Best Online Therapy Services of 2022: Top Virtual Counseling Resources [Updated]


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Mental health is an essential component of overall health, and more people are taking note. We review the best seven online therapy services to assist people who are seeking convenient mental health care services from the comfort of their homes.

If you’re in a rush, consider our pick for the best online therapy service overall: BetterHelp. It offers over 21,000 accredited professionals across a range of disciplines. Our second choice is Talkspace, which is the best online therapy option that accepts insurance.

Best Online Therapy Services

Finding an online therapist can be challenging—there’s no one-size-fits-all where it concerns mental health. We review 7 of the best online therapy apps and services for adults, teens, and couples. Whether you’re curious about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or you’re seeking psychiatric help, these 7 options cover it all.

1. BetterHelp – Best Online Therapy Service Overall

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Pros

  • Platform makes it easy to select a therapist
  • Choice of live video, phone, or chat sessions
  • Ability to message therapist anytime
  • Assistance with payments available
  • All therapists have at least three years of experience

Cons

  • Does not accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid

BetterHelp is an excellent all-around platform for online therapy. As one of the most extensive online resources out there, it offers clients a choice between over 21,000 professionals.

That includes accredited psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional therapists, and licensed clinical social workers.

Although BetterHelp does not offer medication management, most other people seeking non-crisis mental health treatment can find someone who fits their needs.

Online Platform Usability: 5/5

BetterHelp’s website is user-friendly, with links throughout the homepage leading clients to the initial questionnaire. This is where you can get started on matching with a therapist.

At the top of the homepage, there are links to subpages containing articles and frequently asked questions about BetterHelp. You can also get information about online counseling in general.

The website makes it easy for both users looking for a new therapist right away and users who want to learn a bit more about the company before beginning therapy.

Therapist Matching: 5/5

BetterHelp has a thorough questionnaire for therapist matching. You can fill out what you are looking for from a therapist and what you want to gain through therapy.

You can select from a list of over 20 specific mental health conditions to get a therapist with experience the relevant experience.

The specificity of these questions gives prospective clients confidence that they will match with the right therapist. You want to ensure someone will relate to you and your specific mental health issues.

BetterHelp also offers a resource to click on names and pictures of individual therapists to see their credentials and specialties. This resource makes it easy for you to browse the available professionals before completing the questionnaire and committing to the service.

Flexibility and Convenience: 4/5

BetterHelp ranks highly in this category because it allows you to message your counselor whenever you feel the need. The service also offers a choice of live chat, phone, and video sessions by appointment.

Affordability: 4/5

BetterHelp costs between $60 and $90 per week, and financial assistance might be available to select individuals, e.g. those who are unemployed or on a limited income.


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>> Get professional therapy from the comfort of your home with BetterHelp

2. TalkSpace – Best for Online Therapy That Takes Insurance

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Pros

  • Accepts a wide range of insurance plans
  • Offers medication management
  • Provides options for individuals, couples, and teenagers
  • Provides live chat consultations before signing up

Cons

  • The website can be difficult to navigate.
  • Psychiatric services are only available via video calls.

TalkSpace is a platform that provides therapy for individuals, couples, teens, and LGBTQ+ individuals. It also offers psychiatry services for those seeking medication management.

A major benefit is that TalkSpace accepts a variety of insurance plans. Depending on your insurance provider, you might be eligible for no- or low-cost therapy.

Online Platform Usability: 3/5

TalkSpace’s website has a lot going on compared to some of the other online platforms we reviewed but is easy to use overall.

The homepage includes recent news about mental health trends, reviews of TalkSpace, infographics about TalkSpace, and more. This can be somewhat overwhelming at first, but it is relatively easy for users to find what they are looking for eventually.

Therapist Matching: 4.5/5

TalkSpace users complete the sign-up process before taking any questionnaires or assessments to match with a therapist.

Once registered, users complete a questionnaire or chat with a matching agent. The option to chat with someone great shows attention to detail, which is important in an online therapy platform.

