Best Online Therapy Programs for Teenagers and Kids

Protect your child's mental health

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

With 10-15% of children facing excessive anxiety issues, anxiety disorders are among the most commonly diagnosed issues for children today. Additionally, 70% of polled teenagers see anxiety and depression as a major problem among their peers, and bullying and substance use or abuse issues also were reported as major concerns.

Enter online services that offer counseling for kids and teens with therapists and professionals trained to work specifically with this population. Online therapy is also often a better fit for teens, as they are more familiar with technology, texting, and web-based communications. In addition, it parents to better fit therapy into their family’s busy schedules. However, it's important to acknowledge that online therapy services are not suitable for teens who are in emergency or crisis situations, who are suicidal, or who are living with serious mental illness.

In order to determine the best online therapy companies, we surveyed 100 users from 33 different companies, totaling 3,497 users overall. We also sent detailed questionnaires to the companies themselves in order to gain more information about them. Here are the companies that came out on top in our reviews.

Best Online Therapy Programs for Kids of 2022

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

Get $150 off your first month using promo code VERYWELL150.

Why We Chose It

Talkspace makes it easy for teens to engage with user-friendly, subscription-based online therapy that offers multiple services, including medication management, and a variety of communication options. Some services may be covered by insurance.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Licensed therapists that work specifically with teens

  • Psychiatric and medication management services available

  • Subscription-based prices

  • Wide variety of communication options

Cons
  • Psychiatry and medication services not included in subscription costs

  • Can find therapists only from algorithm-selected matches

  • No therapist bios on website prior to signup

Overview

Founded in 2012, Talkspace was one of the first online therapy companies to enter the market. Since then, its services have expanded to include psychiatry, medication management, couples therapy, and teen therapy.

Talkspace is a good option for busy teens due to a variety of different communication options for talking with a therapist, including video, audio, live chat, and unlimited messaging. The company also works with a few insurance providers and employee-assistance programs, and takes payments from HSA and FSA cards. Talkspace is HIPAA-compliant, and its privacy policies are prominently displayed on its website.

Talkspace offers psychiatric services, but the costs are not included in a therapy subscription.

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. There are no live video sessions offered in this plan.
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: This plan offers everything in the Therapy Plus plan, but also includes one live, 30-minute video session per month.
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate: This plan includes everything in the Plus plan, as well as four live, 30-minute video sessions per month. 

According to our survey:

  • 93% of users stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Talkspace to someone like them.
  • 86% of the users we surveyed said their therapists’ qualifications were very good or excellent
  • 88% said they were likely to be working with a therapist at Talkspace a year from now.

Best for Parents and Teens : TeenCounseling

Verywell's Rating
3.1

  • Price: $240 to $400 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No

Special Offer

Verywell Mind readers get 20% off their first month of membership.

Why We Chose It

Teen Counseling offers subscription-based support for both teenagers and their parents. Parents and teens have separate accounts; Teen Counseling does not provide joint sessions or family therapy. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Subscription-based costs

  • Services for both teenagers and parents

  • Multiple communication styles offered

  • Therapists specifically trained to work with teenagers and parents

Cons
  • No medication-management services

  • Site matches therapist for you

  • 30-minute sessions may be too short for some

Overview

Parent company BetterHelp launched Teen Counseling in January of 2018. It connects teenagers through an online platform with therapists who are trained to work specifically with the teen population. The service also connects parents with therapists who specialize in parenting skills and improving parent/child relationships.

Once you sign up, you have access to a private, secure “room” where you can contact your therapist any time and receive responses and guidance. You also have the option of scheduling live chat, phone, or video sessions with your therapist. Additionally, Teen Counseling offers a list of emergency resources for crisis situations on the homepage of its website. 

Of the users who tried Teen Counseling that we surveyed:

  • 70% rated the services they received as either very good or excellent.
  • 64% said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.
  • 84% stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend it to someone like them.

Services do not include medication management, and Teen Counseling services cannot fulfill any court order.

Subscription prices range from $240 per month to $360 per month. The price is determined by your location and therapist preferences, and the price is not revealed until a therapist match has been made. Services include:

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

Best for Pediatric Care : Amwell

Verywell's Rating
3.9

  • Price: $109 to $129 per session or Copay
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
Why We Chose It

We chose Amwell because of its flexible scheduling, children’s mental health services, and high user survey ratings.

