Sesh Review

Join therapist-led peer support groups whenever you want.

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3.6

Sesh

Sesh Review

Sesh Review

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the ability to join therapist-led online support groups when your schedule allows, Sesh might be a good choice for you.

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Groups led by licensed therapists

  • Company has a diverse, culturally competent staff

  • Platform is easy to use

  • Inclusive groups

  • Wide variety of group topics

  • Free trial available

  • On-demand support sessions are available

  • Sponsored memberships available

Cons
  • Terms of Use difficult to find on website

  • Not actually therapy

  • Does not accept insurance

  • No medication management or individual talk available

  • Short FAQ section on website

  • Only for people 18+

  • Blog doesn’t seem to be updated that often

3.6

Sesh

Sesh Review

Sesh Review

Founded by Vittoria Bergeron and Alyssa Musket, Sesh originally started as a company offering in-person group therapy but when the pandemic struck, the founders shifted their entire business online. Within the span of one year in 2020, these women created a platform and mental health app offering licensed therapist-led online peer support groups around different conditions, communities, and therapeutic modalities. 

While Sesh is technically not a group therapy company, according to its website, the startup company hasn’t ruled out the possibility of offering therapy in the future—and the peer support that it does offer costs a fraction of the amount traditional therapy does, both in-person and online. 

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

These surveys and questionnaires allowed us to directly compare offerings, quality of service, and client satisfaction across companies. Here’s how Sesh stacks up against its online therapy competition. 

First Impressions and Sign-up Process 

The Sesh landing page is bright and cheery: In the middle, you’ll find an animated image running through the companies different group topics and a giant blue button inviting you to “Download the App.” 

Sesh


Beyond this initial image, it’s hard not to notice that the website is light on details and heavy on prompts to download the app. For example, if you scroll down the homepage, you’ll find a short section on how the services work, though if you click on the “Learn More” button, you’re disappointingly led to another download the app page, not additional information. 

Further down, you’ll find a few testimonials, before getting another invitation to “Find Your Community,” and a final call-to-action button to start your free trial (which, again, leads to the app download page). 

The menu page at the top of the page isn’t much more informative either: Both the “Getting Started” and “Try Sesh for Free” simply lead you to other pages prompting you to download the app. The “Schedule” option does give you more information about that month’s sessions, but also features giant “Download the App” buttons beside each one too. 

Sesh Schedule

The most helpful page for potential users is the FAQ page linked at the bottom of the homepage, though noticeably, there is no price question answered there. In fact, it is quite difficult to find pricing information on the site at all (more on that below). 

Sesh also has a blog page, but as of September 2021, it hasn’t been updated since July 6, 2021—and the first blog post was only posted in April. The company appears to post more regularly to its Facebook and Instagram pages than its blog, though neither social media account is verified or has that many followers yet. 

Neither the top nor bottom menu link to a Terms of Use or Privacy policy—the only way we found the company’s Terms of Use was to Google “Terms of Use + Sesh.” 

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

You cannot sign up for Sesh online; the whole process takes place in the app. Once you’ve downloaded it, you’ll create an account with your email address, or if you prefer, your Gmail, Facebook, or Apple account. Then, you’ll complete a brief intake form, choose which Sesh you want to join first, reserve your spot, then enter your payment information for your monthly subscription. You won’t be billed for 14 days though, allowing you to try out a few sessions before committing to the membership. 

In responding to our questionnaire, Sesh told us that the wait time between sign up and attending your first session is 24 hours or less; though only 27% of our survey respondents said the same. Twenty-nine percent said they joined their first session within a couple of days, 27% that week, and 17% within a couple of weeks or more—but it is possible these users just didn’t find a session with a topic they were interested in right away. 

Cost 

Sesh’s prices are the most affordable of all 33 companies we reviewed—which means you can find peer support for way less expensive than the price of weekly sessions with a therapist one-on-one, online or in person. 

However, as mentioned, Sesh doesn’t list its prices before you begin the sign-up process, which could be losing them potential customers who don’t want to begin the signup process without knowing the cost. Perhaps this is why only 66% of users felt like the price was very good or excellent, which is a lower-than-average score. 

What Subscription Plans Does Sesh Offer?

Sesh only offers one subscription—which it calls a “membership”— that costs $60 a month. As a member, you get unlimited access to all of Sesh’s group sessions. You can attend as many as you want as long as you book your spot before the group cap is hit—which is 14 people. All group sessions are held via live video through the app. 

Is There a Free Trial?

All new members get a 14-day trial at signup. 

