If the idea of doing therapy alone and in your own space appeals to you, you’re not alone. While not for everyone, online therapy, also known as telehealth, is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for people to seek mental health services. If you’re new to therapy or want to learn more about online counseling, you should do some research.
What is Online Therapy?
Online therapy is a private, convenient, and often affordable way to get mental health help without physically visiting a counseling centre or therapist’s office. Instead, depending on your needs and preferences, you can communicate with your therapist via video call, phone call, and text message conversation.
Online therapy provides a secure environment in which to address issues such as anxiety, depression, anger, stress, insomnia, eating disorders,
panic attacks, trauma, relationship issues, bereavement, life transitions, and more.
What is the cost of online therapy?
Online therapy costs depend on the type of care required and what your employer, insurance, or health plan covers. BetterHelp, for example, charges $60 to $90 per week for telehealth services, whereas traditional therapy may cost $75 to $200 per session. There are, however, free therapy options available.
10 Sites to Choose For Online Therapy in 2023
Talkspace is the best network of mental health professionals, with over 3,000 licensed therapists and multiple subscription plans. After signing up, you’ll take an assessment and select a payment plan. A consultation therapist will then pair you with several therapists. You will select the one that best meets your requirements. You’ll start working with them in a matter of days.
Therapists treat a wide range of conditions or issues, including:
- consuming disorders
- Relationship problems caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- You can contact your therapist at any time.
- Texting may be more comfortable for you than in-person sessions.
- Talkspace provides discounts for biannual or quarterly payments.
- There is no sliding scale for payments.
- Many insurance plans do not cover the service.
- Time zone differences with your therapists can stymie quick communication.
BetterHelp has access to over 12,000 licenced, accredited, and experienced counselors. The organisation excels at matching therapists with your specific needs and preferences. BetterHelp’s licenced psychologists, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists are experts in a variety of fields, including:
- Eating disorders caused by grief
- Religion and life transitions
- The website and mobile app are simple to use.
- You can communicate with your therapist via messaging, live chat, phone, or video conferencing.
- Financial assistance is available.
- Therapists are unable to diagnose or prescribe medication.
- Most insurance companies do not cover the service.
- The service is not intended to be used in a crisis.
Consider Amwell if you’re looking for an online telemedicine platform that provides care for both physical and psychological health. With online therapist or doctor visits available 24 hours a day, Amwell is a great one-stop shop. This is how it works: Create an account, select the best doctor or therapist for you, and schedule a visit through their web-based or mobile app programme.
Amwell provides counselling for the following issues:
- Life transitions caused by PTSD or trauma
- Couples counselling
- You can choose between a therapist and a psychiatrist depending on your needs.
- Amwell provides services other than therapy. They also have doctors on hand to treat other health issues.
- Your insurance company may cover your visit.
- They do not offer a subscription service.
- Some reviewers have reported technical difficulties.
- In comparison to other services, Amwell provides fewer communication options.
CBT underpins the entire operation of Online-Therapy.com. This method is a top choice for treating mental health conditions, including:
- Problems with alcohol and drugs
- Phobias associated with eating disorders
CBT assists you in identifying, challenging, and overcoming negative or unhelpful thinking as well as developing behaviour changes that help you think and interact more positively.
- You will be given an online CBT course.
- The app and website are simple to use.
- Worksheets with daily feedback from your therapist are given to you.
- You’ll almost certainly have to pay out of pocket.
- They do not provide 24-hour support.
- The company is not listed with the Better Business Bureau.
#5. 7 Cups
7 Cups is one of the largest emotional support systems, with free 24/7 emotional support, affordable online therapy, and chat rooms with people who understand your needs.
Among the specialties and areas of expertise are:
- bipolar disorder
- family grief
- substance abuse
Furthermore, 7 Cups provides free emotional support and access to a trained volunteer (not a licenced counselor). This option is appropriate for assistance and connecting you with services.
If you require more extensive treatment, choose the paid subscription plan with a licenced therapist. After creating an account, you’ll be able to choose between a free version and a paid subscription. You will have immediate access if you choose the free, trained volunteer option. The subscription option necessitates more information in order to match you with the best therapist.
- The “freemium” model is popular among users.
- You can talk to a trained volunteer for free.
- The service allows users to communicate in a free group chat.
- There have been numerous reports of bugs in the app.
- According to reviewers, some inexperienced active listeners do not pay attention and are judgmental or inappropriate.
- You will not receive professional assistance unless you pay.
MDLive, a comprehensive telemedicine platform, has a psychiatry services division. Their psychiatry division provides both counselling and medication management under the supervision of a board-certified psychiatrist.
MDLive can assist with:
- depression caused by bipolar disorder
- PTSD, trauma, and panic disorders, as well as grief and loss
- The benefits include unlimited access to a doctor 24\7.
- Prescription medications can save members up to 85%.
- Some employers include MDLive as part of their employee benefits package.
- MDLive does not provide subscription services.
