Best Online Therapy Services of 2023: Reviews and Pricing

Online therapy is a way to deliver and receive mental health services via the phone, messaging, or video sessions. Providers offer a variety of plans, including single sessions and subscription-based services. Check out this guide to the best online therapy platforms for 2023.
This content is researched and written based on extensive testing by an external reviews team and does not reflect the views or opinions of Everyday Health’s editorial team. Everyday Health may earn a commission from purchases of products featured in this article.

Best Online Therapy Services at a Glance

With online therapy options, you no longer have to travel to a physical office to prioritize your mental health. Now, you have access to therapy anywhere that you have an internet connection. Plus, virtual therapy may be more affordable than in-person visits (unless your in-person therapy is covered by insurance), according to the American Psychological Association.

With many new teletherapy platforms appearing in recent years, it can be daunting to choose one. To help guide you toward a provider that’s right for you, our reviews team conducted extensive research into online therapy reviews and platforms and selected the best ones for various healthcare needs, preferences, and budgets. Our reviews team’s top picks for the best online therapy websites are BetterHelp, Brightside, TalkSpace, and more mentioned in this guide.

Our Top Picks for the Best Online Therapy Platforms in 2023

Compare the Best Online Therapy Programs of 2023

ProviderSession TypesCost
Accepts Insurance
BetterHelpVideo, phone, text, and unlimited messaging$60–$90/weekNo
BrightsideVideo and unlimited messaging$75–$88/week; $95/month plus $15 per medication for medication plan onlyYes
TalkspaceVideo, phone, and text sessions, unlimited messaging, live workshops$69–$109/week for therapy, $249 for initial psychiatry appointment and $125 for each follow-upYes
CalmerryUnlimited messaging$57–$90/weekNo
ReGainUnlimited messaging$60–$90/weekNo
Online-Therapy.comVideo, phone, text, and unlimited messaging$40–80/weekNo
Pride CounselingVideo, phone, text, and unlimited messaging$60–$90/week


MonumentVideo and unlimited messaging$38–$63/weekYes
SesameVideo or phonePrices vary by therapist and locationNo
Teen CounselingVideo, phone, text, and unlimited messaging$60–$90/weekNo

Best Online Therapy Overall: BetterHelp

  • Session Types Video, phone, and text sessions, plus unlimited messaging between sessions
  • Price and Payment Options $60 to $90 per week; accepts credit card or PayPal
  • Accepts Insurance No


  • Optional weekly group therapy sessions can provide a sense of community.
  • Every membership includes weekly therapy sessions, unlimited counselor messaging, and group sessions.
  • Each therapist is licensed and possesses at least a master’s degree in their field.
  • Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.
  • It’s one of the highest-rated online therapy apps in the industry, according to verified customer reviews.


  • You cannot choose which counselor you’re paired with (although you can change counselors at any time).
  • Counselors can’t diagnose a mental health condition or prescribe medications.
  • The company doesn’t accept insurance.
  • It may take a few days to receive a message response from your therapist.

BetterHelp offers one of the most comprehensive selections of teletherapy services. It also has some of the highest verified customer reviews in the online therapy space on third-party review sites like BBB and Trustpilot — and positive reviews for the smartphone BetterHelp app. BetterHelp has a 4.08 out of 5 rating on BBB, and a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot.

Our reviews team conducted a survey of 1,000 online therapy users in April of 2022, and of the 162 BetterHelp users who responded, 80 percent reported having a mostly positive or positive experience with customer service. If you’re looking for the top-rated customer experience, consider BetterHelp.

When you join BetterHelp, you’re paired with a dedicated counselor, based on your answers to introductory questions. Our reviews team verified that it can take a few hours to a few days to receive your therapist match, which is longer than other providers on this list. Every therapist is licensed and experienced, with either a master’s or doctoral degree in their field (all therapists are psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, or licensed professional therapists, according to the BetterHelp website).

You have weekly sessions and unlimited messaging with your counselor. Counselors set their schedules, so you may receive a response the same day or up to a few days later. If you’re someone who likes community support, BetterHelp is one of the few online platforms with free interactive group therapy sessions every week.

Read our expert review of the BetterHelp online therapy platform if you need more information to help you choose.

Use BetterHelp promo code "everydayhealth" for 15 percent off your first month.

Best Online Therapy That Can Provide Medication: Brightside

  • Session Types Video sessions and unlimited messaging
  • Price and Payment Options $75 to $88 weekly for therapy; $95 per month for medication plan only, plus $15 or pharmacy copay per medication; accepts credit cards
  • Accepts Insurance Yes


  • Online psychiatrists can prescribe medication and make diagnoses.
  • Proprietary software helps providers prescribe medication.
  • Regular assessments track progress over time on your account dashboard.
  • You can be matched to a therapist as soon as the next business day.
  • Accepts insurance.
  • Therapy sessions are 45 minutes long.
  • Has an app for iOS phones.


  • Cost of medication is not included in the monthly subscription.
  • Psychiatry sessions are only 30 minutes long.
  • Does not have app for Android phones.
  • No option for phone sessions with counselors.
  • No financial assistance program available.
  • Not many third-party reviews from current users.

