In a Nutshell
- Guaranteed match with therapist
- Therapists have minimum 7 years’ experience
- Favors evidence-based therapeutic methods
- Unconventional pricing, more expensive than competitors
- No chat, texting or voice options (video only)
Therapist/Counselor Screening Process
Oliva therapists go through a 6-step hiring process. Therapists are required to be qualified clinical or counselling psychologists, registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) or the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), or else registered psychotherapists with accreditation from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
All therapists must have at least 2 years of clinical experience in the UK, and 7 years’ experience total. Privilege is given to those having provided online therapy and who are proficient using communication tools like video-conference platforms.
All therapists are expected to be comfortable using industry-standard diagnostic instruments, and must be trained and competent in at least 2 evidence-based psychological models, one being either Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or some form of “third wave” therapy (one which prioritizes a holistic approach to psychology and behavior as associated with overall health and wellbeing).
If much of this is unfamiliar to you, feel free to research the terms more thoroughly—but suffice it to say that the screening process is at least as rigorous, if not moreso, than other online therapy sites we’ve reviewed.
Get Help With:
Oliva offers assistance with a wide variety of clinical conditions and life topics.
Clinical conditions: Anxiety, depression, eating disorders, personality disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), chronic fatigue syndrome, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, and habits and dependencies.
Life topics: Parenting counselling, partnerships and intimacy, sexual identity, body acceptance, life crises, life transitions, self-esteem, stress and burnout, and other health issues.
Specific therapeutic models include: CBT, EMT, Psychodynamic Therapy, EMDR, MBSR, and Systemic Therapy.
Types of Sessions Available:
Sessions are available by video call only. Because of the bandwidth requirements of video chat, you’ll need to make sure you have access to a good internet connection. Phone, chat, text- and voice-messaging options are not available.
Pricing & Special Offers
Unlike the vast majority of online therapy providers, Oliva has chosen to price by packages of sessions, rather than by week or month. The more sessions you buy at one time, the less expensive each session is overall. The pricing is as follows:
Even at the least expensive price-per-session rate, however, this is still significantly higher than many competitors, who offer weekly sessions at around £50. Additionally, cancellations are not available once the first session has been used. That is, you can cancel the entire package 48 hours or more before your first session, but after this, the remaining sessions cannot be cancelled.
Oliva does, however, have a good guarantee on matching you with the right therapist. If after 2 sessions you are not happy with the match, the company will find another therapist for you and provide the next 2 sessions free of charge.
What’s Unique About Oliva?
Oliva has a few features that help set it apart. As we’ve already mentioned, the hiring process for therapists is quite rigorous, and you’re sure to be paired with a therapist having at least 2 years of experience practicing in the UK. We were also happy to see that therapists are required to be competent using evidence-based, industry-standard approaches, with an emphasis on well-vetted protocols like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
The match guarantee is another unique feature that we found particularly beneficial. An Oliva specialist will check in with you after your first 2 sessions, and if you haven’t “clicked” with your therapist, they will match you with somebody else, and provide 2 free sessions (to compensate for the 2 sessions with the original therapist).
Oliva also places a clear emphasis on quality, which we can hardly fault. It has, however, translated to an unconventional pricing scheme, in which one must pre-purchase sessions, and led to the decision of only offering video-call therapy sessions, which may not be appropriate or comfortable for all customers (many competitors offer text and voice messaging services, for example).
Scheduling Live Chats/Video Chats
A lot of emphasis is placed on the matching process, in order to ensure a good fit between you and your new therapist. As a result, you’ll start by filling out a questionnaire on the Oliva.health website.
The questionnaire itself is well-worded and easy to understand. A large portion of the questionnaire is also presented as sliders on a scale of 1 to 4, with leading questions that make it easy to describe how you’ve been feeling.
Finally, you can indicate your general availability, pay and select a time for your first session. This initial session is a “matching session,” where an Oliva therapist will discuss your needs and objectives. Within 72 hours, you’ll then be matched with a therapist for your next sessions. (If the following 2 sessions don’t go well, of course, you can make use of the Matching Guarantee).
The process is longer than some competitors, as you first go through a matching session which is arguably more logistical than therapeutic. The time between filling out the questionnaire and having your first actual therapy session, therefore, may be several days.
Customer support is available during business hours via a form on the website. There is also a small FAQ section that gives quite thorough answers to basic questions about the service, as well as profile pages for each therapist, a description of the matching process, and access to Mind Chronicles, Oliva’s Instagram account where individuals share stories of their struggles with mental health.
Making the decision to reach out for therapy can stir up a wide range of emotions, including apprehension, anxiety, fear, excitement, joy, and optimism. There’s no right way to approach therapy, which is something that Oliva has clearly made efforts to integrate into their platform.
While admittedly pricier than competitors, Oliva’s emphasis on proper matching, the rigorous standards to which the company holds its therapists, and a preference for evidence-based, clinically-verified therapeutic models (like CBT or EMDR) helps the company stand out.
While the platform’s view of effective therapeutic practices may seem narrow to some (with, notably, the absence of text or voice chat therapy sessions, a boon for the more timid among us), it’s fair to say there are no cut corners here. If you’re looking for highly experienced therapists, with the opportunity for a real connection, and modern, rigorously-tested therapeutic techniques, Oliva is a good choice for you.