The Best Online Therapy Services of 2024

Img of Dr McHugh
Updated on May 30, 2024

We may receive referral fees from providers listed below. See our full disclaimer.

While some people are still skeptical about the prospect of receiving therapy online, the benefits are really hard to ignore. The convenience of engaging in remote sessions, the cost savings, and the ability to freely text with your therapist are excellent motivators for giving it a try. In addition, the widespread acceptance of teletherapy by the psychology profession has made online therapy even more appealing.

To help you decide which of the providers is right for you, we we set out to research and compare the leading platforms. We reviewed their technical features, reputations, prices and packages, and of course, the qualifications and credentials of their therapists. Below are the findings of our analysis.

2024’s Best Online Therapy Services Compared


Editor’s Rating
Best Overall Provider
$69 to $129 per week
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging
  • Unlimited counseling with a professional therapist
  • Confidential and anonymous
  • Among the only platforms that accept insurance
  • High professional standards for therapists
  • Allows you to start receiving therapy quickly
  • Offers psychiatric prescription management services
  • Convenient and easy-to-use mobile app
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Response time depends on the individual therapist

Talkspace is among the most popular and well-recognized online therapy services, reportedly having served over a million users on its platform. They provide their customers with access to live, one-on-one, therapy sessions via video conferencing. They also enable users to conduct an ongoing dialogue with their therapist via text messaging, available through their website and mobile app.

As with every online counseling provider, the quality of the treatment is subject to the expertise and experience of the therapists and their ability to make meaningful connections with their clients. To maximize the efficacy of their service, Talkspace has set the highest standards when hiring therapists, requiring a staggering 3,000 hours of clinical experience to be accepted to their platform.

In addition to the live sessions and communication that takes place in the secured virtual therapy room, a Talkspace subscription comes with access to their therapy exercises section and online symptom tracker. These tools can be useful in helping you practice what you’ve learned in your sessions and monitoring your mental health over time.

Talkspace offers several mental health services, including individual talk therapy, couples counseling, teen counseling, and psychiatric medication management.

Their online therapy packages are priced as follows:

Messaging Therapy: This includes unlimited text, video, and audio messages, and costs $69 per week, billed monthly as $276.

Video + Messaging Therapy: This plan includes unlimited messaging with your therapist and four live 30-minute sessions per month, and costs $99 per week, billed monthly as $396.

Video + Messaging + Workshops: This plan includes unlimited text, video, and audio messaging, plus four live 30-minute sessions per month. In addition, you can access live weekly workshops. The price is $109 per week, billed monthly as $436.

Couples Therapy: This plan includes unlimited text, video, and audio messaging for both partners, plus four live 30-minute couples therapy sessions per month. The price is $109 per week, billed monthly as $436.

Talkspace is among the few therapy platforms covered by some insurance providers. In addition, dozens of large organizations provide coverage for their employees on Talkspace.

The large network of therapists on Talkspace can treat a wide range of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, stress, OCD, eating disorders, relationship issues, trauma, grief, anger issues, substance abuse, family conflict, sexuality issues, mood disorders, and more.

Read our full Talkspace review.


Editor’s Rating
Most Affordable Provider
$54 to $90 per week
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging
  • Unlimited communication with your therapist
  • Flexible introductory plans
  • Quick access to a mental health professional
  • Most responsive therapists and support staff
  • Highly qualified professional therapists
  • Switch therapists at any time
  • 25% off your 1st month with code: ECOUNSELING25
  • Does not offer prescription medication services

Calmerry is a user-friendly therapy platform with experienced therapists that we found to be professional, responsive, and very eager to help. They provide an overall excellent therapy service that’s a pleasure to use.

Unlike every other provider we’ve tested, Calmerry allows you to sign up and get a feel for what you can expect from their platform before committing to a monthly subscription. They do this through their introductory weekly package which costs $64.99 for the week. This plan lets you try out a live video-based session with a therapist, engage in chat therapy with them for additional support, and enjoy access to their “Reflection helper,” a guided journaling tool you can choose to share with your therapist or keep all to yourself.

It should be noted that signing up for this option is not possible through the regular signup page. You’ll need to engage in the live chat support on the website and ask them for it.