TalkSpace’s questionnaire is much shorter than some of the other platforms we visited. Right away, you can see three matches before committing to payment. This allows you to decide whether there is a therapist who is a good fit for you before committing to payment.

Flexibility and Convenience: 4/5

TalkSpace scores high in this category because it offers services to a wide range of demographics, from teenagers to veterans of the armed services.

Perhaps most conveniently, TalkSpace provides psychiatric services and medication management. Not many online therapy providers offer these options.

Affordability: 4.5/5

TalkSpace therapy without medication management ranges from $65 per week to $99 per week, depending on how many live video chats you add per month. The $65 plan includes unlimited text and video messaging.

Psychiatric visits cost $249 for the initial appointment and $125 for follow-up appointments. The fact that TalkSpace accepts some forms of insurance, and does not require a referral from a primary physician, makes this psychiatry platform relatively affordable.

>> Begin your therapy and healing with TalkSpace today

3. Regain – Best Online Couples Therapy

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Pros

  • A platform specifically geared to couples
  • Therapists have at least three years of practical experience
  • Option for individual counseling
  • Ability to send video, audio, or text messages anytime

Cons

  • Limited individual therapy specialties compared to others
  • Does not support three-way live sessions

Regain provides couples with a wide selection of therapists to choose from. All of these professionals specialize in helping with issues that arise in relationships. You can choose from a variety of platforms on which to communicate with your therapist.

Online Platform Usability: 4.5/5

Regain’s website is well-organized and easy to use. For example, the site has a large section with reviews that other users have left for the therapists. This can help you decide who might be right for you and your partner.

Therapist Matching: 4.5/5

One of our favorite parts about Regain’s matching platform is that you can decide after you fill out the questionnaire whether you want to invite your partner to online therapy.

The questionnaire asks questions specific to couples wanting to go to counseling. This assists the therapist in better understanding you and your partner’s needs.

Flexibility and Convenience: 3/5

Regain offers clients the option of messaging their therapist via text, video, or audio at any time of the day or night. This allows clients to use whichever medium they are most comfortable with.

You and your partner can also attend live sessions each week.

However, one downside is that Regain’s platform does not support three-way live sessions at this time. Couples need to be in the same room for these sessions. This may be inconvenient or impossible if you’re not currently living with your partner, or are in a long-distance relationship.

Affordability: 4.5/5

The cost for Regain is between $60 and $90 per week, depending on income status. This cost is relatively affordable if split between two people.

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>> Save, heal, and revitalize your relationship with Regain

4. Pride Counseling – Best for LGBTQ+ People

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Pros

  • Specifically geared to members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Ability to message therapist at any time
  • Option to schedule a live chat, video, or phone sessions
  • A wide range of mental health concerns addressed

Cons

  • Does not take health insurance
  • Not all therapists are members of the LGBTQ+ community themselves

Pride Counseling pairs LGBTQ+ individuals with LGBTQ+ affirmative therapists. This is vital to members of the LGBTQ+ community, who may experience discrimination in the mental health and other healthcare fields.

Online Platform Usability: 3.5/5

Pride Counseling’s homepage leads users directly to a questionnaire to match with a licensed therapist. While there is a link to a frequently asked questions section, the homepage does not contain as many other resources about online therapy as some other platforms.

Therapist Matching: 4.5/5

Pride Counseling’s questionnaire is one of the few that has users select their preferred pronouns. It also asks ot
her specific questions helpful for getting to know LGBTQ+ individuals. This type of support can be affirming to people who are seeking a safe and respectful space for mental healthcare.

Flexibility and Convenience: 4/5

You can message your therapist anytime and choose between live chat, phone, and video sessions for virtual appointments. These options make it easy for you to reach out if you are struggling or need to get something off your chest.

Affordability: 4/5

Pride Counseling is $60 to $90 per week, depending on the therapist, and may become more affordable if you sign up for a longer duration.

