Kip Online Therapy Review

Diverse, culturally sensitive online therapy for New York Residents

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Kip
Verywell's Rating
3.8

Though more expensive than the average company we reviewed—and only available in New York—Kip provides culturally competent therapy, classes, and other resources to individuals, couples, families, and groups.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Provides individual therapy for young people and adults

  • Highly qualified staff

  • Provides couples, family, and group therapy

  • Offers unique online classes

  • Well designed, informative website

  • Inclusive, culturally relevant care

  • You can choose your therapist

  • Sessions are 45 minutes

  • Can usually book a session same or next day

  • Offers sliding scale pricing

Cons
  • Prices are more expensive than competitors

  • No subscription plans offered

  • Small text on website may be difficult for some to read

  • No text-based therapy options

  • Does not accept insurance

  • No free consultations

  • Serves New York only

Key Facts
Price
$95 to $250 per session
Is Insurance Accepted?
No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement
Communication Options
Audio, Video Chat
HIPPA Compliant?
N/A
Is There an App?
No
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
No
Why Trust Us
33
Companies reviewed
3,497
Total users surveyed
300
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 100 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we conducted comprehensive research with a psychotherapist.

In 2013, Ryan Kull, an educator, researcher, and therapist with over 20 years of experience focused on sexual orientation and gender identity issues, developed a different kind of mental health clinic: one that would actively work to combat stigma in the mental health field and focus on providing care to communities that have traditionally been underserved or misunderstood in psychotherapy. 

He founded Kip—and for years the company operated as a traditional, brick-and-mortar therapy practice with a diverse staff. But, in March of 2020, the pandemic forced its offices to close, so the practice moved its services online so it could continue to serve those in need. 

Kip did not respond to our questionnaire, despite multiple attempts to contact the company. This hindered our ability to gain as much insight into Kip and its goals as we were able to with some of its competitors. We had to rely exclusively on user survey data in order to assess the company. Keep reading to see how Kip stacks up against its online therapy competition.


First Impressions and Sign-up Process 

Arriving on the Kip homepage, you’re greeted by the words, “Helping you find your place in the world,” below which you can read a short description of the company’s values and mission as a therapy practice and an invitation to learn more. The fact that you don’t immediately see a button telling you to sign-up is refreshing and inviting, especially since most of its competition does exactly the opposite. 

Kip Homepage

At the top of the page you’ll see an image with the words “We are online!” and if you click on the white button, you can begin the signup consultation process. 

Scrolling down, you’ll find more information about the company’s values of identity and inclusion, how it encourages ongoing learning, its upcoming groups, and links to its staff bios and blog. The footer of the page lists the company’s address, contact email, and links to its social media pages on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These pages, which don’t have huge followings, were updated relatively frequently for a while, but the last posts were made in July 2021. The company’s blog, however, has been updated more recently (as of September 2021). 

Overall, Kip’s website is modern and intuitively laid out. On the left side of the homepage, you’ll find a detailed menu guiding you to information about its staff, the types of therapy it offers, fees, FAQs, testimonials, upcoming events and at-home learning classes, its mission, blog, 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. 

The only thing that isn’t immediately clear from the website or FAQ page is that even though the company offers online therapy, its therapists are only licensed to treat patients in New York state unless clients live in a state that allows for waivers or out-of-state teletherapy. We only obtained this information in response to an email we sent the company seeking clarification. 

Seventy-eight percent of the users surveyed reported that they either had a very good or excellent experience signing up for Kip.

To begin, you schedule an intake session with a Kip Therapist online. These intake sessions are 45 minutes long—the same length as a session—and take place with a therapist of your choice. All available therapists will have their bios and photos listed when you book the session online.

Kip Booking

This intake process is a nice personal touch because these sessions replace the need to fill out a questionnaire, as you would with most online therapy services, and are much longer than intake sessions at companies that do offer them.

However, the intake session does cost a small fee ($25). 

Cost

Kip doesn’t offer a monthly subscription, as many online therapy companies do. Instead, Kip’s pricing structure is set up like a traditional, in-office practice: You pay for each session you book with your therapist and pay at the time of your session. 

While this means that you aren’t locked into a monthly commitment or a set number of sessions per month, it also means that prices are more expensive than many of the online therapy companies we reviewed, especially if you schedule weekly sessions.  

