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Top 10 Best Online Therapy Services in 2023

Joshua Moreton
Best Online Therapy Services

Online therapy services present a convenient and innovative approach to mental healthcare. The fact is, in-person therapy has its limits in terms of flexibility, availability, and pricing. Perhaps more significantly, in the wake of lockdowns and social distancing requirements, in-person sessions became significantly more difficult to attain. These changes resulted in a rise in the utilization of online healthcare over recent years—and studies suggest that rise is here to stay.

As the field of online therapy—also referred to as "e-therapy" or "internet therapy"—continues to expand, so does the number of providers available for your choosing. When searching for the right online therapy service for your needs, it’s important to consider factors such as pricing, modes of communication, and therapists’ backgrounds. To help guide your selection, we’ve reviewed the best e-therapy providers available today.

The Best Online Therapy Services in 2023:

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Our Top 10 Best Online Therapy Services

  • 1
    BetterHelp

    BetterHelp

    exceptional
    9.9
    • Best forMessaging your therapist anytime
    • PricingFrom $60/week
    • Modes of communicationText, live chat, video call, phone call

    BetterHelp is one of the largest providers of online therapy services, letting you get matched with a licensed professional therapist in less than 24 hours. You’ll be able to communicate with your therapist by phone, video call, live chat, or text messaging.

    While the platform doesn’t take insurance, it does offer financial aid for patients with tighter budgets.

    Why we chose BetterHelp: BetterHelp’s app and online platform are both user-friendly, giving you access to self-help worksheets on various topics, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and conflict resolution.

    Our experience: BetterHelp reviews are positive and the service is reasonably priced. We like the fact that BetterHelp counselors each go through a rigorous vetting process.

    Pros
    • Unlimited messages to your therapist
    • Studies show the platform is effective
    • Operates in 200+ countries and 82 languages
    Cons
    • Therapists can’t prescribe medication
    • Harder to find specialized therapists
  • 2
    Cerebral

    Cerebral

    very good
    8.8
    • Best forAnxiety, depression, insomnia, bipolar
    • PricingFrom $45 a month
    • Modes of communicationPhone, video calls, texting, email

    Cerebral offers online talk therapy sessions for people suffering from conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Their team of professional counselors provide you with a holistic treatment plan tailored to your needs.

    Cerebral’s two-tiered approach of talk therapy and proper medication prescriptions allows you to manage your symptoms and achieve a more balanced lifestyle.

    Why we chose Cerebral: Cerebral is one of the more affordable options on our list, while still providing you with a high quality of care.

    Our experience: We like the fact that Cerebral’s team checks in with you every month, monitors your medication reactions, and helps you make the necessary adjustments to ensure your treatment progresses as intended.

    Pros
    • Very affordable pricing plans
    • Team of care providers for a holistic approach
    • Online sessions & medications delivered to your door
    Cons
    • Not all plans available nationwide
    • Doesn’t cover all mental health issues
  • 3
    Online-Therapy.com

    Online-Therapy.com

    good
    8.4
    • Best forTreating non-urgent anxiety
    • Pricing$160-$352/month
    • Modes of communicationVideo, audio, live chat

    Online-Therapy.com has a network of counselors from various fields of expertise, with a primary focus on CBT. In addition, their platform hosts a range of interactive worksheets, activities, and self-help assignments to help guide you through its program. 

    Depending on your preference, you can communicate with your counselor via text, audio, or video chat.

    Why we chose Online-Therapy.com: This online therapy provider allows you to switch therapists at any point during treatment. Their journaling tool is another helpful way to keep track of your efforts and improve your well-being. 

    Our experience: In contrast with some other online therapy services, Online-Therapy.com allows you to view recommended therapist profiles and choose your own counselor based on user reviews, specializations, and accreditations.