The Calmerry mobile app has all the features you need to continue your therapy wherever you may be. This gives you the flexibility to communicate by chat, or even schedule a live session during breaks at work while sitting in the car, or when waiting in line at the store.

As with all online therapy providers, your experience is highly dependent on the knowledge and experience of your therapist, how responsive they are to your chat messages, and how well your personalities connect.

To that end, Calmerry requires all of its therapists to be trained clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, or licensed professional counselors. They all have a master’s or doctorate in their field. In addition, they have been qualified and certified by their state’s professional board after completing the required education, exams, and practice. The platform also requires its therapists to regularly check in with users to maximize engagement and make sure they continue with ongoing dialogue.

When it comes to pricing, Calmerry offers three affordable plans from which to choose. They are billed monthly and designed to accommodate a range of budgets:

Messaging + 2 Live Video Sessions: The cost is $65.75 per week for the 1st month (billed monthly as $263), and $77.50 per week after that (billed monthly as $310). This includes unlimited text messaging and two 30-minute live video sessions each month with your therapist, as well as access to the reflection tools.

Messaging + 4 Live Video Sessions: The cost is $73.75 per week for the 1st month (billed monthly as $295), and $90 per week after that (billed monthly as $360). This includes unlimited text messaging and four 30-minute live video sessions each month with your therapist, as well as access to the reflection tools.

4 Live Video Sessions: The cost is $54.50 per week for the 1st month (billed monthly as $218), and $62.50 per week after that (billed monthly as $250). This includes four 30-minute live video sessions each month with your therapist, as well as access to the reflection tools.

Calmerry’s therapists are trained to provide counseling using a variety of therapy types. The platform is stated to treat patients with mental health concerns and conditions including, but not limited to depression, anxiety, stress, childhood abuse, chronic illness, eating disorders, emotional abuse, family conflict, grief, trauma, sexuality issues, PTSD, OCD, relationship conflicts, and low self-esteem.

Whether you are new to therapy or have engaged in counseling in the past, Calmerry is a great choice for finding help.

Read our full Calmerry review.

Hey Ritual

Editor’s Rating
Best for Couples Counseling
$25-$65 per week
Mobile Apps:
Hybrid App
Session Types:
Video via Zoom
  • Specializes in relationship counseling
  • Sessions for individuals and couples
  • Personalized therapy plans via online tools
  • Most affordable packages
  • 14-Day money-back guarantee
  • Save 20% with promo: counseling20
  • No option for text messaging with therapists

Hey Ritual is a relationship counseling service provided via a mobile app and video-conferencing.

We analyzed the therapy experience offered by Hey Ritual to understand the platform, and we were pleasantly surprised by how similar it is to on-office relationship therapy.

In addition to helpful, professional sessions that take place via Zoom, they provide personalized digital plans for users to engage with as part of their “homework” between sessions. These insightful tools, called “pathways” make the sessions themselves more effective.

Their pricing packages are among the most affordable we have seen anywhere, with plans including:

Bi-weekly solo therapy sessions:

  • $100/month ($100 total)
  • $85/month with a 3-month commitment ($255 total)
  • $75/month with a 6-month commitment ($225 total)

Weekly solo therapy sessions:

  • $160/month ($160 total)
  • $136/month with a 3-month commitment ($408 total)
  • $120/month with a 6-month commitment ($360 total)

Couples sessions (three solo and one couple session/month):

  • $260/month ($260 total)
  • $221/month with a 3-month commitment ($663 total)
  • $195/month with a 6-month commitment ($1170 total)

Overall, Hey Ritual, despite being a relative newcomer to the online therapy market, provides an excellent service for couples and individuals looking to work out relationship issues, both large and small.

Read our full Hey Ritual review.


Editor’s Rating
Most User-Friendly
$75 per week
Mobile Apps:
Session Types:
Video and Messaging
  • Unlimited communication with your therapist
  • Personalized treatment plans
  • Accepts insurance
  • Outstanding ease-of-use
  • Access to psychiatrists
  • Offers prescription medication services
  • No mobile app

Brightside is unique in that it combines many of the best features and aspects offered by the other providers, and at highly competitive prices.

