Faithful Counseling

Find convenient online therapy from a Christian perspective from home.

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3.5

Faithful Counseling

Faithful Counseling


Bottom Line

Faithful Counseling is a good option for Christians who want convenient therapy sessions from licensed professionals who share their religious background.

Pros
  • Subscription-based

  • All fully licensed therapists are practicing Christians

  • Serves ages 13 and up

  • Quick initial response time from therapists

  • Live chat, phone, and video sessions

  • Rates are comparable to traditional therapy

  • Convenience and ease of use

  • Unlimited messaging to your therapist

Cons
  • Pricing varies by user location

  • No single sessions

  • Therapists are matched by an algorithm

  • Sparse website doesn’t offer much information

  • Sessions not covered by many insurance companies

  • Does not offer psychiatrists, medication management, or non-therapeutic spiritual counseling

  • Cannot help people in acute crisis

  • Unclear policy on minors

3.5

Faithful Counseling

Faithful Counseling


In 2017, online therapy giant BetterHelp launched Faithful Counseling to connect Christians with spiritually sensitive, Biblically-informed therapy. 

Faithful Counseling’s independent therapists are all practicing Christian who have verified that their beliefs are in accordance with the company's Statement of Faith. Its online platform is easy to use and offers several convenient ways to have sessions via app or patient portal.

If you’re looking for a therapist who can help you with your specific mental health and spiritual needs, Faithful Counseling may be a convenient option.

To fairly and thoroughly review Faithful Counseling against its competitors, we surveyed 100 current users from each of 33 different online therapy platforms in order to gain insight into their experiences. We also sent a questionnaire directly to each company to get more detailed information about their offerings. These surveys and questionnaires allowed us to directly compare offerings, quality of service, and client satisfaction across companies. We used the feedback from the client questionnaire to evaluate user satisfaction and perception of quality. 

Faithful Counseling did not respond to our questionnaire, though its parent company BetterHelp did. However, while the answers provided clearly applied to the parent company, it was unclear if and when those same answers applied to the subsidiaries as well. This hindered our ability to get as much insight into Faithful Counseling. As a result, we had to rely primarily on our own research and the surveys sent to current Faithful Counseling users. Here’s how Faithful Counseling stacks up against its online therapy competition.

First Impressions and Sign-up Process

Faithful Counseling’s site is mostly focused on getting therapy seekers to sign up. The homepage is visually appealing, but offers less information than many other online therapy platforms we reviewed; it just has a large photo with a prompt to get started with the sign-up process, a brief summary of the company’s philosophy, and a Venn diagram with Faith Counseling’s logo at the center of circles labeled “professionally licensed,” “spiritually informed,” and “readily accessible.”

Faithful Counseling


Pages that the top navigation bar links to include: Pricing, About, FAQ, Reviews, Contact, and the Statement of Faith; the footer at the bottom of each page refers users to the company’s terms and conditions, privacy policy, and web accessibility statement. The most detailed pages are the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy, while the About page is only a few paragraphs long and offers no information about the company’s leadership or founding. 

Pricing does not have its own page; the link just takes users to the “How much does Faithful Counseling cost?” FAQ, which has a very short answer. While this FAQ notes that the cost is determined by location, preferences, and availability, it does not mention that the price range you’re seeing is already based on where you are located. Users on one side of the country may end up paying more per month than others (more on that below.)

There is no official Meet Our Therapists page like the one on its parent company website, but if you go to Faith Counseling’s reviews page, you can click on an individual therapist’s name to see their bio and information about their credentials and specialties. At first glance, this seems helpful, but since you can’t filter professionals by state or any other characteristics—and the reviews are very recent and uniformly positive—you’ll have no idea which therapists are actually available to you until you’re matched with one.

Seventy-five percent of users surveyed reported that they either had a very good or excellent experience signing up for Faithful Counseling.

The sign-up process begins with basic questions about your gender, language, age, location, and relationship status. There is no option to return to previous pages, so if you enter an incorrect answer, you will have to start the entire questionnaire again.

You’ll then be asked questions that might be helpful for your new therapist, such as whether you’ve ever been in therapy before and how your general health is. Two checklists of issues ask what you’ve been concerned about lately, such as depression, anxiety or panic attacks, and addiction. 

Following that are questions about whether you’re on medication and how long ago (if ever) you last thought of self-harm or suicide. 