Brightside offers the option of online therapy, medication therapy, or both combined in a monthly subscription. Its proprietary technology, PrecisionRx, analyzes a variety of patient data to help providers recommend mental health medication that’s most likely to be tolerable and effective. According to an external analysis coordinated by Brightside and published in January 2022 in the journal Cureus, Brightside’s response rate at first medication recommendation was 50 percent higher than a leading U.S. health system’s.

Brightside offers three plan options. The costs without using insurance are broken down as follows:

  • Medication Plan $95 per month ($45 for the initial month), plus $15 per medication or your pharmacy copay if you’re using insurance; free home delivery
  • Therapy Plan $299 per month ($249 for the first month); includes unlimited messaging and four monthly 45-minute video sessions with a licensed therapist
  • Medication Plus Therapy $349 per month ($249 for the initial month), plus $15 per medication or your pharmacy copay if you’re using insurance; free home delivery for medication

Brightside providers are either licensed psychiatrists, physicians, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or licensed therapists with a master's degree or higher. Brightside matches you with providers based on your location and their availability. You can switch counselors at any time.

The platform shows you a symptom tracker on your account dashboard so you and your care team can keep track of ongoing treatment. You can use it to track your individual progress and the impacts of any adjustments made to your plan, like medication changes or dose changes.

Brightside has an F rating from the BBB, and it is not accredited. It has 1.83 out of 5 stars from six reviewers. There are four reviews on Trustpilot, with a rating of 2.6 out of 5 stars. Therapist reviews on both websites were disappointed with the lack of responsiveness from their providers. They also mentioned difficulties getting hold of customer service and billing problems. Of the 63 Brightside users who responded to our reviews team’s online therapy survey, 57 percent reported their overall experience with the platform as mostly positive or positive.

Learn more in our Brightside therapy review.

Use Brightside promo code "EDH60" for $60 off your first month of cash plans.

Best Online Therapy That Takes Insurance: Talkspace

  • Session Types Video, text, and phone sessions; unlimited messaging; live workshops
  • Price and Payment Options $69 to $109 per week for therapy, $249 for initial psychiatric visit and $125 for follow-ups; accepts credit cards
  • Accepts Insurance Yes


  • Accepts insurance.
  • Online psychiatrists can prescribe medication and make diagnoses.
  • Corporate plans are available for universities and employers.
  • Unlimited messaging with guaranteed responses five days a week.
  • Weekly counseling sessions are available on the most expensive plan.


  • Only video and text sessions are available, with no phone option.
  • Therapy sessions are a maximum of 30 minutes.
  • It’s more expensive than the average internet-based therapy subscription service without insurance.
  • No financial assistance program available.
  • Psychiatric appointments cost an extra $249 for the initial visit and $125 for follow-ups.
  • Poor third-party reviews indicate frustration with therapist and customer service response times.

Talkspace is one of the only online counseling platforms that accepts insurance, so if you have a low deductible for mental health services and your insurance covers Talkspace, it may be more affordable than other options.

Talkspace online therapy is a subscription plan, meaning you pay monthly for access to your personal therapist. Every plan includes unlimited messaging with your counselor, and higher-priced plans include weekly or monthly video counseling sessions and access to live workshops. Another distinguishing perk is the ability to access an online psychiatrist for an added fee. A psychiatrist can provide mental health diagnoses and write prescriptions.

While it is one of the largest teletherapy platforms, Talkspace reviews are poor on verified third-party customer review sites like BBB (1.09 out of 5 stars) and Trustpilot (1.2 out of 5 stars). Most of these complaints involve poor communication, whether on the part of the individual therapist or Talkspace customer service. Our reviews team experienced similar problems when reaching out to Talkspace with questions. It took one to three business days for us to receive responses. However, of the 178 Talkspace users who responded to our reviews team's online therapy survey, 72 percent reported their experience with customer service as mostly positive or positive.

The company’s ability to accept insurance may be more important to you than unreliable customer service. As one of the only online therapy options that accepts insurance, Talkspace claims to cover more than 40 million Americans with eligible insurance plans. Use this coverage checker tool to see if Talkspace accepts your insurance.

Dive deeper in our Talkspace review.

Use Talkspace promo code "EVERYDAYTS" for $100 off your first month.

Most Affordable Online Therapy: Calmerry

  • Session Types Video, plus unlimited messaging
  • Price and Payment Options $57 to $90 per week; accepts credit cards
  • Accepts Insurance No


  • High rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
  • One of the most affordable subscription therapy plans, because of the messaging format.
  • The smartphone app is straightforward and easy to use.
  • You can get matched to a therapist in only a few hours.


  • Therapists cannot prescribe medication or make a diagnosis.
  • There is no option for phone therapy sessions.
  • You cannot pause your subscription.
  • Therapists don’t respond in real-time.
  • Not all counselors respond every weekday.

If you’re focused on finding the most affordable online therapy and prefer writing versus speaking directly with a therapist, Calmerry might be the best online therapy provider for you. You get unlimited messaging through the Calmerry app with your therapist for $57 per week, which is far less than most online therapy providers. Note that this messaging is not an actual real-time therapy session. Therapists reply to messages once or twice per day on weekdays only, and not immediately.

