Kip Therapy Online Therapy Review

Offering culturally sensitive therapy for adults, teens, couples and families

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Kip

Founded in 2013, Kip Therapy offers culturally sensitive, inclusive online therapy for adults, teens, couples, families. Therapists offer a sliding scale payment format in order to provide affordable therapy to all income groups; however, Kip Therapy’s services are currently only available in New York state.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • You choose your therapist

  • Consultations allowed prior to choosing

  • Caters to individuals, teens, couples, families.

  • Sliding scale pricing available

  • Easy online booking

  • Well-organized website

  • Culturally sensitive and diverse selection of therapists

  • Easy to cancel

Cons
  • Only serves New York

  • Consultations are not free

  • Some therapists are hard to get a hold of

  • No insurance accepted

  • Biweekly sessions not offered at this time

  • No subscription service available

  • No psychiatry or medication management available

Key Facts
Price
$95 to $250 per session
Is Insurance Accepted?
No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement
Type Of Therapy
Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy
Communication Options
Audio, Video Chat
HIPAA Compliant?
N/A
Is There an App?
No
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.

Nothing about living in New York is cheap, and the cost of pretty much everything is rising: from rent and electricity to food and even (or maybe especially) therapy. Finding an affordable therapist in New York is pretty much impossible, and often involves a lot of trial and error. The average price of a therapy session in the U.S. is between $60 and $200, while in New York, that number is closer to $200. 

High prices and limited availability make therapy inaccessible to many New Yorkers—especially people of color and gay, queer, and trans people. 

Kip Therapy aims to fix that issue by offering a diverse set of therapists offering culturally sensitive, sliding-scale therapy for New York State residents, from individual adults and families to adolescents and groups. To accurately assess Kip Therapy, we surveyed 105 current users of the company and our reviewer signed up for the service to accurately evaluate two therapists at different price points. Our user tested how easy it is to schedule and cancel appointments, use the website, and communicate with customer service. Here’s everything you need to know about Kip Therapy before trying out the service.

What Is Kip Therapy?

Kip is a former in-office therapy practice that turned fully virtual in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was founded in 2013 by Ryan M. Kull, PhD, an educator, researcher, and therapist with over 20 years of experience focused on sexual orientation and gender identity issues. He believes that one of the biggest hurdles that prevent people from seeking therapy is the stigma attached to it, especially for those from marginalized communities. So he created a therapy practice devoted to combating that stigma by offering accessible, culturally sensitive therapy with sliding-scale payment options.

Kip prides itself on offering a diverse selection of therapists to choose from. According to representatives from the company, therapists who choose to work with Kip need to have “a commitment to (and, preferably, experience in) working with marginalized communities, with a commitment to social justice.”

All therapists are either clinically licensed or in the process of obtaining licensure in fields such as social work, psychology, and counseling, depending on the tier of provider you choose (there are three, from “Associate Therapist” to “Senior Therapist”). Each therapist has a bio that shares a little about their background and the kinds of issues they treat. With over 40 therapists to choose from, the offerings are fairly wide. All therapists at Kip Therapy are fully vetted with legitimate credentials, there are no life coaches or other vague credentials for these therapists.

What Services Does Kip Offer?

Kip Therapy offers weekly 45-minute individual, teen, couples, and family therapy sessions.

Each therapy session is dedicated to a specific topic or community. Kip Therapy provides a specialty in LGBTQ+ Affirming therapy, helping queer men, transgender and gender-nonconforming folks and all other individual's apart of LGBTQ+ understand and develop their identity. In addition, therapists at Kip Therapy are well versed in helping those with racial trauma, non-monogamy, and BIPOC women’s empowerment.

Kip does not offer psychiatry or medication management services.

Who Is Kip For?

Kip is for adult individuals, adolescents, couples, and families residing in New York State. It’s a good fit for people looking for help for:

  • Addiction
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Family dynamic issues
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Grief
  • Racial identity issues
  • Relationship struggles
  • Sexual identity issues
  • Trauma

How Much Does Kip Therapy Cost?

Unlike many of its online therapy competitors, Kip does not offer a subscription plan. Instead, weekly sessions are charged a la carte, more like a traditional in-office therapy practice. Pricing and schedule depend on the therapist you choose to work with. Kip charges clients on a per-session basis, scheduling sessions weekly sessions in advance on a quarterly basis, and requires clients to commit to attending once a week. 