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>> Start therapy with Pride Counseling today

5. TeenCounseling.com – Best Online Therapy for Teens

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Pros

  • User-friendly website
  • Available to both teens and their parents
  • Completely confidential, aside from concerns regarding serious risks of harm

Cons

  • Cannot be used in a crisis situation
  • The website seems geared to parents, which may make some teens uncomfortable
  • Cannot prescribe medication

TeenCounseling.com connects teens and parents with counselors who specialize in issues commonly experienced by younger and older teenagers. Examples include bullying, peer pressure, and substance abuse.

Online Platform Usability: 4/5

The homepage gives a step-by-step illustration of how its therapist matching program works so that users know what to expect. There are sections with frequently asked questions for both parents and teens.

However, the website overall seems geared to parents, which may cause some teens to go elsewhere online to seek help for themselves.

Therapist Matching: 3.5/5

The homepage asks users if they are a parent or teens seeking online therapy. Each link directs the users to a different questionnaire.

The parent questionnaire begins by asking if clients want to invite their teen to join or if they are seeking parental advice only. The questionnaire is thorough but requires that parents filling it out are aware of their teen’s mental health concerns.

The teen questionnaire is quite short, making it user-friendly for someone younger or someone who may not want to answer many questions right away. After the questionnaire, the teen is led to a consent form to give to a parent or legal guardian.

Flexibility and Convenience: 4/5

TeenCounseling.com is a convenient online platform for both adolescents and their parents to receive assistance with issues regarding mental health. Parents can decide whether to invite their child, making this a flexible and usable platform for both demographics.

Affordability: 4/5

TeenCounseling.com costs $60 to $90 per week with the option to cancel anytime.

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>> Get your teenager the help they need today

6. Online-Therapy.com – Best CBT Therapy Online

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Pros

  • More affordable than most services
  • Focused on cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Offers messaging, text chat, phone, and video
  • Provides hands-on tools and worksheets
  • Allows users to pause their subscription

Cons

  • Limited to 30 minutes of live sessions per week
  • Selected therapists may not align with the client’s time zone

Online-Therapy.com is an affordable online platform if you want to try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, depression, and insomnia.

Online Platform Usability: 4/5

Although the homepage of Online-Therapy.com requires a bit of scrolling, it is user-friendly and designed with calming graphics. There is a comprehensive tab with information surrounding CBT and how it works, information about the company, and FAQs. You can quickly find answers to any questions they have about the platform.

Therapist Matching: 4/5

Before even signing up or completing a questionnaire, users can view a comprehensive list of therapists that Online-Therapy.com offers. You can review which technology each therapist uses (messaging, text chat, phone, or video) to pick a therapist who uses your preferred apps.

After a very brief questionnaire, you’ll see a selection of around five therapists to choose from. However, some of these options may not align with your timezone, which may make communication difficult.

Flexibility and Convenience: 4.5/5

Online-Therapy.com ranks high in flexibility because it provides you with worksheets and other activities to do in addition to your therapy sessions.

With these resources, you can continue to practice good mental health and wellness between their appointments. Online-Therapy.com offers three plans at various price points.

Affordability: 4.5/5

Online-Therapy.com is very affordable, with a standard plan being $60 per week for daily replies and one 30-minute live session per week. A basic plan is $40 per week but only consists of daily responses and no live sessions. Both plans include worksheets and other activities to assist with therapy. Online-Therapy.com offers a 20% discount during the first month of treatment.

>> Find the right therapist for you at Online-Therapy.com

7. Calmerry – Most Flexible Online Therapy App


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Pros

  • Three plans to choose from
  • Option to change therapists at no charge
  • Excellent support team

Cons

  • Does not take insurance
  • Only session options are messaging and live video

Calmerry is an online therapy platform that offers an affordable basic plan. It also provides other plans depending on the client’s needs.

Online Platform Usability: 4/5

Calmerry’s website overall is user-friendly and has support available to answer any questions you might have.

Therapist Matching: 3/5

Calmerry’s matching system was less intuitive and more clunky than most of the other online matching platforms we looked at.

