Chat rooms available for many different mental health concerns

  • Messaging with licensed therapists available with a monthly subscription

  • Many free resources, like self-help guides and expert advice

  • Available in nearly 200 countries and over 150 languages

Cons
  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • No medication management

  • No live therapy available

  • Volunteer listeners aren’t licensed therapists

Overview

Glen Moriarty and Zeeshan Sabqi launched 7 Cups, a global emotional support community previously known as “7 Cups of Tea,” in 2013. Now, it’s available in over 150 languages and across over 190 countries. The company has a wide variety of free peer-based group chats as well as messaging-only therapy.. 

Other free resources at 7 Cups include self-help and mental health guides and online chat rooms. If you need support right away, you can message one of 7 Cups’ trained “active listeners” for free at any time to discuss any problems you may be having.

If you’re looking for text-assisted therapy services from a qualified mental health provider, you can sign up for a monthly subscription for $150 per month. You can message your therapist anytime you like and as often as you like in a designated, secure “room” on the 7 Cups app or website. They’ll respond with advice and support one to two times per day from Monday to Friday. But remember, 7 Cups only offers only text-based therapy rather than live chat, video, or audio sessions.

Compare the Best Text Therapy Services of 2023

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Talkspace Best Overall $276 - $516 monthly Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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Brightside Best for Anxiety and Depression $95-$349 Yes Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Circles Best for Group Therapy $79 per month No No Peer Support Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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E-Therapy Cafe Best for Flexible Communication Options $196-360 per month; $55 a session No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Online-Therapy.com Best for CBT Therapy $200-$440 per month No Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Crisis Text Line Best Free Resource/Text-Based Emergency Resource Free N/A No N/A Messaging Learn More
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Calmerry Best for LGBTQIA+ $167 for a monthly subscription (Messaging only); $207 for a monthly subscription (Messaging plus one video chat per month); $269 for a monthly subscription (Messaging plus four video chats per month) No. Can provide superbill for reimbursement No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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TeenCounseling Best for Teens $240 to $360 per month No Yes Individual Therapy, Teen Counseling Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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7 Cups Best for Peer Counseling $150 per month No No N/A Messaging Learn More
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Final Verdict

Talkspace is our pick for the best text-assisted therapy service available today. In addition to offering convenient, flexible features like live chats, unlimited messaging, and guaranteed response times, Talkspace accepts most major insurance plans and provides medication management if needed. There’s also a wide variety of experienced, licensed therapists to choose from. 

However, if you’re looking for peer support in a group setting rather than individual therapy, give Circles a try. If you specifically want to develop skills based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, consider signing up for Online-Therapy.com

Guide for Choosing the Best Text-Based Therapy Services

What Is Text-Based Therapy?

Text-based therapy, or text-assisted therapy, is online therapy that is conducted through texting, live chat rooms, messaging, or e-journaling. Some text therapy services offer live chats in a designated “session room,” while others allow you to text your therapist at any time—aka asynchronous texting—via SMS or messaging in a private in-app or online portal.

How Can Text-Based Therapy Services Benefit Mental Health?

Text-based therapy services, like face-to-face therapy and other kinds of online therapy, allow you to find support as you work through numerous concerns, such as relationships, career, and stress. They can also help you deal with the symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. In between chat sessions or messages, some therapists may ask you to complete digital exercises, journals, or worksheets to build coping skills and reflect on what you’ve discussed. 

Some people may prefer text-based therapy to face-to-face therapy because of the greater sense of privacy and anonymity that texting allows. You may feel more comfortable being honest about the challenges you’re facing without the pressure of a live audio or video session. Others find text-based therapy more convenient and accessible because they live in a remote area, don’t have a predictable time slot each week for therapy sessions, or have a disability that affects their ability to hear, speak, or process language.

Research about the effectiveness of text-assisted therapy is ongoing, and the results are mixed. However, recent studies have suggested that text therapy services help treat depression and other common mental health conditions, whether on their own or as an add-on to live online or face-to-face therapy.

Are Text Therapy Services or Apps Right for You? 