Does Sesh Accept Insurance?

Sesh doesn’t currently offer therapy, only therapist-led peer support groups so its services are not covered by any insurance company. 

Can You Change or Cancel Your Subscription?

You can cancel through the app or by emailing customer service before your next billing date. However, the company did not tell us whether you can expect partial reimbursement for unused services if you cancel mid-month. 

Are There Discounts Available?

There are no discounts, though the company does offer sponsored memberships for people who cannot afford the monthly cost. These sponsored memberships are paid for through donations. If you’re interested in receiving one, you can sign-up for the waitlist on Sesh’s website. 

Ease of Use

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can book your spot in as many group sessions as you want through the app. Then to attend, you simply join the session at the stated start time. Seventy-eight percent of surveyed users thought the platform was either very good or excellent in terms of user-friendliness. 

Note: If you are more than 10 minutes late to session, don’t show up, or cancel less than 12 hours before a session, you will be charged a $20 fee (which is donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness). 

The company says this fee is designed to encourage people to respect their fellow group members and not take up a spot in a capped session if they don’t plan on attending since support groups depend on numbers to be most effective. 

All groups are held live via video through the app and are one-off events, meaning the members and therapist might change at each group session you attend (but more on that below). Eighty-two percent of the users we surveyed said that both video chat quality was either very good or excellent.

Sesh does not offer the option of messaging your therapist or other group members, which means you aren't likely to build connections with peers that understand what you're going through outside of the session itself. 

Therapists' Qualifications and Quality of Care

All peer group sessions at Sesh are led by licensed therapists, group therapists, or psychiatrists. The company also claims that all therapists are “culturally competent” and inclusive of everyone.  

In responding to our questionnaire, the company did not provide details about how many mental health professionals work with the company, how it chooses them to lead groups, or what additional training or experience it requires them to have before leading a group. However, the Terms of Use do state that the company verifies the therapist’s license, malpractice insurance, and five-year malpractice history.

From reading the bios posted online for sessions offered in September 2021, the therapists leading sessions appear to be diverse and have a range of different expertise. Two psychologists had Ph.Ds. in their field.

Seventy-six percent reported that the therapists’ qualifications were either very good or excellent.

Types of Therapy Offered

Sesh doesn’t currently offer therapy; instead, it offers peer support groups that are led by a licensed therapist around a particular topic. 

Group topics can cover:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Healthy habits
  • Body positivity
  • Relationship support
  • Depression
  • Pregnancy and postpartum issues
  • Self-esteem
  • Job burnout
  • Art, music, and movement therapy

There are also a number of community-specific groups for folks who are Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+ or from marginalized communities. 

The company does not offer individual therapy or medication management services, and it does not serve people under the age of 18. 

Privacy Policies

On Sesh’s FAQ page, it states that its “facilitators are committed to keeping what is covered in group sessions confidential” but does not share details about how it does so. Sesh also did not answer our privacy questions in the questionnaire. 

Its Terms of Use does include a Privacy Policy, however, which states that “Sesh does not sell and has not sold any personal information in the preceding 12 months.” It also says that you retain any copyright and proprietary rights if you upload user content (such as photos or descriptions of symptoms) but that by uploading it, you are giving the company “worldwide, non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, full paid right and license to host, store, transfer, display, perform, reproduce, modify and distribute” this content. 

The company also states that it may collect, use, and share personal information in connection with providing the app and its services, including your contact information, demographic information, health information, payment information, and device information about the computer or mobile phone you use to access its services. Some of this information is gathered via cookies and web beacons. It uses this information to provide its services and comply with applicable laws, but it also shares some of this info with third parties, including the company’s advertisers. This is why you might see ads for Sesh after visiting their website. 

Beyond stating that they take precautions to secure your data from hackers and other malicious actors, it does not provide detail about what types of encryption methods or other security measures it provides, as other companies we reviewed did. 

Sesh will use your contact information if they believe you are in danger or if you are a threat to yourself or others. It might also share this information with local law enforcement, if necessary, as is required by law.

Overall Client Satisfaction

Seventy-one percent of the survey respondents said they thought Sesh was very good or excellent, and 75% said the value for money was very good or excellent. 

Eighty-two percent of surveyed users who had used other online therapy services said that Sesh was better or much better than their previous online service. 

Despite being a new startup, Sesh seems to be building loyalty amongst users. Of those we surveyed, 31% had been using it for up to six months, and 40% had been using six to 12 months. Twenty-nine percent said they had been using it for over a year. Plus, 89% said they were either likely or very likely to still be using it 12 months from now. 