This means that prices are generally more expensive than many of the other online therapy companies we reviewed. 

However, Kip does offer a sliding scale of rates based on the therapist’s experience (or tier level, as the company characterizes it), after the initial consultation. The intake consultation is free if you are working with some Tier I therapists, but costs $25 if you are working with a more experienced therapist. Kip’s tiered model is a way for the company to make it easier to find therapy you can afford. 

The rates are as follows:

  • Tier I (Associate Therapist): $65 - $95 per session
  • Tier II (Resident Therapist): $130 - $150 per session
  • Tier III (Senior Therapist): $170 - $225 per session
  • Couples: $200 per session Tiers I - II, $250 per session Tier III
  • Adolescent therapy: $200 per session Tiers I - II, $250 per session Tier III

If you’d like to find a therapist that’s less than $65 a session, you can fill out a financial assistance form directly through the website. Kip offers these lower-cost sessions at $48 each. That’s below the Tier 1 category, and these sessions are only for people experiencing severe economic hardship, with an income below $35,000 a year.

Seventy-six percent of the users we surveyed did say that they felt like the costs of Kip’s services were very good or excellent—but it’s important to note that our data isn’t really representative of many of the communities that Kip says its services are aimed at, such as the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. 

Seventy-nine percent of the Kip users we surveyed reported annual incomes of $75,000 to $200,000 or more. In contrast, the Census Bureau found that the median household income in 2021 in the United States was $70,784. The Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law’s LGBT poverty study also found that 53% of Black LGBTQIA+ respondents had a yearly household income of under $40,000 and 48.4% of transgender Latinx people were below the poverty line. 

As a result, it is very likely that Kip’s prices might be too expensive for many potential users in the communities Kip is trying to serve, especially since the company is not in-network with any insurance company.

Does Kip Therapy Take Insurance? 

No. Kip is not an in-network provider for any insurance plans nor will its therapists help you submit claims to your provider.

However, you may be eligible for reimbursement for out-of-network services if you have out-of-network benefits that cover mental or behavioral health services. Of those users who have some form of insurance, 43% were able to get some reimbursement (29% weren’t sure if their insurers would help pay for their Kip therapy).  

Does Kip Therapy Offer Discounts? 

Kip does not offer any free trials or discounts, but if you choose a Tier 1 therapist, some consultations are free. 

You can also schedule consultations with therapists on other tiers for $25. 

Navigating the Kip Therapy Website

Kip’s clean, modern landing page is washed in inviting, subdued reds and pinks with large visuals, fonts, and links. The site welcomes you to “Find your place” in crisp white font over its first image. Just below, there is a selection of bio videos from some of Kip’s therapists, under the text “We’re here to listen.” Refreshingly, the landing page doesn’t immediately funnel you into the sign-up process with an overly prominent button or an immediate questionnaire. Instead, quick text blurbs introduce what the practice does while the layout lets users explore the site at their own pace. 

KIP Homepage

The website emphasizes Kip’s therapists and the company’s focus on identity and learning. Kip’s page invites you to “Start here,” by clicking a link which takes you to a page of therapist bios, rather than directly to a consultation scheduler. A “Find your perfect therapist. On your own terms” link lower down on the homepage will take you to the same bio page.

Kip Homepage 2

There’s also a section called “Can’t Afford Therapy?” that takes you, via a “Sign up now!” link, to a page where you can explain your current financial circumstances to be considered for the low-cost option. Kip’s website keeps things simple with spare text and obvious links to whatever your appropriate next step or question might be.

Kip signup

Scrolling down further on the homepage, you’ll find more information about the company’s values. Short video bios of several therapists feature prominently, as do brief descriptions of the practice group’s emphasis on identity, inclusion, community, and learning. There are links to learn more about Kip’s mission and approach as well as its professional training programs for therapists. The footer of the page lists Kip’s address, contact email, and links to its social media pages on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These pages, which don’t have huge followings, are updated relatively frequently, with the last posts showing up from early January 2023. The company’s blog has monthly posts, too.

