Best Online Trauma Counseling

Companies that provide informed care for those who have experienced trauma

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Trauma can happen to any of us. It’s an emotional and physical response to a horrific and dangerous event like sexual or physical assault, being in a natural disaster, or witnessing a car accident. If these emotions stay bottled up inside, you could suffer the long-term effects of trauma, which include mood swings, flashbacks, nightmares, dissociation (feeling like you are having an out-of-body experience), anger, being on high alert, and physical symptoms like headaches and nausea.

The official diagnosis for these longer-term symptoms is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It can cause people to be essentially haunted by the memory of traumatic events. But you don’t have to be involved in trauma firsthand to have the emotional and physical symptoms of PTSD. You can also hear about it from someone else or learn that a loved one experienced trauma. PTSD can also be the result of complex trauma, or repeated trauma in the form of microaggressions, emotional abuse, neglect, and more. This is called complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

There are many therapeutic methods for treating trauma, including medication, prolonged exposure therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), narrative exposure therapy, and cognitive processing therapy. If you think you may be experiencing trauma or a trauma-related diagnosis, you can seek treatment for trauma in person or online. Here are the online therapy companies and directories we recommend based on our research because they serve diverse populations, offer a variety of modalities, and provide quality online trauma counseling.

Best Online Trauma Counseling of 2023

Most Affordable : BetterHelp

BetterHelp logo


Key Specs
  • Price: $60 to $90 per week
  • Insurance accepted?: No
  • Types of therapy: Individual
Why We Chose It 

BetterHelp is the most affordable and accessible option for acute and complex trauma therapy if you don’t have insurance. Out-of-pocket subscription costs at BetterHelp are generally less than they are at competitive online therapy sites.

Pros & Cons
  • Has thousands of licensed therapists, many of whom specialize in trauma

  • Serves all 50 U.S. states and 200 other countries

  • Discounts and financial aid available

  • Several communication options, including phone, video, and live chat

  • Helpful resources available

  • Can pay with HSA or FSA cards

  • Does not accept health insurance

  • Only one subscription plan available

  • Prices vary based on demand and location

  • No group, teen, children's, couples, or family counseling

  • No medication management or psychiatry

  • No free consultation

  • Some sessions may not be long enough for trauma work


In a 2022 survey our editors conducted, nearly half of 2,938 American respondents said they were concerned about affording counseling. BetterHelp addresses that concern by offering low rates compared to other online therapy services. 

In addition, beyond its relative affordability, BetterHelp has built a roster of licensed counselors that serve clients in all 50 U.S. states (and in 200 other countries). Among the more than 27,000 therapists under the BetterHelp umbrella, you can find trauma specialists who work with several different trauma-informed modalities, ensuring that you can find a therapist and style of therapy that work for you.

Types of Treatment Available 

BetterHelp treats individuals. It does not serve families, couples, children, or teens. There are also no group therapy options or medication management providers at BetterHelp. When you go to the BetterHelp homepage, you’ll see options for individual, couples, and teen counseling, but the latter two links take you to BetterHelp’s sister sites, ReGain and Teen Counseling. 

The sign-up process at BetterHelp is fairly straightforward. After answering several questions, including many about trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, you’re matched, within hours or days, with a therapist licensed to practice in your state or country. 

Before you are connected to your chosen therapist, you’re required to pay for a monthly subscription plan (see pricing information below). Once you are connected with a therapist, you can have your sessions via video, phone, or live chat.

A potential downside of BetterHelp’s less-expensive sessions is that they are usually 30 minutes and shorter than the traditional 50- or 60-minute therapy appointment. 

According to Hannah Owens, LMSW, mental health editor for Verywell Mind, 30-minute sessions are, in general, not ideal. “That doesn’t leave much time to build rapport or really delve into issues, and the end of the session might be jarring and potentially leave the user in a heightened emotional state that they would otherwise be able to wind down from with a longer session,” she says. This is something to consider as you research the types of therapy that may, or may not, work for you.

Plans & Pricing

BetterHelp does not offer a free consultation and standard rates range from $60 to $90 a week, depending on therapist availability and local pricing. You can also inquire about financial aid. 

Sessions are 30 minutes, but you can ask for another 15 minutes for an additional fee. Rates include access to a private, 24-hour virtual therapy room, where you can leave messages and questions for your therapist. Message response times will vary based on your therapist’s availability. 

BetterHelp bills on a monthly subscription basis and you can cancel at any time.

While generally being more affordable than in-person counseling and other online therapy sites, BetterHelp unfortunately practices surge pricing. The cost of sessions can change based on demand in your area, but will not exceed $90 a week, according to BetterHelp pricing information.

Owens describes this practice as “despicable.” “Raising costs of mental health care based on demand makes affordable and accessible care even more difficult for the therapy seeker, many of whom are already faced with barriers to care because of cost,” she explains. 

