8 Best Online Therapy Companies Offering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

These are our top 8 picks for the best online therapy services that offer CBT

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most well-established and well-researched therapy modalities available. It’s an approach to therapy that helps people pinpoint and change the thought patterns and beliefs that drive painful emotions and unhelpful behaviors. And it’s been shown to be effective for a variety of mental health issues and disorders, ranging from mild to severe and complex.

When offered in an online therapy format, CBT is best for mild to moderate iterations of conditions including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The best online CBT therapy will be provided by a practitioner with expertise in this therapy technique (also known as a modality). It should also be tailored specifically to the issue you want to address in therapy so your provider can help you pinpoint unhelpful thought patterns, encourage new perspectives, and develop healthy coping skills. To help you find the best online CBT therapy, we evaluated 55 different online therapy companies by surveying 105 users at each one and signing up for the services ourselves. Here are the ones we recommend.

Tested: 8 Best Online CBT Therapy Services in 2023

Why Trust Us
Companies reviewed
Total users surveyed
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.

When choosing an online therapy provider, we recommend that you read the company’s privacy guidelines before you sign up to better understand whether it is HIPAA-compliant and whether it shares any private information with third parties. There have been some concerns raised by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and several government officials about what user health information online therapy providers collect and what they do with any information they collect.

8 Best Online Therapy Companies Offering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
8 Best Online Therapy Companies Offering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Best for Depression : Brightside

  • Price: $95-$349
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Brightside specializes in treating depression using CBT, medication, or both. It has additional tools like quizzes and a course to help create a habit of self-care based in the tenets of CBT.

Pros & Cons
  • Specializes in CBT for depression

  • Offers medication management

  • Motivates you with CBT-related quizzes and self-care lessons

  • You don’t pick your own therapist

  • Crisis Care requires insurance

  • Expensive without insurance


Brightside is an online therapy platform that was designed for treating mild to moderate depression via CBT. Recently, it has expanded its services to include treatment for more severe manifestations of depression and anxiety, along with complex conditions including panic disorder, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and phobias. 

When you sign up, you can opt for stand-alone therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Therapy sessions are 45 minutes long once a week, and your therapist uses CBT to help challenge the thoughts and behaviors that are driving depression. If you opt for medication, your psychiatrist leverages AI-powered technology to find the exact medication that will work best for you, using over 100 personal data points to consider over 1,000 potential medication and dosage combinations.

Brightside goes above and beyond to help you incorporate your new CBT-based therapeutic tools into your everyday life. Its 12-week self-love course and quizzes keep you accountable, and seeing a visual of your progress can be motivating and inspiring. Believing how far you’ve come in the healing journey can be difficult when you’re feeling depressed, so having a measurable manifestation of your hard work is powerful. With its combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle/habit changes, Brightside can help you make real headway fast.

Brightside also offers a new program called Crisis Care, which is based on the highly researched Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) protocol rather than on CBT, and is designed specifically for people with elevated suicide risk. This sets Brightside apart from most other online therapy companies, whose services are not appropriate for those in crisis.

Plans & Prices

Brightside accepts five major insurance plans—Cigna, Aetna, Optum/UnitedHealthcare, Anthem CA, and Allegiance. If paying out-of-pocket, it offers three plans:

  • Medication only: For $95 per month, you get one 15-minute remote psychiatric provider evaluation, medication delivery, and ongoing provider support and monitoring of your care.
  • Therapy only: For $299 per month, this plans offers unlimited messaging and four monthly video sessions (45 minutes) with a therapist; additional video appointments are $59 each.
  • Therapy and medication: For $349 per month, you get everything in the medication and therapy only plans.
User Satisfaction

Brightside was a high performer in our survey of 105 users of the company: 90% rated it positively overall, compared to an 84% average across the other 54 companies we reviewed. Ninety-three percent rated its psychiatry and medication management services positively, compared to a 77% average; and 86% rated their therapists’ qualifications positively, compared to an 84% average. Fifty-one percent of our surveyed users sought Brightside’s services to treat depression, and 14% said their provider used CBT with them.

