Teen Counseling Online Therapy Review

Our pick for Best Online Therapy for Teens

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Teen Counseling Review

Teen Counseling

Verywell's Rating
3.1

Teen Counseling won Verywell Mind’s Best for Teens award for its commitment to providing competent therapy to youths aged 13 to 19. The company emphasizes discretion, so that teens can speak freely with their therapists.

VERYWELL MIND's 2021 ONLINE THERAPY AWARDS
  • Best for Teens
  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Convenient monthly subscription

  • All therapists are licensed

  • Offers therapy to teens as young as 13

  • Offers therapy to parents looking for parenting advice

  • Multiple communication options with therapist are available

  • Live chat, phone, or video sessions included in subscription

  • Parent and teen get separate messaging rooms with therapist

Cons
  • No medication management services

  • No psychiatrists on staff

  • Prices on website are geotagged

  • Price ranges depend on therapist qualifications and location

  • You can’t pick your therapist

  • FAQs unclear about how many live sessions are included in subscription

  • No free trial available

  • May not work for more serious mental health issues

  • No free consultations

  • Does not take insurance

Key Facts
Price
$240 to $400 per month
Is Insurance Accepted?
No
Communication Options
Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat
HIPPA Compliant?
N/A
Is There an App?
Yes
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
No
20% off first month SIGN UP NOW
Why Trust Us
33
Companies reviewed
3,497
Total users surveyed
300
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 100 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we conducted comprehensive research with a psychotherapist.

Teen Counseling is one of several online therapy companies owned by BetterHelp. It aims to provide therapy for teens and their parents by matching them with therapists specializing in teen mental health and parenting issues. Clients can then conveniently communicate with their therapist via online message, phone call, or live video session. 

Teen Counseling did not respond to our questionnaire despite multiple attempts at contact. Parent company BetterHelp answered the questionnaire and told us that its answers applied to all of its subsidiaries. This hindered our ability to gain as much insight into Teen Counseling’s specific services and goals the way we were with some of its competitors, even if it is likely that some policies are standard across all BetterHelp-owned companies. We had to rely exclusively on user survey data and our research to assess the company.

First Impressions and Sign-up Process 

When you go to Teen Counseling’s website, it’s hard not to spot the similarities between the site and several other BetterHelp-owned companies, such as Pride Counseling, Faithful Counseling, and ReGain. Like its sister sites, it has a top menu that links to its FAQs (though it is worth noting that Teen Counseling has two FAQs, one for parents and one for teens), reviews, contact information, login, and a “Get Started” button. Below that, you’ll find an elevator pitch for the company and two buttons to begin the intake process.

Teen Counselling

Teen Counselling

If you scroll down the page, you'll find more detailed information about the therapists who work for the company, how services work, and testimonials. Unfortunately, prices are not prominently displayed on the homepage; for that, you have to go to the FAQ pages, and the figures you'll see are geotagged (more on that below).

Otherwise, the website is pretty bare-bones. There is no blog, informative articles, videos, worksheets, or additional resources for therapy seekers like on the many other websites we reviewed. There are also no therapist bios posted on the website. The only insight into who the therapists are is on the customer review page, but only a tiny sample of the 12,000-plus licensed therapists on Teen Counseling's staff is featured there. 

Seventy-four percent of users surveyed reported that they either had a very good or excellent experience signing up for Pride Counseling company.

There are two sign-up buttons on the website and two FAQ pages, one for teens and one for parents, since the company offers different sign-up options. You can either sign-up as a parent on behalf of your child, as a parent alone (to focus on your parenting issues in session without your child), or if you're a teen, you can begin the sign-up process yourself (though your parent or guardian may need to approve your subscription before therapy can begin, depending on your state). 

While we can appreciate the intention behind having two FAQ pages, the net result is somewhat confusing. On the parent FAQ page, it is somewhat unclear how the parent invite process works if the parent fills out the intake for their child, and on the teen FAQ page, it is unclear when parental consent is acquired if the teen begins the intake process.

While the teen FAQ page makes it clear that therapy sessions and the chat room are confidential, the parent FAQ page doesn't do as good a job explaining to the parents how much involvement and information they can expect to receive. As a result, users may be left with unanswered questions before signing up for this company's services, leaving some potential users wary of signing up at all.  

If you sign up, the process is a little different depending on what you're looking for. If you're a teen and click the orange button on the homepage, it will take you to a brief questionnaire about how you've been feeling recently, then invite you to create an account. If you're a parent, you'll click the green prompt on the homepage, then decide if you're seeking therapy for yourself (for parenting issues) or your child. Regardless of which option you choose, you'll answer a series of questions about your child and how you perceive their mental health.

Once you create your account, you’ll be asked questions about your therapist preferences and matched with someone who fits your needs by the company’s algorithm. Unfortunately, you cannot pick your therapist as you can at other companies.

It’s only once you’ve been matched with your therapist that you’ll be given the price for your subscription—which is frustrating. You might go through a bunch of intake steps to end up with a price you cannot afford. However, when inserting different lower-income amounts, we noticed a discounted rate.

