Best No-Subscription Therapy Services

Talkiatry is the best no-subscription therapy service

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Online therapy has made accessing therapy more equitable because patients don’t have to deal with barriers like transportation issues or social stigmas. That said, online therapy is often only accessible by signing up for a subscription, which means you pay a regular fee whether you use the service or not, and you are more committed to regular therapy appointments. Some people prefer no-subscription online therapy so they don’t have to commit to a set number of therapy sessions, and can cancel anytime.

It can take a lot of time and energy to evaluate pay-per-session live therapy options and find one that fits into your life and actually betters your mental health. Factors like therapist availability, session cost, and types of therapy offered will all play a part. We’ve done the work for you so you don’t have to spend weeks jumping down rabbit holes in an endless search for the right no-subscription online therapy service. Here are the companies we evaluated that came out on top. 

Best No-Subscription Therapy Services of 2023

Why Trust Us
55
Companies reviewed
5,775
Total users surveyed
350
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.

Best for Psychiatry : Talkiatry


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

Talkiatry treats a wide variety of mental health conditions by offering an approach that combines therapy and medication management.

Pros & Cons
Pros
Cons
  • Only accepts insurance

  • Not yet available in all 50 states

  • Doesn’t accept Medicaid

Overview

Talkiatry specializes in treating a number of mental health conditions, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) via a treatment plan that can include medication and therapy. Talkiatry accepts both children as young as 5 years old and adults who need therapy and psychiatry services (though it doesn’t have stand-alone therapy). As one of the biggest psychiatric practices in the U.S., it offers patients access to over 400 board-certified psychiatrists. The website also offers comprehensive bios for each psychiatrist.

To get started, you fill out a free, brief assessment to determine if Talkiatry is right for your mental health needs. Clients can use the Healow app (available in both the Apple app store and the Google Play store) to book appointments, message their provider (they can expect to hear back in 48 hours), view their health records, and attend televisits. Initial appointments run 60 minutes and follow-up sessions are 30 minutes long.

Plans & Pricing 

Prices will depend on your insurance plan and coverage. You can use Talkiatry’s filtering tool to see if the company accepts your insurance. Talkiatry doesn’t accept Medicaid, but does take on Medicare patients.

There are no free consultations, but free assessments are offered.

User Satisfaction

Of the users we surveyed, 86% said therapist qualifications was one of their top two reasons for choosing an online therapy service and 87% said the type of therapy was one of their top two reasons. Eight-nine percent rated Talkiatry’s medication or psychiatry services as excellent, very good, or good.  

Best for Medication Management : Array Behavioral Care


  • Price: $75-$275
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Children's Therapy, Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Array Behavioral Care offers talk therapy, psychiatric assessments, and medication management plans. Patients can use accepted insurance or pay out of pocket.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, therapists, counselors, and psychologists available

  • Offers talk therapy, psychiatric assessments, and medication management

  • Available in all 50 states and DC

Cons
  • No free consultations

  • No free assessments

Overview

Array Behavioral Care is a triple threat—it offers talk therapy, psychiatric assessments, and medication management. Medication management can be tricky because it often takes trial and error to get a prescription right. It isn’t only a matter of prescribing the right medication but also the right dosage. At Array, patients can choose from either psychiatrists or psychiatric nurse practitioners to help them figure out the right medication solution for them.  

Clinicians at Array treat many mental health issues, including (but not limited to) anxiety, depression, trauma (includes racial trauma), substance use disorder, relationship issues (includes family/parenting issues), grief and loss, and LGBTQIA+ mental health. Once you fill out online registration forms, Array will contact you to find a good provider fit and convenient appointment time. Patients can use their insurance or pay out of pocket (self-pay rates are less expensive with a psychiatric nurse practitioner vs. a psychiatrist).  

Plans & Pricing 

Array Behavioral Care says it takes most insurance plans (covering more than 87 million Americans). You can look here to learn if Array accepts your insurance. No free consultations and no free assessments are offered.

User Satisfaction  

Sixty-nine percent of user respondents rated Array’s psychiatry and medication management services as excellent, very good, and good. However, just 33% said the company was responsive to their questions and medication needs. 

