Online-Therapy.com Review

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3.6

Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com

Bottom Line

Online-Therapy.com is a great option if you’re looking for CBT-based talk therapy and the ability to communicate with your therapist by chat, phone, or video call.

Pros
  • Below-average subscription prices

  • Easy to use platform

  • Great additional resources available

  • All therapists are licensed

  • Multiple ways to communicate with your therapist

  • All therapist bios are posted on the website

  • Discount on first month available

  • Offers therapy in all 50 states and internationally

Cons
  • Does not take insurance

  • No medication management services

  • No couples therapy offered

  • No group therapy offered

  • Only treat adults

3.6

Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com

Founded in 2009, Online-Therapy.com is a Swedish company that serves several English-speaking countries around the world, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. The company offers a variety of subscription-based therapy plans that include access to licensed therapists who use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as part of your treatment. 

But what makes this company stand out right away, compared to the other companies we reviewed, is the focus on a vast library of resources—called the “tool kit”—that each subscriber unlocks when signing up for therapy. The goal is to take on a more holistic CBT-based approach to mental health that involves a combination of talk therapy and out-of-session, self-led work. 

To fairly and thoroughly review Online-Therapy.com against its competitors, we surveyed 100 current users from each of 33 different online therapy platforms to gain insight into their experiences. We also sent a questionnaire directly to each company to get more detailed information about their offerings. 

In addition to our research, these surveys and questionnaires allowed us to directly compare offerings, quality of service, and client satisfaction across companies. Here’s how Online-Therapy.com stacks up against its online therapy competition.

First Impressions and Sign-up Process 

Arriving on the Online-Therapy.com homepage, you’ll immediately read the phrase“we’re not like other online therapy sites” splashed across an image. Below that, you’ll find a summary of what sets it apart, a button inviting you to “Get Started,” and a link to a welcome video by clinical psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., that explains why its services are different by introducing you to the self-help “toolbox.”

Online-Therapy

Online-Therapy

Scrolling down the page, you’ll find icons, photos, and short blocks of text with further details about the service, including a summary of what the toolbox includes, an invitation to read customer reviews, and the company’s explanation of why it thinks you should choose their services over that of competitors. Further down, you’ll find another button to “Get Started,” a short “How am I doing” test, and an information section about what CBT is. At the very end of the page, you’ll find details about their review board and a contact form. 

CBT Online

CBT Online

Beyond the homepage, you’ll find a relatively well-designed website that’s packed with information that might be useful before signing up for the company’s services. This includes details about the mental health conditions it treats, more details about how it works, and a pretty extensive FAQ page. 

All in all, Online-Therapy.com is one of the most informative websites of any of the 33 companies we reviewed—even before you gain access to its “toolkit” as a member, which includes journal prompts, worksheets, yoga, and meditation videos as part of a self-improvement program aimed to complement your therapy sessions.  

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

The sign-up process is pretty straightforward: Start by answering a series of questions about your mental health, then state your preferences for what type of therapist you’d like to work with. Last up, state your communication preferences (i.e., whether you prefer live video calls or messaging) and where you live. The company’s algorithm will then make therapist recommendations based on your answers, and you can select who you want to work with after reading their bios. 

Once you’re matched, the company told us that you should hear from your therapist within 24 hours—though only 20 percent of the users we surveyed said that was true for them. Thirty-three percent heard back within a couple of days, 29 percent within the same week, and 18 percent within two weeks or more. 

Cost 

Online-Therapy.com is a subscription-based online therapy company. Their prices are below average compared to the other 33 companies we reviewed, though only 67 percent of the users we polled said the cost was very good or excellent. 

What Subscription Plans Do They Offer?

There are three subscription plans offered:

  • The Basic plan: For $160 per month, this includes daily messages from your therapist Monday through Friday. It also gives you access to the eight online sections of the Toolbox, which contains 25 worksheets, yoga and meditation videos, journals, activity plans, and self-tests. 
  • The Standard plan: For $240 per month, this plan gives you everything in the Basic plan, plus the ability to message your therapist any time and have weekly live sessions with your therapist.
  • The Online-Therapy.com Premium plan: This costs $320 per month and includes everything in the Basic Plan, plus unlimited messaging with your therapist (with guaranteed express replies), and two 30-minute live sessions per week.

All live sessions are 30 minutes in length, and they can be held via live video, audio, or instant chat, depending on your preference. You can pay for your sessions online with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. You can also pay with your HSA or FSA card. 

Is There a Free Trial?

No free trial is offered.

Does Online-Therapy Accept Insurance?

Online-therapy.com does not accept health insurance as of September 2021. 