In our full review, our tester noted that they “found taking the self-care lessons in tandem with the therapy sessions to be very effective⁠—I could use the lesson to reflect on what I had discussed in the session or use the session to talk about what I’d learned in the lesson.” Specifically, she explained that “it was also helpful to revisit key tenets of CBT through the lesson that I had discussed with my therapist on my own.” 

Best for Anxiety : Online-Therapy.com

  • Price: $200-$440 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

Online-Therapy.com specializes in using CBT to treat anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Pros & Cons
  • All therapists use CBT

  • Specializes in treatment of anxiety disorders

  • Has a self-paced CBT course in addition to therapy

  • Offers tools like an online journal and yoga

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • No psychiatry/medication management

  • No pay-per-session plan


Online-Therapy.com is an online platform that treats a wide range of issues, including anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as related issues including trauma, stress, and self-esteem issues. Its specialty is CBT. All Online-Therapy.com therapists use this modality, so you can get to the root of the thoughts and behaviors that are causing or exacerbating your condition.

The providers at Online-Therapy.com recognize that you’ll make more progress treating your anxiety when you incorporate therapeutic tools into your daily life. That’s why your subscription doesn’t just cover your therapy sessions: It also includes an eight-section self-guided CBT program, worksheets, yoga videos, an online journal, and an activity plan. This is a great way to approach anxiety from multiple angles: Sometimes it's simple habits, like getting exercise and having a space to vent your emotions, that can make a big difference with anxiety.

Sessions are held via video, audio, or live chat and last 45 minutes. You’ll also have unlimited messaging between sessions. Online-Therapy.com operates as a subscription plan, so you can opt for lower-tier services if finances are a problem.

Plans & Prices

Online-Therapy.com does not accept insurance. It offers four out-of-pocket therapy plans:

  • Basic: $200 a month for unlimited messaging with your therapist, the self-guided CBT program, and access to worksheets, yoga videos, an online journal, an activity plan, and replies from your therapist on worksheets
  • Standard: $320 a month for one 45-minute session per week over via live video, text, or voice, plus everything included in the basic plan
  • Premium: $440 a month for two 45-minute sessions per week conducted via video, text, or voice, as well as everything included in the basic plan
  • Couples therapy: $440 a month for one 45-minute couples therapy session per week conducted via video, text, or voice, plus access to everything in the basic plan for you both
User Satisfaction

Our surveys largely indicate that Online-Therapy.com is an effective platform for users overall: 90% of the 105 users we surveyed rated it positively overall, compared to an 84% average across other companies. Additionally, 82% would recommend it to a friend, compared to a 71% average; and 67% would start their search there again if needed, compared to a 59% average. Fifty-three percent of users sought therapy through Online-Therapy.com to treat their anxiety, and 14% of users said they used CBT with their therapist.

In our full review, the tester said that their therapist's “approach to our time together was solution-focused, dealing with the here and now,” noting that “I really appreciated her thoughtful questions, and I noticed she was doing a fair amount of history-taking while keeping the focus on my current stressors.” Overall, she reported, “our time together felt productive and helpful.”

Best for OCD : NOCD

  • Price: $170 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

NOCD specializes in exposure response prevention (ERP), which is a form of CBT and the gold standard in obsessive compulsive disorder treatment, to treat OCD.

Pros & Cons
  • Uses ERP, a highly researched OCD treatment based on CBT

  • Therapists receive specialized OCD training

  • Has a community forum

  • ERP isn’t for everyone

  • Expensive without insurance

  • No psychiatry and medication management


NOCD specializes in treating OCD using exposure and response prevention (ERP), a type of CBT that’s considered by many to be a highly effective OCD treatment. It works the way it sounds: Therapists expose patients to triggering situations or stimuli in a safe, slow manner so they grow more comfortable with the sensations of anxiety that arise and find better ways to manage them than engaging in a compulsion or ritual.

