SonderMind Online Therapy Review

Offering teletherapy that's in-network with many health insurance companies

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SonderMind

SonderMind

Verywell's Rating
3.8

SonderMind is a convenient way to connect with a licensed mental health professional on a regular basis. It accepts insurance, offers self-pay prices that are lower than the national average, and has messaging options. However, it is only currently available in 15 states, and its website is not the most transparent. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • In-network with most major insurance providers

  • Uses a HIPAA-compliant video software

  • Competitive self-pay prices are between $85 and $105

  • User-friendly therapy dashboard makes for easy scheduling

  • Messaging option connects client and therapist outside of video sessions

  • Therapists are licensed clinicians

  • Offers in-person and online therapy in eligible states

Cons
  • Currently available in only 15 states

  • History of billing issues

  • Inflexible 24-hour cancellation policy

  • Connectivity issues during video sessions

  • Information on the website is a little sparse

Key Facts
Price
Most therapists charge about $85 for a 60-minute session
Is Insurance Accepted?
Yes
Type Of Therapy
Individual Therapy, Psychiatry
Communication Options
Video Chat
HIPAA Compliant?
N/A
Is There an App?
No
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.

The United States is filled with therapy deserts—parts of the country where few to no mental health providers are available, especially those who take insurance. 

Online therapy services like SonderMind are attempting to bridge that gap by offering qualified, in-network online providers in more of those deserts. SonderMind’s website states it’s redesigning behavioral health care, making it more accessible, and making it easier for people to find good therapists. We surveyed 105 users and I signed up to see if it delivers on this promise. 

What Is SonderMind?

SonderMind is a telehealth platform connecting therapy seekers with licensed providers in their area. It was founded in 2014 by Mark Frank, an entrepreneur and former investment banker. Driven by the conviction that everyone should have access to mental health care, Frank believed that modern technology could make it possible for therapists to offer great care to a wider demographic.

It appears that SonderMind does more than hire therapists and refer them to clients; it’s working hand-in-hand with them to make sure they have the resources they need to provide the best outcomes for their clients. For example, SonderMind partners with organizations that provide their clinicians with continuing education. The company’s software also allows clinicians to focus on therapy by streamlining administrative tasks and collecting relevant data from their clients so therapists can measure their progress.

SonderMind’s reputation is mixed. While I find no indication that it’s been involved in scandals, users have made complaints online about its billing practices. I didn’t use my insurance, so I don’t have personal experience with using insurance to pay for therapy with SonderMind. However, given these complaints, I’d encourage therapy seekers to speak with their insurance carrier before setting up an appointment to get the facts straight on what they will pay.

What Services Does SonderMind Offer?

SonderMind offers individual therapy and psychiatry sessions through video calls. 

At this time, SonderMind is only available in 15 states: Colorado (where SonderMind is based), Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Who Is SonderMind For?

The service would be appropriate for a therapy seeker in one of those locations who feels comfortable trying out a service that doesn’t provide a lot of information upfront.

How Much Does SonderMind Cost?

SonderMind is not a monthly subscription. You pay per session you book. With that said, though, the company isn’t super upfront about pricing, saying only that rates are based on a few different factors, including which therapists you meet with, whether you’re self-paying or using insurance, and what type of appointment you’ve made. In fact, it wasn’t until I visited my therapy dashboard that I saw an estimate of the cost. 

Most therapists charge about $85 for a 60-minute session, but I paid $105 for my first session (the company charges more for the first session), then $90 for each session after that. 

These prices are comparable to other teletherapy providers that charge per session. However, we also know that many Americans feel they can’t afford therapy, with one-third of the respondents to Verywell Mind’s Cost of Therapy Survey saying they had to cut back on or cancel their therapy to make ends meet.

Still, of the users we surveyed, most found these prices to be at least somewhat affordable, with 22% rating it as very affordable, 30% rating it as affordable, and 41% rating it as somewhat affordable.

Does SonderMind Take Insurance? 

Yes, SonderMind accepts insurance in the states where it is available. Even though it only serves 15 states and the District of Columbia right now, it is in-network with an impressive number of health insurance providers, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Medicare. 

Sodermind Insurance

This seems to have been a desirable feature for the users we surveyed: 46% stated their insurance helped pay for their therapy with the company.

Does SonderMind Offer Discounts?

No, we were not able to find any discounts offered by SonderMind at this time. 

Navigating the Sondermind Website

SonderMind’s website is basic. This makes it easy to use, and over half of the survey respondents agreed. 

Homepage

On the homepage, you are greeted with the statement “Therapy that works. Because we make it work for you” in large white font against a blue background. Below this, it claims that users can start to see results after only six sessions, but does not back up with claim with anything except results from “our data.” 

From the homepage, you can scroll to the bottom and find links to an “about us” page along with the company's privacy policy, terms of service, and FAQs.

Sodermind GAQ

The menu includes information for clients and for therapists, along with an option to get started with a questionnaire used to match you with a therapist.

