Despite increased access to mental health treatment and a rising de-stigmatization of seeking help for psychiatric diseases in our culture, many still struggle to locate a judgment-free therapist with whom they feel comfortable.
While mental health problems are prevalent among adults in the United States due to stigma, it is relatively uncommon for individuals to put their mental health on hold due to financial and time restrictions or a lack of access to adequate care.
Anyone – regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – can experience mental health problems at any moment. Mental health issues, if left untreated, can result in addiction, suicide, and other devastating consequences.
Online counseling is growing in popularity and is increasingly being recognized as an effective method of assisting persons in overcoming a variety of mental health concerns. However, it isn’t easy to know where to begin with many online counseling platforms.
To help you in your decision-making, we’ve analyzed the finest online therapy platforms and rated them on various criteria to help you select the best online therapy service for your unique circumstances.
Best Online Counseling Services For Anxiety & Depression
- Calmerry: Overall Best Online Therapy For Anxiety & Stress; Editor’s Choice
- OnlineTherapy.com: Get Anxiety Therapist For Better Mental Health
- TalkSpace: Recommended Psychiatric Services For Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Best Online Therapy Platforms: Review
#1. Calmerry: Overall Best Online Therapy For Anxiety & Stress; Editor’s Choice
Calmerry, founded in May 2020 by digital entrepreneur Alex Vitchenko, seeks to make online therapy and counseling accessible and cheap to everyone in need. This online counseling tool was developed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on people’s mental health.
The software connects you to the most qualified online therapist for your specific needs through an experienced team. Friendly support agents are accessible 24/7 and can quickly automate workflows by chatting with your therapist. Individuals and therapists utilize the software.
Calmerry assures that each of its therapists has earned a Master’s or Doctoral degree, has specialized in a particular area of counseling, has been recognized as a licensed professional, and has been accredited by their respective state under applicable laws and regulations.
This platform’s therapist pool is quite diversified and covers various mental health specialties. The membership options are incredibly reasonable and will not significantly impact your daily living expenses if you are a low-income worker.
The client is asked to initiate the procedure by supplying personal information during the sign-up process. After creating an account, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire before being paired with some of the most qualified therapists online.
Calmerry’s decision to allow users to customize their potential therapist’s experience in various areas ensures that customers get the best of both worlds, remote and in-person, at one of the more laborious stages of the journey to better mental health.
- Unlimited messaging – $41.99 per week
- Unlimited messaging + 1 live video – $51.99 per week
- Unlimited messaging + 4 live videos – $67.49 per week
Ease of use
Calmerry is one of the most easy-to-use online therapy platforms we’ve seen. It has a simple way to start and can be used on almost any device. Calmerry enables you to communicate with your online therapist via video chats or text messages from a tablet, PC, laptop, or mobile phone equipped with a reliable Internet connection.
First, you must respond to a series of questions about the type of assistance you require. This simple survey should take no more than three minutes to complete. You’ll select your subscription type (three options are available).
An appropriate counselor will be assigned to you based on your preferences. Approximately 24 hours after subscribing, you will be given a counselor. Finally, therapy sessions can be initiated by text or live video.
Calmerry indicated that the company utilizes “strong” SSL encryption on its servers to secure personal health data and financial transactions. While most of the other platforms we investigated indicated using banking-grade 256-bit SSL encryption, Calmerry’s website states that its clients’ privacy is its top priority without providing any details.
- You can arrange for live sessions as needed
- There are several different subscription options
- Therapists who are licensed
- Sign-up is simple and intuitive
- You receive a discount on your first month
- There are no free trials available
#2. OnlineTherapy.com: Get Anxiety Therapist For Better Mental Health
OnlineTherapy.com is a Swedish online therapy portal. Their network includes professional therapists from all around the world who can assist with various mental health difficulties.
OnlineTherapy.com’s sign-up process is one of the most straightforward and intuitive available. It should take you no more than a minute or two to finish. They inquire about the challenges you face and the types of therapists you believe would be most appropriate for you. You’ll be requested to enter a username, password, and email address to finish your registration.