For some, a mental health counseling service in real time is worth spending a little more, and if you’re looking to build a long-term relationship with your therapist, you may want to go with a different online provider.

Calmerry does offer slightly more expensive options that include monthly ($75 per week) or weekly 30-minute video therapy sessions ($90 per week). While you can change plans or cancel, you cannot pause your subscription. The downside to this is that you might be assigned to a new counselor if you cancel and rejoin at a later time.

Additionally, you will find multiple complaints on the Google Play store about the Calmerry app, specifically about counselors not responding to messages every weekday like Calmerry guarantees. But the company does have positive reviews on Trustpilot, with 4 out of 5 stars and reviewers who mention helpful therapists and good customer service. Of the 25 Calmerry users who responded to our team's online therapy survey, 56 percent reported their overall experience with the platform as mostly positive or positive.

Your quality of care will depend upon your therapist, so be sure to ask to change counselors if you have any problems. All therapists are psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, or licensed professional therapists, with either a master’s or doctoral degree, according to the Calmerry website.

Learn more in our Calmerry review.

Use Calmerry promo code "EVERYDAYHEALTH" for 40 percent off your first month.

Best Online Therapy for Couples: ReGain Counseling

  • Session Types Video, text, or phone sessions, plus unlimited messaging
  • Price and Payment Options $60 to $90 per week; accepts credit cards or PayPal
  • Accepts Insurance No


  • Therapy designed specifically for couples.
  • Virtual chat is available 24/7.
  • Can be more affordable than most in-person couples therapy.
  • ReGain provides financial assistance discounts based on income.


  • You must be in the same location as your partner for counseling sessions.
  • There is no private message option, so your partner will always see what you write.
  • ReGain doesn’t accept insurance.
  • ReGain has some negative customer reviews.

ReGain is a telehealth platform owned by BetterHelp and designed specifically for couples. Rather than offering couples therapy from a general online therapy platform, all ReGain therapists specialize in working with couples. With ReGain, you and your partner are assigned to a therapist after answering questions about your needs and preferences — a process that takes up to three days. Most communication occurs in a shared chat room with you, your partner, and your therapist.

For those who may want to meet with their therapist separately from their partner, ReGain isn’t likely a good fit, since there isn’t a private message option. Your partner will see everything you write. But because you can message your counselor at any time, ReGain does work well for couples who are busy and struggle to find a time when they can both meet for a session. Just know that your therapist will only respond on their workdays, which they set, so check with your assigned therapist to know when to expect messages.

You can choose optional therapy sessions when you need them. You and your partner must be together for these sessions, because the platform doesn’t support three-way video or voice calling — so ReGain is not a viable solution for long-distance couples. If either of you don’t like your counselor, you can change providers at any time. All counselors are psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, or licensed professional therapists, according to the ReGain website.

Unfortunately ReGain doesn’t accept insurance. That’s because couples counseling or relationship counseling, including online marriage counseling and online sex therapy, is not seen as a medical diagnosis (as opposed to counseling needed to help manage depression, for example). That said, insurers must provide equitable coverage for mental health conditions, according to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

On BBB, customers rated ReGain 3.19 out of 5 stars, and ReGain is rated 3.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Of the 37 ReGain users who responded to our reviews team's online therapy survey, 70 percent reported their overall experience as mostly positive or positive.

Keep reading about this online therapy platform in our ReGain counseling review.

Use ReGain promo code "everydayhealth-rg" for 15 percent off your first month.

Best Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

  • Session Types Video, phone, and text sessions, plus unlimited messaging
  • Price and Payment Options $40 to $80 per week; accepts credit cards or PayPal
  • Accepts Insurance No


  • Every counselor has CBT training.
  • Therapists respond to messages within 24 hours, Monday through Friday.
  • The online therapy toolkit includes a self-help course with worksheets, a journal, and yoga videos.
  • There’s a 20 percent discount on the first month.


  • Sessions are only 30 minutes.
  • is not for teens, couples, or family counseling.
  • Therapists do not diagnose conditions or prescribe medications.
  • You can’t receive discounts for financial difficulties.
  • The company doesn’t accept insurance.
  • Therapist availability varies based on your location.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, centers on the premise that your thoughts influence your behaviors and feelings, and that you can learn to modify your thoughts, per the American Psychological Association. If you’re interested in accessing anxiety therapy online, and specifically trying out CBT, you may want to consider, as their therapists have CBT training. If you want to get started right away, this service is one of the few therapy subscription sites that immediately pairs you with a counselor upon signing up. has a subscription model and unique add-ons when you sign in to your account. The more expensive plans include either a monthly or weekly therapy session via phone, video, or chat, along with unlimited messaging with your counselor.

It is worth noting that does not operate in every state. Currently the company offers services in 28 states. Consult its Find a Therapist page to confirm whether it operates in your state.

Of the 185 users who responded to our reviews team's online therapy survey, 83 percent reported a mostly positive or positive overall experience with the platform. is not rated on BBB or Trustpilot.