Best for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC Communities : Kip Therapy


  • 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
Why We Chose It 

Kip Therapy employs a diverse team of therapists and treats many common mental health issues.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Sliding fee scale

  • Diverse therapists

  • Slots open for discounted therapy sessions

  • Many services reimbursable with out-of-network mental/behavioral health coverage

Cons
  • Free consultations only with select therapists

  • Does not accept insurance

  • Only available in New York state

  • Clients charged if they cancel or miss more than one appointment per quarter

Overview

Kip Therapy has a diverse group of therapists who can connect with your experience, whether you’re looking for someone who understands your identity as a queer person or who is from a racially marginalized group. Its therapists treat a number of common mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance use, identity issues, and eating disorders.  

You can sort through Kip’s directory of therapists and choose the one that’s the best fit for you and is available to meet when your schedule allows. You will need to fill out a brief questionnaire so your therapist can learn about you before your first session. Each session lasts 45 minutes.  

Practitioners are sorted into three cost tiers, so patients can choose the therapist that makes the most financial sense for them. Kip also has options for people experiencing financial difficulties or if they belong to a group that “has historically been excluded from mainstream therapy.” If you fit one of these two descriptions, you’re eligible to meet with Kip’s emerging therapists with sessions priced lower than its standard rates. 

Plans & Pricing 

Per-session prices range from $65 to $225 for individual therapy, and $200 to $250 for couples and adolescent therapy. Kip does not accept insurance, but can provide you with a receipt to request reimbursement. Free consultations are only available with select Tier I therapists; initial consultations with tier II and III providers are $25.

User Satisfaction  

Seventy-three percent of Kip Therapy users surveyed listed therapist identity as one of the top two qualities they were looking for in an online therapy company, and 69% rated its therapist diversity as excellent, very good, or good. Additionally, 71% of users rated Kip’s therapist qualifications positively, and 70% said their provider met all or most of their needs. 

Best With Insurance : Teladoc Health


  • Price: $99 per therapy session, $209 for initial psychiatry appointment and $109 per follow-up
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes. 60 different insurance plans accepted
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Most insurance companies cover Teladoc, so mental health visits with the company can be as low as $0, depending on your plan.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accepts most insurance companies

  • Medication management

  • Offers appointments seven days a week

Cons
  • Can’t prescribe controlled substances or medications for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia

  • No-shows or cancellations with less than 24 hours notice may incur a fee ($50)

  • No free consultations

Overview

Cost is often a prohibitive barrier to accessing therapy, so it helps that Teladoc lessens some of the financial burden by accepting most insurance plans. While you don’t need insurance to use Teladoc, if you have insurance, you may pay nothing out of pocket for mental health visits. 

Teladoc has 20 years of experience working with patients to address issues like anxiety, stress, depression, relationship conflicts, trauma and PTSD, and mood swings. It also offers marriage and couples counseling, and has psychiatrists on board to assist with medication management. 

It’s easy to get started with Teladoc. First, you set up an account.. After that, you fill out a questionnaire to be matched with three to four therapists. Once you pick a therapist from that list, you can view their calendar and choose an appointment time that works for you. The therapist will either accept or decline your chosen appointment time. But most patients get an appointment in about two days. You also don’t have to worry about having to schedule a visit during business hours, as Teladoc offers appointments seven days a week. 

Plans & Pricing 

Session costs for therapist visits range from $0 to $99. Most major insurance companies cover Teladoc. For eligible plans, Teladoc accepts payment via your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA). Teladoc works with many Medicare Advantage and Medicaid-managed care plans but doesn’t accept Medicare or Medicaid fee-for-service plans. Teladoc doesn’t offer free consultations.

User Satisfaction  

Teladoc is one of the highest rated online therapy companies in our survey, with 97% of users reporting a positive overall experience, and 94% rating therapist qualifications positively. Eighty-six percent of Teladoc users surveyed said their insurance helped them pay for services and 75% said cost was one of the top two reasons they chose Teladoc. 