Faithful Counseling is unable to treat people in acute mental health crises and instead recommends additional resources including hotlines.


The next page asks which Christian denomination you identify with, though Faithful Counseling’s questionnaire notes that people of all backgrounds are welcome to use their services. This bears out in our survey data: Of our respondents, 5% were Muslim, 2% Jewish, 1% Hindu, 1% Buddhist, and 1% agnostic. Eight percent preferred not to say.

Faithful Counseling’s questionnaire ends by asking you how long your faith has mattered to you, how often you pray, and what (if any) level of spirituality you are open to bringing into your therapy. The next step is to register for an account and log in using the verification code that you will receive via email. 

Once you've done that, the questionnaire continues, asking for further details about the concerns and situations that have led you to seek therapy. The long list of options includes family conflict, trauma and abuse, ADHD, anger management, LGBT-related issues, and intimacy-related issues.

The next checklist contains other aspects of mental health you would prefer to address with your therapist, but it’s unclear how much the matching algorithm prioritizes this set of answers. A few options on this long list include chronic pain, illness, and disability; attachment issues; PTSD; and divorce and separation.

After submitting a very brief explanation of why you think therapy might be right for you, you’re greeted with a welcome message that gives a brief rundown of your next steps and finally tells you what your final weekly cost will be. 

If you agree to the price, you’ll enter your payment information (credit card, PayPal, or Google Pay) to complete the sign-up process and begin your first month of membership.

The website states that you should hear from your therapist within a few hours to within a few days. According to our survey, this seems to be an accurate time estimate:

  • Thirty-three percent said they heard from their therapist within the same day.
  • Twenty-nine percent said they heard back within a couple of days.
  • Nineteen percent said they heard back within the same week.
  • Nineteen percent said it took up to two weeks or longer. 

You’ll receive an email notification once the matching algorithm has selected a therapist for you, and then you can log into your portal to view their bio, credentials, and other client reviews.

We also used a test account to see how the sign-up process differs for minors since Faithful Counseling says they offer therapy to teens ages 13 and up. Everything before the account creation step was identical to the adult questionnaire—including options like “married,” ”widowed,” and “intimacy issues,” which are irrelevant to or inappropriate for a 13-year-old.

For adults, the next step would be to enter payment info and continue the questionnaire, but our child account led us to a page saying to expect an update via email within 24 hours. But neither that page nor any other page on Faith Counseling provides further details about how much parents are required to be involved with their children’s treatment and other policies regarding minor clients. 

Cost 

The “How much does Faithful Counseling cost?” FAQ gives potential users a price range per session, but you’ll only find out your exact rate once you create an account,

The FAQ, however, is not transparent about the fact that the price range it displays already factors in your location. Users in New York or Florida, for instance, may see $60 to $90 per weekly session, while those in Washington state may see $80 to $100. 

Based on the above price ranges, you could expect to pay anywhere from $240 to $400 per month. Although financial aid is available, the form used to determine eligibility doesn’t provide information about how much assistance the average eligible client might expect.

Although 62% of respondents rated the monthly cost of the service to be a very good or excellent value, it’s very important to note that our data ended up coming from a relatively wealthy group. Sixty-three percent of people in the U.S. have been living paycheck to paycheck since March of 2020 (due to the pandemic), yet 82% of our respondents reported annual household incomes of $75,000 or higher (and only 6% made under $50,000). 

What Subscription Plans Does Faith Counseling Offer?

Faith Counseling users pay once a month for four sessions weekly per month; prices vary by location and therapist availability. 

You cannot purchase single sessions.

Is There a Free Trial?

No. 

Does Faith Counseling Accept Insurance?

Faith Counseling itself does not work with insurance companies, but its independent therapists can provide bills for you to submit claims yourself. 

In fact, BetterHelp and all its subsidiaries (Faithful Counseling, Teen Counseling, ReGain, and Pride Counseling) use nearly identical FAQ answers to explain that their services typically aren't covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid and that your copays might actually end up being more expensive than their out-of-pocket rates, anyway.

This claim should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as some in-network therapy copays could be as low as $20 (or less) per session. People who want to use their insurance coverage, therefore, may prefer Faith Counseling’s competitors that do work directly with insurance. Make sure to confirm your benefits with your insurer before paying out of pocket in full for your first month.

BetterHelp did not clarify why users of all of its companies are likely to receive only limited reimbursement.

