Best Online Therapy Programs

BetterHelp is the best overall online therapy program

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Online therapy has provided the ability to better fit therapy into a busy schedule, especially if you work unconventional hours, have children, or don't have access to reliable transportation. It has also made mental health treatment more accessible.

Research has shown that 70% of people do not have access to therapy because of where they live or because traditional therapy is too expensive. Online therapy helps close this gap. It's also just a better fit for some people, depending on their personality, processing style, and financial situation.

The online therapy market has grown significantly over the last decade, with several large and small companies competing to offer the best virtual therapy. Some offer individual talk therapy only, while others specialize in couples therapy, group therapy, or providing mental health care to specific communities.

In order to determine the best online therapy companies, we surveyed 100 users of 33 different companies. We also sent detailed questionnaires to the businesses themselves in order to gain further information about them. Here are the companies that came out on top in our reviews.

Best Online Therapy Programs of 2021

Best Online Therapy Programs
Best Online Therapy Programs

Best Overall : BetterHelp


Betterhelp

 Betterhelp

  • Price: $240–$360 per month
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live video, chat, audio, unlimited messaging
  • Insurance: Offers a receipt for possible insurance reimbursement

Special Offer

Verywell Mind readers get 10% off their first month of membership.

Why We Chose It

BetterHelp is a large, easy-to-navigate, online therapy company that will fit a lot of people’s therapy needs. It has a higher overall customer satisfaction rating with the users we surveyed and lower subscription costs than Talkspace.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Therapist bios displayed on website before signup

  • All therapists are licensed

  • Multiple communication methods available

Cons
  • No medication management services

  • No free trial

  • Therapist chosen for you

Overview

There’s a reason BetterHelp is one of the most well-known and popular online therapy companies today: It is an easy-to-use, relatively affordable online therapy company that will suit many people’s needs.

Prior to signing up, users can browse through the detailed bios of the therapists that work at Betterhelp. This allows you to feel confident that you'll be able to find someone they can build a therapeutic relationship with prior to actually beginning the sign-up process. Betterhelp is also very transparent about how it protects patient data and privacy, with detailed information prominently displayed on its website. 

The company also offers clients a variety of communication options for talking to their therapist, including video, audio, live chats, and unlimited messaging. This allows users to pick the most convenient and comfortable option. Sessions are available for individuals, couples, and teenagers. And while BetterHelp’s subscription costs are about average when compared to all 33 companies we reviewed, they were still lower than some of their biggest competitors, such as Talkspace. However, it’s important to note that the company matches your therapist to you rather than lets you choose. You can switch relatively easily, though, if you don’t think it's a good match.

BetterHelp has higher overall customer satisfaction ratings with the users we surveyed than its biggest competitors:

  • Seventy-two percent rated the services they received through BetterHelp as either very good or excellent.
  • Ninety-one percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend BetterHelp to someone like them.

According to our surveys, users were generally very satisfied with the response rate from their therapists and 79% said it was very easy or easy to switch therapists at BetterHelp if they felt like their therapist wasn’t the right match for them. BetterHelp’s subscription plan is also better priced and more all-inclusive than similarly priced plans at competitor companies. 

The company does not have medication management services available, though, which is a drawback if you are taking meds or think you might benefit from a combination of medication and talk therapy services. 

Plans & Pricing 

Subscription prices range from $240 per month to $360 per month, depending on your location and therapist preferences. 

Services include:

  • 30-45 minute live session each week
  • Virtual, audio, live chat communication options
  • Unlimited messaging available 24/7

Runner Up, Best Overall : Talkspace


Talkspace

 Talkspace

  • Price: $260–$400 per month 
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live video, audio, chat, unlimited messaging
  • Insurance: Accepts some insurance plans, accepts FSA, HSA, and some EAP plans
Why We Chose It

Talkspace is a user-friendly, subscription-based online therapy company that offers multiple services (including medication management), as well as a variety of communication options, and some services may be covered by insurance. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Medication management services available

  • Multiple subscriptions options with varying price tiers

  • Some services covered by insurance

Cons
  • Can only choose therapist from algorithm-selected matches

  • Additional services can get expensive

  • No therapist bios on website prior to signup

Overview

Founded in 2012, Talkspace was one of the first online therapy companies to hit the market—and its services have only expanded since it launched. They now include psychiatry, medication management, couples therapy, and teen therapy. 