Kip's Prices Compared to Other Therapy Options

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 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 2019 in the United States was $68,703. 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 cater its services towards, especially since the company is not in-network with any insurance company and does not offer financial aid.

What Are Kip’s Prices?

Kip’s prices are tiered, and the price you pay depends on the qualifications of your therapist:

  • Tier I: Sessions are with a graduate intern and cost $95 per session.
  • Tier II: Sessions are with a postgraduate fellow and cost $150 per session.
  • Tier III: Sessions are with an advanced practitioner and cost $170 per session.
  • Tier IV: Sessions are with a senior clinician and cost $195-225 per session. 

When booking weekly sessions (which the company requires), your prices could range from $300 to $700 a month, which is considerably more expensive than most of the online therapy companies we reviewed. 

Is There a Free Trial?

No. As mentioned, you pay a fee even for your intake consultation session. 

Does Kip Accept Insurance?

Kip does not accept health insurance. However, the company will provide you with a receipt if you request one and you can use that to seek out-of-network reimbursement from your insurance company. 

Of the users we surveyed, 89% said that they did receive at least some financial reimbursement from their insurance company for services. The average amount they spent per month out-of-pocket was $237 per month.

Can You Change or Cancel a Session?

The advantage of booking weekly sessions is that it should allow more flexibility as to when and how often you see your therapist. 

However, according to the company’s policies, the company is pretty strict about attendance. It allows you to cancel or miss one appointment each quarter without charge. If you miss or cancel more than one session, you will be charged the full fee. 

You can contact your therapist before the session to see if they’re able to reschedule, however—and this won’t result in a fee. 

Are There Discounts Available?

There are no discounts or financial aid available.

Ease of Use

All sessions at Kip take place in live-time; there is no option to message with your therapist, which might be disappointing to users who have social anxiety, experience sensory processing differences, use augmentative and alternative communication, need to avoid being overheard, or prefer typing over talking.

Sessions at Kip take place via:

  • Video call
  • Phone call
  • In-person in New York City

Note that as of September 2021, the offices are closed due to the pandemic so in-person sessions are currently not an option. 

Seventy-four percent of the users we surveyed said that both the audio and video chat quality was either very good or excellent. 

You schedule your next session directly with your therapist at the end of your current session—though the support team is always available if you have any scheduling issues or want to switch therapists. 

Seventy-five percent of users said it was very easy or easy to switch therapists—though the company does advise you to try at least three to six sessions before switching. If you still want to switch, though, they will work with you to find someone new. 

Therapists' Qualifications and Quality of Care

Seventy-nine percent of the users who chose Kip said that therapists' qualifications were an important reason for their decision.

Seventy-nine percent of surveyed users said their therapists' qualifications were either very good or excellent. 


As of time of writing September 2021, the Kip website displays are 40 therapists employed at the company, all with their bios and availability posted for new patients to read before picking who they want to work with. 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 full-time licensure qualifying experience. 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 foundational training as well as training in specialized topics, such as gender and sexuality. 

The company also says that it works to ensure that its staff has manageable caseloads so they can give each client the individualized care they need. It also emphasizes the need for its practice to operate as a team, so every week, the therapists meet to discuss techniques and strategies to help each other best serve their clients. 

According to our survey, it does look like Kip users switch therapists at least a few times before finding the right match because only 7% said they met with only one therapist. Thirty-eight percent of current users said they have seen two therapists at Kip, 35% reported they have seen three therapists, and 23% met with four or more.  

Types of Therapy Offered

Kip therapy offers individual talk therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. 

The company does not offer psychiatric services or medication management though, but some of the topics addressed in talk therapy include: 

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

Group therapy is dedicated to specific topics or geared towards specific communities—such as support for queer men, transgender and gender-nonconforming folks, racial trauma support, and BIPOC women’s empowerment—and each one meets weekly for 12 weeks.

Privacy Policies

Unlike many of its competitors, Kip does not have a privacy policy page on its website. 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. 

However, on its “Current Clients” page, you can view a google form outlining its 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. It also notes that records are kept of each session but that you have a right to request these records if you wish. These records—and any other health records the company creates about you—cannot be used or shared unless federal privacy rules and regulations allow it without your permission. Nothing in your file will be used for marketing purposes. 

