Thriveworks Online Therapy Review

An efficient scheduling system enables you to start therapy within days

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Thriveworks

What is most notable about Thriveworks is its flexibility: It offers both virtual and in-person sessions, which is unique in the online therapy world. It has in-person centers all over the country, its therapists have evening and weekend hours, it accepts insurance, and it provides multiple types of services, including medication management.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Efficient, flexible session scheduling

  • Accepts health insurance

  • Therapists have availability within 48 hours

  • Goal-oriented therapists

  • In-person therapy available

  • Easy-to-reach customer service

  • Both virtual and in-person therapy available

  • Over 340 in-person treatment locations

  • Individual, couples, children’s, and family therapy available

  • Offers psychiatry and addiction counselling

Cons
  • Patients billed by both Thriveworks and their therapist

  • Messaging unavailable

  • Therapists cannot be filtered by identity

  • Psychiatrists have minimal availability

  • Membership comes with few benefits compared to competitors

Key Facts
Price
$39 per month session fee plus a variable session-by-session rate
Is Insurance Accepted?
Yes
Type Of Therapy
Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Communication Options
Audio, Phone, Video Chat
HIPAA Compliant?
N/A
Is There an App?
Yes
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.

America faces a mental health care crisis. According to a 2021 practitioner survey issued by the American Psychological Association (APA), 65% of therapists cannot accept new patients. Furthermore, statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that the country would need an additional 7,420 mental health professionals in order for the public to be adequately served. These shortages make finding a therapist difficult. 

Enter Thriveworks, a therapy company that sets out to make an otherwise overwhelmed mental healthcare system accessible by offering flexibility and convenience via an intuitive online therapy service. 

To determine how well Thriveworks held up against its competitors, we surveyed 105 users of 55 different companies and sent all the companies a questionnaire to complete. I also tried the service myself and interviewed two different therapists at Thriveworks to get their points of view about the company. 

What Is Thriveworks?

Thriveworks is an online therapy company that was founded in 2008 by licensed therapist Dr. AJ Centore, one of the co-authors of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book. The company’s mission is kind of lofty—“to help people live happy and successful lives”—but it has worked hard to help people find treatment for their mental health conditions online and in-person all over the country. 

Thriveworks has more than 3,000 providers and over 380 physical offices in 45 states plus Washington DC. It doesn’t have offices in New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, or West Virginia. However, if you live in one of the five states without in person services, you can still take advantage of their online therapy services. 

What Services Does Thriveworks Offer?

Thriveworks offers several different types of therapy, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Children’s therapy
  • Addiction counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Medication management and psychiatry
  • Group counseling

Therapy sessions can be conducted in-person at one of its 380+ locations or online, run about 50 minutes, and range in frequency depending on your preferences and your therapist’s availability. 

Who Is Thriveworks for?

Thriveworks offers therapy for a wide range of mental health issues, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Relationship issues
  • Family issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Grief
  • Domestic abuse
  • LGBTQ+ issues 
  • Trauma

However, it doesn’t offer counseling for some more serious mental health concerns, such as schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder.

It’s a useful service for anyone who might need therapy to fit into their busy schedule, or who can’t make appointments work at the same time every week. You can easily reschedule or cancel appointments through the patient portal (although you must cancel at least 23.5 hours before or you’re be billed a cancellation fee). 

One big drawback of the company, though, is that there isn’t an easy way to search for a therapist that specializes in treating BIPOC clients. This may turn BIPOC clients away from the service since therapists who are not culturally informed may struggle to connect with the client or may commit microaggressions. According to Dr. Nicholas Hardy, LCSW, lacking a race-related filter option “whether intentional or unintentional, [] creates a barrier for those who already experience a disproportionate number of barriers in mental health.” 

Thriveworks doesn’t allow users to filter therapists by what therapeutic techniques they use. However, a blog post on the site states that Thriveworks has therapists “who utilize strength-based counseling, solution-focused brief therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and other evidence-based techniques.”

How Much Does Thriveworks Cost?

Unfortunately, pricing at Thriveworks is not very straightforward (unlike its scheduling process, but more on that below). 

Out-of-pocket costs vary depending on which therapist you see and what kind of treatment you receive, but they start at $99 per session. There is also a $39 per month membership fee in order to schedule sessions with a Thriveworks therapist, though that membership fee can be waived. 

After telling my first therapist that I’m a graduate student, they ended their email by saying, “I’ll also share a small Thriveworks ‘hack’ you might say, which is that you can email support@thriveworks.com requesting a waiver form to fill out to avoid paying a monthly $39 ‘membership fee.’” 

