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Best LGBTQ Online Therapy and Counseling Services in 2023

Hugo Huijer
Best LGBTQ Online Therapy & Counseling Services
Regardless of sexual identity, many people struggle from time to time with emotional, mental health, or physiological issues. Statistically, though, members of the LGBTQ community suffer more often from painful issues like anxiety, depression, and those related to struggling for acceptance by peers, family or others.

Due to social stigmas, religious disapproval, and unflattering media coverage, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people often have a harder time feeling secure. These feelings of not belonging frequently lead to various emotional and psychological issues that need to be dealt with professionally. And that’s where online therapy services comes in.

What is LGBTQ Therapy?

LGBTQ therapy is similar to other forms of therapy, but emphasizes accepting everyone without judgment. Studies have found that individuals in the LGBTQ community are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and mental health disorders. LGBTQ therapy helps members of this community with issues that are unique to their situation, such as anxiety, losing friends over their sexuality, and worries about coming out, on top of being a safe place to work on any mental health issues.

Counselors who specialize in LGBTQ therapy often identify as a part of this community themselves, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. At the very least, you can rest assured that you shouldn’t experience any judgment, prejudice, or discrimination when you go in for LGBTQ therapy.

Potential Issues Addressed by Online Gender Therapists

Online gender therapists focus on the mental, emotional, social, and physical challenges of those who struggle with their gender. This includes people who are questioning their gender, are uncomfortable with aspects of their body, or don’t have anyone to talk to about these issues.

Some of the issues that are often addressed in gender therapy are:

  • Feeling disconnected from your body

  • Gender-affirming interventions

  • Gender identification

  • Navigating gender issues during all phases of life

  • Gender dysphoria

Some online therapy platforms can also accommodate hormone readiness assessments and provide you with a letter of recommendation to bring to clinicians who need this to start treatment. These are generally referred to as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) letters.

What Is Gender Dysphoria as Seen by an LGBT Therapist?

A person suffers from gender dysphoria when their sense of gender identity doesn’t match their biological sex. This can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression, especially when that person doesn’t have a supportive and compassionate environment. LGBT therapists are not only more likely to recognize the symptoms of gender dysphoria, they are also able to help you navigate the challenges that come with it.

Treatment for gender dysphoria differs from case to case. LGBT therapists can help by practicing acceptance, affirmation, and confirmation of a person’s identity. For others, LGBT therapists may support bigger physical and lifestyle changes, such as changes to their voice, hormone treatment, or gender-affirming surgery.

Types of Online Gender LGBT Counseling Recommended

Gender and LGBTQ therapy is not limited to a single counseling method. Instead, gender and LGBTQ therapy is more about providing a safe space to share any of your challenges without judgment, prejudice, or discrimation.

Depending on your challenges, the following forms of therapy can be effective for gender and LGBTQ counseling:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

  • Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)

  • Somatic Therapy

  • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)

  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy

  • Hypnotherapy

  • Psychodynamic Therapy

  • Sex Therapy

  • Mindfulness-Based Therapy

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Other practices are specific to gender therapy, such as cross-sex hormone therapy and speech and language therapy (voice therapy).

How Do I Find an Online LGTBQ-Friendly Gender Therapist?

Finding an LGTBQ-friendy gender therapist online can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, we’ve reviewed all the best online therapy providers and investigated each provider’s network of counselors. Some online therapy providers don’t offer therapy plans specifically aimed towards LGTBQ individuals, but every provider discussed in this article does.

With LGTBQ-friendly and gender therapy, the connection you have with your counselor is crucial, so you should pay attention to whether or not a platform allows you to easily change therapists, and how much control you have over the matching process. Some online services allow you to browse the therapists by filtering your preferences, reading detailed profiles, or analyzing their client reviews. This should help you to find an LGTBQ-friendly therapist that matches your needs.

Can You Stay Anonymous?

Most online therapy providers for LGBTQ individuals allow you to stay anonymous. All of the providers listed in this article understand the challenges and fears that come with mental health challenges, and even more so when it comes to gender or sexual orientation issues.