- Seeing a psychiatrist is more expensive than other similar services.
- They do not provide email or chat support.
#7. Teen Counseling
Teen Counseling is a website designed specifically for teenagers aged 13 to 19. They provide live chats, phone calls, video conferencing, and messaging with a licenced therapist in a “private” counselling room. Among the issues that therapists can address during counselling sessions are:
- bullying, and eating disorders are all possibilities.
Although parents are not permitted to enter this room, a therapist must report abuse and determine if the teen is a danger to themselves or others. Parents can finish the registration process, which includes matching with a licenced counselor. Your teen will be sent a code that will allow them to access their private room.
- The sessions are all confidential.
- Counselors are experts in dealing with adolescent issues.
- The “rooms” are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- This service is not appropriate for court-ordered counselling.
- Teen counselling should not be used in an emergency.
- Counselors are unable to provide a diagnosis.
When you require couples counselling, you should seek the services of a licenced therapist who is experienced in dealing with relationship issues. That is why ReGain is the best online therapy for couples. Accredited psychologists, licenced marriage and family therapists, licenced clinical social workers, and licenced professional counsellors are all licenced.
The automated system will match you with a therapist after you complete a questionnaire. Two users share an account and participate in live therapy sessions together. An individual session is scheduled if only one person needs to speak with the therapist privately. They do not support three-way live sessions, so both partners must be present in the same room at the same time to communicate with the therapist in real time.
- All Regain counselors have a specialization or interest in relationship counseling.
- Counseling can be attended by one or both partners at no additional cost.
- When you first sign up for the service, you will receive a one-week free trial.
- Because the service does not support three-way live sessions, you and your partner must be in the same location.
- Regain is not appropriate for court-ordered counselling.
- It is unknown if ReGain works with non-monogamous couples.
Because of its simple signup process, SonderMind’s platform is simple to use. You begin by answering a few questions about yourself and what you’re looking for in therapy, which can be done online or over the phone. Then, within 24 to 48 hours, SonderMind will connect you with a local therapist in your state. You choose whether to meet with them or find another therapist.
You can schedule an in-person or virtual appointment once you’ve decided on a therapist. Once you’ve been matched with someone, scheduling an appointment usually takes 1–2 days.
If you have any further questions about SonderMind, the platform’s Wellness Coordinators are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain Time, Monday through Friday. You can reach them by dialling 844-THERAPY.
- You have the option of selecting your therapist.
- Sessions can be held in person or virtually.
- Several insurance networks are accepted.
- Even without insurance coverage, pricing is on the lower end of the spectrum.
- Virtual appointments are conducted using HIPAA-compliant software and are never recorded.
- The helpline is not open on weekends.
- Some reviewers said they had trouble billing their insurance and that the billing team was slow to respond.
#10. Doctor on Demand
Are you unsure about committing to a subscription plan? No worries. Doctor on Demand provides single video chat sessions with licenced psychiatrists and therapists who are trained in mental health. Following an initial assessment, you can browse their list of psychiatrists and therapists and schedule an appointment.
Expertise includes the following areas:
- Bipolar disorder
- anxiety, and depression
- Anger management after trauma and postpartum depression
- Licensed providers typically have more than 15 years of experience.
- Psychiatrists can order prescriptions from your preferred pharmacy.
- There is no need for a subscription.
- Some users have reported technical difficulties.
- There is no email or chat support available.
- When compared to other online services, there are fewer therapists available.
Who should avoid using online therapy?
While online therapy might be a great option for some people, it is not for everyone. For starters, it is inappropriate for use in emergencies or mental health crises. You should dial 911 or 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also text 988 for help or visit the website.
You’ll also need a consistent connection to a smartphone or computer and Wi-Fi to access any online therapy platforms and your therapist. In addition, some platforms do not provide legal documentation for court-ordered therapy.
While text therapy can be beneficial, it is not suitable for everyone. Some people miss having face-to-face contact, while others prefer to be outside.
Does Medicare cover online therapy?
Some telehealth treatments, including teletherapy, are covered by Medicare Part B. You must pay your yearly deductible as well as 20% of the Medicare-approved cost for your health care provider’s services if you have Medicare Part B before you may access the advantages of this coverage, as well as the benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D prescription drug plan (if you have them). Many telemedicine services cost the same as in-person care.
Many people are finding that online therapy makes mental health services more accessible and affordable. With the option to see a therapist at your leisure and in the comfort of your own home, virtual visits may become the new standard, at least for a time.
Is online therapy covered by insurance?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more insurance companies are now covering online therapy. Coverage for online therapy is determined by the therapist you choose, your insurance plan, and state regulations.
Is virtual counselling covered by Medicare?
Medicare now covers online therapy for all Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare Advantage plans cover online therapy as well. Your Medicaid coverage is determined by your state. For more information, call the number on your Medicaid card.
Are the therapists on the site licenced?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), some websites market their services as therapy, but those claims may be false or misleading because some therapists are not professionally licenced.