Like BetterHelp, Talkspace offers a variety of different communication options for talking with your therapist, including video, audio, live chat, and unlimited messaging. The company also works with a few insurance providers and EAP plans, which helps make them more affordable if your plan is in-network. They also take payments from HSA and FSA cards. Talkspace is HIPAA compliant and its privacy policies are prominently displayed on the website.

Of the users we surveyed, 69% rated the services they received through Talkspace as either very good or excellent, which was lower than how BetterHelp users rated their services. In addition, only 65% of Talkspace users said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.

However,  93% of users stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Talkspace to someone like them. This is likely because many users are happy with the therapists on staff: 86% of the users we surveyed said their therapists’ qualifications were very good or excellent, and 88% said they were likely to be working with a therapist at Talkspace a year from now. 

It is worth noting that while Talkspace does offer psychiatric services, the costs are additional beyond the therapy subscription costs. As a result, if your insurance plan is out-of-network, getting talk therapy and psychiatric services at Talkspace could become expensive. 

Plans & Pricing 

Talkspace differs from BetterHelp in that they offer a variety of different subscription options.

Talk therapy subscription packages range from $260 per month to $400 per month, depending on your location and the plan you choose. There are three available:

  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: This plan includes text, video, and audio messaging and your therapist responds daily, up to five days per week.
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: This plan offers everything in the Therapy Plus plan, but also includes one live video session per month of 30 minutes.
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate: This plan also includes everything in the Plus plan, as well as four live video sessions per month of 30 minutes. 

Couples therapy at Talkspace is similar to the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate subscription, including four live sessions per month. Psychiatric services begin at $199 for an initial evaluation, then you will be charged $125 for every follow-up visit, though prices will vary depending on how you customize your plan.

Best with Insurance : Cerebral


Cerebral

Cerebral

  • Price: $29 with in-network insurance; $259 - $325 per month without insurance
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live video, phone
  • Insurance: Yes
Why We Chose It

Cerebral was chosen due to its ability to offer both medication management and talk therapy services while accepting many in-network insurance plans.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accepts insurance

  • Offers both talk therapy and medication management

  • Doctors' bios on website

Cons
  • Insurance varies by state

  • Therapist matched for you

  • Company is still expanding insurance options

Overview

Cerebral is an online therapy platform that provides access to talk therapy and medication services. It also ships your prescribed medication right to your house, saving you the hassle of a trip to the pharmacy. 

Cerebral treats a wide range of mental and emotional health issues, and while its out-of-network subscription costs may be average compared to their competitors, if you have one of the in-network insurance plans it accepts, your costs will be as low as $29 per month, plus your copay. 

In addition, all therapists employed by Cerebral hold a graduate degree from an accredited institution. Some also have PhDs in their field. Of the users we surveyed, 86% rated their therapist’s qualifications as excellent or very good, and 89% said they were likely to still be working with a therapist at the company 12 months from now. 

In addition, our survey found that:

  • Eighty-three percent of current users rated the overall services they received through Cerebral as either very good or excellent.
  • Eighty-one percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.
  • Ninety-five percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend GetCerebral to someone like them. 

Plans and Pricing 

There are three subscription plans offered at Cerebral:

  • Medication + Care Counseling Plan: The cost is $85 per month if you’re self-paying, or $29 per month with in-network health insurance plus a copay. Medication costs are billed separately, though the cost of delivery is included. This plan includes monthly sessions with care counselors.
  • Therapy Plan: This runs $259 per month if you’re self-paying, with medication billed separately, or $29 per month with an in-network health insurance plan plus a copay. It includes weekly sessions with a licensed therapist.
  • Medication + Therapy Plan: This plan is $325 per month if you’re self-paying, with medication billed separately, or $29 per month with an in-network health insurance plan plus a copay. This plan includes weekly sessions with a Licensed therapist. 

If you are paying out of pocket, you will likely pay $10 for medication, though some medications cost more.

Best for Couples : ReGain


Regain

 Regain

  • Price: $240–$360 per month
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Unlimited messaging, optional live chat, phone or video session
  • Insurance: Offers a receipt for possible reimbursement
Special Offer

Verywell Mind readers get 10% off their first month of membership.

Why We Chose It

ReGain is a service set up exclusively to serve couples, offering fair subscription costs, an informative website complete with a library of relationship resources, and a high overall customer satisfaction rating compared to other services specializing in relationships. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • All therapists are licensed

  • Specialized in couples

  • Unlimited messaging anytime for both partners

Cons
  • Messaging may not allow for depth communications

  • Therapist is chosen for you

  • No medication management services

Overview

As a service dedicated exclusively to helping couples with their relationship issues and mental health, ReGain stands out. All therapists are fully licensed, which is different from some of the couples’ focused companies on the market. Eighty-six percent of the users we surveyed said that their therapists’ qualifications were excellent and 90 percent said they were very likely or likely to be working with a Regain therapist a year from now.