Paying per session and paying for a monthly membership does make Thriveworks more expensive than some of the other companies we reviewed, especially compared to those that only charge you a monthly subscription.

This might be why many of the users we surveyed found Thriveworks’ pricing challenging. A full forty-one percent said that they found the services only “somewhat affordable” and another 11% found it either “not very affordable” or “not affordable at all.” This isn’t surprising when you consider that Verywell Mind’s research indicates that 40% of people need financial assistance in order to afford therapy—so paying $99 or more per session (plus a membership fee) can add up quickly if you see a therapist every week. 

If you google Thriveworks (or search for it on Twitter), one of the common complaints you’ll run into from users is that its billing practices are confusing and challenging. Many people have claimed they received surprise bills or are still being charged a membership fee months after canceling their membership. 

Thriveworks also collects your credit card information at signup, but your therapist will also have to collect your card information at the end of the session in order to receive payment. This may be frustrating for users since it makes the therapeutic relationship feel more transactional and takes up time at the end of your first session. 

Does Thriveworks Accept Insurance?

Yes. While Thriveworks’ services may be more expensive to pay out-of-pocket, it does accept health insurance, which can reduce your per-session cost. This is a real benefit for an online therapy company as many of its biggest competitors, including BetterHelp, do not. 

It accepts an extensive list of insurance plans, increasing your chances of being able to get your therapy covered. The plans it accepts include, but are not limited to:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield 
  • Cigna | Evernorth
  • Compsych
  • Humana
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare | Optum

It is important to note, however, that not all Thriveworks providers accept all of the insurance plans that Thriveworks lists. Fortunately, you can filter therapists by what insurance plans they accept to help you find a therapist that takes your plan.

Sixty-seven percent of our surveyed users paid for Thriveworks via their health insurance, indicating that this is a viable option for many seeking help. 

Does Thriveworks Offer Discounts?

Thriveworks does not have a sliding scale or other discounts available. 

Navigating the Thriveworks Website

When you enter the Thriveworks homepage, you immediately see a button to “book a session”. 

homepage

If you click this button, it leads you to a calendar enabling you to click on the available appointment that works best for you. 

book

If you want to learn more about its services before booking, you can scroll down the homepage and watch a video or read a bulleted list outlining Thriveworks’ offerings. 

faq

You can also explore the menu options at the top of the screen. Regardless of where you click, it is easy to find clear information about Thriveworks’ offerings, and it was easy to find answers to all of my questions.

nav bar

Under its “About” page, you will find Thriveworks’ mission statement, along with its five core values. To support its core mission, the website has a blog, which is updated multiple times per week and provides ample information about a variety of mental health issues. Its posts offer advice on everything from parenting to depression

about

In addition to its blog, Thriveworks also maintains a strong Instagram presence with videos from therapists with mental health tips and infographics about important topics, such as suicide. 

Overall, Thriveworks’ website is easy to navigate, informative, and helpful, and sixty-eight percent of surveyed users said it was “easy” or “very easy” to navigate.

Signing up for Therapy at Thriveworks 

Like navigating the Thriveworks website, signing up for Thriveworks is incredibly easy. After I clicked “book a session”, I was shown a calendar that displayed which therapists were available and when. 

From there, I could narrow down the therapists to find one I wanted to work with thanks to filters at the top of the page.

nav

The filters let me refine my search results based on issues the therapists addressed, what insurance they accepted, the type of therapy they conducted, where I was located (i.e. my zip code), and whether I wanted in-person or telehealth therapy. 

book

Once I chose a time for my first appointment, I was asked to create an account, which I did via my Gmail. (You can also create an account with a non-Google email and make your own password.) I then provided my basic contact information and credit card. 

The whole process felt less like starting therapy and more like signing up for a hot yoga class because of how little information I needed to enter. 

Choosing a therapist on Thriveworks is a bit of a shot in the dark because there is no matching process or intake questionnaire. Instead, it’s up to you to pick a therapist that you want to work with (based on the search filters) that’s available at a time you like. 

In this sense, Thriveworks feels more like a directory of therapists rather than an online therapy company such as Talkspace and BetterHelp, which help match you. (In fact, even some directories, like Alma or Mental Health Match, offer matching.)