Kip Blog

Our tester found the website very intuitive to use, with several buttons directing them to book a session, as well as find out more about the company’s goals. On the left side of the homepage, you’ll find a detailed menu guiding you to information about Kip's staff, the types of therapy it offers, fees, FAQs, testimonials, upcoming events and at-home learning classes, its mission, blog, training offerings for therapists, contact info, and booking form. All of these pages are incredibly informative, detailed, and transparent, which makes it easier for potential customers to feel comfortable with the services. Opinions on the ease of navigating Kip’s website were mixed among the users we surveyed. About half (45%) said it was easy or very easy to use. Just 10% of respondents found the site difficult to navigate, while 45% gave it a neutral rating. 

One feature that helps set Kip’s website apart is that a new client isn’t required to fill out a lengthy questionnaire to get started. You can choose which therapist will do your intake session, or the site will recommend one based on your answers to just a few simple questions. This requires a little more navigation, but makes the website experience feel informative and approachable, rather than pushing a visitor into answering probing questions and signing up before having a chance to research Kip. However, that open-ended format may make it a little more challenging for some users to find a therapist they like. Thirty percent of users said that looking for a therapist was neither easy nor difficult, while 34% rated the process as easy. In the end, though, 70% of users found a Kip provider who met all or most of their needs.  

Does Kip Therapy Have an App?

At this time, Kip Therapy does not have an app.

How Do You Sign Up for Therapy at Kip?

Signing up for a therapist through the website is fairly intuitive, with the company offering you an easy way to choose your therapist online and schedule a session. After you click the “Start here” or “Find your perfect therapist. On your own terms.” buttons on the website, you’ll be able to browse therapists and pick one, or select the type of therapy you need (by clicking “Book your consultation with one of our therapists here!” button) and choose from suggested therapists. Each therapist has provided a short bio about their work and the kinds of clients they generally see. However, their qualifications are not always listed on the booking page. Nonetheless, 44% of Kip users we surveyed said the sign-up process was easy, 33% said the process was neither easy nor difficult, and 23% found signing up challenging. 

Matching With a Therapist 

While the online booking page does not offer an in-depth description of each therapist, the “Therapists” page on the website showcases the 36 therapists employed at the company. Each therapist’s profile features their bio and availability to help you choose someone who fits your needs and schedule. Each therapist has described their own approach to mental healthcare, giving you a personal glimpse into their styles. The staff is diverse in terms of gender identity, sexual orientation, specialty, race, background, and training—and you can search for your therapist on the site by any of these categories. 

One of the things that is different about Kip is that it prioritizes education, so the practice provides training, education, and supervision for emerging psychotherapists, such as graduate student interns, post-graduate fellowships, and therapists seeking to get the clinical experience they need in order to qualify for full-time licensure.  As a result, some of its therapists are not yet fully licensed, but they charge less per session, as noted in the company’s sliding scale pricing. The company provides these therapists with foundational training, as well as training in specialized topics, such as gender and sexuality.

Once you select your therapist, you pick a time to meet with them on a calendar with their availability and pre-pay for your appointment. There’s also an intake form, which asks about your pronouns and experience with mental health treatment (whether you’ve seen a therapist before, etc.), and whether you have had thoughts of harming yourself. Some therapists’ intake forms also ask more detailed questions about topics like your overall health, race, sexuality, and what brings you to therapy. You also have to confirm that you live in New York State on all intake forms, as the company doesn’t work with patients outside of the state. Once you put in your credit card details, your appointment is confirmed. Of the users surveyed, 60% were satisfied with the therapist they were matched with, and 72% felt their therapist's qualifications were good to excellent.

Percentages

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at Kip?

Before you commit to weekly sessions with any of Kip’s therapists, you’re directed to set up a  consultation in order to find the best option for you. The consultation is a nice personal touch because these sessions replace the need to fill out a questionnaire, as you would with most online therapy services. It’s an easy, quick sign-up process that allows a new client to choose the therapist that they think could work for them without a huge time commitment. 

When our reviewer met with their therapist for an initial consultation, the therapist gave a detailed rundown of the company’s cancellation and privacy policies. The therapist asked thorough questions about what the tester was currently dealing with and what they hoped to get out of therapy. 

She also walked our tester through her own background, approach to therapeutic work, and how she had assisted past clients. 

Individual Sessions

If you and the therapist who did your consultation session agree the two of you are a good fit, you can schedule your weekly sessions with them. The scheduling process leaves something to be desired in terms of convenience. Kip only offers weekly sessions (bi-weekly or less frequent sessions are not currently available), but there is no way to reschedule your appointments online. Clients also have no way to directly contact their therapists between sessions. Instead, you have to go through Kip’s support system to alter your appointment schedule. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy at Kip is dedicated to specific topics and marginalized communities, such as queer men, transgender and gender-nonconforming folks, racial trauma, and BIPOC women’s empowerment. Each group program meets weekly for 12 weeks. 