However, depending on your plan, you might be able to request a superbill (receipt) and receive partial reimbursement for your sessions. Eighty-one percent of the users we surveyed were able to obtain at least some financial reimbursement, reporting that they spent an average of $176.99 per month out-of-pocket for services. 

Can You Change or Cancel Your Subscription?

You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your subscription at any time, no questions asked, through the settings option in your private client portal. However, you are charged for the entire month and won’t be reimbursed for any unused time remaining on your subscription. 

Are There Discounts Available?

You can get 20 percent off your first month at Online-Therapy.com. However, the company does not offer any additional discounts or financial aid for people unable to afford it. 

Ease of Use

If you have a plan with weekly therapy sessions, you will schedule and attend them through your private portal, which you can access online or in the Online-Therapy.com app. Of our survey respondents, 80 percent thought the platform was either very good or excellent in user-friendliness, and 71 percent thought the video quality during sessions was very good or excellent. 

You will also message your therapist through the same portal. Ninety percent of respondents said that the online chat messaging platform was very good or excellent—a significant plus for users. Many folks prefer text-based therapy, particularly if they have social anxiety, sensory processing differences, or do not have a quiet place for a conversation with their therapist without risking being overheard.

The portal is about more than just connecting with your therapist, though. As the company states on its website, it's also a “toolbox” that you can use in your own time for your well-being and mental health. For example, you can do yoga or meditation along with the videos the company offers to you online; you can also respond to journal prompts, do worksheets, take self-tests, or make activity plans. Your therapist will also give you daily weekday feedback on your progress if you finish any of the activities in the portal. 

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

While this portal is unique and probably very popular with some users, it might not work as well for people who don’t like self-guided programs or don’t have time for a bunch of self-betterment homework. 

As mentioned, Online-Therapy.com makes suggestions for therapists that would be a good fit for you, and you get to select who you want. But if you don’t like your therapist, you can easily switch. While you won’t get to choose anyone on their staff when you switch, you will get to choose from a selection recommended for you by the company’s algorithm. The good thing is that you don’t have to talk to your therapist or customer service to switch—it’s all done simply through the touch of a couple of buttons. 

Of the users we surveyed, 80 percent said the process to switch therapists was easy or very easy.

Therapists' Qualifications and Quality of Care

Online-Therapy.com does not list how many therapists work for the company—and it didn’t tell us in the questionnaire. However, given that it treats clients in all 50 states and several international companies, it is reasonable to assume that it has a large staff. The number of therapists likely varies by state, though.

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

In answering our questionnaire, Online-Therapy.com did tell us that all their U.S. therapists are licensed psychologists, professional counselors, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, or clinical social workers with a minimum of three years of experience or 2000 clinical hours. 

Seventy-seven percent of the users we surveyed said found their therapists’ qualifications were very good or excellent.

According to our survey, many users switch therapists a few times before settling on someone they want to work with. Only 9 percent of survey respondents said they only met with one therapist at Online-Therapy.com. Thirty-seven percent said they saw two, 30 percent said three, and 24 percent said they saw four or more. 

Some of this switching could be because a therapist leaves the company, though Online-Therapy.com maintains that turnover is relatively low.

If a therapist does leave, the company will notify you and give you the option of switching to any therapist you want by a set date. If you don’t choose by that day, the algorithm will automatically switch you. You also have the option of sharing your message history with your old therapist when the switch happens.

Types of Therapy Offered

Online-Therapy.com is clear that the type of therapy it offers is CBT. All therapists will use this type of psychotherapeutic treatment. All the worksheets, journal prompts, and self-assessments in the toolbox use this approach, too. 

The company says its services can help treat the following mental health conditions:

The company does not offer couples therapy, group therapy, psychiatry, or medication management. This is a drawback to using this company, especially since many newer competitors, such as Wellnite and Cerebral, do offer talk therapy and medication management. 

Privacy Policies

Online-Therapy.com told us that it takes steps to protect client privacy and data. It is HIPAA compliant and uses layers of encryption to protect client data stored on the site. All messages between clients and therapists are encrypted with end-to-end 256-bit encryption. All personal health information is hosted behind a three-tiered web application with multiple checks and data controls to keep your information safe. 

You also have the option of using a nickname with your therapist to protect your privacy, though you do have to give the company an emergency contact during sign-up. However, this emergency contact is stored safely and only accessed if your therapist feels like you or someone else is in danger. They will also file a formal report if they believe you are a threat to yourself or others as is required by the law.

The company also guarantees that it does not disclose personal information to third parties except in legal situations or when the client gives permission. 

To obtain your medical records, you can do that relatively quickly by going to your dashboard and clicking on “Privacy” and then “Download My Data” from “Download your information.” 