While BetterHelp does not take insurance, it does accept payments from health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

User Survey and Testing Insights

For the most part, BetterHelp users are satisfied customers. Of the 105 BetterHelp clients we surveyed, 86% said they would rate the service excellent, very good, or good. Thirteen percent said they sought out help specifically because of a traumatic event, and 21% saw therapists who practiced trauma-focused therapy or trauma systems therapy. Eighty-seven percent of survey respondents said they would rate the quality of their assigned therapist as excellent, very good, or good.

Best for Kids and Teens : Little Otter

Little Otter Review

Little Otter

Key Specs
  • Price: $200-$500 per session (self-pay rates)
  • Insurance accepted?: Yes, one plan (Kaiser Permanente)
  • Types of therapy: Children, parents, couples, families, psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Serving children ages newborn to 14, Little Otter is one of the most comprehensive online therapy platforms for young people. Its staff includes both clinical advisors and therapists who specialize in developmental and acute trauma. A robust resource library on the Little Otter website offers articles about intergenerational trauma, when to seek out a trauma therapist, and how to talk to your kids about school shootings.

Pros & Cons
  • Serves children 0 to 14 years old

  • Provides parent training, family support, and couples counseling

  • Offers psychiatric services and medication management

  • Discounted session bundles are available

  • Provides helpful resources

  • Does not accept health insurance, except Kaiser Permanente

  • Sessions are relatively expensive without insurance

  • No free consultation

  • Cannot see provider bios unless requested

  • Only available in 11 states


Little Otter is our choice for childhood trauma because it emphasizes a holistic approach to therapy and psychiatry that includes treatment for your child, you, and your family. The practitioners at Little Otter use trauma-informed approaches and modalities to address major life changes, the death or loss of a parent, abuse, and other traumatic events. 

Founder Helen Egger, MD, is a veteran child psychiatrist who has developed proprietary assessments for common emotions and behaviors in early childhood related to family stress.

Types of Treatment Available

Little Otter’s inclusive approach considers the role of parents, co-parents, couples, siblings, grandparents, guardians, and more in the health of children and families. In support of its mission to help families receive the mental health care, support, and guidance they need, Little Otter offers parent coaching, couples and family counseling, and psychiatric care in addition to virtual therapy sessions for children.

Beyond trauma therapy, Little Otter specializes in anxiety, depression, and focus—which can be symptoms of unprocessed trauma.

The sign-up process at Little Otter starts with a free online assessment, then a paid 30-minute intake session. Once the website determines that there are Little Otter practitioners in your state, you are asked to create a Little Otter account and fill out personal information about your child. Next, you'll complete an assessment related to the behavioral or emotional challenges your child, you, and your family may have.

You are then paired with a licensed mental health practitioner who is employed full-time by Little Otter (many other platforms hire practitioners as contractors, instead of full-time staff members). You have access to a private portal for scheduling appointments and sending your therapist messages.

Plans & Pricing

Little Otter doesn’t offer subscription plans, but it does have session bundles that can help you save money. The payment options are:

  • $540 for a 90-minute psychiatric assessment plus one standard therapy session
  • $2,040 for a 12-session therapy bundle (sessions are 45 minutes at $170 each)

The mandatory initial 30-minute welcome session costs $90. The Little Otter website does not mention discounts or financial aid. 

Little Otter is an in-network provider for Kaiser Permanente, but that's the only insurance plan it takes. Otherwise, the company can provide you with a superbill for reimbursement from your insurance company. It also accepts HSA and FSA payments.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Little Otter customers are generally satisfied, with 75% of the 105 clients we surveyed saying their overall experience was excellent, very good, or good. Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents said they would recommend Little Otter to a friend, while 81% said Little Otter was much better, better, or a little better than similar services they’d used in the past.

Best for PTSD : Talkspace

Talkspace logo


Key Specs
  • Price: $69-$109 per session (self-pay rates)
  • Insurance accepted?: Yes
  • Types of therapy: Individual, couples, psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Talkspace has more than 3,000 therapists and psychiatrists, many of whom can treat acute, developmental, and complex trauma. The Talkspace website also has a wealth of additional resources about trauma and PTSD.

Pros & Cons 
  • Thousands of licensed therapists

  • Serves all 50 states

  • Relatively low rates

  • Accepts several insurance plans

  • Several communication options, including text and video or audio messaging

  • Discounted quarterly and biannual payment plans

  • Helpful additional resources

  • Must commit to a monthly subscription

  • You can’t see therapist bios before signing up

  • No free consultation

  • Therapy sessions start at 30 minutes (which may not be long enough for trauma work)


Talkspace rises above other large online therapy platforms in the resource department for clients with PTSD. Dozens of blog posts cover the definition of trauma, plus specific considerations for veterans, racial injustice, intergenerational trauma, abandonment trauma, mass shootings, sexual assault, and more. 

Additionally, Talkspace offers a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) test that assesses how likely it is that you have PTSD based on your responses about several symptoms, including having disturbing dreams of a traumatic event and feeling agitated and on high alert.

Types of Treatment Available

At Talkspace, you can sign up for individual therapy and psychiatry sessions or couples counseling with licensed therapists. The process starts with a quick assessment before you are matched with a therapist and subscribe to a pricing plan (see options below). You schedule with your therapist online. 