Best Online Therapy for LGBTQ+: Pride Counseling

  • Session Types Video, phone, and text sessions, plus unlimited messaging
  • Price and Payment Options $60 to $90 per week; accepts credit cards or PayPal
  • Accepts Insurance No


  • All therapists specialize in working with the LGBTQ+ community.
  • You can message your therapist at any time.
  • All messages between you and your therapist are confidential.
  • The technology focuses on security and anonymity, for users’ comfort.
  • You can change your therapist at any time, if needed.
  • The easy-to-use app has a 4.4 out of 5 rating on Google Play.
  • Weekly counseling sessions are available.
  • Discounts are available for those who financially qualify.


  • Pride Counseling does not accept insurance.
  • Services are only available to adults.
  • Therapists cannot diagnose conditions or prescribe medication.
  • Not all counselors will write recommendation letters for hormone replacement, due to the limitations of virtual therapy.

If you identify as LGBTQ+, you may prefer a therapist who consistently works with members of your community. With Pride Counseling, which is owned by BetterHelp, each therapist is either a member of the LGBTQ+ community or specializes in working with the LGBTQ+ community. They are psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, or licensed professional therapists, according to the Pride Counseling website.

When you begin the online counseling process, you answer questions about your pronouns, sexual orientation, and how you identify, to help match you with a therapist. You will receive a notification once you’ve been matched with a counselor, which can take 1 to 3 days. Once you join, you can message your online counselor at any time and schedule weekly sessions via video, chat, or phone. Every therapist determines their own schedule, so it may take a few days to receive a reply to your messages, or it might happen the same day.

Pride Counseling gets 5 stars from a total of two reviewers on BBB. Trustpilot gives the platform a rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars, with a total of two reviews. Reviews mention helpful therapists and an easy-to-use platform. Of the 28 Pride Counseling users who responded to our team's online therapy survey, 64 percent rated their overall experience with the platform as mostly positive or positive.

Explore more features in our Pride Counseling review.

Use Pride Counseling promo code "everydayhealth-pc" for 15 percent off your first month.

Best Online Therapy for Treating Alcohol Use Disorder: Monument

  • Session Types Video sessions and unlimited messaging
  • Price and Payment Options $38 to $63 weekly; accepts credit cards
  • Accepts Insurance Yes


  • Specializes in therapy and resources for alcohol use and sobriety support.
  • Accepts insurance and Medicare for medication and therapy plans.
  • Suggests a personalized therapy plan based on an online assessment.
  • Options for weekly or biweekly therapy sessions.
  • Cost includes unlimited messaging with providers.
  • Free moderated group sessions and community chat.


  • No financial assistance program available.
  • Cost of medication is not included in the monthly subscription.
  • Licensed providers aren’t available in all states.
  • Physicians on the platform treat alcohol use disorder only.
  • No option for phone sessions with counselors.
  • Not many third-party reviews from current users.

Monument is a platform that specializes in online treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), with options for therapy, medication management, or a combination of both. Its therapists use techniques like CBT and motivational interviewing.

After creating an account, you will complete a 15-question assessment in order to suggest a recommended treatment plan depending on the level of support you need. The assessment is based on the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), which was developed to screen for excessive drinking and provide a framework for therapist intervention.

Monument’s physician care plan is for individuals who are interested in changing their drinking habits with the help of medication and guidance from a licensed physician. This plan costs $9.99 per month plus $45 for the initial physician appointment and any follow-up appointments, which Monument recommends scheduling every 90 days. It includes unlimited chat-based messaging with your physician as well as access to therapist-moderated support groups and an anonymous 24/7 community forum.

If your physician recommends medication, they will prescribe either disulfiram or naltrexone (Antabuse), depending on your needs. You can manage your prescription via Amazon Pharmacy and have it delivered to your home or to a pharmacy of your choice. The cost of medication is not included in your plan, so you will have to pay out of pocket or use your insurance.

Monument also offers online therapy for alcohol use, although the platform does not have licensed therapists in all 50 states. If you choose a therapy plan, you must live in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania, Washington, Virginia, Georgia, Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Iowa, or Washington, DC. There are two online therapy plans, which include the same benefits as the physician care plan plus weekly or biweekly therapy sessions:

  • Total Care (Weekly) $249/month; includes all physician appointments, weekly therapy sessions, and unlimited chat-based messaging with your physician and therapist
  • Total Care (Biweekly) $149/month; includes all physician appointments, therapy sessions twice a month, and unlimited chat-based messaging with your physician and therapist

Anyone can sign up for Monument’s free plan, which includes access to its therapist-moderated group sessions and 24/7 community chat. You can use a nickname to remain anonymous while being supported in a community setting.

Monument accepts a variety of insurance plans. It also accepts Medicare for users in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, DC.

At this time, there aren’t any third-party reviews to understand real customers’ experiences with Monument’s platform.