While all of their therapists are qualified, licensed counselors, psychologists, and/or psychiatrists, there’s very little information available about them on the site to help you choose one. If you click on a therapist’s name, you get a short bio, a list of conditions they treat, their therapeutic techniques, their pricing, and a small photo. Sometimes, there is also a video of the therapist available, but they are no longer than 30 seconds, and there are no links to their professional websites. 

Bio

While this may be enough information for some people, it can be lacking if you’re looking for a therapist with a specific racial identity, religious background, or another marginalized identity. There’s no way to filter by identity. 

It’s also worth noting that the only way to find a therapist comfortable with queer clients is to mark “LGBTQIA+” as something you need “help with”, which I found problematic because it suggests that queerness is a source of negativity in my life. 

Furthermore, as a disabled person, I couldn’t find a therapist familiar with disability much less someone who was also disabled. There was no way to indicate I wanted either of those qualities in my provider.

The results of our user survey indicated other people had similar issues to me. A mere twenty-seven percent% of the users we surveyed said that they found a therapist who supported their identities and only 41% of the users were able to find a therapist who fitted all of their needs. 

If you’re not seeking a therapist that specializes in serving marginalized communities, then Thriveworks has many qualified providers available. 

In fact, half of our user testers said they would keep seeing their current Thriveworks therapist, and, I’ll admit, both of the therapists I met with were helpful even in the short time I spoke with them. During one of my intakes, the therapist asked, “What do you need right now?” That question stuck in my mind for days afterward. 

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at Thriveworks?

At Thriveworks, you can choose to either work with a therapist virtually or, meet them in person at one of the 340+ locations run by the company. 

Live Sessions

For this review (and for the sake of my busy graduate school schedule) I chose to just work with therapists who offered teletherapy. As a result, I communicated with my therapists entirely by video call and email. Although there is an app available, you need an access code from your local Thriveworks office to use it, and neither of my therapists even suggested it. 

Each video call lasted about an hour and felt exactly like telehealth sessions I’ve had elsewhere. The first sessions began with the therapist explaining what “confidential” means in the context of therapy: Therapists can’t share that you are in therapy, and they can’t share anything you say in therapy unless they believe you are an immediate threat to yourself or others, are legally forced to, or believe a member of a protected group (such as a child) is being abused. 

Following these disclaimers, I was asked a series of intake questions regarding my mental health history and current struggles. These included questions about my childhood, my current substance use, and if I had ever been to therapy before. 

Outside of the Advanced MD page, you see before your Zoom call begins, it is easy to forget that you’re receiving therapy through a company rather than directly from a therapist in private practice. 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. 

In-Person Sessions

If you choose the in-person option, the sign-up process is identical. After entering your city and state, you are presented with an identical calendar showing the therapists closest to you who accept in-person clients. 

Psychiatry

Thriveworks psychiatry service works much the same way its therapy service does. The sign-up process is exactly the same and the psychiatry sessions can be conducted via telehealth just as effectively as talk therapy can, says Dr. Amy Marschall, a clinical psychologist and one of the subject matter experts we worked with on this project.

“Telepsychiatry is generally appropriate just like teletherapy as long as the provider has training in providing care via that type of platform,” she adds. 

However, it is important to note that telepsychiatry requires oversight, especially if prescribing controlled substances. Thriveworks doesn’t advertise that they prescribe such substances, but it also doesn't say that it doesn't. Their psychiatry page emphasizes the fact that you can often see a psychiatrist in three to five days using their services and how their providers are available via phone or email in between sessions. 

What Happens If I Miss a Session?

If you miss a session or don’t cancel within 23.5 hours of your scheduled appointment, you pay a cancellation fee of $99, and your insurance will not be billed. 

Switching Therapists

If you need to change therapists for any reason, you can do so at Thriveworks. There are two ways to do this. First, if you feel comfortable talking to your current therapist about switching providers, you can do that in your session and your therapist can refer you to another provider within Thriveworks. Once they do, Thriveworks will then contact you to schedule an appointment with the new therapist within a few days. 

If you prefer not to have that potentially awkward conversation with your therapist, you can choose the second option by terminating all future sessions with them and booking a session with a new therapist exactly the same way you did when you chose your original therapist. 

It’s worth noting, however, that switching doesn’t seem to be super common at Thriveworks. Sixty-four percent of our survey respondents said they didn’t need to switch therapists. 

Pausing or Cancelling Thriveworks

Canceling your Thriveworks membership involves calling their customer service line and guessing which menu option will allow you to cancel your membership since none of them mention membership. (I correctly chose the “change or cancel appointments” option after hanging up and thinking for a second.) Once you connect with a representative, they will enable you to cancel only after answering a few questions about your contact information and why you would like to end your membership. 