NOCD is a much-needed platform. All therapists receive specialized training and support from OCD experts, which is crucial since the condition is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. NOCD therapists treat the many different subtypes of OCD. This makes them more equipped to help in cases in which there are mental compulsions only, which are notoriously hard to spot and treat. NOCD clinicians understand that OCD can manifest in many more ways than hand washing and checking locked doors. They also understand that, whether you have fears about if you really love your partner or not, that you’re a danger to your child, or that you could have offended someone accidentally, it's a condition that can easily make you miserable.

NOCD also features community-building opportunities so you can get peer support as you heal from OCD. You can join an unlimited number of support groups, which range from subtype-specific ones to those for general coping. You’ll also have access to a community forum where you can post about your healing journey and get feedback from others.

Plans & Prices

NOCD isn’t subscription-based. You’ll pay for sessions as you go. Therapists may recommend seeing you multiple times per week for the first four weeks. By signing up with NOCD, you automatically have access to the community features.

It does accept many major insurance carriers. Out of pocket, you’ll pay:

  • $170 per 60-minute therapy session 
  • $120 per 45-minute session 
  • $90 per 30-minute session
User Satisfaction

Our survey results indicate that NOCD users were satisfied overall: 46% said their therapist had more specialized training than therapy services used in the past, compared to a 43% average across all 55 companies we evaluated. Seventy-eight percent said their provider met all or most of their needs and 79% rated NOCD's value for money positively—both percentages were on par with the average across all 55 companies we reviewed. Fifteen percent of NOCD users reported that their provider used CBT with them.

In our full review, the tester said, ”My experience with NOCD was overall relatively positive. I was matched quickly with a therapist who was a good match for me in temperament and approach.” She especially appreciated the community aspect of NOCD, noting that “the member portal was fairly easy to navigate and I enjoyed the online message boards. I found comfort and camaraderie in the support groups I attended."

Best for Trauma/PTSD : Thriveworks

  • Price: Session rate varies by provider; Start at $99 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Thriveworks features therapists who treat trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with CBT and the subtype DBT. It has a wide network of in-person and virtual therapists across the country who specialize in treating trauma using these modalities.

Pros & Cons
  • Has CBT specialists who treat trauma

  • Has over 380 in-person locations nationwide

  • Has psychiatrists and addiction specialists

  • Fees vary by location and provider

  • No messaging therapy

  • No inclusivity search filters


Thriveworks is a therapy platform that offers online and in-person therapy to treat a variety of issues, including trauma and PTSD. It’s a large company with over 380 in-person locations across the country. Therapists at Thriveworks use a variety of modalities including CBT and one of its subtypes, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), which helps patients more effectively manage the overwhelming emotions that inevitably accompany trauma reactions and PTSD. Both CBT and DBT have been shown to be effective in helping those affected by trauma.

The CBT approach to trauma might include looking at distortions in thinking, like expecting worst-case scenarios, and changing the resulting behaviors, like withdrawing from others or using substances. A therapist using DBT might address trauma by encouraging mindfulness and managing emotions or nervous system overwhelm. If that’s not enough, however, many therapists are trained in a variety of modalities and can draw from them to treat the complex disorder of PTSD. Plus, there are psychiatrists and addiction specialists available should medication be necessary.

Sessions at Thriveworks are around 50 minutes long and take place over live video, live audio, or in person. You can choose your own provider and switch if you need to.

Plans & Prices

Prices at Thriveworks vary based on the provider, where they’re located, and whether they take your insurance or not. It's not a subscription-based service—you’ll schedule and pay as you go. Thriveworks accepts a variety of insurance carriers.

User Satisfaction

Survey data indicates that people are satisfied with their experience at Thriveworks: 90% of our 105 users rated it positively overall, compared to an 84% average. Eighty-eight percent rated their therapist’s qualifications positively, compared to an 84% average; and 70% would start their search there again if needed, compared to a 59% average. Twelve percent sought services with Thriveworks because of a traumatic event, and 14% received CBT in their therapy sessions.