Ninety-four percent said they were likely or very likely to recommend someone like them to Sesh.

Is Sesh Right For You?

Sesh isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for individual therapy, teen counseling, couples therapy, psychiatric services, or medication management, this isn’t the service for you. It is also not designed to be an emergency service. 

However, peer support can be highly effective for certain people. Research has shown that mental health support groups are effective when they’re professionally facilitated. And a study found that to be true for depression even when those support groups are held online. 

So if you’re living with anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, or poor body image; are a new parent and you’re struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety; or looking for support from a community of people that share your background or identity, Sesh might work well for you. 

It is worth noting, though, that Sesh’s groups are one-off meetings. This is different from the traditional support group, or the peer groups offered by Sesh's competitor Circles. At Sesh, the topic, therapist moderator, and attendees will change at each group you attend. It is true that since you are all subscribers to the same app, you might see some of the same people at different sessions—particularly if you tend to attend groups around particular topics—but odds are you will see at least a few new faces every time. This might not work well for everyone, especially if you have social anxiety or find the idea of meeting new people and opening up to strangers uncomfortable or challenging. 

Sesh vs. Kip

Sesh and Kip are two mental health companies that are relatively new to the online space. Both also focus on providing culturally inclusive mental health support. However, the way they do so is quite different.

Kip is primarily a counseling agency and it offers individual, couples, and group therapy to its clients, but it only currently serves New York. Sesh, meanwhile, only offers therapist-led peer support groups, but it can accept clients in all 50 states. 

Price-wise, Sesh and Kip are quite different:

  • Kip bills clients per session and offers a sliding scale for costs. Depending on the tier of your therapist, you could pay $75 to $175 per individual session. Group therapy costs between $20 and $40 per person, depending on the group. 
  • Sesh, meanwhile, charges you $60 per month and you can join as many therapist-led support groups as you want, as long as there is a slot available. 

Neither company insurance, but Kip can provide you with a superbill if you want to request reimbursement from your insurance company on your own. 

Kip’s group therapy is also structured differently. If you’re admitted to a group, you will meet with the same people (and therapist moderator) every week for 12 weeks. At Sesh, the attendees and moderator will vary from group to group. At both companies, though, group sessions are 60 minutes in length. 

Kip’s website is more informative and better laid out than Sesh’s, with pricing information that's easy to find and the Privacy Policy clearly displayed. However, both have therapist profiles displayed and an easy sign-up process. 

According to our user surveys, 71 % of Sesh users said the services were either very good or excellent, while 75% of Kip users reported the same. Meanwhile, 89% of Sesh users reported they were either likely or very likely to still be seeing a therapist within the company a year from now, compared to 84% with Kip.

However, Sesh does have a slight edge overall: Eighty-three percent of Kip clients said they were either likely or very likely to refer someone to the company; at Sesh, that number was 94%. And of the users we surveyed that had tried other therapy services, 76% of Kip users reported that services were either better or much better than the services at the companies they used before while 82% of Sesh users reported the same. 

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for support from people who are living with similar mental health concerns and you don’t mind meeting new people frequently, Sesh might be the service you’re looking for. However, if you’re shy, don’t like meeting new people, or need more than just peer support, you’re best off looking elsewhere. Sesh is not a replacement for individual talk therapy, medication management, couples therapy, or psychiatric services. 

Methodology

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy companies is comprehensive and data-driven. We sent questionnaires to 33 companies and surveyed 100 current users of each in order to gather qualitative and quantitative data about each company and its users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on website usability, sign-up process, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, and how easy it is to change therapists. We then looked at therapist qualifications, the types of therapy offered, quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, and the therapist assignment process. Finally, we looked at cost, value for money, whether the companies take insurance, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood clients would recommend them. 

Specs

  • Product Name Sesh
  • Year Founded 2020
  • Price $60 per month
  • Insurance Accepted? No
  • HIPAA Compliant Yes
  • Platforms Live video group call
  • Payment Options All major credit cards
  • App Available? (Y/N) Yes
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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2 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Worrall H, Schweizer R, Marks E, Yuan L, Lloyd C, Ramjan R. The effectiveness of support groups: a literature reviewMental Health and Social Inclusion. 2018;22(2):85-93.

  2. Griffiths KM, Mackinnon AJ, Crisp DA, Christensen H, Bennett K, Farrer L. The effectiveness of an online support group for members of the community with depression: a randomised controlled trialPLoS One. 2012;7(12):e53244.