Best for On-Demand Appointments: Sesame

  • Session Types Video or phone
  • Price and Payment Options Prices vary by therapist and geographic region; credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Insurance No


  • You have fast access to appointments, sometimes within a day (depending on therapist availability).
  • Certain Sesame providers can prescribe anxiety and depression medications for as low as $5 per month.
  • Affordable care is available for people without insurance.
  • You only pay for visits when you schedule them.
  • Positive third-party reviews on Trustpilot (4.3 out of 5 stars).


  • You have limited counselor availability in certain states.
  • The search platform can be confusing.
  • Sesame doesn’t offer a bundled subscription plan, so it may be more expensive if you pay per weekly session.
  • You can’t message with therapists between appointments.
  • Sesame doesn’t have a smartphone app.

Sesame is one of the best online therapy platforms if you want to speak with a therapist on demand, don’t have insurance, and need a prescription. On the Sesame site, you can schedule video visits for weekly therapy sessions, on-demand mental health needs, or prescription refills. Because you select your therapist and schedule appointments, you receive immediate matching and flexible scheduling. If you aren’t seeking weekly therapy sessions, you may prefer the pay-per-visit format that allows you to schedule visits only when you would like them.

Sesame also offers online telehealth and urgent care appointments with physicians who can treat conditions like asthma, ear infections, and sinus infections. You'll have to indicate the type of care you're interested in when you visit the website. For mental health care, you'll enter your ZIP code, and the platform will provide you with a list of therapists or psychiatrists licensed in your state, as well as their appointment availability. Since mental health providers need to be licensed in each state where they operate, you may see limited availability if you live in a state with fewer professionals on this platform.

Many platforms in this guide do not prescribe medications, so if you’re looking to supplement your therapy with medication, you’d need to use two different providers. Sesame gives you the option to get both from the same place. Select Sesame providers can prescribe medications for anxiety and depression, including generic versions of medications like Prozac, Zoloft, and Celexa for only $5. Look for the “$5 Meds” tag when searching for a provider. Note that these providers cannot prescribe controlled substances like Xanax.

Be aware that a psychiatric consultation is more expensive than a mental health consult. In Wisconsin, for example, a psychiatrist consultation through the Sesame platform costs $103, and a mental health consultation costs $43. So if you’re interested in therapy alone, be sure to choose a therapy session rather than a psychiatry consultation.

The biggest downside with Sesame is that there is limited provider availability, depending on the geographic location of the person seeking therapy. For instance, people living in Colorado only have access to 20 mental health professionals (at the time of publishing), compared to 37 for New York state residents. In addition, there are seven states in which Sesame does not offer any online therapy: Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

The BBB gives Sesame 2.09 out of 5 stars, and Trustpilot gives the platform 4.3 out of 5 stars. None of the reviews specifically mention therapy, however, and instead mention users' experiences seeking medical care. Of the 33 Sesame users who responded to our reviews team's online therapy survey, 70 percent reported their overall experience as mostly positive or positive.

Use Sesame promo code "BETTER50" for 50 percent off your first visit.

Best Online Therapy for Teens: Teen Counseling

  • Session Types Video, phone, and text sessions, plus unlimited messaging
  • Price and Payment Options $60 to $90 per week; accepts credit cards or PayPal
  • Accepts Insurance No


  • Parents and teens can both privately contact the therapist.
  • Affordable weekly rates are less expensive than some insurance copays.
  • Teen Counseling offers video, phone, or chat therapy sessions.
  • Users can message with their therapist 24/7.
  • Teen Counseling offers discounts for financial hardship.


  • Lack of in-person contact won’t work for some teens.
  • Therapists cannot prescribe medications or make diagnoses.
  • Teen Counseling doesn’t accept insurance.
  • Some reviewers on Google Play had a glitchy app experience.

Teen Counseling is a BetterHelp company that incorporates parents into their teenagers’ therapy process right away. During the matching process, which typically takes 1 to 3 days, parents may approve or deny the selected counselor. Once a counselor is selected, they work one-on-one with the teen.

The Teen Counseling platform was specifically designed with teenagers in mind. The therapists all specialize in common adolescent issues, such as coping skills, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, depression, bullying, anger, and eating disorders, according to the Teen Counseling website.

Therapy is confidential, so your child can feel comfortable and secure. But the counselor will contact you if there’s a need for intervention. You and your teen have online access and direct contact with the therapist via messaging. The messaging rooms are private, so neither you nor your child can read each other’s conversations. Be aware that counselors set their own schedules, so it may take a few days to receive a response if you message them on a day off.

Each Teen Counseling therapist has a master’s or doctoral degree in their field. Therapists are psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, or licensed professional therapists, according to the Teen Counseling website. Your child has access to weekly therapy sessions in video, phone, or chat format with the monthly subscription.

Teen Counseling is not rated on BBB. Trustpilot gives it a score of 3.7 with 15 reviews. Negative reviews mention therapists who don't show up for appointments and billing issues. Positive reviews mention helpful therapists. All positive reviews on Trustpilot are from people who were invited by Teen Counseling to leave a review. Of the 29 Teen Counseling users who responded to our team's online therapy survey, 48 percent reported a mostly positive or positive overall experience with the platform.

Read our full Teen Counseling review.

What Is Online Therapy, and Is It Effective?