In our full review, our tester was impressed with how personal the service felt, despite being a telehealth appointment. “It is easy to forget that you’re receiving therapy through a company rather than directly from a therapist in private practice,” they explained, reporting that, “as someone who uses telehealth therapy often, I felt willing to open up because I didn’t feel like I was using a service run by a massive corporation. It felt very personable.”  

Best for Chronic Pain : Doctor on Demand

  • Price: $129-$179 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Doctor on Demand features therapists who specialize in treating chronic pain with CBT. It accepts insurance and also has urgent care and preventative health services, so you can use the platform for multiple health issues if needed.

Pros & Cons
  • Has therapists who use CBT to treat chronic pain

  • Accepts insurance

  • Offers urgent care and preventative healthcare

  • Expensive without insurance

  • Limited search filters

  • No messaging between sessions


Doctor on Demand is a telemedicine platform that includes mental health, preventative/primary care, urgent care, and medication management all in one platform. By offering telemedicine services at reasonable prices and accepting insurance, it’s doing its part to make health care accessible. 

Its mental health providers are among the few in the online therapy field who have specialties in chronic pain and chronic illness. If you’re overwhelmed, drained, and depressed from managing ongoing painful symptoms or a chronic illness, you can find a helpful provider at Doctor on Demand. Research shows that CBT helps reduce pain itself and lower pain-related emotional distress. A Doctor on Demand therapy session might involve challenging negative thoughts associated with pain or reframing techniques to help you avoid lapsing into depression or hopelessness.

Sessions last from 25 to 50 minutes and are held over live video. Since Doctor on Demand also offers additional medical services, it might be a good choice if its services are appropriate for your condition and if you’d like to see all your doctors on one platform. 

Plans & Prices

Doctor on Demand is not a subscription service. It’s a pay-as-you-go system, which is convenient if you need to pause treatment for any reason. It accepts a wide variety of insurance. Self-pay rates are as follows:

  • $129 for a 25-minute therapy session
  • $179 for a 50-minute session
  • $299 for a 45-minute initial psychiatry appointment
  • $129 for 15-minute follow-ups
User Satisfaction

Our survey results indicate that Doctor on Demand users benefitted from their therapy. Ninety-two percent said it was better than services used in the past, compared to an 86% average across the 55 companies; 91% rated their therapist's qualifications as generally positive, compared to an 84% average, and 70% would start their search there again if needed, compared to a 59% average. Seventeen percent reported using CBT in their therapy sessions.

In our full review, the tester noted, “I found the quality of care to be comparable with past therapy experiences I’ve had,” which speaks to the quality of the online care she received. She also pointed out that “my therapist offered helpful insight into my issues and practical solutions, which I appreciated.”

Best for Panic Disorder : Wellnite

  • Price: $95 per month (charged bi-weekly) for medication management only; $450 per month for regular therapy sessions; $245 per month for medication management and 1-2 monthly therapy
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management
Why We Chose It

Wellnite providers use CBT to help patients with panic disorder, among other anxiety disorders. It also has affordable medication management services which can help treat panic attacks.

Pros & Cons
  • Offers CBT for panic disorder

  • Offers psychiatry/medication management

  • Live chat option available

  • Most affordable price requires buying bundles

  • Doesn’t prescribe controlled substances

  • Lukewarm user satisfaction


Wellnite is an affordable therapy platform that offers therapy, medication management, and a combination of both. Providers primarily draw from CBT, but can also incorporate a few other approaches, like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and mindfulness. It offers services for a broad range of conditions, from panic attacks to depression to OCD.

CBT has been shown to be beneficial for panic attacks and may involve challenging negative thought patterns during an attack, journaling, identifying triggers, anxiety management skills, relaxation techniques, and gradual exposure to triggering stimuli. Having the option to include medication in your plan can be highly beneficial, especially if your panic attacks are debilitating and greatly interfere with daily life, including work and relationships. Even if you opt for therapy along, it’s helpful to know that you can get powerful, immediate relief when needed.