Eighty-three percent of the users we surveyed across the U.S. were able to obtain at least some financial reimbursement from their insurance company, reporting that they spent an average of $256.24 per month out of pocket for services. 

If you’re uninsured or underinsured, you may find Faithful Counseling to be more affordable than traditional therapy practices in your area—but depending on your location, you also might find more affordable out-of-pocket rates with one of the company’s online competitors.

Can You Change or Cancel Your Subscription?

You can change your payment schedule or cancel your subscription through the billing settings in your private portal.

The FAQs do not mention whether Faithful Counseling reimburses users for unused sessions, nor its cancelation policy. In fact, we didn’t learn that Faithful Counseling offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee until we were prompted to enter payment information. Hovering over the green question mark icon next to that line of text reveals a popup that promises you’ll be fully reimbursed—but only if you don’t find a match after meeting with three therapists. 

Are There Discounts Available?

Verywell readers get a 10% discount on their first month. 

While financial aid is available, neither the terms and conditions nor the FAQs explain how the company determines eligibility. As far as we can tell, all you can do is fill out a form with information about your current financial status and see what happens.

Ease of Use

Once you have created a user account, you can log in and start messaging and scheduling sessions with your therapist. Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed thought the platform was either very good or excellent in terms of user-friendliness and ease. This was an above-average rating compared to other companies.

Faithful Counseling offers convenient methods of communication with your therapist:

  • Live text chat sessions
  • Phone conversations
  • Live video sessions

Schedule your weekly sessions using your personal portal or the app. Each live session is 30 to 45 minutes long, depending on what your therapist’s schedule permits. Ninety-three percent of users surveyed said that the video sessions were either very good or excellent.

While you can send text and send audio messages to your therapist as often as you like between sessions, they will not respond an unlimited number of times. It depends on the therapist, but don’t expect more than one to two responses per business day.

Eighty-five percent of surveyed users reported that the speed at which they heard a response from the therapist was either very good or excellent. 

If you need to switch therapists, just click your profile icon at the top right of the website and choose “Change counselor.” You’ll need to complete another (brief) questionnaire asking why you want to switch before the matching algorithm can connect you with a new provider within 24 to 48 hours.

This page also includes a disclaimer that once you change therapists, you will no longer be able to view your messages to and from your previous therapist(s). Seventy-six percent of users we surveyed found the process easy or very easy, which is an average rating among all the companies we reviewed. 

Therapists’ Qualifications and Quality of Care

When it came to choosing Faithful Counseling over other online therapy services, provider qualifications and expertise was rated the most important factor by our respondents.

Eighty-four percent said they found the therapists’ qualifications to be either very good or excellent. 

This is likely because Faithful Counseling connects therapy seekers with over 6,000 independent therapists who believe in the values outlined in the company’s statement of faith

Faithful Counseling’s Christian perspective on therapy is based upon Paul’s appeal to the Corinthians to unite in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of differences. The four core tenets all counselors share are, briefly:

  1. The Bible is the word of God.
  2. God is at once the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  3. True Christian fellowship must be built on agape (Christ’s love).
  4. Salvation can only come through Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose again.

All providers also have master’s degrees; some have Ph.D. credentials as well. Regardless, all are fully licensed by their respective states and have at least three years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience.

Ninety-five percent of users said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options available.

Since you don’t get to choose your therapist, you might need to switch once or a few times before you find one you mesh with, which rings true with our data because only 6% found a good match the first time. Thirty percent of our respondents reported seeing two different therapists, 44% reported seeing three, and 20% have seen four or more. 

Faithful Counseling offers a money-back guarantee to those who have tried three therapists.

BetterHelp did not provide information about Faithful Counseling’s rate of provider turnover when they answered our questionnaire, so we have no way of knowing how long therapists stay with the company, or how much disruption this may cause to the average user’s progress. 

Types of Therapy Offered

Faithful Counseling’s FAQ page explains that some of its therapists specialize in a wide range of spiritual and mental health issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, parenting, relationships, grief, self-esteem, and addiction. 

However, whether or not you’ll be matched with a counselor who has adequate training in your specific issues will depend upon how many and which kinds of counselors are available in your state. 

The site does not specify which specific therapeutic techniques are available, and BetterHelp did not provide us any questionnaire answers specific to Faithful Counseling’s services. 

Our best guess is that each therapist offers different techniques based on their own style and specialties, but many therapy seekers may feel uncomfortable not having control over this during the matching process.