You can sign up as an individual to discuss your relationship issues, or together with your partner. You also have the option of inviting your partner at a later time. Once you sign up, you have access to a private, secure “room” where you can chat with your therapist 24/7 and receive responses and guidance. You also have the option of scheduling a live chat, phone, or video sessions with your therapist. ReGain also offers a library of mental healtharticles on their website.

Of the users who tried ReGain that we surveyed:

  • Seventy-seven percent rated the services they received as either very good or excellent.
  • Seventy-six percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent. 
  • Ninety-five percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend it to someone like them.

It should be noted that the service does not offer medication management and ReGain’s services cannot fulfill any court order. 

Plans & Pricing 

Subscription prices range from $240 per month to $360 per month. The price is determined by your location and therapist preferences. Services include:

  • Optional live video or phone session 
  • Unlimited messaging available 24/7

Best without Insurance : Wellnite


Wellnite

Wellnite

  • Price: $75 per month
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live video, phone 
  • Insurance: No
Why We Chose It

Wellnite offers the most affordable medication and talk therapy combination service on the market for the treatment of anxiety and depression. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very affordable monthly subscription

  • Board certified doctors on staff

  • Subscription includes medication management and CBT therapy

Cons
  • Company focused on treating anxiety and depression only

  • No doctor bios on website prior to signing up

  • No insurance accepted

Overview

Wellnite is the most affordable online therapy platform that offers you medication management and talk therapy for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Once you subscribe, you will be able to connect same-day with a board-certified physician who is licensed in your state and regularly treats people for depression and anxiety. Together, you'll develop a treatment plan that could involve therapy and/or medication.

However, it’s important to note that if you have another mental health condition besides anxiety or depression, this company won't be a good fit because they are narrowly focused on just those two mental health conditions. They also only offer one type of talk therapy: cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT.

Of the users we surveyed:

  • Seventy-six percent rated the overall services they received as either very good or excellent.
  • Seventy-three percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent. 
  • Ninety-one percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Wellnite to someone like them. 

Plans & Pricing 

Wellnite offers one subscription plan for $75 per month, which includes same-day doctor visits, CBT therapy, and medication management.

Best for Psychiatry : Teladoc


Teladoc

Teladoc

  • Price: Varies by insurance coverage and appointment type
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live video and audio
  • Insurance: Accepts many insurance plans
Why We Chose It

Teladoc’s fully licensed therapists and psychiatrists provide convenient, in-network mental health care to users worldwide, seven days a week.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Serves teenagers and adults in over 130 countries

  • Fully licensed therapists and psychiatrists

  • Offers medication management (except for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia)

  • In-network with many insurance plans

Cons
  • May be expensive without coverage or reimbursement

  • Only offers individual talk therapy and psychiatry sessions

  • Must create an account to see provider bios and check insurance coverage

Overview

Teladoc has been in business since 2002 and currently offers mental and general health care to people 13 and older in dozens of countries, from the United States to Canada, Brazil, Australia, China, Portugal, and more. As all 100 of our survey responses came from U.S.-based Teladoc users outside the U.S., we cannot provide insight into the quality of Teladoc’s international services though, and only evaluated its U.S. offerings.

The company’s therapists and psychiatrists have individual practices and are not Teladoc employees. You can schedule 45-minute video or audio sessions from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time every day of the week; medical doctors are available 24/7 for non-emergencies. The service takes many insurance plans and boasts that its services may cost as low as $0 out of pocket, but you must create an account before you can check if your plan is accepted.

Unlike many other online mental health services, Teladoc can connect people with licensed psychiatrists who can provide medication management—a big plus for therapy seekers who don’t have the time, energy, or ability to find a psychiatrist at another service.

Teladoc also offers individual talk therapy, but if you’re primarily in need of couples counseling or family therapy, this isn’t the service for you. Its providers can help with issues like depression, anxiety, addiction, and stress, but the site states that conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia should be managed in person, so if you live with those mental health conditions, this is not the company for you.