For example, Pride Counseling doesn’t require your full name or contact information when you sign up. You only need to provide a nickname. Over time, once you have connected with your therapist, you may share your identity if you so choose. 

While this information is often kept confidential, you may want to have a look at the privacy policies of each online therapy provider, as some of them are more careful than others.

How LGBTQ Online Therapy Can Help

No one should have to live their lives feeling disrespected about who they are or want to be. Online therapy has been a great way for members of the LGBTQ community to find a safe space for counseling.  It allows for those struggling to spend time working through issues related to job discrimination, housing injustices, parenting inequities, and bullying, as well as substance abuse, suicide attempts, depression, and anxiety.  

Online therapy is generally much more affordable than traditional face to face sessions. For $40 to $70 a week, you can have unlimited messaging and choose from various live session options. Most sites allow sessions to be carried out over the phone or via computers and tablets, making access easy and comfortable. This eliminates the travel and waiting time you’d have with a one-on-one office visit.  

You can choose a therapist who is professional and understanding and meets your individual needs. And if you are paired with someone that doesn’t feel like a good match, you are allowed to make a change to someone more fitting.  It is also discrete and HIPPA-compliant. You don’t need to go in and out of an office and can do your therapy anywhere you feel comfortable. You can pick a quiet spot at home or take a walk and talk to your therapist. The point is that you choose what feels safe for you.  

Here are 5 of the best options for people in the LGBTQ community who are seeking online counseling:

1. Pride Counseling

Specialized Therapy for the LGBTQIA+ Community

  • Best for: LGBTQIA+ Counseling
  • Pricing: $80 per week
  • Ways of communication: Text, video, audio, live sessions

With a total dedication to the LGBTQ community, Pride Counseling is made up of qualified therapists who are committed to working with every gender, orientation, and identity. The therapists are attuned to the many different problems such as substance abuse, self-harm, depression, and the impact of bullying and prejudice. 

Pride Counseling is a user-friendly platform that affords clients anonymity so you can chat with your therapist without worrying. It costs $80 a week, which buys you unlimited messaging and weekly video calls. Because those who identify as LGBTQ are often at a higher risk of depression or other significant mental health issues, Pride Counseling is a wonderful site for both adults and teens alike.

Pros:

  • All therapists specialize in LGBTQIA+ counseling

  • Affordable rate for multiple sessions

  • Treats an extensive list of mental health issues

Cons:

  • No support group options

  • Does not accept insurance

Read the full Pride Counseling review

Pride Counseling Pride Counseling Connect Now

2. BetterHelp

Excellent reputation for successful counseling

  • Best for: Largest online network of therapists
  • Pricing: From $60 per week
  • Ways of communication: Video, phone, message, live chat

BetterHelp is a great choice for anyone seeking online counseling, including members of the LGBTQ community. Its network includes thousands of caring therapists who are fully licensed. You can request to be paired with a therapist specialized in treating members of the LGBTQ community, so you know you will be understood and respected no matter what challenges you’re dealing with.

While it doesn’t take insurance, its pricing is competitive and its effectiveness has been proven by studies. BetterHelp reviews are positive and the service is reasonably priced, so it’s a great option for ongoing online therapy.

Pros:

  • Highly acclaimed in the industry

  • Unlimited messaging with your therapist

  • You don’t have to share your real name

Cons:

  • Prescriptions not available

  • Does not take insurance

Read the full BetterHelp review

BetterHelp BetterHelp Connect Now

3. Regain

Relationship therapy with LGBTQ expertise

  • Best for: LGBTQ couples
  • Pricing: $50-$80 per week
  • Ways of communication: Video, phone, message, live chat

ReGain specializes in relationship counseling online, so it's a great choice for individuals or couples alike. What's nice about this service is that, if you choose, you and your partner can both speak to your therapist online. All chats are unlimited, and you can choose the communication method that is most comfortable for you. ReGain is easy to use, totally web-based, and completely secure. So, you can discuss anything you want without worrying.