    Pros
    • Affordable compared to other providers
    • Choose your own therapist and switch anytime you want
    • Supplemental activities Easy to use and straightforwardand wellness exercises
    Cons
    • Lowest-tier plan does not include live sessions
    • Therapists on the platform cannot prescribe medication
  • 4
    Thriveworks

    Thriveworks

    very good
    8.6
    • Best forTherapy covered by most insurance plans
    • Pricing$15-$99 per session
    • Modes of communicationIn-person, video, phone call

    Thriveworks’ services include online, face-to-face, and over-the-phone therapy sessions. Their network of professionals are experienced across a wide variety of specialties, including individual talk therapy, psychiatry, couples/family therapy, child therapy, and more.

    Why we chose Thriveworks: Thriveworks is in-network with most insurance plans, so you only have to cover a copay for therapy sessions. Even if you’re not covered by insurance, Thriveworks is still a very affordable option.

    Our experience: Thriveworks stands out from other online therapy services by offering same- or next-day appointments, keeping wait times to a minimum. You can also contact your therapist between sessions if needed.

    Pros
    • Health insurance from major providers typically accepted
    • Online or in-person at 300+ locations
    • Excellent customer service
    Cons
    • No ability to message with therapists
    • Some services are location-restricted
  • 5
    ReGain

    ReGain

    very good
    8.8
    • Best forTherapists that specialize in relationship therapy
    • Pricing$50-$80/week
    • Modes of communicationVideo, phone, message, live chat

    ReGain offers convenient online relationship therapy for couples and individuals. Their service matches you with a licensed therapist specifically chosen to address your needs and goals. Its monthly subscription grants one live video or phone session per week, along with 24/7 access to an online therapist. 

    Why we chose ReGain: ReGain understands everyone’s situation is different and offers reduced fees to those with financial difficulties or disabilities.

    Our experience: With ReGain, you can pick and choose your therapy appointments entirely around your schedule. This makes it a particularly convenient option if you are restricted in time. 

    Pros
    • Therapists specialize in a wide range of relationship issues
    • User-friendly app
    • Discount available to those in need
    Cons
    • Not appropriate for crisis situations
    • Does not work in-network with insurance providers
  • 6
    Teen Counseling

    Teen Counseling

    very good
    8.5
    • Best forTherapists specializing in teen therapy
    • Pricing$60-$90 per week, billed every four weeks
    • Modes of communicationVideo, phone, message, live chat

    Teen Counseling offers access to over 13,000 therapists specializing in child and adolescent mental health. Its sophisticated matching process connects you and your teen with a therapist based on your needs. You can use Teen Counseling’s online services on your computer or any other device, giving you the convenience to receive counseling on the go.

    With Teen Counseling you can book weekly live sessions based entirely on your schedule. Price reductions are available depending on your income and disability status.

    Why we chose Teen Counseling: Teen Counseling is one of the only online therapy services designed with adolescents, and their specific set of challenges, in mind.

    Our experience: Teen Counseling enables parents and children to communicate with a dedicated therapist either individually or jointly, within a safe and private setting.

    Pros
    • Parent permission is required before therapy
    • Over 13,000 therapists specializing in teen mental health
    • Safe online spaces for you and your teen
    Cons
    • Requires internet connection
    • Not suitable for emergencies
  • 7
    Pride Counseling

    Pride Counseling

    very good
    8.5
    • Best for LGBTQ+ Counseling
    • Pricing$80/week charged monthly
    • Modes of communicationText, video, audio, and live sessions

    Pride Counseling boasts budget-friendly online therapy for members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

    Pride Counseling charges weekly rather than per session, allowing for multiple meetings within the same week. It also has a mobile app that offers access to all of the website’s features, with the added benefit of receiving mobile mental health support.

    Pride Counseling does not include family therapy, support groups, which could be beneficial to LGBTQ+ individuals. They also do not work in-network with insurance providers, although its low weekly counseling rates make it more affordable than traditional in-person therapy.  

    Why we chose Pride Counseling: Perhaps Pride Counseling’s greatest benefit is that it offers a safe, supportive environment for LGBTQ+ community members to address their mental health issues, with all therapists trained specifically for this community’s needs.

    Our experience: Pride Counseling places a strong emphasis on discretion, by giving you the option to sign up with a nickname, while other services typically require your full legal name.