In order to receive information about therapists that practice in your area and what types of therapy are available (like online, in-person, or both), you need to create an account and complete the intake questionnaire. Even with some pretty extensive search engine use, I wasn’t able to find a lot of information about what the therapy experience is like with SonderMind. Its website does have a blog it updates regularly with educational content about mental health and therapy.

Sodermind Blog

I found the website to be pretty underwhelming. I felt it lacked information on the types of therapy SonderMind provides as well as pricing. It also isn’t clear if it offers couples therapy or treats teens, for example. Through its questionnaire, it states that it will connect you with a therapist with the appropriate skill set, but there isn’t a comprehensive list of what types of therapy it offers or what conditions it treats. 

Signing Up for Therapy at SonderMind

Signing up for therapy at SonderMind was uncomplicated, and 81% of surveyed users agreed, rating it as easy or very easy. 

Sodermind Sign up


I was prompted to complete a questionnaire in order to be matched with a therapist. The first question it asked was about where I was in my therapy journey. Was I new to the idea of therapy and still exploring it? Was I certain I wanted therapy but not sure about SonderMind? Or was I ready to schedule with a SonderMind therapist? 

From there, it asked me how I was feeling at the moment. Then, it went onto a series of questions on my preferences for therapy. It asked questions such as whether I was looking for video or in-person therapy or if I preferred a therapist of a specific gender. It also asked me about my preferences concerning the sexuality, religion, and race of my therapist. Then it prompted me to enter my insurance or select self-pay before it would match me with a therapist. 

Using the information I provided, SonderMind chose a therapist for me. In my therapy dashboard, which is a private user portal, I could message my therapist to schedule a session. Some therapists have the option of client self-scheduling, providing a variety of days and times they’re available.

I actually matched with two therapists because I requested a switch (more on that below). Both of the therapists I was matched with were licensed in their areas of expertise. One was a licensed psychoanalyst, and the other was a licensed professional counselor. 

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at SonderMind?

All therapy sessions take place on SonderMind’s website using its video software. From the homepage, you can log in and then head to your account dashboard. There, you will see your scheduled therapy sessions. 

Sodermind signing up

During the sessions, my first therapist was very engaged. My sessions were a mix of getting to know me and my goals and talking through practical steps I could take to address the issues I brought up in therapy. 

During my second call, the software ended the call every 16 minutes. This appeared to be a problem with the video software, not related to a poor internet connection.

Over email, my therapist followed up with resources I could use to implement a few of the ideas we talked about during my session. I also had the option to reach out over SonderMind’s messaging software, but this appears to be used more for scheduling than for a therapeutic conversation.

Psychiatry Sessions

On its website, SonderMind states that it offers psychiatric services, but I didn’t opt to try out medication management. You are able to indicate you’re interested in medication management during intake, or you can reach out over the phone to start the process of finding a psychiatrist. 

While SonderMind does have the option to meet with a psychiatrist through telehealth for medication management, it does not offer prescription medication through the mail. Instead, it works directly with your home pharmacy to order medications prescribed by your provider.

Nineteen percent of our users who tried SonderMind’s psychiatry and medication management services rated those services as excellent, 16% rated them as very good, and 26% thought they were good. However, a full 9% rated the psychiatry and medication management as poor.

What Happens If I Miss a Session?

If you miss a session, SonderMind charges a no-show fee. While the exact amount isn’t disclosed in the terms of service, the company does indicate that this fee could be the full cost of the session or the current self-pay rate. 

I didn’t receive texts or emails reminding me of my appointment times, so I recommend adding your appointments to your calendar right away after scheduling them to avoid missing sessions.

Switching Therapists at SonderMind

SonderMind matches you with a therapist based on your intake questionnaire. If you indicate you want to make a switch, it asks for a reason and prompts you to include additional comments to help guide you to a better fit. Then it assigns you a new therapist. 

Half of the SonderMind clients we surveyed chose not to switch their therapist, and only 24% switched two or more times. 

There was no pushback from the platform when I made a switch. I was matched with a new therapist 48 hours after submitting my request. However, it's worth noting I put in my request on a Sunday afternoon, which might have slowed down the response time. 

After making the switch, my first therapist did reach out through text message to see if there was a specific reason I didn’t reschedule with her. I’m not sure if this is standard SonderMind practice or if she chose to do this on her own. While I did feel a little awkward answering her question, she didn’t press the issue when I told her I was trying out a few different options to find the best fit. 

Pausing or Cancelling Therapy at SonderMind

SonderMind’s teletherapy is scheduled one session at a time. Because of this, it isn’t necessary to pause or cancel your SonderMind account. Instead, you can simply stop scheduling therapy if you’re ready to move on. 

If you have sessions scheduled, those need to be canceled a full 24 hours in advance in order to avoid being charged a no-show fee.

SonderMind keeps your credit card on file, and there isn’t an option to remove it from the website. If you’d like SonderMind to erase your data, its privacy policy provides an address for you to make a written request.