Users can obtain treatment sessions from professional and certified therapists through the usage of OnlineTherapy.com, which is a subscription-based online therapy service that charges a monthly fee. The service is only available online, and you can access it using your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Apart from depression, OnlineTherapy can assist with various other mental health concerns, including anxiety, insomnia, stress, and addiction. Initial treatment is provided for free to new users; however, a subscription plan must be selected to continue receiving support.
OnlineTherapy.com is to provide a diverse range of treatment options to those who are struggling with a variety of issues. The selection process for potential disorders includes a lengthy list from which individuals can choose multiple conditions during registration.
Additionally, members receive access to an online treatment toolkit that includes a structured program, worksheets, self-help course, activity schedules, journaling, yoga, live chat, and message inbox.
- The basic package costs $31.96 per week
- The standard package costs $47.96 per week
- The premium package costs $63.96 per week
When you register with OnlineTherapy.com, you will be asked a series of questions to be matched with the most appropriate therapist. This individual will communicate with you and respond to your messages and live chats.
You can browse a therapist’s professional profile after being paired with one. While we observed that one therapist on OnlineTherapy.com lacked the necessary certifications in one instance, we determined that this is not the situation for other therapists on the platform.
If you are dissatisfied with the therapist assigned to you, you can contact the company, which will assign a new therapist to you. If you were not paired with a licensed and credentialed therapist the first time, you may be able to express that you would want to be partnered with one at this time.
When you register with OnlineTherapy.com, you’ll be asked a few questions to ensure that you’re matched with the most appropriate therapist. This is the individual who will monitor your account and respond to your messages and live chats.
You can read a therapist’s professional profile after being matched with one. Although we discovered that one of OnlineTherapy.com’s therapists lacked the necessary certifications in one instance, this is not true for all of the platform’s therapists.
If you are dissatisfied with the therapist assigned to you, you can contact the company, which will assign you a new therapist. The possibility of specifying that you would like to be paired with an appropriately licensed and credentialed therapist at this time exists if your initial request is not met.
- Wherever you go online, you will find the best therapists
- Well-known, reputable business
- Not restricted to inhabitants of the United States but available worldwide
- The trial period is offered for free
- The industry’s most reasonable prices
- The duration of live sessions is 30 minutes
#3. TalkSpace: Recommended Psychiatric Services For Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
TalkSpace is a teletherapy platform that enables users to connect with a licensed therapist via asynchronous texting, live instant messaging, phone, or video therapy sessions. Additionally, it provides mental care and medication management to individuals 18 years of age and older.
According to its website, TalkSpace is situated in New York City and claims to have more than one million subscribers. The company offers its service as a secure, simple, and rapid method of interacting with a therapist to improve one’s mental health.
Once you’ve registered online, you can communicate with a therapist regularly by phone, video message, or chat. These types of communications are recorded and exchanged between you and your therapist.
If you have a membership package that allows you to schedule live video sessions with your therapist, you can also communicate with them in real-time during these sessions. Privacy is critical, even more so when discussing your most sensitive ideas. The therapist will ask you personal questions to better understand your issues.
This is why TalkSpace ensures complete anonymity throughout sessions. The firm retains no record of the conversations.
Checkpoints, milestones, and progress reports will give you a sense of what a typical therapy path looks like, and you’ll be able to customize your plan. If you find that anything isn’t working for you, you can change therapists or discontinue therapy.
- Unlimited messaging therapy Plus – $260 a month
- Unlimited messaging therapy Premium – $316 a month
- Unlimited messaging therapy Ultimate – $396 a month
There are times when TalkSpace has to or can share information about your private identity or private health information, like when you have a medical health crisis.
The organization claims to use fully compliant HIPAA technology to safeguard the security and confidentiality of an individual’s data. All communication between its software and servers and between its software and servers is entirely encrypted. Additionally, TalkSpace refers to the use of non-identifying and aggregate data for trend analysis and research.
When logging into the TalkSpace app, users must enter their password and select a unique passcode. Additionally, an iOS app can incorporate Touch ID or Face ID to provide an additional layer of protection.
This method of treatment has existed for some time. This therapy has proven beneficial for numerous couples in peril during the pandemic. Whether they are struggling with fertility concerns or ones connected to sexuality, such as sexual health or orientation, it is critical to seek care immediately.