Of the users we surveyed:

  • Sixty-six percent rated the overall mental health services they received through Teladoc as either very good or excellent.
  • Eighty percent said their therapists’ qualifications were excellent or very good.
  • Ninety-five percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Teladoc to someone like them.
Plans & Pricing

Teladoc does not offer bundles or subscriptions—all appointments are paid for à la carte. Final out-of-pocket costs will vary by in- or out-of-network coverage, but people who aren’t using insurance can expect:

  • A 45-minute session with a licensed therapist for $99
  • An initial 45-minute session with a licensed psychiatrist for $299
  • A 45-minute follow-up session with a licensed psychiatrist for $119

The company’s other general medical services range from $75 to $95 per session.

Best for Families : Rethink My Therapy


ReThink My Therapy

ReThink My Therapy

  • Price: $99–$159 per month
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live video and audio
  • Insurance: Does not take insurance
Why We Chose It

Of the 33 companies we surveyed, ReThink had the best value for money ratings, as well as high overall customer satisfaction. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable subscription rates

  • Offers therapy and medication management

  • Offers individual, couples, and family sessions

Cons
  • Does not accept insurance

  • Does not offer live messaging

  • Sessions booked based on therapist availability

Overview

When it comes to the raw survey data of users, ReThink My Therapy stands out because its customers are overwhelmingly happy with their experience:

  • Eighty percent of users rated the services they received through ReThink My Therapy as either very good or excellent.
  • Eighty-two percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.

However, only 89% stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend ReThink to someone like them, which was lower than both BetterHelp and Talkspace.

Rethink My Therapy also stands out because it offers all new users a seven-day free trial, which is very generous compared to any similar offerings by competitor companies. This allows users to feel comfortable committing to a subscription plan and a therapist. Of the users we surveyed, 86% said their therapists’ qualifications were excellent or very good. 

Rethink My Therapy is also very affordable, offering medication management services and talk therapy for one low monthly rate (though medication costs are additional). It also offers individual, couples, and family therapy plans, making it a great choice for a variety of different people.  In fact, ReThink My Therapy was one of the only companies we'd recommend for online family therapy.

Plans & Pricing 

Rethink My Therapy offers three subscription plans:

  • Single plan: The cost is $99 per month and includes 24/7 access to your therapist and $0 copay for seeing your therapist or psychiatrist in virtual behavioral health sessions
  • Couples plan: It runs $129 per month and includes two individual accounts with 24/7 access to virtual primary care, $0 copays, and the ability to schedule joint or individual therapy sessions.
  • Family/children’s program: This plan is $159 per month and includes up to four individual accounts with 24/7 access to virtual primary care and $0 copay.

Best for the BIPOC Community : Ayana Therapy


Ayana Therapy

Ayana Therapy

  • Price: Not listed on website prior to signing up
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Texting and video
  • Insurance: May offer receipt for reimbursement
Why We Chose It

Ayana Therapy helps bridge the gap between minority groups or marginalized peoples and quality therapists who share their values and background. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Matches clients with therapists that share similar backgrounds or values

  • Focuses on serving unserved communities

  • Creates a safe space for marginalized people

Cons
  • No medication management services

  • No couples or group therapy

  • Pricing not listed on the website before signup

Overview

As a relative newcomer to the online therapy scene, Ayana is on a mission to serve communities that have traditionally been underserved by traditional therapy, notably the BIPOC community or marginalized communities—and it achieves that mission. It prioritizes affordability, accessibility, and inclusion. 

At Ayana, clients get to choose the therapist they want to work with. Of the users we surveyed, 74% said their therapists' qualifications were excellent or very good. They employ a diverse group of licensed therapists who come from different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and cultures in order to create a safe and caring space for their clients. The company also takes great care to match you with a therapist, using answers you provide from a detailed and culturally sensitive questionnaire. 

Of the users we surveyed:

  • Sixty-seven percent rated the overall services they received through Ayana as either very good or excellent. 
  • Seventy-four percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent. 
  • Ninety-one percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Ayana to someone like them. 

Plans & Pricing 

Ayana Therapy offers users a subscription-based payment plan and a pay-per-session option. You can either pay:

  • $140 per individual session
  • $290 per month for four 45-minute sessions per month.

Therapy services through Ayana Therapy are out-of-network with insurance, though the company will provide a receipt for reimbursement.