First, they offer professional online therapy with licensed and experienced mental health professionals. They also offer prescription medication services for treating depression and anxiety that include monitoring and dosage adjustments by their Psychiatric Care Team. Their platform is incredibly easy to use with its intuitive design, usage of Zoom for live sessions, and video lessons for teaching and reinforcing skills discussed during therapy.

Outside of the live therapy sessions, you can communicate with your therapist as much as you need to via their text messaging tool. We found their therapists to be responsive and incredibly helpful during live sessions and when messaging.

As with most therapy programs, much of the real progress takes place in between sessions, with the client working on themselves, spending time on self-analysis and introspection, and applying their new skills and thought patterns.

Brightside facilitates this process with insightful videos about negative behaviors, managing emotions, and more, that you can watch and discuss with your therapist as part of the program.

They also equip you with a symptom tracker which helps monitor your progress and provides your therapist with valuable feedback that they can use to make your sessions more productive.

Brightside offers three distinct packages:

Therapy Only: This plan costs $62.25 per week billed monthly at $249 for the first month, and $75 per week, billed monthly at $299 after that. It includes one weekly 30-minute therapy session via Zoom, plus unlimited messaging with your therapist. Although the sessions are slotted for 30 minutes, from our assessment, the therapists are generous with their time and do not cut you off in the middle when the allotted time has passed. Additional sessions can be booked for $59 each.

Medication Only: They offer psychiatric prescription services for $95 per month. In addition, clients will have to pay an insurance copay or a flat $15 fee for the medication.

Medication + Therapy: This plan includes all of the services provided by the Therapy and Medication packages, at a discounted rate of $87.35 per week, billed monthly at $349.

Mental health issues treated by Brightside therapists include anxiety, depression, phobias, OCD, PTSD, and more.

Read our full Brightside review.

Editor’s Rating
Best for CBT
$50 to $110 per week
Mobile Apps:
Session Types:
Video, Voice, Text Messaging
  • Unlimited communication with your therapist
  • Therapy sessions via video, voice and text chats
  • All counselors trained in CBT therapy
  • Therapist-guided worksheets
  • Special discount of 20% off the first month
  • No mobile app
  • Does not offer prescription medication services is a fast-growing platform that specializes in providing cognitive behavioral therapy online. Their therapists guide users through worksheets and interactive online books via live chat and messaging. In addition, they provide a complete toolbox of resources to empower users to take charge of their mental health.

Most notably, their flexible plans provide up to 8 live therapy sessions per month via video, voice, or text chat. Each plan includes unlimited messaging with your therapist, as well as access to worksheets, yoga and meditation videos, a digital journal, an activity plan, and tests. Also included are daily therapist worksheet replies from Monday to Friday.

The plans vary in price depending on how many live sessions you need.

Basic Plan: The cost is $50 per week, billed monthly as $200. This plan includes all their interactive features and therapy resources, as well as therapy via chat. However, no live sessions are included in this package. This might be perfectly sufficient for users who just need some guided support or those who want to test out the platform before upgrading to a plan with live sessions.

Standard Plan: The cost is $80 per week, billed monthly at $320, and includes one live 45-minute therapy session via video, voice, or text per week in addition to all the other features.

Premium Plan: The cost is $110 per week, billed monthly at $440, and includes two live 45-minute therapy sessions via video, voice, or text per week in addition to all the other features.

Couples Therapy Plan: The cost is $110 per week, billed monthly. This includes unlimited messaging with a therapist for the couple, one weekly 45-minute couples therapy session via video, voice, or text, as well as access to all the other features.

This service is more affordable than many of the other providers, though it does not come at the expense of providing their clients with access to live therapy sessions, making it a great option for those on a tight budget. treats people who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, family issues, OCD, PTSD, relationship issues, phobias, grief, trauma, sexuality issues, personality disorders, and much more.

Their entire approach is based on cognitive behavioral therapy, a very popular therapy modality that focuses on changing how our minds perceive the world around us to change our thoughts, moods, and ultimately our behaviors.

Read our full review.