Switching Therapists

Most users found switching therapists pretty simple, although Kip advises new clients to stick with their initial therapist for three to six sessions before requesting to see someone new. It’s a bit unclear if or how you can go about meeting with a new therapist immediately after the initial consultation. 

Although most Kip clients we surveyed were ultimately happy with the care they received, finding a therapist they liked was a bit more difficult compared to the process for users of other companies. Fifteen percent of users said it was very easy and 25% of users said it was easy to find a therapist they liked with Kip. By comparison, more than half of Growing Self clients said finding a therapist was very easy or easy. 

Twenty-six percent of users we surveyed said they had never switched therapists, 25% had switched once, and 25% had switched two or three times. The remaining quarter of users changed providers four or more times. Our tester found switching providers was pretty easy overall, but both they and survey respondents said that getting assigned to someone new can be a slow process. Thirty-one percent of surveyed clients said it took a few weeks to get a new therapist, a third said it took just a few days, and 19% said it took a week. Wait times vary widely, however, with 17% saying they were assigned someone new within a day. 

In order to switch therapists, you have to email customer support and wait for a response, which generally takes a few days, and have that awkward conversation with your current therapist so that you don’t schedule any new appointments. You can then choose a new therapist or work with customer support for their recommendations, and start over by scheduling a new consultation. 

What Happens If I Miss a Session at Kip?

You can book different time and day slots each week if you need to and your therapist has availability. That flexibility is helpful, but Kip has a strict attendance policy. 

Clients are allowed to miss or cancel just one session without penalty. After that first missed session, you will be charged the full session fee for any additional missed appointments. That fee can be avoided by rescheduling for a different time the same week, but that means going through the clunky process of contacting customer support. 

How Do I Cancel Therapy at Kip?

You are free to cancel therapy and stop future sessions at any time without additional charges, after a conversation with your therapist. The Kip therapist our tester worked with asked why they were canceling, but did not pressure them to continue. 

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

Percentages

Kip’s sliding scale costs are possible because it employs therapists of varying skill levels. But users, including our tester, were generally happy with the quality of care they received, regardless of the tier of therapist they worked with. Seventy percent of clients we surveyed said that most or all of their needs were met by their Kip providers. 

Our survey respondents said that the quality of the therapists at Kip were among the reasons they chose to work with the company, and 71% said the therapists were well-qualified. Kip’s therapists are more qualified, experienced, or have more specialized training than providers at other companies, according to 38% of survey respondents. Eighty-three percent of users also said that Kip therapy was better than other services they had tried. 

Our own tester tried working with both a Tier II and Tier III therapist and was generally impressed with each. At 45 minutes each, the tester felt that sessions provided plenty of time to discuss their issues. Both therapists deftly handled issues like family trauma, anxiety and depression and were active, non-judgmental listeners. 

While each therapist was easy to talk to and knowledgeable, our reviewer said the Tier III provider was quicker to recognize patterns and connections in the client’s past and present issues. The higher-tier therapist was also more focused on problem-solving, rather than simply discussing our tester’s issues. The trade-off, however, was that contacting and rescheduling with the Tier III therapist was more challenging. But once a session started, this therapist was attentive and provided “impeccable” service, our tester said. 

Kip strives to ensure that everyone on its staff is well-qualified and has manageable caseloads so they can give consistent, personal care to each client. Kip does this through a vetting process that involves professional references, an interview, and license or certification verification, the company said in response to our survey. Each newly hired therapist also has to complete an internal training program. As an education-focused practice, Kip also has weekly staff meetings where therapists discuss their techniques, giving them an opportunity to learn from and offer feedback to one another. 

Privacy Policies

Kip’s privacy policy is not posted as prominently on its website as similar policies are on competitors’ sites. Under “Fees & Policies,” the company states that “confidentiality is one of the most important parts of building a strong relationship between client and therapist” and that it only breaks confidentiality if a client is suicidal, homicidal, or if child abuse or neglect is suspected, as is required by law.