Talkspace reports that 59% of its users experience significant change within three months.

Plans & Pricing

Talkspace offers three therapy subscription plans:

  • $69 a week for messaging therapy
  • $99 a week for messaging therapy plus weekly video sessions
  • $109 a week for messaging therapy plus weekly video sessions and workshops 

Sessions are 30 minutes long and you have the option to buy additional sessions for $65 each.

You’ll be billed monthly, quarterly, or biannually, cashing in on a 10% to 20% discount if you pay quarterly or biannually. You can cancel at any time. 

Couples therapy starts at $396 a month for weekly sessions, while psychiatry sessions are charged per session, at $249 for an initial assessment and $125 for follow-up sessions. 

Talkspace does take several insurance plans, as well as HSA and FSA payments.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Talkspace consistently ranks among the top performing online therapy sites in our user surveys. Of the 105 Talkspace clients interviewed, 90% said they thought Talkspace was excellent, very good, or good overall. Twenty-two percent of survey respondents reported starting therapy at Talkspace to work through the trauma of abuse, while 17% said they were seeking help with fallout of traumatic events in general and 32% said they received trauma-specific treatment.

Best for Gender- and Sexuality-Based Trauma : Inclusive Therapists Directory

Key Specs
  • Price: Varies by therapist
  • Insurance accepted?: Yes
  • Types of therapy: Individual, relationships, families, children and teens, groups, psychiatry
Why We Chose It

The Inclusive Therapists Directory centers around 2SLGBTQ+-affirming and culturally responsive counseling. Serving clients in 47 states and parts of Canada, the directory aims to help deliver equitable mental health care to people in marginalized communities, many of whom have experienced trauma related to their identities.

Pros & Cons
  • Lists therapists in 47 states and parts of Canada

  • Allows for finding a therapist based on social identity, such as sexual orientation, race, and ability

  • Will match you with a therapist based on your needs, such as fee, social identity, and location

  • Some listed therapists offer sliding-scale rates

  • Website can be clunky

  • While psychiatrists are included in the directory, it isn’t clear which providers are licensed to prescribe medication


The Inclusive Therapists Directory supports accessible mental healthcare for the QTBIPOC  community—the intersection between the 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. Through Inclusive Therapists, you can find a provider who can help you work through any trauma you’ve experienced because of your gender or sexual identity, often with therapists who have been through similar challenges and traumatic events themselves.

Founded in 2019 by psychotherapist Melody Li, LMFT, the Inclusive Therapists Directory aims to be a mental health justice movement. As Li writes on the Directory website: “As a queer migrant of Color and diasporic settler on Turtle Island, despite my many privileges, I had my fair share of struggles in finding a therapist that gets me. I was tired of educating my therapist on what it's like to navigate systemic injustices impacting my communities. I've been gaslighted by therapists that upheld colonial practices,” she says, explaining that “entering into a therapeutic relationship shouldn't feel like a gamble. My heart is to help connect social justice and liberation-oriented therapists with melanated, marginalized, neglected, and displaced Peoples.”

Types of Treatment Available

The directory includes listings for therapy for individuals, couples, families, children and teens, and group therapy, as well as psychiatric care, medication management, and coaching. 

On the Inclusive Therapists Directory website you can search for a therapist by state, therapeutic approach, insurance provider, sliding scale rate options, and category (including transgender trauma. abuse, loss, human trafficking trauma, PTSD, racial trauma, and religious trauma), among other options.

Plans & Pricing

Because the Inclusive Therapists Directory is a mix of therapists across the United States and Canada who have their own practices, rates vary. About 71% of the Inclusive Therapist Directory providers we surveyed offer sliding scale services and 42% don’t take insurance.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Of the 180 directory users we surveyed, 89% said the platform was very good or good. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said they were able to find a therapist who met all of their needs.

Best for Racial Trauma : Hurdle Health

Hurdle Health Logo

Hurdle health

Key Specs
  • Price: $87.25-$129 a session (self-pay rates)
  • Insurance accepted?: Yes
  • Types of therapy: Individual, couples, children
Why We Chose It

Hurdle Health serves culturally diverse populations and specializes in the mental health consequences of racial and cultural injustices, from microaggressions in the workplace to racial trauma.

Pros & Cons
  • Licensed therapists

  • All therapists receive the same cultural humility training

  • Discounted membership plans

  • No psychiatry or medication management

  • Treatment available in just 11 states

  • No free consultation


Hurdle Health started in 2018 as Henry Health—a mental healthcare and technology company serving Black men. Then in 2020, it rebranded as Hurdle Health and now serves diverse communities across genders.

Hurdle Health therapists are required to complete a training on addressing issues of race, ethnicity, class, and culture. Hurdle also coaches therapists in cultural humility, which has been shown to improve therapy outcomes for people belonging to marginalized communities.

Types of Treatment Available

Serving individuals, relationships, and children ages 12 to 17, Hurdle Health therapists primarily use a trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy approach to help you examine, process, and transcend trauma. The platform does not offer psychiatry, medication management, or group therapy.