Editor’s Rating
Largest Pool of Therapists
$80 to $90 per week
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging
  • Unlimited communication with your therapist
  • Convenient and easy-to-use mobile app
  • Response time depends on the individual therapist
  • Not covered by insurance
  • Does not offer prescription medication services

BetterHelp is among the largest, and certainly most recognized online therapy services in the world. Their platform connects users worldwide with professional therapy via video, phone, chat, and messaging tools.

While they are not the least expensive provider, they do offer financial assistance for those who qualify.

As a silicon-valley-based company with a more technical orientation, BetterHelp employs the most up-to-date technologies in optimizing its security and usability features.

While they have received considerable media coverage, including celebrity endorsements, it has not all been positive. There has been some controversy surrounding their marketing and data tracking practices, though they have mostly managed to clear their reputation.

BetterHelp boasts many of the same therapy features offered by the other leading brands: video sessions, ongoing conversations with a therapist via messaging, online journaling, digital worksheets, and interactive group sessions. What makes them stand out, however, is their enormous pool of therapists which currently stands at over 35,000. Even though they use an algorithm to match you to a therapist, you are presumably more likely to find one that’s a good fit.

What they do seem to lack, however, is prescription medication services and the ability to accept insurance. These are options that are being offered by more and more of their competitors.

When it comes to pricing, their subscription generally costs approximately $80 to $90 per month, billed monthly as $320 to $360. This includes 4 live therapy sessions per month that last 30 to 45 minutes each, as well as unlimited messaging with your therapist and access to all their tools.

Their exact pricing is hard to outline because it changes so often. Sometimes they offer up to 3 types of packages from which to choose, while other times they offer one fixed package. In our testing, we have also seen that the prices fluctuate depending on your location and when you sign up. So, while you should not expect to pay more than $90 per week, there is a small chance the price will exceed $100.

BetterHelp has therapists who can help people deal with a wide range of issues including stress, anxiety, relationship struggles, family conflicts, depression, addiction, eating disorders, trauma, anger, LGBTQ+ matters, grief, low self-esteem, and more.

Read our full BetterHelp review.

Teen Counseling

Editor’s Rating
Best for Teens
$60 to $90 per week
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging
  • Specializes in counseling teenagers
  • All therapists are licensed and experienced
  • Parents communicate with their child’s therapist independently
  • Unlimited messaging with the therapist
  • Not covered by insurance
  • Does not offer prescription medication services is a therapy platform that specifically caters to teenagers 13-19 years of age. As a subsidiary of BetterHelp, a Teladoc company, users that sign up to have access to the same tools and communication features as are available on BetterHelp. The main difference is the pool of approximately 16,000 therapists on this platform that have experience or training in dealing with teens.

As with in-person teen counseling sessions, therapists on Teen Counseling must report concerns of self-harm or neglect to either parents or other appropriate authorities. Otherwise, the communication that takes place is secure and confidential.

The pricing on ranges from $60 to $90 per week, billed monthly as $240 to $360. The costs vary within this range based on the location of the user and whatever special promotions the company may be running at the time.

This fee includes a weekly live virtual therapy session via video, chat, or audio call, as well as unlimited messaging communication with the therapist. was designed to help teens struggling with anxiety, depression, stress, low self-esteem, bullying, eating disorders, relationship conflicts, and more. Parents who think their teens may be more open to engaging in therapy online due to its convenience and accessibility of it may find to be an excellent solution.

Read our full Teen Counseling review.


Editor’s Rating
Great Video Therapy Platform
$109 to $129 per session
Mobile Apps:
iOS, Android
Session Types:
Video, Phone
  • Easy-to-use video platform
  • Accepts insurance
  • Quick signup
  • Offers prescription medication services
  • Few therapists to choose from
  • No unlimited therapy packages offered
  • No chat messaging with therapists

Amwell is a telehealth platform that connects patients with a variety of medical professionals, including therapists. They offer video counseling via their website and mobile app.

While therapy is not their primary focus, one thing that does make them stand out is that they also offer sessions with psychiatrists.

Therapy sessions via Amwell typically last 45 minutes. The number of sessions is determined based on an individualized treatment plan created by the therapist.