Text-assisted therapy may be right for you if you:

  • Have a busy or unpredictable schedule
  • Need affordable mental health services
  • Live in a remote or rural area
  • Are an English language learner 
  • Don’t want other people to overhear your therapy sessions
  • Feel more comfortable writing about your concerns than talking about them
  • Experience anxiety about live video or phone sessions
  • Are deaf, have a sensory processing disorder, and/or have any other disability or condition that affects your mode of communication
  • Use an augmentative and alternative communication device (AAC) to communicate with others

Text-assisted therapy services may not be suitable for you if you: 

  • Have been diagnosed with a serious or complex mental health condition
  • Don’t have reliable access to the internet
  • Have been ordered to undergo therapy as part of a court proceeding

If you have an urgent mental health need, you shouldn’t rely on text-assisted therapy. Please call 988 or seek emergency medical help right away.

How to Choose a Text Therapy Service 

Here are some factors to take into consideration when choosing a text-based therapy service:

  • Pricing: Look for a service that fits within your budget and preferred payment model. Most services are offered via weekly or monthly subscriptions. Some platforms offer free trials or discounts for your first session.
  • Therapists: Available mental health providers may include licensed therapists, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists, and clinical social workers, to name a few. Some text-assisted therapy platforms also offer peer support and counseling with life coaches.
  • Therapy types: What are you hoping to find in a therapist in terms of technique, focus, and modality? Are you looking for cognitive behavioral therapy, traditional talk therapy, emotional support, or help with stress management? 
  • Cancellation policy: Take note of how easy or difficult it is to switch therapists or cancel your subscription if you’re unsatisfied.
  • Live vs. 24/7 messaging: Are you looking for live one-on-one chats with a therapist, or is asynchronous messaging acceptable?
  • Insurance: Some text therapy platforms accept major insurance plans and providers. Ask your insurance provider or contact customer service to discuss potential insurance coverage.

When signing up for a text therapy service, one of the first steps you’ll likely take is answering a questionnaire that collects your preferences and needs to match you with a compatible therapist. Make sure to respond to all questions and add details that can ensure a good match.

Make sure you have the required technology, whether it’s downloading an app to your smartphone or tablet, or using the correct software on your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Text-Based Therapy Services Cost?

Online therapy is typically paid for via a weekly or monthly subscription. Prices can range from $80 per month to $350 a month or more. Many online therapy subscriptions include at least one weekly live session (via text, audio, or video), as well as unlimited messaging with a mental health provider.


Some online therapy platforms also offer pay-per-session payment models, which often cost $50 or more per session.

Does Insurance Cover Text Therapy Services?

Some online therapy services that offer text-based therapy, such as Brightside and Talkspace, take insurance. Other platforms, such as Calmerry, will provide you with a superbill that you can submit to your insurance provider for potential coverage. 

Is Text-Based Therapy Effective?

One recent study suggests that text-based therapy with a licensed therapist effectively treats certain mental health conditions, such as depression. Research has also found that two-way text messaging therapy can help to treat symptoms of a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Another study found  that text-based therapy is also effective in treating substance use disorders (SUD) and psychotic disorders.

Is There a Free Option for Text Therapy?

Most text-assisted therapy platforms require payment, especially if you’re working with a licensed therapist. However, some crisis/emergency text therapy resources—such as Crisis Text Line—are free to use. Others, such as 7 Cups, offer free peer support and advice from trained volunteers.

Methodology

We considered many factors in selecting from among the most popular teletherapy companies on the market, from customer satisfaction to overall cost, therapists’ qualifications, user-friendliness, and the variety of services available. In creating our list of the best picks, we prioritized companies that vet their mental health providers thoroughly to ensure a consistently high quality of care. We also looked for companies that offer therapy services in a wide range of formats, such as live chat and texting as well as journaling and asynchronous messaging. 

Best Text Therapy Services

VeryWell Mind / Design by Amelia Manley

Article Sources

By Laura Dorwart
Laura Dorwart is a health journalist with expertise in disability rights, mental health, and pregnancy-related conditions. She has written for publications like SELF, The New York Times, VICE, and The Guardian.

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.

Learn about our editorial process
April McCormick,
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell. Her work has appeared in Time, Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting.com, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

Learn about our editorial process
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