Best With Therapist-Client Matching : Two Chairs Online Therapy


  • Price: $205/ session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It 

Two Chairs is intentional and methodical about finding the right therapist match for patients.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Matches clients with therapist using a licensed matching expert

  • Over 200 licensed therapists

  • Can pay with FSA/HSA if affiliated with major credit card

Cons
  • Out of network with most insurance companies

  • Matching appointment costs extra

  • Only available in California and Washington state

Overview

Finding the right therapist can be the most difficult part of starting therapy. To make the process easier, at Two Chairs, a licensed matching expert spends 45 minutes asking targeted questions to find the best possible therapist for you. After one to two weeks, clients you'll have your first therapy session. The extra step appears to do the job: According to Two Chairs, 98% of its clients find the right therapist on the first try. However, the matching session does cost $179, which is on par with an actual therapy session.

Two Chairs has a team of over 200 licensed therapists that include licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed marriage and family therapists. Collectively, they practice over 32 therapy modalities and have experience in over 90 combined areas of clinical expertise. One-quarter speak multiple languages, and 45% are BIPOC. This wide range of experience, expertise, and identity, in addition to Two Chairs’ process for matching clients with a therapist, may help increase the likelihood that you’ll find a therapist who works for you right out of the gate.

Plans & Pricing 

Your initial matching appointment is $179, and each subsequent therapy session is $205. Two Chairs is in-network for Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Washington members. It accepts FSA/HSA dollars if your FSA/HSA card is affiliated with a major credit card. No free consultation or assessment is offered. 

User Satisfaction  

Seventy-five percent of users rated Two Chairs as excellent, very good, or good and 77% said all or most of their needs were met by the provider they had. Only 6% said the process of finding a therapist was very difficult or difficult. 

Most Affordable Option : Open Path Collective


Why We Chose It 

Open Path Collective is a directory of therapists who offer therapy sessions on a sliding fee scale well below market therapy rates.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Available in all 50 states and Canada

  • Session costs much lower than market average

  • Accepts insurance

Cons
  • Must pay lifetime membership fee

  • Must directly contact therapist to schedule appointments

  • No psychiatrists available; cannot prescribe medication

Overview

One of the primary reasons people give for why they don’t pursue mental health services is that the cost is prohibitive. As a nonprofit, Open Path Collective offers therapy sessions well below the market rate, with visits ranging from $30 to $60 for individuals and $30 to $80 for couples and family counseling. Patients must also pay a flat fee of $59 for a lifetime membership, which grants them access to any therapist within the organization and the option to return to therapy at Open Path even if they take a break. 

People who can’t afford market therapy rates, are uninsured or underinsured (meaning their in-network mental health insurance benefits aren’t affordable), and make an annual household income under $100,000 per year are eligible for Open Path’s services.

Plans & Pricing 

Session costs range from $30 and up. Open Path therapists will not submit to an insurance company on your behalf or provide you with a superbill, but some accept HSA or FSA payment. The availability of free consultations depends on the therapist. 

User Satisfaction  

Ninety percent of our users rated their experience with Open Path Collective as very good or good and 74% said they felt they found a therapist that met all of their needs. Further, 71% of users found the process of looking for a therapist easy or very easy.

Best Directory : National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network


Why We Chose It 

The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network directory makes the process of finding a QTIBIPOC therapist much simpler.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • QTIBIPOC therapists

  • Sliding fee scale available

  • Comprehensive therapist bios

Cons
  • Not all therapists accept insurance

  • Not all therapists offer services beyond individual therapy

Overview

The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is committed to “transforming mental health for queer and trans people of color.” You can search its directory for over 300 mental health practitioners who belong to the QTIBIPOC community. Therapists listed are licensed or pre-licensed and work in agencies, community-based clinics, and private practices. 

The easiest way to start finding therapists in the directory is to enter your zip code. You can filter your search to find out if a therapist is accepting new patients, offers telehealth, and has a sliding scale rate. Each therapist bio is comprehensive and includes the practitioner’s phone number, email address, therapeutic approaches, languages spoken, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other helpful details. 