    Pros
    • All therapists specialize in LGBTQ+ counseling
    • Android and iOS app
    • Pay per week rather than per session
    Cons
    • No support group options
    • Does not accept insurance
  • 8
    Talkspace

    Talkspace

    very good
    8.7
    • Best forOnline therapy and psychiatry services
    • Pricing$69-$129
    • Modes of communicationVideo, phone, message, live chat

    Talkspace is an e-therapy platform that offers counseling and psychiatric treatment for teens, adults, and couples. They employ a detailed matching process to connect you with a licensed and experienced therapist based on your circumstances. 

    They accept insurance and offer three weekly payment plans. The two higher-tier plans include live sessions, but only the highest tier plan includes therapy via messaging with guaranteed daily text responses to any questions you may have.

    Why we chose Talkspace: Talkspace specializes in over 40 areas of clinical therapy, so you can feel confident that your needs will be met.

    Our experience: We were impressed by the expedient response times that Talkspace therapists and counselors demonstrate. Whenever you need the help, their care providers are available to lend support.

    Pros
    • Over 40 clinical approaches and treatments
    • Suitable for adults, teens, and couples
    • Can offer prescriptions through its psychiatry services
    Cons
    • Requires internet connection
    • Live sessions only available on more expensive plans
  • 9
    Calmerry

    Calmerry

    good
    8.4
    • Best forAffordable therapy, wide range of therapy types
    • PricingFrom $49.50 per week
    • Modes of communicationVideo, message, live chat, and audio message (on iOS only)

    Calmerry is an e-therapy network with therapists trained in a wide range of specialties, including grief counseling, couples counseling, and LGBTQ-related therapy. They give you two ways to communicate with counselors–texting and video sessions.

    All plans include unlimited texting 24/7, daily responses from therapists, and the option to switch counselors or cancel at any time.

    Why we chose Calmerry: Calmerry performs thorough background checks on its therapists to ensure the quality and reliability of the counseling services you receive.

    Our experience: Calmerry doesn’t simply match you with a therapist; their blog provides information about therapy methods (including CBT, emotion-focused therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy) so you can understand which approach truly fits your needs.

    Pros
    • Convenient app for on-the-go therapy
    • An extensive blog about therapy and mental health
    • Lots of different types Mental health assistants readily available of therapy options
    Cons
    • Doesn’t accept insurance
    • Questionable privacy protection
  • 10
    Amwell
    very good
    8.5
    • Best forThose who want instant online therapy without the fuss
    • PricingFrom $109 per session, potentially covered by insurance
    • Modes of communicationVideo only

    Amwell offers flexible online therapy with a network of over 350 professional counselors specializing in a variety of therapy methods. Their platform is accessible through their website or mobile app, and doesn’t require you to subscribe—instead, they conveniently allow you to pay per-appointment.

    You can search for available therapists by using the filters on the platform, and easily schedule an appointment once you’ve found the right fit. While this means you won’t be able to contact therapists between sessions, the upside is you spend less time waiting for the help you need.

    Why we chose Amwell: Amwell is a one-stop-shop for all of your healthcare needs, including but not limited to therapy services. Its professionals can even write you a prescription if necessary. Additionally, Amwell is connected to 125 insurance providers, which can help lower your out-of-pocket costs.

    Our experience: Unlike most online therapy providers, you don’t have to wait to be matched to a therapist when using Amwell. Their filter-and-find process puts more agency in your hands, giving you the relevant information you need to choose the right counselor.