On its “Current Clients” page, you can view a Google form outlining Kip's practice policies, including your rights to privacy under HIPAA, which you will sign prior to beginning treatment. In these policies, the company outlines its legal confidentiality requirements. Clients are asked to sign a standard informed consent form, as well as a consent to record form. Kip therapists ask clients to allow their therapy sessions to be recorded for the provider to review. Recordings can be accessed only by Kip staff and may be used to improve your treatment or in staff training and development.  However, you have the option to decline to have your sessions recorded when you sign this form. These records—and any other health records the company creates about you—cannot be used or shared without your permission unless federal privacy rules and regulations allow it. Nothing in your file will be used for marketing purposes. 

Kip Therapy vs. Its Competitors

Kip Therapy has a few key competitors in the mental health space, the biggest being BetterHelp and Talkspace. One major difference with Kip is that it only serves New York residents, while Betterhelp and Talkspace serve all of the U.S. 

Founded in 2012, Talkspace offers clients easy access to an expert therapist of their choice through messaging or live video sessions. To keep things affordable, it has several different subscription plans with tiered pricing, starting at $65 a week for a once-a-week live video session, plus messaging. Kip, on the other hand, does not offer subscriptions or messaging for the same starting price, which might be frustrating for lower-income households or those who prefer to message instead of speak for either physical or emotional reasons. 

BetterHelp says it employs more than 14,000 licensed therapists and serves almost 2 million clients. It offers an all-inclusive subscription, which, considering what it offers—live video, audio, or chat-based therapy, and messaging—is more affordable than many of its competitors, including Talkspace. As Kip is a relatively newer company, it offers only 36 therapists, but all of them have been vetted and come with a variety of experience levels, with education and experience being the company’s highest priorities. Kip’s staff is also much more diverse, and the company focuses more on inclusivity and cultural sensitivity. One could argue that Kip is a smaller service, but offers a higher quality of services overall, since the therapists have been vetted more carefully.

Our survey results were mixed regarding the companies, however. While the majority of users said they were happy with the services they’d received, just 31% said they were likely to still be seeing a Kip therapist in a year. However, 54% said they would recommend Kip to someone else. By comparison, 77% of BetterHelp users said they would suggest it to someone else. Eighty-two percent of Talkspace users said they would recommend the service. Forty-two percent of each Talkspace and BetterHelp users felt they would still be using the services in a year. 

Final Verdict

If you live in New York and you’re looking for a diverse, culturally sensitive therapy practice for you, you and your partner, or your family, Kip might be a good choice, but only if you can afford the steep monthly prices without insurance. It has a diverse stable of qualified therapists, but lacks the flexibility that makes online therapy platforms so attractive to many users. Becoming a Kip patient requires committing to weekly live sessions, which may not work for everyone's budget and/or schedule. Kip doesn’t give clients the ability to reach their therapists easily outside scheduled appointments. It can also be hard to get in touch with customer support to cancel or reschedule sessions, which clients may find frustrating, especially since Kip has a pretty strict cancellation policy.  

Overall, however, the quality of the therapists is excellent, and Kip does offer a sliding scale for therapy, so you can pick someone who is more affordable to you. Our tester said they would highly recommend Kip to a friend, provided they could afford the cost. They were impressed by how educated, compassionate, and non-judgmental the Kip therapists they spoke to were. The reviewer especially appreciated that Kip therapists succinctly helped them find practical ways to address their concerns. However, the tester admits that the inflexible weekly commitment may not work for some people.

Methodology

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 the following factors: website usability, the sign-up and therapist matching processes, therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, the service's quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, average cost and value for money, whether it accepts insurance, how easy it is to change therapists, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood that clients would recommend them.

We also signed up for the companies in order to get a sense of how this process worked, how easy to use the platform is, and how therapy takes place at the company. Then, we interviewed two therapists we found who either currently work or worked for this company in the past and worked with three subject matter experts to get their expert analysis on how suited this company is to provide quality care to therapy seekers. 

2 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. Semega J, Kollar M. Income in the United States: 2021. U.S. Census Bureau.

  2. Lee Badgett MV, Choi SK, Wilson BDM. LGBT poverty in the United States. UCLA School of Law Williams Institute.

By Natalie A Rahhal
Natalie Rahhal is a journalist with eight years of experience covering primarily health and science, including as U.S. health editor for the Daily Mail.

Edited by
Simone Scully,
simone-scully-verywell

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

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April McCormick,
April McCormick

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

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and
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.

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