To learn what types of therapy a therapist offers and if they provide free consultations, you’ll need to consult their bio or contact them directly, as there is not a search filter for that.   

In addition to its directory, NQTTCN also has a Mental Health Fund to provide financial support for QTBIPOC people for therapy sessions both with QTBIPOC and non-QTBIPOC practitioners. 

Plans & Pricing 

The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network’s therapists offer sliding scale rates, but you’ll need to consult each therapist to see what their rate is.

Insurance is accepted on an individual therapist basis, as are free consultations and assessments.

User Satisfaction  

Eighty-four percent of our users rated their overall experience using the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network as very good or good, while 42% said finding a therapist with a similar identity or cultural background as them was an important factor when looking for therapy. In addition, 74% of users said the process of finding a therapist was easy or very easy.

Best for Kids : Little Otter


  • Price: $90 for a 30-minute “Welcome Session”, $200 for one 45-minute sessions
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Children's Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Little Otter takes a “whole family” approach to better the mental health of families. It offers not only children’s therapy, but also coaching support to parents.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers resources to parents, not just kids

  • Free online child and family mental health assessment

  • Medication management available

Cons
  • Only accepts Kaiser Permanente insurance

  • Doesn’t accept Medicaid or Medicare

  • Not available nationwide

Overview

Little Otter's therapists improve the mental health of children from 0 to 14 years old, while its parent specialists educate and empower parents with tools and coaching to help their kids, too. And, it has child psychiatrists that can provide psychiatric evaluations and medication management.

To get started, take a short quiz that asks about your family, its current challenges, and any worries and goals you have. Then, you’ll receive a personalized mental health check-up report that provides perspective on your family’s problems and potential solutions. Afterward, you can schedule a $90 welcome session with a clinician to get support for your child.

Little Otter has a team of experts that will create a customized care plan to help address the mental health challenges your child is experiencing. The Little Otter app allows users to keep track of their progress and provides reports and helpful resources. 

Plans & Pricing 

Here’s how Little Otter’s pricing breaks down:

  • Welcome session: $90
  • Single session: $200
  • Assessment bundle: $540; includes 90-minute assessment and one standard therapy session ($20 savings per session)
  • 12-session bundle: $2,040 ($30 savings per session)

Little Otter is currently only in-network with Kaiser Permanente members, and only accepts Medicaid for clients who are pre-authorized via Kaiser. It doesn’t accept Medicare, as Little Otter only sees patients 0 to 14 years old. It offers free consultations with non-clinical providers.

User Satisfaction   

Eighty-one percent of survey respondents said Little Otter’s services were better or much better than similar services they’d used in the past, and 79% rated their therapist’s qualifications as good, very good, or excellent. Seventy-five percent of users rated Little Otter’s medication management and psychiatry services as good to excellent, but only 54% said Little Otter was affordable or very affordable. 

Compare the Best No-Subscription Therapy Services of 2023

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Talkiatry Best for Psychiatry Depends on your insurance Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Video Chat Learn More
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Array Behavioral Care Best for Medication Management $75-$275 Yes No Children's Therapy, Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Video Chat Learn More
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Kip Therapy Best for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC Communities $95 to $250 per session No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement No Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Teladoc Health Best With Insurance $99 per therapy session, $209 for initial psychiatry appointment and $109 per follow-up Yes. 60 different insurance plans accepted Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Two Chairs Online Therapy Best With Therapist-Client Matching $205/ session Yes Yes Individual Therapy Video Chat Learn More
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Open Path Collective Most Affordable Option N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network Best Directory N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Little Otter Best for Kids $90 for a 30-minute “Welcome Session”, $200 for one 45-minute sessions Yes No Children's Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Teen Counseling Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Final Verdict

While all the companies we surveyed offer many options for different patients and lifestyles, we chose Talkiatry as best overall because it offers the flexibility of therapy coupled with psychiatry and medication management services. Talkiatry is in-network with every major insurer and patients can choose from over 300 board-certified psychiatrists. The company is also equipped to treat many common mental illnesses and prescribes even controlled substances (while monitoring dosage so they don’t become habit-forming but still are effective).