    Pros
    • Select a therapist and make an appointment straight away
    • Covered by most insurance providers
    • Get a prescription without visiting a doctor’s office
    Cons
    • Doesn’t offer service outside of the United States
    • No communication possible between scheduled appointments
Breaking Down our Top10 Choices: Which is Best For Your Needs:
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BetterHelp -Largest selection of licensed counselors
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Cerebral-Affordable monthly pricing
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Online-Therapy.com-Online cognitive behavioral therapy
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Thriveworks-Accessing high-quality therapy fast
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ReGain -Online therapy for couples
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Teen Counseling-Online therapy for teens
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Pride Counseling-Online therapy for LGBTQ+
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Talkspace-Unlimited messaging and flexible payment plans
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Calmerry-Affordable therapy, wide range of therapy types
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Amwell-Therapy on the go
Compare Top Online Therapy Websites
1
BetterHelp
2
Cerebral
3
Online-Therapy.com
4
Thriveworks
5
ReGain
6
Teen Counseling
7
Pride Counseling
8
Talkspace
9
Calmerry
10
Amwell
Reviews169 reviews44 reviews30 reviewsWrite Review70 reviews52 reviews42 reviews52 reviews15 reviewsWrite Review
Best for
Messaging your therapist anytime
Anxiety, depression, insomnia, bipolar
Treating non-urgent anxiety
Therapy covered by most insurance plans
Therapists that specialize in relationship therapy
Therapists specializing in teen therapy
LGBTQ+ Counseling
Online therapy and psychiatry services
Affordable therapy, wide range of therapy types
Those who want instant online therapy without the fuss
Pricing
From $60/week
per week
From $45 a month
$160-$352/month
$15-$99 per session
$50-$80/week
per week
$60-$90 per week, billed every four weeks
per week
$80/week charged monthly
per week
$69-$129
per week
From $49.50 per week
From $109 per session, potentially covered by insurance
per week
Modes of communication
Text, live chat, video call, phone call
Phone, video calls, texting, email
Video, audio, live chat
In-person, video, phone call
Video, phone, message, live chat
Video, phone, message, live chat
Text, video, audio, and live sessions
Video, phone, message, live chat
Video, message, live chat, and audio message (on iOS only)
Video only
Accreditation
PsyD, LMFT, LCSW/LMSW, LPC
Board-certified psychiatrists, physicians, PAs, NPs, PsyD, PHD, LCSW, LMHC, LPC, LCPC, licensed marriage and family therapists
MA, MS, MSW, PsyD, PhD
LCSW (LCSWA), LCMHC (LCMHCA) LICSW, LMHC, LGPC, LMFT, LPC, LCWM, LCPC, LPCC, LAPC, LMSW, LAMFT, PhD, PsyD, BC/BE
PsyD, LMFT, LCSW/LMSW, LPC
PsyD, LMFT, LCSW/LMSW, LPC
Minimum Master’s level with state licensure
PsyD, MS, MD, NP, LMFT, LICSW, LMHC, LPC
PhD, PsyD, LMFT, LCSW/LMSW, LPC
PsyD, LMFT, LCSW/LMSW, LPC
with master’s or doctoral degree
Frequently Asked Questions
Is online therapy cheaper?
-
+
As a general rule, yes, online therapy is cheaper than in-person therapy. Online therapy averages $60 to $80 per weekly session, while in-person therapy typically costs $100 to $200 per session.
Is online therapy legit?
-
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There is growing scientific evidence that online therapy is legitimate and effective, with similar outcomes to in-person therapy and numerous benefits for patients and practitioners.
Is online therapy secure?
-
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The best online therapy platforms adhere to strict health regulations like HIPAA and CCPA and employ sophisticated, end-to-end encryption for chats and voice or video calls. However, some providers are known to share de-identified information with third parties like Facebook and Google, so be sure to read privacy policies carefully and do some research online.
Is online therapy effective?
-
+
For many people and many mental health issues, yes. Online therapy has been shown to be just as effective as in-person therapy in treating a wide variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. It is not recommended for severe mental health issues, like severe depression, schizophrenia, or situations where the patient is likely to harm themselves or others.
Does insurance cover online therapy?
-
+
Depending on your insurance company, your choice of online therapy may be covered. Some online therapy sites and apps already have agreements set with insurance companies. If your insurance company doesn’t cover online therapy, you can always try to get a reimbursement.
Does Medicare cover virtual counseling?
-
+
Some virtual counseling providers like Cerebral and MDLive do get covered by Medicare. You can always either call the customer service of a virtual counseling center and ask if they take Medicare, or you can inquire through Medicare.
Can an online therapist prescribe medication?
-
+
Online therapists can’t prescribe medications because they might not have the proper accreditations to do so. Only a psychiatrist, someone who is a medical doctor, can prescribe medicine. Psychiatrists can do this both online and in-person, but the only thing they can’t give medicine for is chronic illnesses that need physical examinations.