Couples frequently seek assistance with child and employment issues and financial concerns. Everyone has been impacted negatively by the pandemic, particularly people’s relationships. Many have been laid off or placed in quarantine, which requires them to stay at home for 24 hours.
- Numerous subscription plans are available monthly
- Various convenient communication channels
- Sufficient platform security
- All therapists hold valid licenses
- You may select your therapist from a list of suggested candidates
- Counseling is not accessible to children aged 12 or less
BetterHelp began in 2013 and has become one of the leading online counseling platforms. Each customer is assigned a professional mental health counselor. BetterHelp therapists average over three years of clinical experience or 1000 hours.
Individual, teen, family, and couples counseling are available through BetterHelp. Therapists, certified professional counselors, and clinical social workers are all trained to address various concerns.
BetterHelp requires you to complete a questionnaire about why you’re seeking therapy, information on the conditions or troubles you’re currently experiencing, and your preferences for a therapist, such as age, gender, religion, and language.
Based on your responses, an algorithm matches you with a licensed therapist. This technique assists in narrowing the field of potential therapists, ensuring that you choose one who is a good fit for your needs. According to BetterHelp, connecting with a therapist takes approximately 24 hours or less.
BetterHelp enables remote access to qualified counselors at a comparatively low cost. Users can communicate via live chat, text messaging, phone conversations, or video conferencing. The objective is to develop a therapy framework compatible with your needs and timetable.
BetterHelp is dedicated to the highest quality, privacy, and security standards, and it demonstrates this commitment. Additionally, the organization ensures that its therapists follow HIPAA standards and maintain patient confidentiality. Additionally, you can safeguard your anonymity by communicating with your therapist under a pseudonym.
BetterHelp costs between $60 and $90 per week, invoiced monthly at $240 to $360, with specific charges based on your place of residence and therapists’ availability.
Smart therapist-matching process
If you lack a psychological background, you may be unsure which style of therapy is most suited to your requirements and interests. BetterHelp’s intelligent therapist matching approach ensures that you are connected with a therapist with whom you may develop a long-term relationship.
You’ll be requested to fill out a survey regarding your online treatment requirements, general health, and financial situation during the sign-up process. Additionally, you must submit demographic information and describe what you are looking for in a therapist.
BetterHelp’s clever algorithm will then match you with a therapist who fulfills your request. You should anticipate a delay of one or two days before receiving your match.
Every therapist who provides counseling through BetterHelp is licensed and screened. Before a counselor can join the platform, they must have logged at least 1,000 hours or three years of professional experience.
Counselors at BetterHelp hold master’s degrees in their fields of specialization, and several staff therapists hold doctoral degrees. Each therapist has a profile that includes a biography, specialty, contact information, and clinical techniques.
Additionally, you may read all of the therapist’s reviews to understand what to expect from their services. This information will shed light on your therapist and their capacity to address your needs.
- Services that provide unlimited messaging
- Trial period of free online therapy
- Numerous counselors, such as family therapists
- Subscriptions are reasonably priced
- Exceptional track record
- It is not covered by insurance
ReGain was created in 2016 as a sister company to the most popular online therapy app BetterHelp and has grown to become the most widely used couples therapy app. While the company is situated in California, it serves people and couples worldwide.
ReGain is a relationship therapy and counseling service that combines traditional face-to-face treatment with cutting-edge technology. Its one-of-a-kind platform links individuals seeking counseling with a certified mental health practitioner or trained and credentialed family therapist.
ReGain is a fantastic and economical choice for couples or relationship counseling. You and your spouse can instantly connect with a therapist and converse via a dedicated chatroom.
All licensed therapists on hand have a minimum of three years and 1,000 hours of in-field experience. ReGain is not employed but instead operates as an independent contractor with you.
ReGain connects qualified psychologists, licensed professional counselors, family and marital counselors, and clinical social workers with couples needing assistance and advice.
Within days of subscribing to the service, you’ll be connected with an appropriate professional. This will depend on the availability of your therapist. You can even get matched on the same day. Your monthly payment plan will not begin until you are connected with a counselor.