Online therapy providers offer a platform that allows you to work with a licensed mental health professional online. Every online platform is different, but many include video, phone, or text therapy sessions, along with a virtual room where you can message your counselor between visits. There are different types of online therapy available, including online therapy for anxiety, online depression counseling, family counseling online, and online therapy for trauma, among others.

According to Nora Feldpausch, MD, a psychiatrist in Colorado and the medical director of Mantra Health, a digital mental health provider for university students, its unique benefits make virtual counseling a great fit for certain folks. “Telehealth is just easier to access than in-person care for many people,” says Dr. Feldpausch. She notes that many patients and caregivers are unable to take time off from work for in-person appointments, and that telehealth appointments can be of particular benefit to elderly patients or those living with disabilities.

Despite the benefits of online counseling, in-person therapy may be a better fit for some circumstances and people. “Telehealth and on-the-ground care are complementary to each other,” says Feldpausch. She believes that it’s important to work with patients on a case-by-case basis to find the best solution for each person, rather than merely focusing on the cheapest option or whatever is covered by insurance. She also does not think telehealth should ever fully replace in-person care.

Pros and Cons of Online Therapy


  • Online therapy tends to be more affordable than most in-person care.
  • Online therapy is accessible anywhere that there is an internet connection.
  • You have multiple session options (phone, text, or video).
  • Counselor messaging is available between sessions on some platforms.
  • You have an online platform where you can track your progress.
  • Perks like courses and virtual journals are sometimes included (though this often happens with in-person therapy as well).


  • Few providers accept insurance.
  • You need reliable internet access.
  • There’s no in-person interaction.
  • It’s not for mental health emergencies.
  • Even psychiatrists cannot prescribe controlled medications. Certain controlled medications cannot be prescribed on these platforms, according to the Center for Connected Health Policy.
  • You need to be comfortable with technology.

Who Is Online Therapy Good For?

Virtual therapy is a good fit for some people, especially if you relate to the following:

  • You want greater convenience. Online therapy works anywhere that there is an internet connection, making it convenient if you have limited mobility, don’t live near a therapist, or have a busy schedule.
  • You don’t have insurance. In-person therapy without insurance is typically $100 to $200 per session, although if you live in a big metro area you can expect to pay more, according to Northwestern Mutual. Most online platforms are cheaper.
  • You want to save money. Even with insurance, virtual counseling may be the most affordable option. It depends on how much your mental health copays are.
  • You like added features. Online counseling platforms often come with perks like self-help courses, online journals, and group sessions.
  • You prefer to write, not talk. You can find some teletherapy options where you have text sessions or simply message your therapist, which is better if you’d rather not directly talk with your counselor.
  • You’re more comfortable opening up behind a screen. Some people find online therapy uncomfortable because it’s a vulnerable process to open up to someone through a video or text chat. But others feel more comfortable talking with a therapist from the comfort of their own home. How you seek therapy depends on your preferences and needs — but make sure you are comfortable communicating through a screen if you pursue online therapy.

Who May Not Like Online Therapy

While virtual counseling can come with several perks, it’s not the perfect fit for everyone. If you fall into one of the categories below, you may prefer conventional, in-person sessions instead of online support for mental health.

  • You need immediate support. Remote therapists aren’t the best option if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or another mental health emergency. If you have a mental health emergency, call 911 or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357
  • You’re not tech-savvy. People who aren’t comfortable using video conferencing or smartphone apps may find online therapy inconvenient.
  • You need a controlled substance medication. Psychiatrists typically can only prescribe controlled medications — like Xanax or Adderall — during an in-person visit. The only exception to the ban on prescribing controlled substances via telehealth is a health emergency, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • You prefer in-person interactions. Many people want to sit in the same room as their therapist.

How Much Does the Best Online Therapy Cost?

You can pursue two main types of online therapy, and each avenue varies in pricing. The first option is a therapy subscription plan like BetterHelp or Talkspace. These plans cost roughly $40 to $109 per week, and these sessions are billed monthly. Price varies depending upon factors like where you live and the frequency of the one-on-one therapy sessions.

The second teletherapy option is the pay-as-you-go route, which is more similar to traditional therapy in pricing. You usually work directly with a mental health professional, who sets their own prices. These sessions may cost between $70 and $300 each, and you’re charged at the time of your appointment. If you’re looking for an inexpensive option and don’t mind committing to a subscription, monthly plans will save you more money.

How to Save Money on Online Therapy

You can potentially cut down on the cost of virtual counseling in a number of ways.

  • Consider insurance. Some companies, like Talkspace, accept insurance and may be covered under your plan. But sometimes you can find a better online therapy platform that’s more affordable out of pocket. Explore your options. Additionally, you may be able to find a local in-network therapist who does video visits, meaning you should only need to cover your copay. Ask your insurer for an explanation of your plan’s mental health benefits.
  • Ask about discounts. Online therapy platforms may offer lower prices on your first month for students, members of the military, or teachers. BetterHelp and its extensions, including Teen Counseling, ReGain, and Pride Counseling, all offer financial assistance to those who qualify, reducing weekly online therapy costs to as little as $40 per week.
  • Use an FSA or HSA account. You may be able to use your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for virtual therapy. These are pretax accounts, so you end up saving money on your sessions.
  • Pause your subscription. Some platforms allow you to pause your monthly subscription, so you can take a break from payments when you need to.
  • Ask your employer about an EAP. Some employers offer an employee assistance plan (EAP), which may provide discounts on certain virtual counseling providers.