Once your payment has been processed, the website states that you should hear from your therapist within a few hours to a few days (which is a large window of time). According to the users we surveyed, 25% heard from their therapist the same day, 34% said it took between one and three days, and 25% heard back in the latter half of the same week. However, 15% said it took up to two weeks or more.

Cost 

Teen Counseling only offers one monthly subscription, but the price range you'll see is based on factors such as number of therapists available in your state. Typically, each week will cost $60 to $95, billed all at once every four weeks.

Only 57% of the users we polled said the price of this subscription was very good or excellent—which is one of the lowest price satisfaction ratings of all the companies we reviewed. 

OurRelationship's Prices Compared to Other Therapy Options

As far as we can tell, this dissatisfaction is likely due to several reasons: First, the price you pay varies depending on what therapist you're matched with, but since you don't pick your therapist yourself, Teen Counseling is essentially deciding for you how much you should pay—without asking you what you can afford. And you do not have the opportunity to request a lower price at this stage.

Second, the company isn't upfront with its prices. The only way you'll have any idea of cost is by checking the FAQ page, and even there, you'll only see a range. But even the prices you see will vary based on where you log onto the website because this price range is geotagged—a fact we only discovered because some of our team members live in different regions. It seems the $60 to $90 range is the most common, but our team has seen prices up to $150, which would result in a total cost of $600 for four weeks of sessions.

Since BetterHelp did not respond to us on behalf of its subsidiary, we have no insight into why Teen Counseling's price range differs so much across different states, nor why the site isn't transparent about what makes one location more expensive than another.

What Does the Subscription Plan Include?

Every Teen Counseling subscription includes:

  • Two dedicated 24/7 “rooms”—one for the parent and one for the teen—to message the therapist at any time. These rooms are separate and confidential; information will not be shared from room to room without consent or in an emergency.
  • Live sessions held over the phone or a video call. 

It’s worth noting that the FAQs were not clear about how many live sessions are included in a subscription. You only get this information once you get to the payment page, which is disappointing. 

Is There a Free Trial?

A free trial is not available.

Does Teen Counseling Accept Insurance?

Teen Counseling does not accept insurance. 

Can You Cancel Your Subscription at Any Time?

You can cancel at any time through your private portal. However, you will not be reimbursed for any unused time remaining on your subscription month. 

Are There Discounts Available?

Verywell Mind readers get 10% off their first month of membership. 

You can also apply for financial assistance if you cannot afford the monthly cost of your subscription. To do so, you will need to disclose a good amount of personal information about your monthly income, as well as your spouse’s, if applicable. 

There is no information on the Teen Counseling website about who is eligible for aid and how much assistance you can expect. Since BetterHelp didn’t answer our questionnaire, we do not have any additional information about this type of assistance.

Ease of Use

As mentioned, once you’re signed up, you will have access to your own private “room,” where you will be able to message your therapist and book live sessions. Both you and your teen will have separate portals. 

Seventy-five percent of our survey respondents found this portal to be very good or excellent in terms of user friendliness. As for communicating with therapists, only 78% found the online chat messaging to be very good or excellent, though 80% said the speed they heard back from their therapist was either very good or excellent.

Eighty-six percent said their live phone sessions were very good or excellent; 92% said the same about live video sessions.

If you do not like the therapist you were matched with, you can switch via your portal settings, though you don’t get to choose your therapist yourself. Instead, you’ll have to answer a brief questionnaire about what you’re looking for in a therapist, and a new one will be assigned to you. Only 65% of our survey respondents said the switching process was easy or very easy.

Thirty-three percent reported having switched therapists once; 33% of respondents had seen three providers, and 26% had seen four or more. Only 7% of respondents said they stayed with the first therapist they were assigned.

Therapists' Qualifications and Quality of Care

Seventy-nine percent of our survey respondents said that therapists' qualifications were a big reason they chose Teen Counseling for online therapy—and 80% said they weren't disappointed because their therapist's qualifications were very good or excellent. 

All therapists who work for Teen Counseling abide by BetterHelp's guidelines. However, unlike the rest of Betterhelp's therapists, the 10,000-plus who work for Teen Counseling specialize in treating teens and parents. 

All therapists have master's degrees, though some also have their PhDs, and they are all licensed in their respective states. The therapists have at least three years and 1,000 hours of experience.

Ninety-five per of survey respondents said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options available.

Types of Therapy Offered

As noted above, all therapists at Teen Counseling specialize in treating teens or parents. Issues typically addressed in therapy include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Relationship issues
  • Parenting
  • Depression
  • Sleep issues
  • Trauma 
  • Anger
  • Bullying
  • LGBTQIA+ identity topics
  • Grief

However, the website does not provide additional information about what psychological treatments are utilized in therapy. This is likely because each therapist will have their own techniques, but we cannot say for sure since BetterHelp didn’t answer the questionnaire. 

Teen Counseling only offers individual sessions—so even if you sign up with your teen, you will not have joint sessions. The company does not provide family counseling. It also does not offer medication management, which is disappointing given that many competitors, including Talkspace, Teledoc, and Amwell, do.