You can choose more frequent shorter sessions or less frequent longer sessions, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. Sessions take place over live video, audio, or chat, which can be helpful if seeing someone face-to-face triggers anxiety.

Plans & Prices

Wellnite accepts a variety of insurance plans. Without insurance, you can expect to pay the following: 

  • Stand-alone therapy: Six 30-minute sessions, four 45-minute sessions, or three 60-minute sessions plus access to member support per month; $112 per month billed monthly, $90 per month billed biannually, or $73 per month billed annually
  • Medication management: One doctor visit per month, wholesale pricing on medication, and free shipping: $95 per month charged monthly, $76 per month charged biannually, and $61 per month charged annually
  • Medication and therapy combo One doctor visit and two 30-minute sessions or one 60-minute session per month; $245 per month charged monthly, $196 per month charged biannually, $159 per month charged annually
User Satisfaction

User survey data for Wellnite was about average, indicating that it’s a solid service that can meet patient needs. Eighty-three percent said it was better than services they’d used in the past, compared to an 86% average; 81% rated their therapist’s qualifications positively, compared to an 84% average; and 59% would start their search there again if needed, which is exactly average across every other company. Forty-five percent of the 105 Wellnite users we surveyed reported seeking help for anxiety, and 10% reported using CBT in their sessions.

When we signed up for the service, our tester stated: “You might benefit from a Wellnite subscription if you live with a moderate anxiety disorder or depression, especially if you need a prescription for a medication to help you manage your symptoms.”

Best for Phobias : BetterHelp

  • Price: $240 to $360+ per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

BetterHelp has a large pool of therapists to choose from who use CBT to treat phobias. It serves patients internationally and in all 50 states, making CBT available to almost anyone who needs it.

Pros & Cons
  • Has therapists who treat phobias with CBT

  • Has a large pool of providers to choose from

  • Serves patients internationally

  • No medication management or psychiatry

  • Prices vary by demand and location

  • Lukewarm user satisfaction


BetterHelp is one of the most well-known therapy companies and offers services in all 50 states, plus 200 countries abroad. It has a large pool of providers to choose from with a range of backgrounds, specialties, and approaches, including using CBT to treat phobias specifically. Being spoiled for choice in this way is always a bonus: The more options you have, the better chance you have of finding the exact right fit.

Many therapists at BetterHelp bring CBT skills to the table to treat anxiety disorders, including phobias. Whether you’re afraid of tight spaces, being out in public, flying, or driving on the freeway, CBT can be beneficial for your healing. CBT helps those with phobias by challenging automatic negative thoughts related to them and gradually exposing patients to triggers in a safe, controlled way. 

Sessions at BetterHelp are 30 to 45 minutes long and conducted via live video, audio, or chat. You can also message your therapist anytime between sessions, though there’s no guaranteed response time frame.

Plans & Prices

BetterHelp offers a subscription plan, but it doesn’t have set rates: Rather, it varies according to location, therapist, and demand. The range is between $240 to $360 or more per month depending on how many people are seeking BetterHelp’s services in your area.

User Satisfaction

User results indicate that BetterHelp is a solid choice. Eighty-six percent of our 105 users rated it positively overall, compared to an 84% average. Forty-two percent said they’d be seeing the same therapist in 12 months, compared to a 40% average, and 87% rated the therapist qualifications as generally positive, compared to an 84% average. Seventeen percent of our surveyed users received CBT in their sessions with their BetterHelp provider.

One of our BetterHelp testers pointed out that the intake process at BetterHelp is fairly long: “It took me about twenty to thirty minutes to complete,” she reported, and indicated that the thoroughness of the sign-up process ultimately makes for a better therapist match. She was also impressed with the virtual therapy platform itself, noting that “during the video sessions I attended, both the audio and video quality were seamless with few issues.”

Best for Relationships : ReGain

  • Price: $360+ per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

ReGain is designed specifically for relationship counseling, and its pool of over 12,000 providers has couples therapists who specialize in CBT. Its combination of live sessions and messaging ensures you stay on top of CBT techniques between sessions.