What to Consider Before Purchasing an Online Therapy Subscription

When trying to decide whether an online therapy subscription is right for you, ask yourself the following questions.

  • How much do you want to spend? Weekly prices start at around $40 but go up to $99 depending upon which service you use, what you want from the plan, and where you live. Select a plan with a price you’re comfortable with.
  • Do you need immediate help? If prioritizing your mental health means you need more urgent, consistent support, an in-person therapist may be a better fit for you. Remember, if you have an emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
  • Are you hoping for a diagnosis? Few providers on this list offer mental health diagnoses. Those therapists who do often charge a price that’s more than most insurance copays.
  • Do you need medications? Most online counselors do not prescribe medications, so you may want to speak with your primary care physician about who to see.
  • Do you have a private space? You’ll probably want a quiet, private space for virtual therapy visits.

How to Prepare for Your First Online Therapy Appointment

When you sign up for a new online therapy program, you’ll select or be matched with a therapist. Be sure that you know how to log in and use the platform before your first session — whether it’s a video, phone, or text visit. If you’re doing a video visit, check that you have a working camera. Don’t forget to carve out a quiet space for privacy.

How We Chose Our Best Online Therapy Services

Our reviews team determined our top picks for the best online therapy options based on the following criteria:

  • Cost We valued companies that provide a range of costs, with a preference for companies that offer at least one budget-friendly plan.
  • Customer Service Exemplary customer service is crucial with a virtual service like online therapy. We contacted each company on this list via phone or e-mail to verify their responsiveness and helpfulness. We paid close attention to whether customer service teams answered promptly, cheerfully, shared their name, and worked to resolve our issue.
  • Customer Satisfaction We recorded each company’s score on BBB and Trustpilot and read countless reviews to get a sense of overall customer satisfaction. We paid close attention to whether companies responded to complaints and negative reviews, how long it took them to respond, and whether the customer found the resolution satisfactory.
  • Modes of Therapy We researched the modes of therapy offered and favored companies that had multiple types of therapy (such as CBT and psychoanalysis) for the user to choose from.
  • Therapist Credentials We verified the credentials of each company’s therapists. We prioritized companies that have therapy teams that possess a variety of credentials (such as psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional therapists, and licensed mental health counselors) or have particular expertise in their field (such as couples counselors or counselors trained in CBT).
  • Years in Operation We examined companies that have been in operation for a long period of time as well as ones that have served as disruptors in the marketplace, such as Pride Counseling, which was established in 2017 but fills a niche by offering therapy specifically to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • System Usability and Access The online therapy system should be easy to use and intuitive. Companies should, ideally, offer multiple formats for their therapy sessions and make it easy to switch therapists or cancel subscriptions altogether.
  • Ease of Registration Companies should have an easy registration process that puts as much control into the user’s hands as possible. That includes a streamlined registration process with, ideally, control over who your therapist is and when you can meet with them.

Why You Can Trust Us

We independently investigate and recommend products and services we believe will enrich the lives of our readers and meet their specific needs. We’ve spent hours carrying out in-depth research on the online therapy market. You can trust our review because we did the legwork for you in these specific ways:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Mystery-shopped each of the brands
  • Contacted brands’ customer service teams to ask questions and gauge responsiveness
  • Consulted six leading psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Became customers of online therapy providers ourselves
  • Reviewed academic research about the efficacy of online therapy versus in-person therapy
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Consumer Reports

How We Research and Evaluate Online Therapy Platforms

Our reviews team extensively scrutinizes many online therapy platforms to make sure we only recommend those we believe will make a difference to our readers. Together, we’ve researched prominent brands through the experiences of real customers and consulted with independent mental health professionals to better understand why people seek out online therapy. Read more about our online therapy review methodology.

The Bottom Line

Online therapy isn’t for everyone, but the convenience, potential cost savings, and added perks make it win out over in-person sessions for quite a few folks. Still, with so many online therapy providers, choosing the best one for you can be daunting.

Our pick for the best online therapy is BetterHelp. Every membership includes weekly therapy sessions, unlimited counselor messaging, and group sessions. Plus, it has high customer reviews on trusted sites. Those looking for medication support may prefer Brightside, which offers psychiatry along with online therapy. If using insurance is a priority, Talkspace partners with a variety of insurance carriers and EAPs.

Other platforms may be better for meeting specific needs. For instance, parents of teens will be more involved in the therapy process on Teen Counseling. Someone looking for couples therapy or therapists familiar with LGBTQ+ issues may want to consider ReGain or Pride Counseling, respectively. Individuals looking for therapy for AUD may benefit from Monument, which provides online therapy plus medication management.