Hurdle Health therapists offer specialization in PTSD, grief, loss, domestic violence, and racism, among other areas. 

Once you register on the Hurdle Health website, voicing your therapist preferences, you’ll be matched with a practitioner. 

Once paired with a therapist, you can schedule teletherapy appointments and send your therapist messages via a secure client portal.

Plans & Pricing

Hurdle Health has three payment options:

  • $129 per 45-minute session
  • Two-sessions-a-month subscription ($97.50 per session)
  • Four-sessions-a-month subscription ($87.25 per session)

You can take an additional 10% off if you agree to be billed every three months. You can cancel at any time. 

Hurdle Health is an in-network provider with many insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Medicare. Customer service can help you figure out if your treatment is covered. The site does not say whether Hurdle Health accepts HSA and FSA payments.

User Survey and Testing Insights

While Verywell Mind hasn’t surveyed Hurdle Health users and therapists, the company seems to be doing well, securing $5 million of venture capital in 2020. Its streamlined focus on the experiences and trauma of those in BIPOC communities makes this company a useful tool for those seeking therapy that is guaranteed to be culturally informed.

Best for Couples : ReGain

ReGain logo


Key Specs
  • Price: $60–$90 per week
  • Insurance accepted?: No
  • Types of therapy: Individual, couples, relationships
Why We Chose It 

ReGain, a BetterHelp subsidiary, is our top pick for best trauma-informed and trauma-related couples and relationship counseling. ReGain therapists specialize in a variety of issues, including trauma and grief.

Pros & Cons
  • Thousands of  licensed therapists

  • Educational resources available

  • Less expensive than many other online relationship therapy services

  • Several communication options, including text and video or audio messaging

  • Have to commit to a monthly payment plan

  • Can’t review therapist bios before signing up

  • Does not take insurance

  • No free consultation


It is hard to beat the affordability and flexibility of ReGain, an online therapy and couples counseling company that, on top of trauma services, also has therapists who can treat grief, stress, anxiety, parenting, depression, addiction, anger, family conflicts, LGBT concerns, religious issues, and self-esteem problems. Plus, it offers helpful resources on developmental, childhood, and acute trauma that may be affecting your relationships. The company’s online resources also offer advice on whether you should seek trauma therapy.

Types of Treatment Available

ReGain accommodates individuals, couples, and other forms of relationships. 

The sign-up process starts with a questionnaire about the type of therapy relationship you’re looking for (individual or couples), information about yourself and your relationship status, your experience with therapy, what you want out of counseling, what you're looking for in a counselor (therapeutic approach, gender, sexual orientation, religious leanings, etc.), what you can afford, where you’re located, and your preferred language. You then set up an account and ReGain matches you with a licensed therapist.

From a secure portal, you can schedule video or phone sessions.

Plans & Pricing

Therapy at ReGain is billed monthly at $60 to $90 a week, depending on the therapist you work with. You can cancel at any time and not be billed for the next month. There is no free trial period or free consultation option. ReGain does not take insurance, but you can pay with an FSA or HSA card. Financial aid may also be available.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Of the 105 ReGain users we surveyed, 80% said ReGain met all or most of their therapeutic needs, and 72% said they would recommend ReGain to friends and family. In addition, 84% of survey respondents reported that ReGain is better than other online therapy services they’d used in the past, and 82% reported that the process of looking for a therapist on ReGain is very easy or easy.

Best for Psychiatry : Talkiatry

Key Specs
  • Price: Depends on your insurance (no self-pay options)
  • Insurance accepted?: Yes
  • Types of therapy: Individual, children, teens, psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Many of Talkiatry’s board-certified clinicians specialize in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, in addition to the symptoms of PTSD, including insomnia and anxiety.

Pros & Cons
  • Diverse practitioners

  • Thorough psychiatrist bios

  • Accepts insurance

  • Free 15-minute consultation

  • Specializes in PTSD

  • Practitioners licensed in 30 states

  • No self-pay options

  • No discounted subscription plans

  • Asks for a lot of personal information before you’re able to schedule


Listing “PTSD” as one of its main specialties on its homepage, Talkiatry layers psychiatric care with cultural diversity to deliver trauma treatment, prioritizing hiring and serving people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse identities. Plus, it takes most major insurance policies and makes sure you’re covered before you begin.

Types of Treatment Available

Talkiatry primarily offers psychiatric evaluations and care and medication management to adults and children older than five. If you are a Talkiatry psychiatric patient, you can also schedule supplemental therapy sessions if your psychiatrist deems it necessary. This gives you options in terms of treating trauma with multiple different modalities—medication management as well as talk therapy.

Once you fill out your personal information, answer several questions about your symptoms and why you are seeking therapy, and supply your insurance information, the Talkiatry website will let you know if your insurance is accepted, then pair you with a practitioner. Like on many of the other sites listed here, you can schedule your first appointment almost immediately.

Talkiatry can’t help with crisis situations or disability benefits, or if you are looking for only talk therapy (without psychiatry). 