Pros & Cons
  • Offers relationship therapists who use CBT

  • Is designed specifically for relationships

  • Has a combination of sessions and messaging

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • Prices vary by demand and location

  • You can’t pick your initial therapist


ReGain is one of just a few online therapy companies that focus solely on relationships. Whether you’re partnered or single, and whether you are attending therapy with your partner or alone, you can receive relationship therapy to help you improve your communication skills, set stronger boundaries, learn about your attachment style, and get your needs met in a healthy way from providers at ReGain. With such a large pool of clinicians, finding the right therapist who uses CBT to treat relationship issues may be easier than with other services. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective for many important relationship issues like communication, building intimacy, and improving sexual satisfaction. Your therapist may also use a few subtypes of CBT. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), for example, is a type of CBT that emphasizes acceptance of distressing thoughts and feelings rather than repression of them, and committing to changed behaviors. This can help with things like communicating vulnerably when you’re angry or accepting feelings of jealousy without acting on them.

Sessions at ReGain are around 30 to 40 minutes long and take place over live video, audio, or messaging. You’ll also have unlimited messaging between sessions, which can keep you on track when you’re triggered. You and your partner can also join your virtual sessions from different locations, making couples therapy even more accessible. 

Plans & Prices

Much like its parent company BetterHelp, ReGain’s prices vary based on location, preferences, and therapist availability. However, you can expect to pay between $240 and $360 or more per month for a subscription. This gets you four live sessions plus between-session messaging. ReGain doesn’t accept insurance.

User Satisfaction

Our survey results indicate that therapy at ReGain is helpful: 80% said their therapist satisfied most or all of their needs, compared to a 77% average. Additionally, 88% rated their therapist’s qualifications as good, very good, or excellent, compared to an 84% average, and 49% said they’d still be seeing the same therapist in six months, compared to a 42% average. Seventeen percent of our 105 users reported that their therapist used CBT in their sessions. 

In our full review, the tester noted that “the therapist we ended up meeting with was professional, listened to us, and was able to meet our needs.” She was especially impressed with the additional resources available, reporting that her and her partner’s therapist “worked with us to create goals based on our experiences and provided us with worksheets and activities that fit in with those needs."

Compare the Tested: 8 Best Online CBT Therapy Services in 2023

Best For
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Brightside Best for Depression $95-$349 Yes Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Online-Therapy.com Best for Anxiety $200-$440 per month No Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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NOCD Best for OCD $170 per session Yes No Individual Therapy, Teen Counseling N/A Learn More
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Thriveworks Best for Trauma/PTSD Session rate varies by provider; Start at $99 per session Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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Doctor on Demand Best for Chronic Pain $129-$179 per session Yes Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Wellnite Best for Panic Disorder $95 per month (charged bi-weekly) for medication management only; $450 per month for regular therapy sessions; $245 per month for medication management and 1-2 monthly therapy Yes No Individual Therapy, Medication Management Live Chat, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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BetterHelp Best for Phobias $240 to $360+ per month No Yes Individual Therapy Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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ReGain Best for Relationships $360+ per month No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Final Verdict

If you are interested in incorporating CBT into your therapy sessions, you have plenty of online options. For example, if you struggle with depression, Brightside is a great choice for online CBT. It specializes in CBT for depression specifically, and it also offers psychiatry and medication management. The therapy and medication combo won’t be for everyone but can make a huge difference for those who need it. Plus, you’ll get lots of extras like quizzes, a self-care course, and visual progress trackers to motivate you and keep you accountable. This is important because you need to incorporate CBT techniques outside of sessions to get the most out of them. 

If anxiety is your main issue, Online-Therapy.com is an excellent choice. It offers a comprehensive toolkit that includes a live journal, yoga videos, an activity log, and a self-guided CBT course, alongside therapy sessions. This multi-pronged approach tackles anxiety from a few important angles. While CBT primarily addresses the mind, your toolkit encourages lifestyle changes that calm your body and give you a channel for emotions. This can reduce anxiety more effectively.