Two Chairs also stands out because of its quality therapist-client matching service. No other company we looked at spends as much time and care ensuring patients are set up with the right therapist the first time. Its therapists come from a diversity of backgrounds, speak multiple languages, and draw from many therapy approaches, so they’re able to connect with patients of differing identities and walks of life. 

Guide to Choosing the Best No-Subscription Therapy Services

What Is Online Therapy?

Online therapy is exactly what it sounds like—therapy conducted via an online platform. It may also be called teletherapy, telemental health, or telehealth. Use of online therapy exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were choosing to avoid exposure risk by staying home. But its accessiblility benefits extend far behind the pandemic. 

“It [online therapy] can be helpful to people living in rural areas, those with transportation issues or childcare issues, those who want the privacy of not being seen in a clinic waiting room, or those who simply prefer to receive services from home,” says licensed clinical psychologist Amy Marschall, PsyD

What Is No-Subscription Online Therapy? 

No-subscription online therapy gives patients the option of paying for sessions one at a time, without being locked into a subscription or committing to a certain number of therapy sessions over a period of time. This is unlike some well-known online therapy companies, such as BetterHelp and Talkspace, which require you to sign up for a monthly subscription to access therapy sessions as well as the rest of their services.  

What Are the Benefits of No-Subscription Online Therapy? 

Traditionally, therapists don’t tend to offer subscriptions for therapy sessions, says Marschall. This is because there are ethical concerns when it comes to subscription therapy, like clients paying for sessions they might not want or need or feeling like they have to see their therapist until the end of the subscription, even if they feel ready to stop. 

Subscription plans also tend to require a specific session length and frequency, which might not work for every client, explains Marschall. Before the time of subscription online therapy, a therapist’s treatment plan, which includes the length and frequency of sessions, was based on specific client needs rather than what is dictated by a company’s subscription plans. Marschall says the main advantage she’s seen discussed when it comes to subscription therapy is that it is more cost-effective. However, many subscriptions end up being more expensive than a standard copay, if your insurance covers your therapy. Insurance plans typically don’t cover subscription costs. 

On the other hand, a disadvantage to no-subscription therapy is that it can be more difficult to be consistent because you can cancel at any time. “Knowing in advance that you are paying for a service may incentivize someone to continue with counseling, and serve as an encouragement to remain committed to the process,” says Verywell Mind subject matter expert Nic Hardy, PhD, LCSW.  

Is Online Therapy Covered by Insurance? 

Every insurance company and plan is different so you’ll have to dig into your particular situation to find out if your insurance covers online therapy. However, most plans began offering telehealth sessions in March or April of 2020 and are continuing this, says Marschall. She recommends calling your insurance provider to ensure you have coverage for a particular service if that’s a necessity for you to afford online therapy.

Is It Easier to Switch Therapists With No-Subscription Online Therapy?

This also depends on the company. For example, Two Chairs doesn’t charge its users to rematch with a new therapist if their therapy needs have changed. The majority of users we surveyed said it was very easy or easy to switch therapists. The bottom line is clients always have the right to change providers for any reason, Marschall explains. It can be helpful to ask how many therapists a company has to ensure there are enough options if you want to switch.

Compare the Best No-Subscription Therapy Services 

While no-subscription therapy has plenty of benefits in general, you’ll want to be aware of some key factors when choosing a specific service.

Platforms

Therapists have an obligation to use online therapy platforms that comply with HIPAA, but many companies that offer online therapy do not guarantee HIPAA compliance, says Marschall. You can look on the company’s website (sometimes HIPAA compliance is covered in the FAQ section) or contact the company directly to ask if it’s HIPAA compliant to cut out any guesswork.

Cost

You’ll want to see if the cost per session fits into your budget. Some companies have lower session costs than market therapy rates, such as Open Path Collective, and some therapists also offer a sliding fee scale. Sometimes, when you’re looking for therapy, you’re in a vulnerable state, says Hardy, but it’s important to not overlook pricing. Companies that have a clearly defined cost structure will give you confidence that there are no hidden fees. 