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

Thriveworks provides high-quality care for the nearly 30 issues they claim to address. t offers treatment through both telehealth and in-person modalities, and this flexibility is something that very few of its competitors offer, especially at such a large scale in 45 states. It is so valuable to be able to choose a therapy setting that works best for you.

“Most of [the issues Thriveworks manages] should be able to be addressed via online therapy,” says our subject matter expert, Hannah Owens, LMSW. “However, it is important to note that more serious mental health concerns (such as suicidality and psychosis) are not effectively addressed with an online therapy service,” she explains, “as those issues generally require a higher level of care and more frequent sessions than other diagnoses.” 

Part of what makes Thriveworks so flexible as a therapy service is that clients have options of different therapy modes to match their specific needs. Its therapists also have evening and weekend hours, making therapy accessible to those whose schedules do not allow for daytime sessions.

Our survey results indicate a high level of customer satisfaction. Two-thirds of users said that the services they received at Thriveworks were as helpful or better than previous therapy experiences at improving their mental health. Half of the users ranked it as a “very good” or “excellent” value for the money and said that it was “likely” or “very likely” they would still be seeing their Thriveworks therapist a year from now. Ninety percent of users rated them as being “good,” “very good,” or “excellent” overall. 

Privacy Policies

Thriveworks, like many online companies, collects not only the data you give them (such as your name and address) but also data regarding your online activity, which it then reserves the right to sell to advertisers. While this practice is widespread on the internet, it might be concerning to those who want to maintain privacy while seeking mental health care. 

Data collection aside, Thriveworks does use a HIPAA-compliant telehealth service so that the content of your therapy sessions themselves remains private. 

Thriveworks vs. Its Competitors

As we’ve mentioned, the quality that makes Thriveworks stand out the most against its competitors is its flexibility. It is one of the only online therapy services that also has in-person therapy available at any of its 380 offices across 45 states and Washington, DC. 

And while you can’t message your provider like you can with some other services, you can email and call them. This isn’t a huge downside, because message-based therapy isn’t effective therapy. 

”Simply texting a therapist (especially with asynchronous responses) does not create a safe space for the user to establish a rapport with the therapist,” says Owens, our expert. “There is no space and time set aside for doing the emotional work that the user needs to do, which is a basic tenet of talk therapy. Texting a therapist once or twice a day and waiting to receive a response is akin to texting a doctor for medical advice. Without being able to see you, there is only so much the expert can do to help.”  

You can also meet with your provider as much or as little as they can schedule you, and switching providers (or adding a psychiatrist to your team) is incredibly easy. This means that you have a little more control over how intensive your therapy is (and how much you spend on therapy). 

Thriveworks also has a flexible payment structure because it accepts many different insurance plans, which a lot of other online therapy companies, including BetterHelp, one of the biggest names in the field,  do not. 

Many of our survey respondents who had previously used other online therapy services liked Thriveworks more than their previous experience. Seventy-two percent said it was “better” or “much better” compared to previously used services. They cited better therapist qualifications and how easy it is to use the site as their top two reasons why. 

Final Verdict

Whether Thriveworks accomplishes its lofty goal to “help people live happy and successful lives” is difficult to determine, but it can meet most people’s mental health needs in a convenient and straightforward manner. A Thriveworks member can easily access therapy without waiting weeks on end to find a therapist, and it affords you the flexibility of signing up for either in-person or virtual sessions. 

While its services can be expensive and there have been complaints about its billing practices, overall, users seem very satisfied with Thriveworks. The vast majority of our user survey respondents rated Thriveworks’ as a whole as good, very good, or excellent, with “excellent” being the most common rating. Furthermore, 80% of respondents said they would likely recommend Thriveworks to a friend. 

Thriveworks’ qualified therapists are easily accessible via the website, and its services mirror that of traditional therapy. Whether you prefer in-person or online sessions, Thriveworks can meet your needs in an ever-changing mental health care environment. 

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 sign-up 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. We worked with subject matter experts to get their expert analysis on how suited this company is to provide quality care to therapy seekers. 

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. NIH. The Influence Of Race And Ethnicity In Clients’ Experiences Of Mental Health Treatment

  2. U Penn. You're Data Is Shared and Sold...Now What? 

By El Wilson
El is a current master's student at Emerson College’s Writing and Publishing program and writes about mental and physical wellness for VeryWell Mind, VeryWell Fit, Shape, and EatingWell. 

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