Faithful Counseling does not connect users with psychiatrists or licensed prescribers, so those in need of talk therapy and medication management will need to look elsewhere—perhaps at competitor services like Wellnite and Talkspace.

A word of caution for LGBTQIA+ therapy seekers: It’s not clear how Faithful Counseling’s therapists are expected to approach the “LGBT matters” and “concerns related to sexual orientation” mentioned in its FAQs and sign-up questionnaire.

The Statement of Faith emphasizes agape and unity in Christ despite theological and other differences, but also that all of the providers the company works with agree that the Bible is “the only authoritative and infallible rule of Christian faith and practice.” This vagueness may potentially raise a red flag for LGBTQIA+ therapy seekers (of any faith).

Still, 12% of survey respondents identify as asexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, something else, or preferred not to say. This is slightly less than the average of 15% across all 33 companies we reviewed. Interestingly, 16% of Faithful Counseling respondents reported being transgender, which is higher than the average of 12%. 

With this data in mind, it’s very possible that LGBTQIA+ users experience affirming, nonjudgmental therapeutic relationships with their counselors. But with sparse details available online and no response from BetterHelp about Faith Counseling’s unique aspects and policies, we can’t say for sure how accepting the average therapist will be. 

This is an especially important factor because Faith Counseling does not guarantee you’ll be matched with counselors who are adequately trained to deal with all the concerns you reported during the sign-up process.

Privacy Policies

Per its privacy policy, Faithful Counseling, as part of BetterHelp, does collect, use, and store data on its website visitors and customers. But to protect your privacy, you are given a randomly generated client ID during account creation, and this data does not include the content of messages sent between you and your therapist. 

It also states that it collects and stores some general data about your sessions, such as whether your counselor joins the scheduled session when the session began and ended, and whether it was canceled or rescheduled. 

The company does also state that they may disclose information regarding your age, sex, race, gender, sexual orientation, medical conditions, and disabilities to their advertising partners to optimize marketing, in addition to your Counselor. 

All data and client-therapist communication is confidential and secured across multiple distributed servers using banking-grade 256-bit encryption.

The platform has a feature that lets you “shred” any message you’ve sent, but the privacy policy does not state whether that deletes your message from their servers completely, or just from the record that you and your therapist can see.

It’s easy to share your records—simply sign an authorization form and your therapist will have your digital records sent directly to your other providers.

While Faithful Counseling protects your identity, data, and privacy from others, its services are not anonymous. You can use a nickname up until you begin therapy services, but then you’ll need to provide your real name and emergency contact information.

If your therapist decides you need more help than they can offer, the company will refer you to a local resource that is a better fit. 

Overall Client Satisfaction

Sixty-seven percent of current users we surveyed rated the services they received through Faithful Counseling as either very good or excellent and seventy-seven percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.

Respondents reported that:

  • Nine percent of them were clients of three months or less.
  • Thirty percent of them had used Faithful Counseling for three to six months.
  • Thirty-two percent of them had been clients for six to 12 months.
  • Seven percent had used the service for two years or more.

Seventy-nine percent who had used other online therapy services said that Faithful Counseling was better or much better than their previous online service.

In fact, 86% of users told us they were likely or very likely to be working with a therapist from Faithful Counseling a year from now, suggesting that the company is doing a good job at keeping its customers.

It’s worth noting that Faithful Counseling doesn’t have much of a social media presence to engage with users. While it does have a Facebook page (with over 66,000 likes as of September 2021), the last post to the page is from August 4, 2018. We could not find an Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok account—which suggests that they likely find users via word of mouth. 

This bears out in our data: Ninety-one percent of users reported that they were either likely or very likely to recommend someone like them to Faithful Counseling. 

Is Faithful Counseling Right For You?

Faithful Counseling appears well suited for therapy seekers who want a Christian perspective on daily struggles and stressors. The ability to message at any time and use several methods of communication is a big bonus, but many users may prefer to have the final say over their therapist selection, or access other features—such as therapist bios, resources, or a blog—that are offered by many of Faith Counseling’s competitors.

Faithful Counseling may not work well for you if you need medication management services, are only seeking spiritual guidance, or need in-depth treatment for serious concerns like panic attacks, trauma, psychosis, and active addictions. The company’s official stance toward LGBTQIA+ issues is unclear.