Each session costs a fixed fee of $129 for doctoral-level providers and $109 for master’s level providers. While this is still less expensive than typical in-office visits, it is more expensive than most other online therapy services.

Amwell does not provide chat messaging with your therapist, which is a feature offered by most of the other providers. However, if messaging is not something you’d be using anyway, and if you are covered for Amwell by your insurance company, then they are worth checking out.

Read our full Amwell review.

Side-by-Side Feature Comparison

Company Price Insurance Accepted Session Types Mobile Apps Website
Talkspace $69 to $129/week Yes Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging iOS, Android
Calmerry $54 to $90/week No Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging iOS, Android
Hey Ritual $25-$65/week No Video via Zoom Hybrid App
Brightside $75/week Yes Video and Messaging N/A $50 to $110/week No Video, Voice, Text Messaging N/A
BetterHelp $80 to $90/week No Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging iOS, Android
Teen Counseling $60 to $90/week No Video, Chat, Voice, Messaging iOS, Android
Amwell $109 to $129/session Yes Video, Phone iOS, Android

What is Online Therapy?

Online therapy, commonly referred to as teletherapy, online counseling, or virtual therapy, has evolved over time to mean different things. Whereas all forms of therapy conducted over the internet were once considered online therapy, the term currently refers specifically to psychotherapy treatment conducted by mental health professionals via the web or a mobile app.

The mediums through which treatment is delivered include video conferencing, live chat, private message boards, text messaging, phone calls, and audio messages. The treatments themselves involve the same techniques and therapy modalities one might encounter with an in-person therapist.​

How Much Does Online Therapy Cost ?

The factor that determines the cost of online therapy, more than anything else, is how much of the therapist’s time and attention you receive through a given provider. Some services provide hour-long sessions that cost approximately $100 per session. Others allow you to communicate with your therapist only through text messaging, and therefore may cost as little as $40 per week.

That places the price range of a subscription to a therapy platform at anywhere from $160 to $400 per month, subject to how many live therapy sessions you schedule each month, and how many months you can pay for in advance.

Is Online Therapy Effective?

Scientific studies, as well chatter among mental health professionals, seem to indicate that, overall, counseling sessions delivered via online platforms are, in fact, effective. While, as with everything in life, there are some drawbacks, they seem to be overshadowed by the benefits.[1]

What are the Main Benefits of Online Counseling​?

There are several reasons the top online therapy platforms have succeeded in attracting millions of users. Below are some of the more notable benefits reported by users and highlighted by the providers themselves.

  • Saves Time: The time spent commuting back and forth, on top of a session that typically lasts close to an hour, is a big time commitment for many people. Parents, as well those working full-time often find it difficult to consistently attend weekly sessions with a therapist. Online counseling sessions, however, do not require any time for commuting. In fact, sessions can take place during blocks of ‘downtime’ in the weekly schedules of even the busiest people. Since all one needs is a mobile device or computer with an Internet connection, the sessions can take place during a lunch break, while waiting in the car during a child’s soccer practice, or practically anytime during an available time slot that matches up with your therapist’s schedule.

  • Saves Money: In-person therapy sessions can cost anywhere from $75 to $300. This range reflects the location and level of education and experience of the therapist. Some online counseling services provide users with discounted introductory pricing, as well as discounts when committing to long-term subscriptions, starting with subscriptions as low as $40 per week. Some providers even work with major insurance companies, which further reduces your costs.

  • Privacy and Confidentiality: Engaging in online counseling provides users with a similar level of privacy and confidentiality to what they would receive with an in-person therapist. Therapists on the platforms are bound by strict local and federal laws. The counseling sessions, as well as all communication with the online therapists, are protected by HIPAA. The chat sessions on the major therapist platforms, especially those listed above, are secured by encrypted connections. When signing up, users can use an alias and any email account, adding an element of anonymity not available with in-person therapists.

  • Access to More Therapists: In some areas, the availability of local mental health professionals is extremely limited. Those that need therapists who specialize in treating specific conditions or using therapy modalities that they prefer have an even harder time finding help locally. With online counseling, location is less of a limiting factor. Therapists can work with clients that reside in any location in which they are licensed. Many therapists are licensed to work in multiple states, thereby dramatically increasing the number of potential clients they can help. This opens up a world of additional options to those living in smaller towns who may have a smaller pool of providers.