Plans & Pricing

There are no self-pay options at Talkiatry; you have to use insurance. It also accepts FSA and HSA payments.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Eighty-nine percent of survey respondents reported that the psychiatry and medication management services at Talkiatry were excellent, very good, or good, and 70% said Talkiatry met their needs. Twenty-two percent of the 105 Talkiatry clients we surveyed said they had sought treatment for trauma or abuse.

Best for Family Trauma : Thriveworks

Thriveworks logo


Key Specs
  • Price: $99 and up per session (self-pay rates)
  • Insurance accepted?: Yes
  • Types of therapy: Individual, family, couples, children, teens
Why We Chose It

Trauma can deeply impact families, and family therapy can be a powerful way to work through trauma and grief. Thriveworks offers a specialization in online family counseling, helping you and your loved one (whatever configuration that may be) reduce conflict and stress, set healthy boundaries, improve communication, and understand one another better.

Pros & Cons
  • Accepts insurance

  • Offers premium membership services

  • Psychiatrist directory by state

  • Several communication options, including phone, video, and chat

  • Providers in only 23 states and Washington DC

  • Not all practitioners are licensed

  • Prices vary depending on location

  • No client-therapist matching


Thriveworks has flexible hours, both online and in-person, that can make it easier for busy families to find time for therapy. The ease of scheduling can reduce stress in an already often stressful situation. Thriveworks prioritizes family counseling and accessibility, and even explains the efficacy of online therapy for treatment of PTSD on its website.

Types of Treatment Available

Thriveworks serves individuals, couples, children, and teens in addition to families. It also offers psychiatric care.

The registration and scheduling process is different from most other platforms in that you choose your practitioner instead of getting matched. You can search a directory of Thriveworks counselors and psychiatrists by location, specialty, or insurance coverage, and can indicate through its search filters if you would like help treating trauma and/or PTSD. There are no assessments; you simply create an account and then schedule with the licensed or pre-licensed therapist you choose.

Plans & Pricing

Self-pay rates start at $99 per 50- to 60-minute session and vary from location to location. 

Thriveworks does take several insurance plans, including Cigna and Humana, as well as FSA and HSA payments.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Of the 105 Thriveworks clients we surveyed, 90% said they thought this service was excellent, very good, or good. Twenty-three percent of them had gone to therapy because of family issues and 46% were in therapy because of abuse, grief, loss, or a traumatic event. Seventy-eight percent said their provider at Thriveworks met all or most of their needs.

Best for Religious Trauma : Reclamation Collective

Reclamation Collective Logo

Reclamation Collective

Key Specs
  • Price: Varies by therapist
  • Insurance accepted?: Yes
  • Types of therapy: Individual, couples, family, children, teens, group
Why We Chose It 

Like other trauma, adverse religious experiences can shake your sense of safety and connection. The Reclamation Collective’s mission is to hold space for those who have experienced religious trauma and spiritual abuse.

Pros & Cons 
  • Easy to search providers by location, specialty, and insurance coverage

  • Providers specifically address religious trauma

  • Diverse collection of additional resources

  • Small directory

  • Rudimentary user interface


The Reclamation Collective is a unique directory of diverse resources created to help people who have experienced religious trauma. It was started by two women in the Midwest who both left their childhood faith communities for various reasons and in the process had to work through grief, shame, and isolation.

Types of Treatment Available

In addition to a directory of counselors who specialize in religious trauma, the Reclamation Collective also offers online classes and support groups, in-person events and retreats, and other resources. One such resource is known as an “Integration Circle,” which is a group experience specifically for the purpose of integrating into a community after experiencing trauma with a religious community.

While the directory doesn’t have the best user interface, it still allows you to search nearly 80 registered and licensed or pre-licensed therapists by location, specialty, and insurance coverage. Specialties include purity culture, fundamentalist Christianity, Mormonism, Orthodox Judaism, childhood abuse and neglect, LGBTQIA+ concerns, and sexual trauma.

Plans & Pricing

As it is a directory, prices and insurance coverage vary from therapist to therapist.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Although we did not survey users of this company, we are confident recommending the Reclamation Collective directory because of its specific focus on religious trauma and its wide array of additional resources that can give much-needed support to anyone who has had a traumatic experience at the hands of a religious organization, community, or individual.

Best for Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder : Circles

Key Specs
  • Price: $237 for 12 weeks for Circles+ groups; peer-led groups are free
  • Insurance accepted?: No
  • Types of therapy: Group
Why We Chose It

Circles is an online group therapy platform that addresses the grief, loss, and trauma that can be associated with divorce, being a veteran or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and more. Its professionally led and relatively inexpensive groups offer support for grief and loss as well as divorce and separation from therapists and peers.

Pros & Cons 
  • Peer-based support for grief, loss, divorce, and more

  • Core groups led by licensed professionals

  • Relatively affordable

  • First week is free

  • Unlimited messaging with facilitator and group

  • No one-on-one therapy options

  • Does not accept insurance

  • Only for adults 18 and older


Circles offers accessible, relatively affordable online group therapy for many topics and populations that are related to or familiar with trauma. 