Best for Flexible Scheduling : Amwell


Amwell

 Amwell

  • Price: $109–$129 per session
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live video and audio
  • Insurance: Yes
Why We Chose It

Amwell is a telemedicine company that also offers appointments with licensed therapists weekdays, evenings, and weekends to accommodate busy schedules and it accepts many forms of insurance. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers ability to schedule sessions as needed

  • Some therapists are available nights and weekends

  • Offers couples therapy and access to psychiatrists

Cons
  • Virtual video sessions only

  • No free consultation sessions

  • No subscriptions or bundle services offered

Overview

Amwell is a telemedicine company that also offers psychiatric and talk therapy sessions with licensed therapists or psychiatrists. These sessions can be booked (and paid for) as needed, providing flexibility in scheduling and cost that is appealing to many users. Sessions at Amwell are 45 minutes and can be scheduled on weekends, holidays, or at night, depending on your therapist’s availability. 

Amwell provides care for a number of different mental health issues, including anxiety, stress management, depression, trauma and PTSD, OCD, grief, and more, and they offer couples therapy. 

Of the users we surveyed:

  • Seventy-seven percent rated the overall services they received through Amwell as either very good or excellent.
  • Seventy-eight percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.
  • Eighty-one percent said their therapists' qualifications were excellent or very good.
  • Eighty-eight percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Amwell to someone like them. 

Plans & Pricing 

Amwell does not offer a subscription. Instead, you pay per session booked. Their pricing depends on the level of education of your therapist:

  • A 45-minute session with a licensed, master’s level therapist costs $109.
  • A 45-minute session with a licensed, Ph.D.-level therapist costs $129.

In addition, if you choose to meet with a psychiatrist, the initial appointment will cost $279. Follow-up psychiatric appointments cost $109.

Best for the LGBTQIA+ Community : Pride Counseling


Pride Counseling

 Pride Counseling

  • Price: $240–$360 per month
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live chat, phone, video, unlimited messaging
  • Insurance: Offers a receipt for possible reimbursement
Special Offer

Verywell Mind readers get 10% off their first month of membership.

Why We Chose It

Pride Counseling focuses specifically on providing accessible, quality online therapy to the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Subscription comes with live session and unlimited messaging

  • All therapists are licensed and specialize in working with the LGBTQIA+ community

  • Multiple communication options

Cons
  • You don’t choose your therapist

  • No psychiatry or medication management services

  • No free trial

Overview

Aimed specifically at the LGBTQIA+ community, Pride Counseling delivers on what it promises: private, affordable counseling from licensed, board-accredited professionals. It offers one subscription package that gives you the option of scheduling a live video or phone session, plus unlimited messaging. It’s relatively easy to schedule your live session from your private portal. However, it’s important to note that the company matches your therapist to you rather than lets you choose. You can switch relatively easily, though, if you don’t think it's a good match.

All therapists at Pride Counseling are licensed and have a master's or doctorate degree in their field. Of the users we surveyed, 83% said their therapist’s qualifications were excellent or very good and 94% said they were very likely or likely to be still seeing a therapist 12 months from now at Pride Counseling. 

Our survey also found:

  • Seventy-seven percent rated the overall services they received were either very good or excellent. 
  • Seventy-seven percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.
  • Ninety-six percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Pride Counseling to someone like them. 

Plans & Pricing 

There is one subscription plan offered at Pride Counseling. The prices range from $240–$360 per month, depending on your location, therapist availability, and therapist qualifications.

Best for Group Therapy : Circles


Circles

Circles

  • Price: $80 per month
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Live video, unlimited messaging
  • Insurance: No
Why We Chose It

Circles is one of the few online therapy companies that focus on group therapy; its services are affordably priced, and it has a high overall customer satisfaction rating.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Topic-specific groups available at different times led by licensed therapists or certified coaches

  • Seven-day free trial and billed weekly

  • Unlimited messaging with therapist and group members

Cons
  • It’s more an emotional support service than therapy

  • Services not covered by insurance

  • Does not list emergency resources

Overview

As a group therapy-focused company, Circles connects you to live online group support groups, led by licensed therapists or certified coaches for a monthly subscription cost of only $20 per week. Seventy-eight percent of the users we surveyed said the qualifications of the therapists leading the groups were excellent or very good. 

There are groups dedicated to a variety of different mental health struggles, including grief, depression, anxiety, and addictions, though it should be noted that the service is not meant to replace primary care or individual therapy services. Circles also offers additional exercises, resources, and an online blog for work outside of sessions. 

Of the users we surveyed:

  • Eighty percent rated the overall Circle’s services as either very good or excellent.
  • Seventy-three percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.
  • Ninety percent stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Circles to someone like them. 