How We Reviewed the Best Online Therapy Services - Our Methodology

To find the best e-therapy options, we compared several key factors including the following:

  • Price, affordability, and plans (weekly vs. monthly pricing, overall cost)

  • Methods of communication (text messaging, voice calls, video calls)

  • Number of therapists available and their specializations (anxiety, depression, addiction)

  • Accreditations and hiring requirements (PsyD, Ph.D., LCSW, LPS)

  • Types of therapy offered (CBT, psychoanalysis)

Choosing the Best Online Therapy for Your Needs

In many regards, online therapy is not so different from traditional in-person therapy. That is to say, patients work with licensed therapists to treat the symptoms and causes of mental health issues and improve their quality of life.

When choosing the right online therapy platform, there are several essential aspects to consider: 

  • Services offered—Some providers offer counseling for individuals only, while others offer counseling for families and couples as well. Similarly, some of them can prescribe medications, while others cannot. It’s important to check each provider beforehand to ensure it can meet your needs.

  • Features—Plans often vary in the features and modes of communication they offer. These include video calls, unlimited messaging via a smartphone app, mental health journaling, and more.

  • Cost—Rates and fees often differ from one provider to the next. Check whether a given online therapy service is covered by your insurance and whether receipts are provided for partial reimbursement.

  • Privacy—Online therapy providers can occasionally share certain pieces of your information with third parties. For your discretion, check the FAQs and privacy policies to learn more about your data and information security.

  • Ease of use—This app may be used frequently and over a long period. Make sure it’s easy to use and understand. Also, check whether user support is available if you need it. 

How Does Online Therapy Work?

Unlike traditional therapy, online therapy offers mental health treatment from the convenience of your home, workplace, or anywhere with an internet connection. Using one of the many online providers available, you can choose a subscription plan that works for you and receive therapy via your preferred medium (i.e. live chat, video, or audio sessions).

Depending on the platform, you can either choose from a range of professional, licensed therapists, or you will be matched with a therapist based on your needs. For example, some platforms list therapists based on availability and specify their expertise and areas of experience. Once you sign up, they will match you with a therapist according to these parameters.

Conversely, other online therapy services will do the leg work for you, matching you with a therapist based on a screening questionnaire that asks about your current circumstances.

Once connected, you will typically engage in weekly sessions. Online platforms often give you complete choice over the time and date of your appointments, enabling you to receive therapy flexibly around a busy schedule.

What’s the difference between in-person and online therapy?

The main difference is that e-therapy occurs in a virtual environment rather than face-to-face. Patients and care providers interact via secure messaging, voice, and video calls rather than in an office or other workspace.

Is online therapy as effective as in-person therapy?

While online therapy undoubtedly has its advantages, its effectiveness in comparison with in-person therapy has been called into question. A study from 2021 addressed this exact topic and found no significant difference between online and in-person therapy in terms of quality and effectiveness.

How Does Online Therapy Work? Explaining the Basics

Unlike traditional therapy, online therapy offers mental health treatment from the convenience of your home, workplace, or anywhere else with an internet connection. Using one of the many online providers available, you can choose a subscription plan that works for you and receive therapy via your preferred medium, such as live chat, video, or audio sessions. 

Depending on the platform, you will either choose from a range of professional, licensed therapists, or you will be matched with a therapist based on your needs. For example, platforms such as Online-Therapy.com list therapists based on their availability and specify their expertise and areas of experience. Once you sign up, they will match you with a therapist according to these parameters.

Conversely, BetterHelp and TalkSpace will do the leg work for you, matching you with a therapist based on a screening questionnaire that asks about your current circumstances.

Once connected, you will typically engage in weekly sessions. Online platforms often give you complete ch