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

  • Some therapists are available nights and weekends

  • Offers access to psychiatrists and, in some locations, family therapy 

  • Services available for children as young as 10

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. It has therapists and doctors available to see children as young as 10 years old. Parents need to create an account, plus a sub-account for their children, and give consent for treatment. Sessions can be booked and paid for as needed, providing flexibility in scheduling and price that's 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 does not offer a subscription. Instead, you pay per session booked, and 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 your child or teenager needs to meet with a psychiatrist, the initial appointment costs $279. Follow-up psychiatric appointments cost $109.

Amwell does take some insurance—the parent can enter their child’s insurance information on the Amwell website and find out if their insurance covers the services or if the insurance company will reimburse them.

Of the users we surveyed:

  • 77% rated the overall services they received through Amwell as either very good or excellent.
  • 78% said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.
  • 81% said their therapist's qualifications were excellent or very good.
  • 88% stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend Amwell to someone like them. 

Best for Psychiatry/Medication Management : Talkiatry

Verywell's Rating
4.5

  • Price: Depends on your insurance
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others
  • Type Of Therapy: Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Talkiatry is a good option if you need psychiatric services as a part of your mental health care paired with in-network insurance coverage and the convenience of online sessions.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accepts in-network insurance plans

  • Sees children as young as 10

  • In-depth assessments given

  • Both online and in-person sessions offered

Cons
  • Site patches you with psychiatrist

  • Only available in 10 states

  • No licensed talk therapists on staff

Overview

We picked Talkiatry because it is one of the few companies that offers psychiatric services specifically. It also accepts in-network insurance plans, making services more affordable. The company has psychiatrists who specialize in diagnosis and medical treatment for behavioral health issues in children as young as 10 years old. 

Headquartered in New York City, Talkiatry is a newcomer to the world of online therapy, having only just begun seeing patients in April 2020. However, the company has a clear goal: to connect you with quality psychiatrists who accept in-network health insurance plans and can prescribe medication if needed. Even though the service is currently only available in 10 states (New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas), it is working to expand.

Talkiatry is also unusual among online services because they offer in-person sessions as well as telehealth.

According to our user survey:

  • 68% of current users we surveyed rated the services they received through Talkiatry as either very good or excellent.
  • 77% said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.
  • 91% who had used other online therapy services said that Talkiatry was better or much better than their previous online service.

Best for Peer Support : 7 Cups of Tea

Verywell's Rating
3.0

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

7 Cups of Tea offers a free online chat support forum for teenagers that is monitored to make sure it is free of trolls and bullies.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free service

  • Available to access 24/7

  • Trained listeners available

  • Accessible peer support

Cons
  • It’s not therapy

  • Not a personalized service

  • Listeners are volunteers, not therapists

Overview

7 Cups of Tea was founded by clinical psychologist Glen Moriarty in 2013. His goal was not to create an online therapy service but rather an online network where people could turn for emotional and mental health support from understanding peers and listeners. The service has online chat forums specifically for teens about mental and emotional health struggles. There are millions of users worldwide, and it's available in 189 countries and 140 languages.

The service has more than 320,000 listeners who are trained to listen and monitor online chat rooms full of people looking for mental health support. 7 Cups does offer messaging therapy services for a monthly cost; however, this is reserved for those 18 years of age and older. While the user survey rates are lower than average, they are based on paid services. Users may be more content with the free resources and chat forums available.

According to our user survey:

  • 63% of surveyed users rated the services they received through 7 Cups of Tea as either very good or excellent.
  • 62% said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent. 
  • 82% of those polled stated they were either likely or very likely to recommend this service to someone who is similar to them. 