The service is not designed to help people who are currently suicidal or in urgent need of inpatient care, or who are under the care of a legal guardian. Faithful Counseling does not knowingly accept people under 13, but the site doesn’t mention any policies specific to clients who are minors.

Faithful Counseling vs. Christian Therapist on Demand

Faithful Counseling and Christian Therapist on Demand are large subscription-based online platforms that prioritize convenience and affordability for Christian therapy seekers. 

Both companies match users with networks of independent contractors rather than employing and overseeing permanent staff, but all providers are required to be fully licensed and meet other minimum requirements. 

Neither works with psychiatrists who can provide evaluation or medication management.

Faithful Counseling focuses on individual counseling services, while Christian Therapist on Demand goes further, also offering group sessions and couples coaching. Faithful Counseling offers one subscription plan, while Christian Therapist on Demand has three. Neither provides the option to pay and book single sessions without making a monthly commitment.

The companies' subscription services are fairly comparable in price:

  • Faithful Counseling offers one subscription plan with varying costs based on therapist credentials and your location, which range anywhere from $240 to $400 monthly for four weekly sessions. 
  • Christian Therapist on Demand offers five different subscription plans, ranging from $25 per month for group sessions only to $380 per month for couples counseling. 

Christian Therapist on Demand offers a free trial of three days of basic service to new customers, whereas Faithful Counseling does not offer consultations or trials.

Faithful Counseling seems to offer its services to everyone over 13, but there are no further details that would be relevant to parents of children this young. Christian Therapist on Demand’s client terms and conditions do spell out this information, stating that teenagers from 14 to 17 can use its services, but their accounts must be created under their parents’/legal guardians’ names.

Both companies’ websites could be more informative. Faithful Counseling’s website, functionally a sign-up platform and a patient portal, would benefit from the addition of other helpful content like therapist bios, therapy styles and techniques, blog posts, and other resources. Christian Therapist on Demand offers resources on its website but could be more transparent about some of the details of its services.

The biggest difference between the companies lies in their privacy policies. Both companies adhere to HIPAA laws and require their therapists to do the same, but they have different standards for protecting their user platforms. 

Faithful Counseling uses distributed servers and banking-grade 256-bit encryption to secure messages between users and therapists; while the shred button is useful for deleting messages sent from your account, it’s not clear if this deletes the message from the company’s servers completely.

In contrast, Christian Therapist on Demand’s privacy policy states that it “employs measures” to protect your data, but not which ones. In fact, users are expected to use the platform at their own risk, as it cannot guarantee confidentiality or that your information will not be hacked or otherwise divulged.

Of the users we surveyed, 67% of Faithful Counseling users and 75% of Christian Therapist on Demand users said the services were either very good or excellent. Similarly, 91% of Faithful Counseling clients said they were either likely or very likely to refer someone to the company, and 91% of Christian Therapist on Demand clients said the same. 

In addition, 86% of Faithful Counseling users reported they were either likely or very likely to still be seeing a therapist within the company a year from now, compared to 84% at Christian Therapist on Demand. 

Of the users we surveyed that had tried other therapy services, 79% of Faithful Counseling users reported that services were either better or much better than the services at the companies they used before. At Christian Therapist on Demand, 76% of users reported the same. 

Final Verdict

Faithful Counseling is a good option for people who want supportive talk therapy from a Christian perspective. The platform has many strengths, including convenient access to Christian therapists, unlimited messaging, various communication styles to choose from, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. On the other hand, it does not work directly with insurance companies; its therapists cannot provide medication management or treat urgent mental health or spiritual concerns; and the lack of details and information on its site may deter some therapy seekers.

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, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, and how easy it is to change therapists. We then looked at therapist qualifications, the types of therapy offered quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, and the therapist assignment process. Finally, we looked at cost, value for money, whether the companies take insurance, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood clients would recommend them. 

Specs

  • Product Name Faithful Counseling
  • Year Founded 2017
  • Insurance Accepted? No, but can provide bills for insurance claims
  • Price $240 to $400 per month out of pocket
  • HIPAA Compliant Yes
  • Platforms Private portal
  • Payment Options Credit cards, PayPal, and Google Pay
  • App Available? Yes
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.

Learn about our editorial process
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.

Learn about our editorial process
and
Ray Finch
Ray Finch

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

Learn about our editorial process
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  1. Does your insurance cover mental health services? https://www.apa.org.