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Therapy for CBT

What Types of CBT Treatment Are Offered?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a tried and true treatment for a variety of disorders, and it has a few variations most suited for specific populations and needs. These include dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), which focuses on managing overwhelming emotions and is excellent for those with complex trauma, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), which encourages accepting troubling thoughts and feelings in order to process them. Other types include trauma-focused CBT (TF-CBT), which is for children and teens who have experienced trauma; exposure and response prevention (ERP), considered the gold standard when treating OCD; and mindfulness-based CBT

However, according to subject matter expert Hannah Owens, LMSW, “there are a few different iterations of ‘types of CBT.’ These could include CBT approaches for specific populations or issues, such as trauma-focused CBT, or approaches based on the framework of the CBT process, such as DBT or ACT.”

Comparing Online Therapy for CBT

There are various factors to consider when choosing which online counseling for CBT is best. These include:

  • Price: Prices for online CBT therapy vary widely, from low sliding scale fees to costs that can be upwards of $250 per session. Start with your insurance coverage first. If you have it, seek out companies and providers that accept your carrier. Otherwise, look for sliding scale rates if your budget is tight. Keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better. Low rates might indicate a student therapist or an unlicensed one. If you can afford to, pay for an experienced therapist.
  • Type of treatment: While there are a few iterations of CBT, not every therapist is trained in each one. Go over every potential therapist’s list of modalities. Likewise, not every therapist uses CBT. Some companies (like Online-Therapy.com and Brightside) only offer CBT therapy, so if you’re certain it’s the type of therapy you want, start there.
  • Scheduling: Each online therapy company and each therapist in a directory will have differing scheduling options. Some may have more weekday availability since weekends and evenings are when most people have the time to go. Shop around to find someone who can comfortably accommodate your schedule and don’t forget to give yourself time for self-care afterward. While squeezing a session in during a work day might be convenient, it’s not always ideal to return to work after a session.
  • Location: A primary benefit of online therapy is that it cuts out the need to find someone local and travel to them. With online therapy, you can find someone who isn’t in your area, and this is especially important if you live in a rural area or a “therapy desert,” where there is little to no access to mental health care. Do keep in mind that therapists must be licensed in the state you’re in to legally treat you. Their licensing information should be available on their profile or by request.
  • Method of counseling: Online CBT therapy comes in many forms. Most people prefer live video and audio since you can get a better feel for the therapist, feel more seen or heard, and have an experience that’s closer to in-person therapy. But live chat can be a good option if you don’t have privacy or if you have social anxiety. However, if you have a severe or complex disorder, chat therapy on its own isn’t enough. Supplementary messaging between sessions can be great to expand on what you covered in the session or reinforce CBT tools in your daily life.
  • Ease of switching therapists: The right fit is important. You need to feel comfortable and safe with your therapist in order to have effective therapy, which means you might need to switch a few times. When vetting companies, research how easy it is to switch therapists and if you can choose your own therapist. Being able to choose is preferable for many therapy seekers.
  • Insurance accepted: Keep in mind that some online therapy companies have a policy to accept insurance while others don’t. If you have coverage, your first step should be to verify which companies accept yours. If you’re using a directory, each therapist will have their own policies, including insurance policies. You can typically filter your search for therapists in directories by insurance acceptance. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Does CBT Online Work?

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combines therapy based around cognition (thoughts) and behavior (actions). A CBT therapist will pinpoint problematic thinking patterns that cause emotional distress and lead to unhelpful or unhealthy behaviors. By challenging these “automatic thoughts,” the therapist and patient together can reroute emotional patterns and behaviors that lead to and worsen depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. 

  • Is Online CBT Treatment Effective?

    Yes; CBT is one of the most well-researched therapy modalities around and has been shown to help with everything from social anxiety to eating disorders to depression. Further, online CBT specifically has been found effective for a wide variety of mental health disorders, including OCD, depression, panic disorders, phobias, substance use disorders, and generalized anxiety, among others.