On this page, you will also find a copy of the consent form which you will need to sign to allow your therapist to record your sessions. This form outlines that the recording is done solely for advancing and improving your mental health treatment, professional education, training, and research—and that these recordings can only be accessed by Kip staff. The document states, however, that you have the right to request the recording be turned off at any point and deleted whenever you wish. 

One thing that is unclear in Kip’s various policies and documents, however, is how any electronic records are encrypted and protected from hackers. The website does not provide any information about how it protects this information. 

It is also worth noting that the website does not list emergency resources on its website for people in crisis, as most online therapy companies do. 

Overall Client Satisfaction

Seventy-five percent of the Kip clients we surveyed said the services they received were very good or excellent and 76% said the value of the company was very good or excellent for the price. 

Seventy-six percent of users who had used other online therapy services said that Kip Therapy was better or much better than their previous online service.

Kip’s clients seem to be a mix of old and new. Thirty-seven percent had been with the company less than six months, while 43% had been with company six months to a year, and 42% had been with the company over a year. In addition, 84% said they were likely or very likely to still be seeing a therapist at Kip a year from now.

Eighty-eight percent said they were likely or very likely to recommend someone like them to Kip

Is Kip Right For You?

Kip prides itself in being a therapy practice that is inclusive, diverse, and dedicated to combating racism, homophobia, transphobia, and any other forms of oppression. Its therapists come from a variety of different backgrounds themselves and are trained to be culturally sensitive. As a result, it's very likely that you might find Kip to be helpful to you if you live in New York state, regardless of your background, especially since the practice offers not just individual therapy, but couples, family, and group therapy as well. 

However, as noted above, Kip’s services are not the most affordable, so it’s very likely that you may not be able to afford its steep fees, even if you’re part of the very communities Kip says it aims to serve. While the practice does offer therapy to families and teenagers with parental consent, it doesn’t offer therapy for kids. 

In addition, since it doesn’t offer message-based therapy and all sessions take place during the day, it may be a fit for you if you work conventional hours. Kip is also not an emergency service, so it is not the right fit for anyone in crisis, struggling with suicidal thoughts or in need of inpatient care. 

Kip vs. Growing Self

Kip and Growing Self are both companies that began as in-person therapy practices and later moved online, only Kip still focuses on New York residents, while Growing Self now sees clients all across the country.

Both are relatively similar in size: Kip has a staff of 40, while Growing Self has 45 therapists on staff and both companies offer individual, couples, family, and group sessions. Kip’s staff are much more diverse, though, and the company focuses more on inclusivity and cultural sensitivity.

Website Comparison: Kip vs Growing Self

Both Kip and Growing Self have highly trained staff, while still providing educational opportunities for therapists in training, and both offer tiered per-session pricing, rather than a subscription:

  • Kip charges $75 to $175 per session depending on the education level and experience of the therapist.
  • Growing Self charges $55 to $150 per session, again, depending on the tier of therapist you select.

Neither company accepts health insurance, but both can provide a receipt if you want to seek reimbursement from your insurance provider. 

Our survey results were mixed regarding the two companies. Seventy-five percent of Kip users said the services they received were very good or excellent, beating Growing Self, where only 62% said the same.

In addition, 84% of Kip users said they were likely or very likely to still be seeing a therapist at the company in a year compared to 81% at Growing Self.

However, 88% of Growing Self clients said they were likely or very likely to refer someone to the company compared to only 83% at Kip. And 80% of Growing Self users that had tried therapy elsewhere said the services were either better or much than others they’d tried, compared to 76% at Kip. 

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. Plus, the company doesn’t offer the flexibility that some of its competitors do—becoming a patient entails committing to weekly live sessions, which may not work for everyone's budgets and/or schedules.

Methodology

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy companies is comprehensive and data-driven. As mentioned, we sent questionnaires to 33 companies and surveyed 100 current users of each in order to gather 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. 

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. Bureau UC. Income and poverty in the united states: 2019. The United States Census Bureau.

  2. Badgett MVL, Kyu Choi S, Wilson BDM. LGBT Poverty in the United States. University of California Los Angeles, 2018.

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

Edited by
Simone Scully
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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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