It’s worth noting that most therapy companies, which aren’t suited for emergencies, still list emergency resources for people in crisis, such as suicide hotlines or domestic violence hotlines. Circles does not display any such information at all.

Plans and Pricing 

There is only one subscription plan offered for $20 per week, with a seven-day free trial. 

The plan includes: 

  • Access to one group of your choice, based on recommendations from a questionnaire you fill out 
  • Unlimited messaging with your therapist and other group members through the app
  • Additional exercises and content outside of sessions

Best for Christians : Faithful Counseling


Faithful Counseling logo
  • Price: $240–$400 per month
  • App available: Yes
  • Platforms: Video, audio, chat, messages
  • Insurance: Services offered using this site are generally not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. 
Why We Chose It

Every therapist in the Faithful Counseling network is a practicing Christian who integrates faith-based guidance with their clinical practice through live chats, video sessions, audio sessions, and messaging services. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • All therapists agree to the same statement of faith

  • Tiered-pricing to fit different budgets

  • Multiple ways to communicate with your therapist

Cons
  • Sessions are only 30 minutes

  • No guarantee that you’ll be matched with a therapist who aligns with your requests

  • Some therapists give generic worksheets with little interaction

Overview

Faithful Counseling is a platform designed for people seeking individual talk therapy from a therapist who shares their same Christian values. 

According to one study, only 15 percent of practicing Christians have gone to therapy to seek treatment for a mental illness. These numbers are low compared to the national number—33 percent. There are a variety of reasons why this could be true, but within the Christian community, there is still a stigma around seeking psychological help. Some struggle with the idea of relying on doctors instead of God to find healing. Others don’t feel comfortable seeking treatment from secular therapists. 

Faithful Counseling aims to remove some of these barriers by offering access to licensed therapists who combine elements of biblical advice with actionable plans based on psychological research.

All therapists are licensed, experienced, and accredited psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, or licensed professional therapists, who have aligned with Faithful’s statement of faith. In addition, they all have at least three years and 1000 hours of hands-on experience as therapists. Areas they specialize in include anxiety, relationships, parenting, depression, addictions, trauma, anger, family conflicts, religion, and more.

While Faithful is faith-based, the organization also welcomes non-believers to receive counseling. The company offers three different therapy approaches:

  • Mental health therapy from the perspective of a Christian
  • Spiritual therapy based on faith-based matters
  • Holistic therapy addressing both psychological and spiritual components

Sessions can remain strictly clinical or they can incorporate elements of biblical wisdom, spiritual disciplines, and prayer. You can specify what you prefer during your intake questionnaire.

Of the users we surveyed, 67 percent said they found their therapist's qualifications to be excellent or very good, and 86 percent said they were very likely or likely to still be working with a Faithful therapist one year from now. Ninety-five percent of users said they were very satisfied with the therapist options at the company and 91 percent said they were likely or very likely to recommend Faithful Counseling to someone like them.

Plans & Pricing

Faithful Counseling offers one monthly subscription plan, but the price you pay varies based on what therapist you are matched with and where you live. The cost of therapy ranges from $60 to $100 per week and you’re billed every four weeks, which equates to $240 to $400 per month. You can cancel your membership at any time for any reason and put in a request for a refund, however, a refund is not guaranteed. 

Services include: 

  • Unlimited messages
  • Live chatting
  • Phone and/or video-based sessions

Final Verdict

BetterHelp tops our list because it is the company that will appeal to most online therapy users. Our survey of users shows that customers are generally very satisfied with the therapy they receive from BetterHelp and its subscription price is fair. However, if you’re looking for an affordable online therapy company that not only provides talk therapy but also access to a psychiatrist, ReThink My Therapy might be the better option for you. If you’re looking for a therapist who shares a similar background and religion, or if you want to focus on a specific aspect of therapy, such as couple’s therapy, you might want to consider a company that is more specialized.