Insurance

Check if a company accepts insurance and, if so, what providers. Your insurance may cover the full session cost. If the company is out of network, you may qualify for partial or full reimbursement depending on your plan. It’s always a good rule to call your insurance company before signing up for a therapy service if you’re not sure exactly what your plan does and does not cover.

Therapist Qualifications

Some people offer "coaching" services, says Hardy, but this doesn’t mean they are licensed to practice therapy in a certain state. When evaluating a company, it’s important to check whether they have a clear process in place to vet the providers they employ, and/or accurate, up-to-date therapist qualifications are listed in therapists’ bios.  

Scheduling

Fitting therapy into your life can be tricky. Some therapists only offer sessions during working hours and others have more availability, like on the weekends or in the evenings. It’s helpful to think about when you can best engage in therapy on a weekly or biweekly basis, both from a schedule point of view but also when you’re more able to be emotionally vulnerable and there are few to no distractions. Keep in mind that you’ll have to work with your therapist to find days and times that works for both of you. 

Diverse Representation

The “best” therapist is not necessarily the “right” therapist, says Hardy. He stresses that finding the right fit can help you open up and better engage in the therapeutic process. Even among niche services, no group of people is homogenous and every experience has its unique nuances. 

Ease of Use

How easy is it to get in touch with the company to answer your questions? Is it straightforward to book an appointment or do you have to jump through several hoops to sign up for a session? Does the website have a FAQ section? Can you message or email your therapist in between sessions? If there’s an app, is it intuitive or hard to follow? Questions such as these are important to evaluate because you don’t want to be so frustrated by the company’s user interface that you give up on therapy before it’s even begun. 

What If I'm Having Thoughts of Harming Myself? 

If you’re experiencing thoughts of harming yourself, there are resources to assist you:

  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline): Call or text 988 
  • Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
  • Trevor Project: 866-488-7386
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “START” to 741-741

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do No-Subscription Therapy Services Cost?

Therapy session costs vary widely depending on the company. Of the companies we included in this list, therapy sessions for individuals range from $30 to $225. However, it’s important to also factor in initial costs a company might require, such as a welcome session (in Little Otter’s case) or a membership fee (Open Path Collective charges one).

Is No-Subscription Therapy a Cost-Effective Option for Online Therapy?

Both Marschall and Hardy think no-subscription therapy is cost-effective when it comes to online therapy. Marschall says this option is more likely to be covered by insurance or be eligible for reimbursement from your insurance company. Additionally, you’re only paying for the sessions you attend, which can save money. And, you won’t get charged for superfluous sessions if you decide to end therapy, but forget to cancel your subscription.

Can Online Therapists Prescribe Medication?

Most therapists can’t prescribe medication. However, the companies we chose that offer medication management services have mental health professionals on board who can, such as psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. That said, Illinois, New Mexico, Louisiana, Iowa, and Idaho allow licensed clinical psychologists with specialized training to prescribe medication.

Are There Any Free Options for Online Therapy?

There aren’t any free options offered by the companies we listed, but some offer sliding fee scales and prices below market level therapy rates. If you can’t afford therapy, ask if your employer offers EAP options that include some free sessions, Marschall suggests.

Methodology

We relied on a detailed and data-heavy process to evaluate 55 online therapy companies. We sent questionnaires to the companies and also relied on the experience of 3,497 users to inform our selections.

Our comprehensive data-driven approach resulted in both quantitative and qualitative data. Users evaluated many factors, such as ease of use, therapist qualifications, sign-up process, cost, website interface, therapist identity, insurance acceptance, and communication options. Their answers helped us pick the best choices, and we also did outside research based on the companies’ websites and phone and chat box interactions.

Best Live online sessions

Verywell Mind/ Design by Amelia Manley

By Siobhan Neela-Stock
Siobhan Neela-Stock is a freelance writer with four years of experience writing about mental health and social justice for both publications and companies. She focuses primarily on health but has also written about racism, environmental justice, gender inequities, and other topics.

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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Ally Hirschlag,
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Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics in the health, wellness, and lifestyle spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

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and
Olivia Campbell
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Olivia Campbell is a health editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is author of the New York Times best-selling book “Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine.”

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