Overall Client Satisfaction

Seventy-four percent of the users we surveyed said the services they received through Online-Therapy.com were very good or excellent, and 68 percent said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent.

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

According to our survey, 87 percent of respondents said they were very likely or likely to still be with a therapist at Online-Therapy.com in 12 months. This seems to bear out in our data: Only 24 percent had been with the company less than six months, but 34 percent had been using it for six to 12 months, and 29 percent had been using it for one to two years. Only 13 percent had been using it for over two years, though. 

Ninety-one percent of users reported that they were either likely or very likely to recommend someone like them to Online-Therapy.com.

Is Online-Therapy.com Right For You?

Online-Therapy.com might work well for you if you have a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or high levels of stress, that would benefit from CBT-based therapy. It would also benefit you if you enjoy self-led, self-help work, such as worksheets, quizzes, and meditation videos, or if you have a busy schedule that makes it difficult to fit in long therapy sessions.

However, 30-minute therapy sessions are not very long, so if you have a more serious mental health condition—including one that requires medication—this is not the company for you. The sessions will likely be too short, and the company does not offer medication management or access to a psychiatrist. So, if you live with severe depression or anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, ADHD, chronic pain, an active addiction, or an active eating disorder, to name just a few conditions, you are best looking elsewhere.

The company also only offers individual talk therapy; if you are seeking couples counseling, family therapy, or group therapy, you should look elsewhere. It is also not a service for children under the age of 18.

Online-Therapy.com is not designed to be an emergency service. People struggling with suicidal thoughts, who are in crisis, or need inpatient care are not suitable for this service. People with psychotic disorders or a history of psychosis are also not a good fit.

Online-Therapy.com vs. Wellnite

Both Online-Therapy.com and Wellnite offer their clients access to mental health services with licensed therapists, but there are some notable differences. For example, Online-Therapy.com focuses on talk therapy and self-guided resources, but it offers support for a wide range of mental health conditions; Wellnite focuses on anxiety and depression only, but it does offer medication management. 

Neither company offers couples counseling, family therapy, or therapy to children under 18, though both companies use CBT techniques in their treatment.

In addition, Online-Therapy.com uses an algorithm to help narrow your therapist options down to a few recommendations, but then you get to choose. Wellnite allows you to choose from anyone listed on the website. 

Price-wise, Wellnite is more affordable:

  • Wellnite offers two plans, ranging from $75 to $195 per month, and the subscription includes the cost of one prescription per month, plus shipping to your home. 
  • Online-therapy.com offers three plans, ranging from $160-$320 per month, but all plans include only talk therapy.

Neither company accepts insurance. 

According to our survey, 91 percent of users at both companies said they were likely to recommend it to someone like them, but otherwise, Wellnite appears to fare a little better, although it is close:

  • Seventy-six percent of Wellnite users said the services were very good or excellent, compared to 74 percent at Online-Therapy.com.
  • Eighty-nine percent of Wellnite patients said they were likely or very likely to be still seeing a therapist within the company a year from now, compared to 87 percent at Online-Therapy.com. 

However, 80 percent of Wellnite users who had tried other therapy services said it was better than previous online therapy companies it had tried; only 75 percent said the same.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for convenient talk therapy services that you can do from home, Online-Therapy.com might work well for you, especially since it offers the ability to message your therapist throughout the week. But you should be open to CBT-based therapy as that is the only psychotherapeutic treatment available. Unfortunately, the company also doesn’t offer couples therapy, group therapy, or medication management—if you are interested in those services, you are better looking elsewhere. Plus, because the company doesn’t accept insurance, you might find the out-of-pocket costs a little high every month.

Methodology

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy companies is comprehensive and data-driven. To review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 33 companies and surveyed 100 current users of each. This allowed us to directly and fairly compare services offered by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about each company and users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on:

  • Website usability
  • Sign-up process 
  • Therapist qualifications 
  • Types of therapy offered
  • Quality of care
  • Client-therapist communication options
  • Session length
  • Subscription offerings 
  • Client privacy protections 
  • Cost and value for money
  • Whether they take insurance
  • Average out-of-pocket costs
  • Therapist assignment process
  • Ease of changing therapists
  • Overall user satisfaction
  • Likelihood clients would recommend them

Specs

  • Product Name Online-Therapy.com
  • Year Founded 2009
  • Insurance Accepted? No
  • Price $160-$320 per month
  • HIPAA Compliant Yes
  • Platforms Live video, audio, text, and messaging
  • Payment Options Major credit cards, HSA, FSA cards
  • App Available? (Y/N) No
Edited by
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

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

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