Compare the Best Online Therapy Programs for Kids of 2022

Overall Rating Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Accepts Hsa Or Fsa
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Talkspace Best Overall $276 - $516 monthly Yes N/A Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
TeenCounseling
3.1
Best for Parents and Teens $240 to $400 per month No N/A N/A Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Amwell
3.9
Best for Pediatric Care $109 to $129 per session or Copay Yes N/A N/A Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Talkiatry
4.5
Best for Psychiatry/Medication Management Depends on your insurance Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others N/A Medication Management, Psychiatry Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
7 Cups of Tea
3.0
Best for Peer Support $150 per month No N/A N/A Messaging Learn More
Hide, not for me

Final Verdict

Talkspace tops our list because it offers the most convenient services for teenagers, including multiple communication options and psychiatric services, plus the subscription rates are affordable. Teen Counseling offers some of the same communication options as Talkspace, but without the psychiatric services; however, Teen Counseling does focus on parenting and teen issues specifically. Amwell is a good option for those looking for a service that combines pediatric medical care and therapy services along with insurance coverage.

Guide for Choosing the Best Online Therapy Programs for Kids

Is Online Therapy Programs for Kids Worth It?

Online therapy is not right for everyone, but it can be a good fit depending on how busy your teen’s schedule is and their familiarity with technology. Consider these questions:

  • Is my child under a lot of stress or seeming more emotional than usual?
  • Does my child struggle with social situations or making friends?
  • Is my child struggling with getting good sleep or experiencing excessive fatigue?
  • Is the family going through a stressful time or a lot of changes?
  • Would my child benefit from learning emotional coping skills?
  • Does my child prefer to communicate through text or video chats?

Comparing Online Therapy Programs for Kids

When looking for a counseling service that will be a good fit for your child, there are several factors to consider:

  • Issues: Make sure a therapist or service specializes in your area of concern, such as anxiety, depression, stress management, or body image issues. 
  • Budget: Decide how much you are able to spend per month for counseling services so you don’t have to end services early due to financial strain.
  • Financial Assistance: Research all options that may help cover costs, including insurance plan coverage, EAP options, FSA and HSA card payment options, sliding-scale fees, and services that allow you to apply for financial aid.
  • Scheduling: Find a service or therapist that can meet with your child when it is convenient for both you both. Many therapists offer evening and weekend appointments while some services offer 24/7 unlimited messaging. 
  • Location: Make sure a therapist or company can offer services where you are currently located. A therapist must be licensed in your state. 
  • Ease of switch: See if a service offers a free consultation, trial period, or the ability to easily change therapists to make sure your child feels comfortable with their counselor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Online Therapy Programs for Kids Cost?

Costs of different services vary as much as the services themselves. Subscription-based prices can range from $159 to $400 per month. Amwell’s services charge per session but may be more affordable with insurance coverage. Talkaitry’s service costs are based on your insurance coverage and the medical professional you are matched with.


Are Online Therapy Programs for Kids Effective? 

Research shows that online therapy can be just as effective as in-office therapy, especially if you work well with technology and prefer convenient communication options. Online therapy may work well for teenagers who can access messaging and resources 24/7 and communicate with their therapist whenever they prefer. 

Online therapy may not be a good fit for complex trauma cases, severe panic disorders, suicidal ideations, or severe depression.

What Do Online Therapy Programs for Kids Involve? 

Just like in-office therapy and medical services, a parent or guardian will need to give consent for services. For online therapy, the parent will need to set up an account and either add a sub-account for their child or give permission for the child to use their account. Online services also need payment information—either self-pay or insurance information if coverage applies. 

Methodology

In order to collect comprehensive data on 33 companies, we sent questionnaires to 100 current users of each. Our methodology allowed us to review the best online therapy services for kids fairly, impartially, and accurately. We compared companies by looking at users’ qualitative and quantitative reviews of various services offered and evaluating overall user satisfaction, therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, website usability, cost and value for money, and client privacy protections.

Seek Help Now

If you are having a personal crisis and need to talk to someone immediately, visit our national helpline database.

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.
  1. ScienceDirect. "Digital Mental Health Interventions for Child and Adolescent Anxiety." Accessed May 26, 2022.

  2. Pew Research Center. "Most U.S. teens see anxiety and depression as a major problem among their peers." Accessed May 11, 2022. 

  3. Does online therapy work? National Center for Health Research.

By Mary K. Tatum, MS, LMHC
Mary is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist with 15 years of experience working in the psychology field. She earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Bluefield College and a Master of Science in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She began in social work and then moved to drug rehab settings, working as a therapist, group facilitator, and clinical director. She specializes in family dynamic systems, trauma recovery, improving resilience, addiction recovery, and the psychology of successful business management.