  • Many Options for Communication: Some people are able to communicate well verbally, face-to-face with their therapists, even when discussing the most sensitive of subjects. There are those, however, that have an easier time expressing themselves in writing or over the phone. This may be because it gives them more time to think through what they want to say or because it allows them to avoid having to process and express the physical mannerisms inherent in face-to-face communication. This is an area in which teletherapy really excels as text, phone, audio, and message boards are available through most online therapy providers.

Which Diagnoses Can be Treated Through Online Therapy?​

While most people think of online therapy as primarily equipped to help those struggling with anxiety and depression, this is far from the truth. A variety of conditions and symptoms can be helped through online sessions. Most of the therapy platforms we reviewed and listed here treat these diagnoses:

  • Mood Disorders: These disorders usually have symptoms involving mood fluctuation, including periods of depression, mania, lack of sleep, risk-taking behaviors, and lack of impulse control.[2]

  • Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety takes many forms but can involve specific fears, phobias, or worries, OCD, or generalized anxiety.

  • Personality Disorders: People who are diagnosed with personality disorders have long-term, fixed patterns of behavior that are extreme or rigid and inflexible. Narcissistic personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and others are common diagnoses related to personality disorders.

  • Psychotic Disorders: Psychotic disorders are severe mental health conditions that are characterized by abnormal and odd thoughts and perceptions. Distorted reality is common for those in a psychotic state, often experiencing hallucinations and delusions. Schizophrenia, delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and others are common diagnoses. Though not all providers have professionals on their platforms who can treat these types of disorders, some platforms, such as Talkspace and Amwell, do have online therapists with the necessary credentials and experience.[3]

  • Trauma-Related Disorders: Trauma-related disorders present themselves when a person experiences an event that causes them to feel excessive fear, often involving fear that they will die as a result of the experience. These include chronic abuse, rape, incest, neglect, car accidents, medical traumas, and many others.

  • Substance-Abuse Disorders: Substance abuse is an issue that has been prevalent for decades and continues to be a contemporary problem in our lives. Alcohol and drug dependence are medical conditions that have specific treatments that are effective in helping a patient reach sobriety. While therapy should be only one aspect of the treatment plan, it can be provided online with experienced counselors available on many of the leading platforms.[4]

Which Therapy Modalities Are Practiced via Therapy Platforms?

These are some of the main theories that influence the therapy modalities commonly used in online sessions:

  • Psychodynamic Therapy (Psychoanalytic): Patients gain insight into the unconscious ways they process things and how they affect current behaviors. Patients learn how their past may be behind their anxiety or depression, and work out how to undo these patterns and develop healthier, more sustainable ones.

  • Behavioral Therapy​: Derived from the early work of Pavlov, famous for his work with dogs, and Skinner who pioneered shaping behavior, therapists help patients overcome fears, phobias, or anxieties by desensitizing their worries. Through gradual exposure to stressful experiences and using coping skills, this approach shows a person can change their perceptions and behaviors in the process.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Patients are taught to recognize how their thoughts are contributing to their distress, and through cognitive and behavioral approaches, are challenged to apply coping skills in situations where they are exposed to stress.

  • Cognitive Therapy: Patients become able to notice their thoughts and how these thoughts affect their feelings and ultimately their behavior. Therapists will help their patients recognize that challenging their thoughts and using coping skills to tolerate them and change how they feel about whatever is causing them stress.

  • Humanistic Therapy​: Patients work toward self-actualization involving helping them find meaning and make choices that are in their best self-interest in combination with support and consideration/respect for others to help them achieve their goals.

  • Integrative or Holistic Therapy: Therapists work with different approaches depending on patient need and their personal expertise and training.

understanding reviews of online therapy

What Are the Different Types of Online Therapy Providers?

Providers of online therapy can be classified by how they provide therapy. Most providers fall under one of two categories; those offering unlimited access to therapists and those that are purely session-based.