Privacy Policies

Teen Counseling is HIPAA compliant. According to Teen Counseling’s Privacy Policy, the company takes several steps to protect your privacy. While the policy doesn’t go into great detail, the company says it applies industry standards and best practices to prevent unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of your private data. 

The website does collect cookies and web beacons when you visit the website, but you can change your browser setting to stop accepting them. 

If your therapist suspects you are a threat to yourself or others, they are required by law to report this information to the relevant authorities, including law enforcement. They will also comply with any court, regulatory entity, law enforcement, or subpoena. 

Overall Client Satisfaction

Seventy percent of the users we surveyed said the services they received through Teen Counseling were either very good or excellent, and 64% said its value was very good or excellent for the money spent. Both were lower than average compared to the other 33 companies we reviewed. 

Eighty-four percent of users reported that they were either likely or very likely to recommend someone like themselves to Teen Counseling. 

That said, users seem to stick with the company for a while, because only 10% of users were new. Instead, 24% had been using it for three to six months, 25% for six to 12 months, and 26% had been with it for one to two years. Fourteen percent had been using it for more than two years.

Seventy-eight percent of polled users who had used other online therapy services said that Teen Counseling was better or much better than their previous online service. 

Is Teen Counseling Right For You?

Teen Counseling serves a particular niche in the online therapy world: teenagers and their parents. So if you’re the parent of a teenager and need someone to talk to or get parenting advice, this might be the company for you. Likewise, if you’re a teenager who needs talk therapy because you’re being bullied, have social anxiety, or experience mild anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, or high stress—and you have your parent’s consent—this company might also work for you. 

However, since therapy sessions are only 30 minutes and don’t offer medication management, this isn’t the company we’d recommend for teens with more serious mental health conditions, including panic disorders, severe depression, bipolar disorder, or PTSD. 

Teen Counseling is also not designed to be an emergency service. Teens struggling with suicidal thoughts, in crisis, or need inpatient care are not suitable for this service. Teenagers with psychotic disorders or a history of psychosis are also not a good fit. 

Teen Counseling vs. Talkspace

There are a few different options for companies that offer teen counseling, but one of the most notable is Talkspace because it is one of the better-known companies in the online therapy world.

Both Talkspace and Teen Counseling employ thousands of licensed therapists, are easy-to-use monthly subscription platforms, and offer several convenient ways to communicate with your therapist. Both use algorithms to help you find a therapist—but while Teen Counseling chooses for you outright, Talkspace makes recommendations, and you get the final choice of who you want your therapist to be. 

Website Comparison: OurRelationship vs ReGain

However, Talkspace is a one-stop destination for all your online therapy needs. It offers individual talk therapy for teens and adults, provides couples counseling, and offers psychiatric appointments and medication management.

Teen Counseling is focused on only one thing: individual therapy for teenagers and their parents. 

Price-wise, the companies are difficult to compare due to a lack of details from Talkspace, but they both have multiple therapy plans:

  • Talkspace offers three different subscription plans for therapy, although it does not specify the prices for each. You can also add psychiatric appointments and medication management sessions which cost $249 for the first visit and then $125.
  • Teen Counseling’s one plan normally ranges in price from $240 to $360 in most locations, depending on the therapist you’re matched with. However, you have less control over how much you pay since the company makes the final therapist choice for you. It also may cost more in certain locations.

Talkspace has a much more informative website, which features several additional resources. It also does a better job at explaining how it protects your private data than Teen Counseling does. When it came to our surveyed users, the results were mixed: Nearly the same number of users—69% at Talkspace and 70% at Teen Counseling—said services were very good or excellent. 

Talkspace did a little better elsewhere, though: Ninety-four percent of users were likely or very likely to refer someone to the company (compared to 84% at Teen Counseling), and 90% of respondents said they were likely or very likely to still be seeing a Talkspace in one year (compared to 83%). 

However, slightly more Teen Counseling users who had tried other services said the company was better or much better than the services they’d used before: Seventy-eight percent, compared to 76% at Talkspace. 

Final Verdict

Teen Counseling does one thing well: provide talk therapy to teens and their parents who need advice. So if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll likely benefit from its services.

But Teen Counseling isn’t the most affordable online therapy company, and it doesn’t offer medication management. We believe that most adult users would be better served by either Teen Counseling’s parent company BetterHelp or one of its competitors, such as Talkspace, Wellnite, or Ayana Therapy.

Methodology

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy companies is comprehensive and data-driven. To fairly and accurately review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 33 companies and surveyed 100 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 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, whether the companies take insurance, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood clients would recommend them.

By Mary K. Tatum, MS, LMHC
Mary is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist with 15 years of experience working in the psychology field. She earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Bluefield College and a Master of Science in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She began in social work and then moved to drug rehab settings, working as a therapist, group facilitator, and clinical director. She specializes in family dynamic systems, trauma recovery, improving resilience, addiction recovery, and the psychology of successful business management.

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