ReGain does not participate in any health insurance plans. Still, if you wish to pursue partial reimbursement, the company will supply you with a complete receipt to submit to your insurer.
When you sign up for a more extended membership period, you will pay less per week for ReGain therapy. Here are the subscription choices available to you.
- Weekly – $80
- Monthly – $260 equivalent to $65 each week
- Quarterly – $540 year, equivalent to $45 per week
- Annually – $1,820 equivalent to $35 per week
Confidentiality and privacy
ReGain’s rapid rise to prominence results from its tight privacy policies. To begin, no identification is required. An alias may be used.
State and federal laws guarantee the privacy of your discussion with your therapist. Your chat room is not accessible to ReGain. Additionally, ReGain is not affiliated with any insurance providers, ensuring that no information is ever shared with a third party.
Additionally, they utilize a ‘Shred’ button within your 256-bit SSL-secured and encrypted chatroom, which deletes any message you specify. Their servers are housed in a facility classified as ‘A Grade’. Additionally, their databases are encrypted and scrambled, rendering the data inaccessible to hackers in the exceedingly improbable event of a breach.
Ease of use
Finding and receiving relationship counseling is made simple with ReGain. Complete a survey about your goals and background information, and the program will match you with a counselor that suits your needs. Their website is relatively uncluttered and concise, which means there is less excess for you to traverse. Contact your counselor to begin receiving the treatment you need.
ReGain can assist you regardless of where you are in the world. There are no geographic constraints, except when you are on a live phone or video conversation with your counselor and partner. ReGain does not enable three-line calls at the moment, which means that your partner must be physically present in the exact location as you.
- Counselors who work according to a flexible schedule
- Counselors that specialize in crises are available to assist you
- Anytime and anyplace, you can speak with a counselor
- Counseling with ReGain is confidential
- Couples counseling is available in a group setting or alone
- Unless specified otherwise, sessions take place in a private chat room rather than in real-time
Factors to Consider Before Choosing the Best Mental Health Counseller
It is not necessary to have insurance in order to receive quality therapy. Many low-cost online therapy services that don’t charge a lot of money and don’t accept insurance plans, looking for a service with low out-of-pocket costs could help you save money on your treatment.
If you’re looking for affordable options, this can also help you narrow your search to therapists who provide a complimentary consultation. Additionally, many private practice therapists offer less expensive therapy options to patients who do not have health insurance.
When considering online therapy services, it is critical to investigate the legitimacy of the providers before committing your time and resources to the sessions. Reviews and testimonials can help you ensure that your chosen service is legitimate.
Before entrusting their care to anyone, a prospective client should understand the seriousness of the mental illness and make sure that no stone is left unturned. As a result, conduct thorough research on the mental health professionals who will be providing the services, including their licensing status and years of experience, to ensure that you receive the maximum benefit from them.
Another factor to consider is adaptability. Many of you are extremely busy, so scheduling sessions may present a significant challenge.
Additionally, many people lack affordable modes of transportation. In other words, many people find it challenging to make it to in-person counseling.
That is why the best online therapy sites are beneficial. The majority of online services are accessible 24 hours a day. That means you can contact your counselor at any time or connect with volunteer listeners who can offer emotional support.
Remember that specific platforms are only available during business hours, eight hours per day. Another critical aspect of flexibility is the variety of devices available. With most of us glued to our phones, it’s unsurprising that the best platforms offer mobile apps for added convenience.
Types of counseling
In order to determine which website is the most appropriate for you, confirm that the site you are considering offers the type of counseling you require. First, we recommend that you create a list of the issues bothering you. Make a point of writing them down, so you have a better idea of what you’re looking for.
Second, browse online therapy sites to determine whether their therapists are qualified to assist you with your concerns. Furthermore, if you’re looking for information on a specific approach to therapy, make sure to look for information on that as well. If there is no information on therapeutic approaches, you may wish to contact customer service and inquire.
Format of communication
When many people think of online therapy, they envision video sessions on Skype. However, online therapy encompasses much more, with many therapists offering text therapy, online chat, mobile apps, and video conferencing. Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of text therapy.