Compare the Best Online Therapy Programs

Company Accepts Insurance % Users Rated Excellent or Very Good Therapy Modalities Price
BetterHelp Best Overall No 72% Individual Couples Teens 13+ $240–$360 per month
Talkspace Runner-Up, Best Overall Yes 69% Individual Couples Teens 13+ Psychiatric $260–$400 per month; psychiatric additional cost
ReThink Best Family Therapy No 80% Individual Couples Family Teens 13+ Psychiatric $99–$159 per month; includes psychiatric
Regain Best for Couples No 77% Individual Couples $240–$360 per month
Amwell Best for Flexible Scheduling Yes 73% Individual Couples Teens 13+ Psychiatric $109–$129 per session; psychiatric $279–$109
Teladoc Best for Psychiatry Yes 71% Individual Psychiatric Medication Management $99 per session; psychiatric $299-$119
Circles Best for Group Therapy No 80% Groups  18+ only $80 per month
Pride Counseling Best for the LGBTQ+ Community No 77% Individual $240–$360 per month
Ayana Best for the BIPOC Community No 67% Individual Couples $140–$180 per month
Faithful Counseling Best for Christians No 67% Individual $240–$400 per month
Wellnite Best Without Insurance No 76% Individual psychiatric $75 per month
GetCerebral Best with Insurance Yes 83% Individual Psychiatric $29–$325 per month

Guide to Choosing an Online Therapy Program 

Who Online Therapy Is Best For 

There are lots of reasons to choose online therapy. Some people enjoy not having to commute to an appointment. Others appreciate that they don’t need to find childcare or take time off work for an appointment.

Online therapy is very convenient, affordable, and accessible, no matter where you live, whether you have access to public transportation, or whether you work odd hours. And many online therapy sites allow you to communicate with your therapist daily, while most in-person sessions only occur once per week.

Online therpay can work for almost anyone who is looking for emotional support. Common issues that are treated online include stress management, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, trauma, sleep issues, and substance abuse.

That said, online therapy isn’t a good fit for everyone. It might not be a good fit if:

  • If a child is younger
  • You aren't comfortable with technology
  • You are struggling with a more severe mental health condition
  • You are thinking about harming yourself or others
  • You are in crisis or feeling suicidal

The Cost of Online Therapy 

In general, online therapy costs less than in-person, private-practice therapy. However, not all online therapy companies operate on the same business model. 

Some online therapy companies use a subscription model, which means that you pay a set amount per month for a set amount of services, such as messaging a therapist or a video therapy session. Subscriptions are usually more affordable, especially if you don’t have good health insurance coverage. 

Of the 33 companies we reviewed, average monthly costs for subscription-based online therapy ranged from $60 to $396 a month, depending on the plan, number of live sessions with a therapist, and therapist qualifications.  

Other online therapy companies operate on a more traditional, pay-per-therapy session model. These companies generally price their therapy based on the education and expertise of your therapist, though sometimes your geographic location can play a role too. Pay-per-session online therapy is usually more expensive than subscription-based online therapy, though still lower than in-person therapy.

Comparing Online Therapy Platforms

If you’re looking for an online therapy company, here are a few questions you’ll probably want to ask yourself:

  • Do I want to speak with a licensed therapist or am I okay speaking with a life coach? 
  • Do I prefer to have therapy one-on-one, as a couple, or would I do better in a group therapy setting?
  • Does it matter to me if my therapist shares my ethnicity, religion, race, gender identity, or background?
  • What’s my budget?
  • Is this company transparent about how they keep my private information safe and secure?
  • Does this online therapy company offer a communication style that fits my needs and schedule?
  • Can I pick my own therapist or would I prefer they choose for me based on my therapy goals?
  • Is the company transparent about the price and therapy process before I pay them?
  • Do I need to work with a therapist who has experience working with specific mental health conditions or trauma?
  • Do I prefer a subscription plan or the flexibility of paying per therapy session?

Finding the Right Virtual Therapist

Some online therapy companies will choose a therapist for you, while others will let you pick. But rest assured, if the company matches you, they will still take into consideration your therapy goals and preferences based on your answers to intake questions. You can also usually switch.

Other companies will let you browse through therapist bios, then select a therapist you want to work with. If you are choosing your therapist, there are a few things to consider. Think about who you will open up to easiest and what your therapy goals are:

  • Will it be easier for you to open up to someone of a particular gender identity, religion, or age? 
  • Does it matter to you if your therapist shares a similar background, ethnicity, or race? 
  • Do you want to work with someone who has specialized training in trauma? 
  • Do you want to find a therapist who specializes in relationships?

Some online therapy companies offer free trials or free consultation sessions with your therapist, which helps you get to know them a little better before committing to therapy. If you’re indecisive or unsure what you really want in a therapist, look for a company that offers this kind of perk; it will likely help you feel more comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Online Therapy?

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What Is Online Therapy?

Online therapy, also known as teletherapy, is a way to communicate with a licensed mental health professional over the phone or computer, rather than face-to-face in an office. Common means of communication include messaging (similar to text or email), live chat, phone calls, or video chat.