This might make someone unsure about reaching out for online therapy less likely to go through the questionnaire and receive the help they need.

Flexibility and Convenience: 4/5

Calmerry is less convenient in that it only offers asynchronous text or live video communications. However, Calmerry makes up for this by being very flexible in the online therapy plans that it offers.

Calmerry also has a technical support team that is available 24 hours a day, further increasing convenience for Calmerry clients.

Affordability: 4/5

Calmerry’s basic plans start at $42 per week, while plans with more features can increase to $88 per week.

This gives clients a wide range of prices to commit to. It all depends on what you can afford and what you want to get out of therapy.

>> Pick the right therapy plan for you at Calmerry

How We Selected Our Online Therapy Platforms

We followed a strict set of criteria to choose the best online therapy services. These include ease of the therapist matching system, flexibility, and convenience.

We believe that mental health care and wellness should be accessible to all. This is why we also emphasized the cost and affordability of the technology.

The therapist-client relationship is one of the most important, if not the most important, components of mental health counseling. For this reason, one of the other criteria we used was how well the online matching system performed. An online algorithm that matches clients with suitable therapists becomes even more critical in the absence of a face-to-face meeting.

Lastly, convenience and flexibility are two of the main reasons why people seek online therapy rather than traditional in-person mental health counseling. For this reason, we greatly considered these two factors in our rankings of the best online therapy resources.

>> Start affordable therapy with BetterHelp

How To Choose Online Therapy

Making the decision to go to therapy can be difficult, so a client must find a platform and a therapist they are comfortable with. Here are some questions to ask before choosing an online therapist.

How Long Will We Work Together?

The length of time that a client needs to attend therapy depends on the individual and the reasons for seeking treatment. However, it is essential for a client and counselor to have an understanding of expectations and a time frame for the therapy before going forward.

How Will We Conduct Sessions?

Some online therapists opt not to conduct sessions via video chat, while others prefer video chat and stay away from text sessions.

The client and therapist must be on the same page regarding the platform or platforms that will be used for the live counseling sessions.

What Can I Expect From Therapy?

This is another question that is important to ask to ensure that client and therapist expectations are aligned.

You should discuss their goals and what they are looking for out of therapy in the first session or prior to the first session. In some cases, face-to-face therapy rather than online therapy may be warranted.

How Will You Protect My Privacy?

In the age of online data breaches and hacking, the thought of confiding in somebody online can be scary. Fortunately, online therapists are generally required to abide by the same privacy and confidentiality laws as in-person therapists.

To double-check, you should ask providers if they are HIPAA-compliant and whether the online platform sells any client information.

Do You Take Insurance?

You should be aware of much online therapy will cost upfront. If you have insurance, inquire if your policy will cover some of the sessions.

Can You Prescribe Medication?

If you have taken medication in the past or feel you might need to be on medication, ask whether the therapist can provide medication management. If not, you’ll need to find another specialist who can work with them in conjunction with the online professional.

How Do I Find the Best Online Therapy for Me?

To find the best online therapy resource, you should shop around and find the right one. That should be a service with counselors who focus on your concerns and is available in a platform you’re comfortable using (whether that is chat, voice, or text). Remember to factor in your budget and whether or not insurance can be accepted.

Online Therapy Resource Comparison

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Summary: Online Therapy

Online therapy has been shown to be safe and effective for many mental health concerns and conditions. However, it is crucial for clients to find an online resource where they feel safe and secure before beginning sessions with an online therapist. Doing research goes a long way towards ensuring that you find a mental health provider that is right for you.

BetterHelp is our top pick for both affordability and ease of use. The company also happens to have some of the best customer reviews online.

>> Begin your mental health journey with BetterHelp today

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Kire Stojkovski is a practicing medical doctor whose work has been published in some of the most respected medical journals.

Daniel Boyer is a practicing Doctor of medicine with a passion for medical research. He specializes in molecular biology, histology, and pharmacology.





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