Providers offering unlimited access allow their users various forms of digital communication with their therapists. This may include phone, text, live chat, message boards, video messages, and audio messages. In addition, they may also offer live therapy sessions via video. Although the therapists might respond only a few hours, and sometimes a couple of days, after the messages have been sent, there is still an ongoing dialogue that allows clients to communicate exactly how they feel in real-time. The therapists then respond and provide support, often referencing previous live sessions or messages.

Those platforms that are more session-based typically do not offer additional ways to communicate with the therapists outside of the actual sessions which are typically conducted via video conferencing software. The sessions themselves can last 45 minutes to an hour, as compared with the 30-45 minute sessions that normally place through platforms offering unlimited access. However, the cost of a weekly session normally costs around $100, considerably more than the $50 to $65 charged by those offering unlimited access.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing an Online Therapy Service

  • One Therapist Does Not Represent the Entire Industry: When you sign up for online therapy, the platform will match with a therapist based on several parameters. This matching process is not always perfect. Sometimes, two people are simply incompatible for many reasons. Sometimes, they do get along, but the therapy does not appear to be working. When either of these scenarios happens, it’s important to remember that no one therapist represents the entirety of online therapy, and certainly of psychotherapy treatment as a whole.

    People switch medical professionals all the time, and if you are unhappy with your therapist, you should do the same. Most online therapy platforms allow you to easily switch therapists at any time. If your frustration is as much with the platform itself as it is with your therapist, you can choose a different provider that will meet your needs.

  • Canceling is Easy: If you try out online therapy and come to the conclusion that it’s not for you, canceling your account is easy, and does not involve having an awkward conversation with your therapist the same way it would if you were seeing someone in-person. So, you should not worry about making the wrong decision, as it can be undone with minimal effort. However, keep in mind that receiving a refund for the unused time left in your package may prove to be a frustrating experience.

  • Decide Which Methods of Communication You Prefer: For some, the thought of texting with their therapist might seem a bit too informal. They prefer to have heavy, personal conversations with therapists they can see via video sessions. Others, however, really appreciate the ability to communicate with their online therapist the same way they communicate with nearly everyone else in their lives, via text messaging. There is certainly an age component that might impact which of these methods you prefer, but regardless, you should be prepared to decide which option you need before you sign up so that you choose the right provider and the right package for your needs.

  • Online Therapy Reviews Can Help You Decide: Therapy is not a quick-fix type of service. It typically involves a long-term process of gradually opening up to the therapist and working on oneself to confront emotions, change bad habits, and eventually overcome complicated challenges. Since the definition of success varies greatly when it comes to mental health treatment, our selection of the best online therapy providers was impacted by feedback shared with us by users of this site, as well as reviews and independent research by our editorial team.


Online therapy offers numerous benefits for people struggling with mild mental health conditions as well as those that simply need help working through negative emotions or behaviors. Users of online therapy services enjoy unprecedented convenience, access, privacy, and affordability, which is why millions of individuals are shifting from traditional in-office sessions to online platforms. If you're considering making the switch, it's important to clarify your needs to ensure you make the best decision for yourself.

Developing an open and honest relationship with a mental health expert provides a safe space to express your deepest thoughts and concerns. Whether you're dealing with mental health issues, relationship challenges, trauma, or other emotional concerns, a trained professional can assist you in finding solutions for coping with life's difficulties. It can be challenging to process complex emotions on your own, and even with the support of loved ones, you may feel isolated and misunderstood.

Online therapy offers a convenient and cost-effective way to test the waters and see if counseling is right for you. Nevertheless, the critical point is that if you feel a pressing need for assistance, it's crucial to prioritize seeking help from a mental health professional, regardless of whether it's in-person or virtual therapy.

online counseling provides many benefits

  1. Andrews, G., Basu, A., Cuijpers, P., Craske, M., McEvoy, P., English, C., & Newby, J. (2018). Computer therapy for the anxiety and depression disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: An updated meta-analysis. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 55, 70–78.
  2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, October 29). Mood disorders — Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic.
  3. The U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Psychotic Disorders. MedlinePlus.
  4. Ho, C., & Severn, M. (2018). e-Therapy Interventions for the Treatments of Substance Use Disorders and Other Addictions: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.