When signing up for ReGain, you can choose a counselor who specializes in LGBTQ+ therapy. With ReGain, you can pick and choose your therapy appointments to fit your schedule. You won’t have to provide any personal details beyond an emergency contact number, and everything you share with your therapist will be confidential. There’s even the option for reduced fees if you are having financial struggles or have a disability.

Pros:

  • Focused on couples and relationships

  • Choose a specialist in LGBTQ+ therapy

  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Limited customer support options

  • Does not work with insurance providers

Read the full ReGain review

ReGain ReGain Connect Now

4. Online-Therapy.com

LGBTQ+ cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Best for: Helpful online tools
  • Pricing: $40-$88 per week
  • Ways of communication: Video, audio, live chat

When you identify as part of the LGBTQ community, it can be challenging if you feel like you have no one to talk to. Online-Therapy.com’s network of counselors specializes in taking away your anxiety via cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Besides weekly therapy sessions, Online-Therapy.com provides learning modules, assignments, quizzes, and worksheets to fill out. You’ll also have access to SMS and live chat sessions where you can discuss your weekly activity plan, assignments, and any difficulties you’ve been having. 

At any time, you can return to the counselor selection screen and switch to another counselor. This way, you're sure to find a therapist that understands your unique challenges.

Pros:

  • Affordable

  • Choose your own therapist and switch anytime

  • Easy to use and straightforward

Cons:

  • Not all plans include live sessions

  • Prescriptions not available

Read the full OnlineTherapy.com review

Online-Therapy.com Online-Therapy.com Connect Now

5. Teen Counseling

Therapy for LGBTQ teens

  • Best for: Teens looking for LGBTQ-friendly therapy 
  • Pricing: $60-$90 per week
  • Ways of communication: Video, phone, message, live chat

Not a lot of online therapy providers cater to the LGBTQ community, and there are even fewer options for LGBTQ teenagers. Thankfully, Teen Counseling caters specifically to the younger generation, and its network contains counselors that identify as part of the LGBTQ community.

While you need a parent to sign you up, the platform allows you to communicate with a therapist within a safe, private online chat room, and all information you disclose is confidential and secured. You can book weekly live sessions based entirely on your schedule.

Teen Counseling costs $80 per week, billed every four weeks to a credit card or PayPal account. Price reductions are available depending on your income, your disability status, and therapist availability.

Pros:

  • Entirely teen-focused platform

  • Everything works through a mobile app

  • Completely confidential

Cons:

  • Diagnoses and prescriptions unavailable

  • Does not take insurance

Read the full Teen Counseling review

Teen Counseling Teen Counseling Connect Now

6. Gay Therapy Center

Online therapy for LGBTQ+ with a personal touch

  • Best for: Finding LGBTQ-identifying therapists
  • Pricing: $185 per session
  • Ways of communication: Video

The Gay Therapy Center has provided therapy for the LGBTQ+ community since it was founded in 2015. It offers online therapy via its website, and all its counselors are experienced in dealing with challenges that members of the LGBTQ+ often deal with. In fact, all the therapists at the Gay Therapy Center are not just fully licensed LCSW, LMFT, LMHC, LPCC, or PHD, they are also part of the LGBTQ+ community themselves.

After a 15-minute call, the Gay Therapy Center’s founders will match you with a therapist who specializes in your mental health challenges. It usually takes 1 to 2 days before you can talk to your therapist, but this personal approach helps with connecting you with the right counselor. Fees start at $185 per 50-minute session and can vary depending upon who you are matched with.

Pros:

  • Founders personally match you with a therapist

  • All therapists are fully licensed

  • All therapists identify as LGBTQ+

Cons:

  • More expensive than other options

  • Data privacy policies are not clear

7. Charlie Health

Therapy through community

  • Best for: Comprehensive treatment programs
  • Pricing: Contact Charlie Health
  • Ways of communication: Text and video 

Charlie Health is a teen-focused treatment service that provides online and in-person therapy for individuals, families, and groups through its Intensive Outpatient (IOP) program. After joining the program, you will be matched with one of Charlie Health’s licensed professionals, who will guide you through the challenges that you’re experiencing. In addition to individual counseling, you will be placed in a group with people who are experiencing similar issues as you, which can help provide a sense of connection.