Online therapy differs from in-person therapy in several ways. Online therapists typically do not provide a mental health diagnosis, like “generalized anxiety disorder” or “ADHD.” However, that is changing as online psychiatry and medication management services have grown over recent years. Online treatment also may not meet the requirements for “court-mandated therapy” in certain cases.

Otherwise, online therapists are usually licensed mental health professionals, and most provide similar treatments online as they do in-person.

Is Online Therapy Effective?

Online therapy can be equally as effective as in-person treatment. Here’s what research has found:

  • A 2014 study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy found that online cognitive behavioral therapy was effective in treating anxiety disorders. 
  • A 2014 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that online treatment for depression was equally as effective as in-person therapy. 
  • A 2018 study in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders found that online cognitive behavioral therapy was equally as effective as in-person treatment for major depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. 
Infographic text: Online Therapy is helping people find relief. Among people currently in online therapy, 92% express satisfaction with their overall experience, specifically citing: Ease of use (92%), Privacy (91%), Response time (91%), Quality of Counseling (90%), Security (86%), Cost (82%)

Verywell / Designed by Amelia Manley

Is Online Therapy Secure and Confidential?

Licensed mental health professionals must follow licensing regulations, state laws, and HIPAA regulations that ensure security and confidentiality. Each website explains the steps they take to keep information secure.

Also, most sites will allow you to communicate with your therapist using a nickname (although they usually require you to provide the name and phone number of an emergency contact.

Does Insurance Cover Online Therapy?

Coverage by insurance depends. Some online therapy companies, such as Talkspace, have worked with health insurance companies in order to be in-network with various health plans. This means that you’ll be able to pay less than the full out-of-pocket subscription or session fee. However, not every insurance company is accepted by these companies so be sure to check your eligibility before signing up. 

Other online companies do not work with insurance companies directly and they won’t bill them for you. This means it is up to you to check and see if your health insurance plan will cover online therapy at all, including at out-of-network companies. If they do, though, you’ll need to file for reimbursement with a receipt that you obtain from the online therapy company. Some insurance plans may only offer partial reimbursement. 

Some online therapy companies also have relationships with employers, which means they provide discounts or accept Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs). 

Other companies accept HSA or FSA cards for payment, which helps you pay for your therapy with pre-tax dollars.

Does Medicare Cover Online Therapy?

In 2019, Medicare expanded its telehealth services to include the option of online therapy, and by 2020, several medicare plans covered these virtual mental health services.  

However, like with health insurance generally, you’ll need to check that the specific online therapy company you’re interested in is in-network with your Medicare. If you’re unsure, you can contact Medicare and find out what providers are accepted through your plan.

Methodology

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

Specifically, we evaluated each company on:

  • Website usability
  • Sign-up process 
  • Therapist qualifications 
  • Types of therapy offered
  • Quality of care
  • Client-therapist communication options, 
  • Session length
  • Subscription offerings 
  • Client privacy protections 
  • Cost and value for money
  • Whether they take insurance
  • Average out-of-pocket costs
  • Therapist assignment process
  • How easy it is to change therapists
  • Overall user satisfaction
  • Likelihood clients would recommend them
Image Text: Seek help now. If you are having a personal crisis and need to talk to a trained professional immediately, call the suicide hotline number at 800-273-8255

Verywell / Designed by Amelia Manley

Additional reporting by
Ray Finch
Ray Finch

Ray is a copy editor, fact-checker, mental health writer, and editorial producer with over five years of experience.

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and
Euna Park
Euna Park

Euna is an award-winning health journalist with over six years of experience.

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Edited by
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

Simone is the health associate 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.

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Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sagui-Henson SJ, Prescott MR, Corcoran JB, et al. Effectiveness of evidence-based telecoaching delivered through an employer-sponsored mental health benefits platformTelemedicine and e-Health. Published online June 30, 2021. doi:10.1089/tmj.2020.0555

  2. Nordgren LB, Hedman E, Etienne J, et al. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of individually tailored Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety disorders in a primary care population: a randomized controlled trial. Behav Res Ther. 2014;59:1-11. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2014.05.007

  3. Wagner B, Horn AB, Maercker A. Internet-based versus face-to-face cognitive-behavioral intervention for depression: a randomized controlled non-inferiority trial. J Affect Disord. 2014;152-154:113-121. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2013.06.032

  4. Andrews G, Basu A, Cuijpers P, et al. Computer therapy for the anxiety and depression disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: an updated meta-analysis. J Anxiety Disord. 2018;55:70-78. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2018.01.001