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

After meeting with two therapists, I came to appreciate how SonderMind keeps things simple to focus on providing effective therapy to its clients. I found my therapists attentive and knowledgeable and felt they went the extra mile by following up with me over email to share educational materials.

My therapists were well educated on the topics I brought up during our sessions, and I felt I was able to get the support and advice I was looking for. The only disappointment was getting kicked off one of my sessions multiple times, but my clinician assured me she’d be addressing that issue with SonderMind. 

Still, I have some hesitation when it comes to recommending SonderMind’s service, and I’m not alone. Thirty percent of our survey respondents shared they were unsure they would recommend the company, and another 30% said they were unlikely or very unlikely to suggest SonderMind to family or friends. 

One of my main hesitations is that SonderMind is only available in 15 states, so it isn’t actually all that accessible for a large portion of the U.S. population. 

This is also something that bothered clinical psychologist and subject matter expert for this project Amy Marschall, PsyD, and was part of why she felt the company wasn’t doing enough to make good on its mission.

“I would want to know what they are doing that specifically improves access, utilization, and outcomes compared to other platforms,” she says. “They indicate that users see results in six weeks, but therapy is not a process that can be rushed, and that kind of guarantee can be misleading for someone with severe mental health issues that require long-term care.”

Additionally, I found the website to be incomplete, with little information about what type of therapy Sondermind offers and no specifics on pricing.

Still, I did like that all sessions at SonderMind take place over live video call, rather than message. This allowed me to get feedback in real time when I brought up a concern or asked for advice. I felt live therapy provided me with a higher quality of care than a lower-cost, messaging-based therapy option. 

When asked about the quality of care at SonderMind, 43% of surveyed users felt all of their needs were met, and 48% said most of their needs were met, in therapy. Additionally, 37% of users said they are likely or very likely to still be with their current therapist six months from now, and 32% were likely or very likely to still be working with their therapist in a year.

Privacy Policies

SonderMind is upfront about how seriously it takes client privacy. Its privacy policy states that the software they use is HIPAA-compliant. It also doesn't record therapy sessions and it requires its clinicians to comply with its rigorous privacy guidelines.

SonderMind does collect specific data from its users to create their accounts and match them with a provider. In some instances, it shares the information with third parties. Its privacy policy states this includes sharing data if it’s legally required to, sharing data with your healthcare provider, and sharing user data if the company is bought or merges with another company. It also cautions that if you click a link on its website and it redirects you to a third party, that website will have its own set of privacy rules.

SonderMind vs. Its Competitors

Sixty-eight percent of our survey respondents said they found SonderMind’s services better to much better than similar services they’d used in the past. Only 7% said it was a little worse and none said it was much worse. 

SonderMind is not a subscription service, like Talkspace and BetterHelp, and in some ways this put it at a disadvantage. Admittedly, its self-pay rates are lower than most in-person, out-of-pocket rates, but they are higher than most copays for clients with mental health coverage. And you probably could pay less if you subscribed to a monthly therapy subscription, though it is worth noting that at BetterHelp, sessions are shorter than a full hour. 

SonderMind also falters in some areas where Talkspace succeeds. For example, 27% of Talkspace users rate the overall service as excellent, as opposed to the 17% of SonderMind users who felt the same way. Additionally, 26% found the process of looking for a therapist on Talkspace to be very easy, whereas SonderMind only scored 12% in this area. However, SonderMind comes out on top in terms of meeting all of its clients’ needs, with 41% of its users having all their needs met as opposed to Talkspace’s 38%.

Final Verdict

Though SonderMind is excelling in some areas, it could improve in others. I found the quality of care I received from my therapists to be exceptional. I felt they were fully checked in during my session and offered me valuable feedback. I was satisfied with the therapy I received, as were 71% of the SonderMind users Verywell Mind surveyed. I think it could be a useful service for therapy seekers in the states served by SonderMind.

However, SonderMind is not widely available in the United States, so it is inaccessible to the majority of Americans. Additionally, I’d like to see SonderMind add more information to its website, making it easier to decide if it’s a good fit for you before you sign up. It also appears that many users are dissatisfied with the medication management services, with 9% of our surveyed users rating those services as poor—a pretty high number compared to other companies we reviewed.

Methodology

To fairly and accurately review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users of each. This allowed us to directly compare services offered by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about each company and its users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on the following factors: website usability, the signup and therapist matching processes, therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, the service's quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, average cost and value for money, whether it accepts insurance, how easy it is to change therapists, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood that clients would recommend them.

We also signed up for the companies in order to get a sense of how this process worked, how easy to use the platform is, and how therapy takes place at the company. Then, worked with three subject matter experts to get their expert analysis on how suited this company is to provide quality care to therapy seekers. 

By Mary Sauer
Mary is a freelance writer with eight years experience reporting on mental health, pregnancy, and parenting. Her work can be found in Parade Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Vice's Tonic.

Edited by
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

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
and
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