This provider focuses mostly on evidence-based therapy such as CBT and DBT. Its programs can provide care for those coping with gender identity issues and help teens and young adults deal with unhealthy coping mechanisms and learn new, healthy skills.

Pros:

  • Evidence-based therapy such as CBT

  • Join groups of people with similar challenges

  • Can prescribe medications

Cons:

  • Only for teens and young adults

  • No clear pricing plan

8. Circles

Talk to other LGBTQ individuals

  • Best for: Group therapy
  • Pricing: $79/month
  • Ways of communication: Video, chat

Circles is different from your average online therapy provider. Instead of being matched with a licensed counselor, you’re matched with a group of 6-8 people just like you, which the platform calls a Circle. This Circle is led by a professional facilitator that ensures that all people are heard and provided with group support.

Getting started is easy. Once you sign up, you can select the type of challenge you are dealing with. Circles will match you with an available group of people, after which you’ll receive an invitation to join. As of right now, it is unclear how many available support groups are focused on challenges exclusive to LGBTQ individuals. Besides the weekly group sessions, Circles offers unlimited chat and exercises to help you overcome your issues.

Pros:

  • Dedicated group therapy

  • Automatic matching system

  • Groups are led by a mental health expert

Cons:

  • No dedicated LGBTQ groups (yet)

  • Quality depends on others in your group

9. HelloAlma

Directory including LGBTQ therapists

  • Best for: Choosing your own therapist
  • Pricing: Roughly $100-$200 per session
  • Ways of communication: Video, text

HelloAlma is an online therapy provider that utilizes a do-it-yourself approach. Instead of matching you with a therapist and facilitating an ongoing relationship, HelloAlma provides you with a directory of counselors from which you choose one for a consultation. From that moment, the involvement of HelloAlma is limited, and you and your therapist take it from there. As such, the experience you’ll have with HelloAlma depends on who you choose to connect with.

HelloAlma’s network contains LGBTQ and queer-affirming therapists. Its directory contains rich profiles with extensive backgrounds on all its therapists, although there are currently no client reviews. Its pricing differs per counselor, but HelloAlma states that the majority of them accept insurance. 

Pros:

  • Easy to get started

  • Find your therapist at your own pace

  • Majority of therapists accept insurance

Cons:

  • Therapist profiles don’t show client reviews

  • Only available in select states of the USA

10. 7 Cups

Free 24/7 support via chat

  • Best for: Someone to talk to for free
  • Pricing: Free-$150 per month
  • Ways of communication: Chat

7 Cups provides a community where people can receive help and support for free. It has a network of “Listeners” that are trained to actively listen your problems and provide you with support. This is especially helpful if you just want someone to talk to without having to actually jump through the hoops of finding a therapist. 7 Cups also has a free community Q&A platform, where listeners and mental health professionals can answer your questions and provide support.

If you want to talk to a licensed therapist, 7 Cups offers online therapy for $150 per month. This includes access to a trained counselor that can offer professional relationship advice in a chat room. During the signup process, you can voice your preference for LGBTQ therapists. 

Pros:

  • 24/7 chat and access to Q&A database

  • Supportive community accessible for free

  • Talk to licensed professionals for a low price

Cons:

  • No live sessions with counselors

  • Some listeners are not professionally trained

Just a Click Away

With the help of qualified, professional, compassionate and LGBTQ-focused therapists, many different options for support are available today. Get in touch with an LGBTQ online therapy service today!

Hugo Huijer
Hugo is a mental health expert and advocate. He is a health data junkie and founder of TrackingHappiness.com, a mental health and psychology website that analyses hundreds of studies to provide insights on living happier, healthier lives. Its articles and independent research, based on insights garnered from the TrackingHappiness app, have appeared in Forbes, the Association for Psychological Science, Psychology Today and the Good News Network.

The author of this article has been paid by Natural Intelligence to write this article. Neither the author nor Natural Intelligence provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.