Persistent complex bereavement disorder is the diagnosis for long-term (for more than a month) intense distress associated with grief and loss. It can often lead to adverse effects on emotional, social, physical, and even spiritual well-being. This suffering is also called complicated grief, which many of us experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic when we couldn’t grieve the loss of loved ones or felt isolated from our communities.

Types of Treatment Available

Circles offers 12-week core groups centered around grief/loss and divorce/separation. These are led by professionally trained and licensed social workers, psychologists, and therapists. Circles also offers free, ongoing support groups led by trained peer support providers around more than a dozen topics, including abortion, cancer, chronic illness, and LGBTQIA+ and veterans’ issues. These groups run for 60 minutes each week. They are for adults only.

Plans & Pricing

Circles offers a simple and straightforward subscription service. Twelve-week core group sessions are $237, billed monthly at $79. Your first week, or group, is free. In addition to weekly live video groups, you also get access to 24-hour messaging with mental health professionals. 

Circles doesn’t accept insurance, but may offer financial assistance.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Seventy-seven percent of the 105 Circles users we surveyed said that the groups met all or most of their needs, and 83% said that group facilitators were excellent, very good, or good. Seven percent of users sought Circles’ services after a traumatic event, 15% said they sought treatment after abuse, and 10% were dealing with grief and loss.

Best Directory : Choosing Therapy

Key Specs
  • Price: Varies by therapist
  • Insurance accepted?: Yes
  • Types of therapy: Individual, couples, family, children
Why We Chose It

Out of the 25 online therapy directories that we evaluated, Choosing Therapy ranked among the highest in terms of overall experience and saw the most client inquiries for trauma treatment.

Pros & Cons
  • Registered therapists in all 50 U.S. states and several other countries

  • Easily searchable directory

  • Detailed therapist bios

  • Prices vary depending on location and therapist

  • Not all therapists are licensed

  • No psychiatric care


The Choosing Therapy website features dozens of additional articles about mental health issues and types of therapy and the robust directory is easy to search by specialty (including trauma and PTSD), location, therapist identity (BIPOC or LGBTQIA+), and insurance coverage.

The volume of therapists in the directory combined with the amount of helpful articles about everything from EMDR therapy and grief counseling to how to prepare for your first ever therapy session make Choosing Therapy a one-stop shop for psychoeducation and easy scheduling.

Types of Treatment Available

The providers listed in the Choosing Therapy directory cover nearly everything, including child mental health, trauma therapy, gender identity and transgender health, and race and cultural identity. While it doesn’t include listings for psychiatrists or groups, it is easy to search for appropriate therapists using the “PTSD” or “Trauma” specialty filters when narrowing down your choices.

Plans & Pricing

Rates and insurance coverage depend on the location and therapist.

User Survey and Testing Insights

Ninety-eight percent of the 180 Choosing Therapy directory users we surveyed said that the therapist they found on the site met all or most of their needs. Forty-two percent had success with the first therapist they tried, which is slightly better than the success rates on the first try with the other directories we evaluated. Eighty percent reported that the diversity of therapists was very good or good, and 81% said they would be very likely or likely to recommend Choosing Therapy to a friend.

Final Verdict

Finding a trauma therapist can feel overwhelming. These online therapy sites and directories take some of the stress out of finding a practitioner and modality that will work for you. The virtual counseling sites and directories we feature here provide options for diverse, highly trained, and specialized counselors at generally transparent rates. Many offer the flexibility and accessibility you need to schedule appointment times that work best for you.

If you're looking for affordable care, BetterHelp is a good resource. For children who have experienced trauma, Little Otter is there for you; for veterans, Talkspace has trauma treatment specifically for this community. Talkiatry offers psychiatric care and medication management for those who need medication to treat their symptoms, and for couples, ReGain is a good resource.

Compare the Best Online Trauma Counseling

Company Price Insurance accepted? Types of Therapy
BetterHelp Most Affordable $60-$90 per session No Individual
Little Otter Best for Kids/Teens $200-$500 per session (self-pay rates) Yes Children, parents, couples, family, psychiatry 
Talkspace Best for PTSD $69-$109 per session (self-pay rates) Yes Individual, couples, psychiatry
Inclusive Therapists Directory Best for Gender- and Sexuality-Based Trauma Varies by therapist Yes Individual, relationships, family, children, teens, group, psychiatry
Hurdle Health Best for Racial Trauma $87.25-$129 per session (self-pay rates) Yes Individual, relationships, children
ReGain Best for Couples $60-$90 per session No Individual, couples or relationships
Talkiatry Best for Psychiatry Depends on insurance (no self-pay options) Yes Individual, children, teens, psychiatry
Thriveworks Best for Family Trauma $99 and up per session (self-pay rates) Yes Individual, family, couples, children, teens
Reclamation Collective Best for Religious Trauma Varies by therapist Yes Individual, couples, family, children, teens, group
Circles Best for Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder $237 for 12 weeks No Group
Choosing Therapy Best Directory Varies by therapist Yes Individual, couples, family, children

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Trauma Counseling

What Is Trauma Counseling?