Benefits of Virtual Therapy Services
A good option for remote areas
Online therapy enables people living in rural or remote areas to receive mental health treatment. Individuals who live in rural areas may lack access to alternative forms of mental health treatment due to the scarcity or absence of mental health practices in their area.
It can be a lot of work for people who need help to drive long distances and take a lot of time off their busy schedules to get in-person therapy. As long as you have an excellent connection to the internet, online therapy enables you to quickly and easily access treatment that you might not have otherwise had access to.
Wide range of communication methods
On the internet, the standard method of communication is through texting via email, chat, or other applications. This enables both clients and counselors to develop a familiarity with one another. Thus, this intimate conversation reflects a person’s pain, happiness, and need for assistance.
As research has demonstrated, email or chat is the most effective method for obtaining an assistant. They suggest that writing about your pain and stress can help to relax the mind and provide insight into the true nature of suffering. You can get great results by using therapeutic writing as an online therapy method. Additionally, having a written record of their arrival can assist users in the future.
Client data protection is frequently a source of concern in an online therapy setting. As is the case with traditional therapy, online therapy adheres to the Federal Council of Psychology’s rules, which place a premium on the confidentiality of each service. In other words, encryption ensures the security of all your data and communication with the professional.
Additionally, no one will need to know that you are receiving psychological therapy because online care allows you to conduct sessions from any location.
The client and the therapist both benefit from online counseling. It effectively alleviates the stress associated with scheduling therapy sessions, a significant source of frustration in traditional counseling. You can now receive depression counseling whenever and wherever you want.
The ability to schedule a therapy appointment more than 24 hours in advance may depend on your geographic location. The study established that online therapy is the best option for those who find traditional therapy sessions an uncomfortable experience, such as sharing their problems face to face with an unknown person.
Online therapy is typically much more affordable than traditional therapy, being both simple and inexpensive. When you attend video counseling sessions in the privacy of your own home, you can also schedule therapy sessions according to your schedule. We’ve added platforms that provide affordable online video counseling and convenient appointment booking and reminders.
Tips on Getting Started With Online Therapy Platforms
Do your research
To maximize your first session, attempt to resolve logistical and fundamental questions with your therapist before the session. If the therapist is unavailable for an initial inquiry, re-read their profile and personal website, and conduct a Google search on their name.
Decide the type of therapy you want
Online therapy is available in a variety of formats. There are several ways to communicate with your therapist, including phone, video, text message, and email.
You can access low-cost mental health therapy through Talkspace and BetterHelp. Alternatively, you can locate a private practice online therapist.
Specific platforms combine text, audio, and video messages. Determine the combination that is most effective for you.
Locate a secure and quiet location for sessions
Therapists are ethically bound to conduct sessions in a private, confidential space. You may wish to do the same. It is best to conduct your session in a remote location. It is imprudent to begin a session in public or in an area where others can come and go. Avoiding distractions during your virtual sessions enables your therapist to hear you clearly and keeps you entirely focused on achieving your goals.
Be prepared and flexible
When it comes to your first session, each therapist will have a unique style and approach. Your talk may flow more smoothly and feel more like a discussion, or they may lead you through a series of legal questions that resembles an interview — depending on how they conduct themselves. Share any information you feel comfortable disclosing, and be willing to provide your therapist with feedback on your communication style and the themes you’re ready to address.
People frequently expect treatment to ‘cure’ their problems or that the therapist would tell them exactly what to do to achieve their goals. Keep in mind that online counseling is a form of talk therapy rather than a prescription treatment.
Most of the time, the first few sessions are about providing you with a safe space to talk about your circumstances openly and honestly, getting your thoughts in order so that you and your therapist can better understand the situation or problem before exploring possible interventions. Making yourself heard and expressing yourself are therapeutic and healing activities. They constitute a significant portion of the therapeutic process even if you do not appear to be making any tangible progress.
FAQs On Virtual Counselor
What is online therapy?
Online therapy, also known as “telehealth”, is therapy provided over the internet or by phone. It is similar to face-to-face therapy and is just as effective. Online therapy is provided by licensed health professionals and can be conducted via video, live chat, or telephone.