  • What Is the Cost of CBT Sessions Online?

    Therapy costs can vary widely. You can find CBT therapy online for as low as $30 for a student intern session all the way up to $250 and beyond. It’s important to compare prices from different companies or different providers if you’re reaching out to them directly. Online therapy companies that have subscriptions or offer discounted session bundles can often be an affordable way to get therapy.

  • Can You Do CBT Treatment by Yourself?

    CBT is a therapeutic modality that requires a professional trained in identifying and treating mental health conditions. However, there are many CBT-inspired self-guided tools, courses, and supplementary materials that you can do on your own, in addition to therapy or between therapy sessions. These include workbooks, worksheets, self-guided courses, and apps. Some companies offer self-guided CBT courses in conjunction with therapy sessions.

  • How Long Do CBT Sessions Last?

    A CBT therapy session lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, much like other forms of therapy. Short sessions may not be sufficient to make real, lasting progress, however. A session length of 45 minutes or more is ideal.


To select the best online therapy for CBT, we surveyed 105 users at 55 of the most popular online therapy platforms. We also tested many of these platforms ourselves, consulted three industry experts, and sent questionnaires to the companies themselves. We prioritized platforms whose therapists use CBT as their primary modality, as well as those with large networks of providers with a significant number of them using CBT. Companies and directories with high user satisfaction overall, especially in terms of quality of care and provider qualifications, made it to the top of the list, as did those with flexible, affordable pricing options. We also favored companies that specialized in specific conditions such as anxiety and OCD, especially if they were leaders in that area and had specific protocols (like variations of CBT) to treat the conditions. Companies that had comprehensive tools besides CBT, such as progress trackers, courses, and medication/psychiatric services, were considered high priority.

girl has psychotherapy session with her therapist via video call

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Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. CAMS Care. CAMS framework.

  3. International OCD Foundation. Exposure and response prevention (ERP).

  4. American Psychological Organization Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

  5. Williams AC de C, Fisher E, Hearn L, Eccleston C. Psychological therapies for the management of chronic pain (excluding headache) in adults. Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group, ed. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020;2021(11). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007407.pub4

  6. Stech EP, Lim J, Upton EL, Newby JM. Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for panic disorder with or without agoraphobia: a systematic review and meta-analysisCogn Behav Ther. 2020;49(4):270-293. doi:10.1080/16506073.2019.1628808

  7. Bokaie M, Behzadpour F, Farajkhoda T. The effectiveness of sexual health group counseling based on cognitive behavioral therapy on sexual satisfaction of newly married women. J Educ Health Promot. 2021;10:384. doi:10.4103/jehp.jehp_684_20

  8. Rahimi A, Amiri H, Afsharriniya K, Arefi M. Comparing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in the enhancement of marital satisfaction and sexual intimacy in couples referred to counseling centers. Avicenna J Neuro Psycho Physiol. 2020;7(2):126-132. doi:10.32592/ajnpp.2020.7.2.107

  9. Kumar V, Sattar Y, Bseiso A, Khan S, Rutkofsky IH. The effectiveness of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy in treatment of psychiatric disorders. Cureus. 2017;9(8):e1626. doi:10.7759/cureus.1626

  10. De Geest RM, Meganck R. How do time limits affect our psychotherapies? A literature review. Psychol Belg. 2019;59(1):206-226. doi:10.5334/pb.475

By Brittany Elyse Vargas
Brittany Elyse Vargas has been exploring topics around psychology, mental health, mind-body medicine, and psychospiritual development for the past twenty years. She’s written professionally for over ten years as a journalist, copywriter, and ghostwriter. Brittany is committed to rigorous reporting and to tackling topics on the cutting edge of the wellness, healing, and the mindfulness movements.

Edited by
Hannah Owens
Hannah Owens

Hannah Owens is the Mental Health/General Health Editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is a licensed social worker with clinical experience in community mental health.

Learn about our editorial process
Simone Scully

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

Learn about our editorial process