Trauma counseling addresses the symptoms of PTSD and complex PTSD, including intrusive thoughts, avoidance, negative changes in cognition and mood, and increased reactivity to reminders of traumatic events. Trauma- and past-focused therapy modalities can directly address your response to traumatic events, helping you become less triggered by them, while non-trauma-focused or present-focused modalities like stress reduction and interpersonal therapy can help you process trauma while you manage stress and reduce the symptoms of PTSD.

Trauma-informed therapy is a method of applying compassion, clarity, and cultural humility to each session, so individual clients can start to feel safe during therapy sessions. Trauma-informed therapists try to avoid triggering a trauma or stress response.

What Types of Trauma Counseling Are Offered?

When you start working with a therapist who specializes in trauma, ask about different modalities. You may find you are comfortable with some, and not with others. Some use cognitive approaches to help you deal with depression and intrusive thoughts, while others rely on more somatic approaches that aim to help you dislodge traumatic memories that are still stored in your body.

Some common therapeutic frameworks for working with trauma are:

  • Prolonged exposure therapy
  • Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Somatic therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Narrative exposure therapy
  • Cognitive processing therapy
  • Meditation

“Every person who has experienced trauma reacts differently,” says Owens, “and therefore every therapeutic modality will not be suited to every client. When considering trauma counseling, ask yourself questions like: Do I have mainly physical symptoms, so would a somatic approach help me most? Do my symptoms feel more like intrusive thoughts, so would a cognitive approach be best for me? There is no one overarching right answer.”

Comparing Online Trauma Counseling

Factors to consider when choosing online counseling for trauma include:

  • Price: Depending on the platform or therapist you work with, prices can vary greatly. Trauma work can take a while, so consider longer-term budgeting and whether you want to ask for sliding scale rates.
  • Session length: Session lengths on virtual therapy sites generally range from 30 to 60 minutes. Seek advice from your practitioner about which modalities work within the timeframe of your sessions. “Longer sessions are recommended when working with trauma victims,” explains Owens, “as the establishment of trust and a therapeutic rapport is especially important for these clients, who have been betrayed before. Making time for the client to ‘wind down’ at the end of a session so that they don’t go back into the world still feeling their trauma and its emotions is essential.”
  • Topic: Sometimes trauma sufferers have experienced an acute event that has impacted their social, emotional, physical, and spiritual health, and other times, people working with complex trauma can’t name a specific event. Depending on the modality you work with, you may focus on an event, memory, or felt sense, or problematic behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, like shame.
  • Scheduling: When you have experienced trauma, your system can become more easily overwhelmed. Find an online therapy platform that makes scheduling easy for you—not another stressor.
  • Location: Online trauma therapy allows you to participate in sessions from the place of your choosing. Because the material associated with trauma can be highly personal and potentially triggering, find a place that is quiet, confidential, and comfortable.
  • Method of counseling: Research shows that online counseling is nearly or just as effective as in-person therapy. Your therapist will be able to tell you if video, phone, or messaging is most effective with the modality you are trying.
  • Ease of switching between therapists: Take a few minutes to explore how easy it is to switch therapists on the platform you want to use. Cumbersome logistics or having to request a new therapist from your existing one can be overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with sensitive and traumatic memories and symptoms. 

Who Is Online Trauma Counseling Right For? 

Online trauma counseling is right for anyone who is ready to address the impact of traumatic events they’ve been a part of, witnessed, or heard about, or who is concerned about some commonly occurring mental and physical health challenges, including depression, insomnia, and substance abuse.

Online counseling may be better than in-person if you feel more safe in your own space. Others might find the establishment of a “safe space” in a therapist’s office more grounding.

What If I'm Having Thoughts of Harming Myself? 

If you are in crisis, having suicidal thoughts, or feel you may harm yourself, call 988, the national suicide and crisis lifeline. This is not the time to seek help through a therapy or psychiatry website. The trained staff at the suicide and crisis lifeline can help you address and deal with immediate mental health issues. This number is preferred over 911, where the first responders are the police and the person who takes the 911 call may have little training in or experience with mental health issues.

If you are considering calling 988, please know that your local police department will still be notified of the emergency and will often be the first to respond. This type of intervention can be traumatic and often damaging or fatal, particularly in communities of color that may have experienced police brutality and tension.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are the Signs That You Have Trauma?

    Trauma can be signaled by shock, anxiety, sleep disturbances, memory loss, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and dissociation. When someone experiences trauma, they perceive that an event or series of events is threatening their lives, integrity, or sanity. They often feel overwhelmed, scared, isolated, or out of control.

  • What Is PTSD?

    PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is the long-term effects of unprocessed trauma, which include mood swings, flashbacks, nightmares, dissociation, anger, being on high alert, and physical symptoms like headaches and nausea. For someone to have a PTSD diagnosis, they have to have been involved in, witnessed, or heard about a traumatic event, or, like many first responders, been repeatedly exposed to details from traumatic events. (Media exposure doesn’t officially count in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM].)