Sesame’s on-demand appointments, some even on the same day, may appeal to individuals who do not want to purchase a subscription for online therapy. And Calmerry’s low-cost messaging plan may be attractive to individuals who prefer written communication with their therapist. With so many different options, it’s helpful to ask yourself what matters most to you, and to read through our top picks to find one that fits.

When to Seek Help

Online therapy providers are not meant to assist in a mental health emergency, such as when someone is a threat to themselves or others. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with a skilled, trained counselor at a 24/7 crisis center in your area. If you are located outside of the United States and need help, call your local emergency line.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is online therapy legit?

Yes, online therapy is legitimate therapy. The best online therapy platforms have licensed, accredited therapists with the same credentials as those you can meet in person.

The results of more than 100 independent studies were published in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy in May 2021, comparing the efficacy of in-person therapy versus online therapy. Significant improvements occurred in patients in both categories, with no significant difference in efficacy between the two formats. This recent study corroborates earlier studies supporting the efficacy of online counseling, such as a study published by Brigham Young University in 2020 that examined 5,568 college students and found that online CBT therapy was equally as effective as in-person visits for those with mild to moderate symptoms.

Which online therapy site is best?

One of the best online therapy services is BetterHelp, which also has largely positive customer reviews on third-party sites like the BBB. There are many other credible online counseling sites as well, including, ReGain, Calmerry, and more.

Is my online therapy visit private and secure?

Telehealth services, including virtual therapy, are required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a law enacted to protect your personal information, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To stay compliant, online therapy platforms must use HIPAA-compliant systems, such as encrypted video software. However, despite these safeguards, it’s a good idea to keep your computer and programs updated and use a secure, hard-to-guess password to protect against hackers.

Is online therapy just as effective as in-person therapy?

Online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy for many people, but not for everyone. In a systematic review published in July 2020 in eClinicalMedicine, researchers of past studies suggested that online CBT therapy was at least as effective as in-person CBT therapy, if not slightly more so. Yet people with severe symptoms or complex mental health conditions may do better with in-person therapy, according to a review article published in February 2020 in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

What is the best online therapy covered by insurance?

Talkspace is one of the largest internet-based therapy providers that accepts insurance. But, for some people, insurance copays may be higher than the cost of weekly online therapy plans. To save money on online therapy, consider using funds in an FSA or HSA account.

What is the best affordable online therapy?

Calmerry is one of the most affordable online therapy subscription platforms, with messaging-only plans starting at $42 per week. has plans that start at $40 per week, but it can cost up to $80 per week, whereas Calmerry costs a max of $68 per week. Finally, people with financial hardship may qualify for a discount from BetterHelp, reducing the weekly cost from $60 to $90 down to $40 to $80.

Why is online therapy cheaper?

Online therapy is cheaper than in-person therapy due to multiple factors. To start, you don’t have insurance plans taking a cut of the funds. Additionally, many of these services are subscription plans, so you pay a flat fee whether or not you use all of your allotted sessions (many in-person therapists charge a fee for missed appointments). Finally, online sessions are often shorter than physical visits.

What are the disadvantages of online therapy?

With online therapy, few providers can make diagnoses. Even providers who can do so cannot prescribe controlled substances, unless it’s an emergency situation. For some people, connecting to a therapist over a screen can be challenging due to both technical issues and comfort level. But others tend to feel more comfortable in their own homes. Also, each provider is typically only able to provide care for individuals residing in the state(s) in which they hold current licenses.

Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking

  • What You Need to Know Before Choosing Online Therapy. American Psychological Association. 2015.
  • The Mental Health and Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Hayes M. How Much Does Therapy Cost, and How Do You Pay for It? Northwestern Mutual. December 22, 2021.
  • What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? American Psychological Association. July 2017.
  • Allen C. Online Therapy Just as Effective as In-Person Therapy for Many Patients. Brigham Young University. November 12, 2020.
  • Prescribing Controlled Substances Via Telehealth. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. January 28, 2021.
  • Fernandez E, Woldgabreal Y, Day A, et al. Live Psychotherapy by Video Versus In-Person: A Meta-Analysis of Efficacy and Its Relationship to Types and Targets of Treatment. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. November 2021.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 14, 2018.
  • Pescatello MS, Pedersen TR, Baldwin SA. Treatment Engagement and Effectiveness of an Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program at a University Counseling Center. Psychotherapy Research. October 2020.
  • Professional Requirements for Online Prescribing. Center for Connected Health Policy. 2022.
  • Luo C, Sanger N, Singhal N, et al. A Comparison of Electronically-Delivered and Face to Face Behavioural Therapies in Depressive Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. eClinicalMedicine. July 2020.
  • Stoll J, Müller JA, Trachsel M. Ethical Issues in Online Psychotherapy: A Narrative Review. Frontiers in Psychiatry. February 2020.
  • AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for Use in Primary Health Care. World Health Organization. November 18, 2001.
  • Online Therapy Survey. 1,000 respondents. Conducted using Pollfish. Launched April 11, 2022.
  • Chokshi S, Senathirajah Y, Yadav V, et al. A Comparative Evaluation of Measurement-Based Psychiatric Care Delivered via Specialized Telemental Health Platform Versus Treatment as Usual: A Retrospective Analysis. Cureus. January 2022.
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