Please keep in mind that online therapy does not comply with court-ordered therapy requirements; additionally, telehealth cannot provide a complete diagnosis of mental health conditions.
Who should use online therapy?
Online therapy is accessible to anyone – no clinical diagnosis or special qualifications are required. Numerous individuals prefer online therapy over traditional therapy due to its convenience and affordability.
When you use online therapy, there are some things to keep in mind, though. To begin, make sure that you and your therapist are communicating effectively. You must communicate freely and ensure that your therapist comprehends and responds to your thoughts and feelings.
Second, educate yourself about the dangers of online therapy. As with any other form of therapy, there is always the possibility of experiencing emotional or psychological harm if you do not feel secure or comfortable communicating with your therapist. Consult your physician if you have any reservations about online therapy.
Does online therapy work?
Yes, research indicates that online therapy may be effective for various mental health concerns. However, in some cases, it can provide the same benefits as in-person therapy, despite the limitations of the internet medium.
While online therapy is an excellent alternative to more traditional methods, it is not recommended for people suffering from severe mental illnesses like suicidal ideation or psychosis.
How much do online therapy sessions cost?
The cost of online therapy is negotiable and is determined by the provider. Most online therapy platforms operate on a subscription, charging either a monthly or weekly fee. Specific plans allow you to customize the number of live sessions you receive each week, while others charge differently depending on your location and therapist.
If the platform does not accept insurance, you may wish to apply for financial assistance. The majority of platforms offer discounts or other cost-cutting measures to keep their services accessible.
How do you make contact with your virtual therapist?
The majority of online therapy providers offer three primary modes of communication: real-time chat, video chat, and email.
Counseling via email or text is popular with those who prefer to think through their questions and write them down before asking. Typically, these chats are conducted via email from your account to a unique, secure email provided by the site, which helps protect your anonymity.
Video chat requires a stable internet connection and enables you to speak face-to-face with a counselor even if you are not in the same room. It’s intimate and personal, enabling you to establish rapport in ways that the written word cannot.
Real-time chat establishes a secure connection and enables you to communicate with a counselor in real-time. Consider it as having your private chat room with a counselor who is available to listen to your concerns.
Does insurance cover online therapy?
Private and public health insurance policies do not cover telehealth services uniformly, including online therapy. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, most private health insurance policies cover some form of telehealth. Meanwhile, telehealth is covered under certain circumstances by Medicare and Medicaid.
If an online therapist accepts insurance, they can bill your insurance company directly. Copays and deductibles will remain your responsibility. If the site does not accept insurance, depending on your plan, you may be able to submit your bills for reimbursement to the insurer. Additionally, you may require a diagnosis to utilize insurance.
Meanwhile, you may be able to cover the cost of online therapy through your health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA).
Is online counseling secure?
When considering online therapy, there are personal and financial privacy concerns to consider. Visit the website for more information on how each platform manages security and protects your information.
Companies should be forthcoming with information about the data they collect and how they use it. Contact the platform if you have specific concerns about privacy and confidentiality, so they can help you navigate any gray areas. Learn how to delete your account data if your plan is canceled.
The online therapy platforms on this list adhere to federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines regarding data encryption and privacy. For instance, businesses encrypt all messaging systems and refrain from recording video calls.
Before starting an account, give your personal information to an app, questionnaire, or chatbox. HIPAA laws may not stop companies from sharing some of it with other companies.
Conclusion: Online Counseling Platforms For Anxiety Therapist
Worldwide, online therapy lowers the cost and increases the accessibility of mental health services. Virtual therapy sessions allow individuals to consult with a counselor or therapist from the convenience of their own homes. As a result, virtual visits have surpassed in-person meetings in popularity.
Online therapy can assist you in rediscovering your authentic self. There are more options than ever before for those interested in video conferencing with a therapist, live chatting with an expert, or engaging in any other type of online therapy.
This article discussed the best online therapy websites, the average cost of therapy, and the advantages of online therapy. Fortunately, most platforms have simplified their application processes, making connecting with a therapist simple once you’ve found the one you like.
Disclosure- We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We do not test each product thoroughly but give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.