    For a PTSD diagnosis, you must also have recurrent intrusive negative thoughts, recurrent disturbing dreams, dissociative responses like having flashbacks, and experience intense and prolonged psychological distress and physiological responses when exposed to reminders of traumatic events or experiences.

  • How Long Does It Take for Trauma Counseling to Work?

    For some trauma-focused therapies, like narrative exposure therapy, research shows that 12 to 20 60-minute weekly sessions can have positive outcomes for easing symptoms of PTSD. That said, it can be hard to predict how long therapy will take to treat trauma and common co-occuring conditions, like substance use. Your therapist or psychiatrist will develop a treatment plan based on your unique needs.

  • What Will Happen During Your First Counseling Session?

    Generally during initial therapy sessions, your therapist or psychiatrist will ask questions about the challenges you are facing and why you are in treatment. They may run assessments to evaluate the level of trauma you’ve been exposed to, the severity of depression and anxiety you’re experiencing, and more. At the end of the first session, they may make a diagnosis, particularly if you are using insurance and a diagnosis is required for coverage or reimbursement.

  • Does Counseling Work If You Can’t Remember the Trauma?

    This seems like a controversial topic, with some of the scientific literature suggesting that you need to have a memory in order to process trauma, while other research acknowledging that remembering details from traumatic events is often difficult. Much of the experience may live in your implicit, or unconscious memory, and be hard to access or articulate with words. “Your body reacts to trauma whether or not it forms a lasting working memory,” explains Owens. “Often, unexplained physical symptoms and emotional defense mechanisms can be traced back to a past trauma even if the memory of the trauma is buried.”

  • Is Online Counseling Effective for Trauma?

    Studies of some modalities, like trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR, suggest that online and in-person sessions are equally effective. You may also find that you feel more relaxed and safe in your own home or space. For folks who are experiencing overwhelm, travel to a therapist’s office and the time it takes may cause additional stress.


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 55 companies and surveyed 105 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, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, and how easy it is to change therapists. We then looked at therapist qualifications, the types of therapy that offered quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, medication management practices, and the therapist assignment process. Finally, we looked at cost, value for money, whether the company takes insurance, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood clients would recommend them. Read our full online therapy methodology to see how we evaluated each service.

To evaluate directories, we looked at 25 sites and surveyed 180 users of each. For more details, read our online therapy directory review methodology

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. van der Kolk B. Posttraumatic stress disorder and the nature of trauma. Dialog Clin Neurosci. 2000;2(1):7-22. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2000.2.1/bvdkolk

  2. Silver KE, Kumari M, Conklin D, Karakurt G. Trauma and health symptoms in a community sample: examining the influences of gender and daily stress. Am J Fam Ther. 2018;46(2):153-167. doi:10.1080/01926187.2018.1461031

  3. Davis DE, DeBlaere C, Brubaker K, et al. Microaggressions and perceptions of cultural humility in counseling. J Couns Dev. 2016;94(4):483-493. doi:10.1002/jcad.12107

  4. Diolaiuti F, Marazziti D, Beatino MF, Mucci F, Pozza A. Impact and consequences of COVID-19 pandemic on complicated grief and persistent complex bereavement disorder. Psychiatr Res. 2021;300:113916. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113916

  5. Watkins LE, Sprang KR, Rothbaum BO. Treating PTSD: a review of evidence-based psychotherapy interventions. Front Behav Neurosci. 2018;12:258. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00258

  6. Ranjbar N, Erb M, Mohammad O, Moreno FA. Trauma-informed care and cultural humility in the mental health care of people from minoritized communities. Focus (Am Psychiatr Publ). 2020;18(1):8-15. doi:10.1176/appi.focus.20190027

  7. Bisson JI, Ariti C, Cullen K, et al. Guided, internet based, cognitive behavioural therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled non-inferiority trial (Rapid). BMJ. 2022;377:e069405. doi:10.1136/bmj-2021-069405

  8. Schrader C, Ross A. A review of PTSD and current treatment strategies. Mo Med. 2021;118(6):546-551.

  9. May H, Paskell R, Davies C, Hamilton-Giachritsis C. Having permission not to remember: perspectives on interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder in the absence of trauma memory. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2022;13(1):2055295. doi:10.1080/20008198.2022.2055295

  10. Damis LF. The role of implicit memory in the development and recovery from trauma-related disorders. NeuroSci. 2022;3(1):63-88. doi:10.3390/neurosci3010005

  11. Mischler C, Hofmann A, Behnke A, et al. Therapists’ experiences with the effectiveness and feasibility of videoconference-based eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Front Psychol. 2021;12:748712. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.748712

By Tasha Eichenseher
Tasha Eichenseher, MA, LPCC, is an EMDR and nature-based therapist. Prior to counseling, Tasha had a 20-year career as a science and wellness writer and editor. She is the former editor, brand director, and digital director of Yoga Journal. Her work has also appeared in National Geographic News, Discover, Vox, and other national outlets.

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
Simone Scully

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

Learn about our editorial process