Want to get right to the point? The best online counseling site for most folks is Betterhelp.
Mental health therapy comes in many forms, from in office, to outcall, to phone sessions. Now comes counseling from your computer, E-counseling. Get professional help from anywhere in the world, all you need is a computer and an internet connection.
There are numerous online therapy platforms available as online therapy becomes an essential need, especially during the current pandemic. With so many choices, picking one might be tricky. So, we created a list of the top 10 online therapy platforms that you can choose from with ease.
BetterHelp: Live Sessions and a Free Trial
BetterHelp is one of the most popular platforms in the US, and it claims it offers e-counseling to more than 5000 people each day in the US. They provide counseling to teens, couples, and individuals. They have an easy-to-use app that you can access through your laptop, tablet, or Smartphone. They have more than 4000 licensed professionals that abide by strict local laws and regulations. They also have all the needed credentials and certifications to offer a top-tier service. Therefore, you are guaranteed confidentially, privacy, and professionalism. The subscription at BetterHelp is $65 per week for the initial month, and then it varies between $35 and $80 per week, depending on the contract period.
- Ability to stay anonymous and use a nickname
- Many therapists offer worksheets and encourage live sessions
- Financial aid is available if you are eligible
- Free 7-day trial period
- You can easily change the therapist whenever you want
- Response times vary significantly from one therapist to the next
- Some replies from the therapist can feel a bit generic
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Talkspace: for all Your Therapy Needs
Talkspace has been around since 2012, and it boasts that fact and its record of accomplishment of helping over one million people. They even have Michael Phelps as their spokesperson who talks about how the platform helped him. Talkspace has over 3000 licensed professional therapists that specialize in plenty of fields. Therefore, you can get the help you need with depression, insomnia, trauma, addiction, or other mental health issues. They use numerous treatment approaches, such as CBT, psychodynamic therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy. The subscription costs between $65 and $99 per week.
- It supports live sessions
- Easy-to-use app
- 1-Week free trial
- Easy communication through text, video, or audio
- Prompt replies with e-mail notifications
- If you can cancel the subscription, you will get billed for the month regardless
- Some therapists tend to offer short replies
- Matching you with a therapist can take a couple of days
Regain.us: Specializes in Couples Therapy
Regain is an online therapy platform that specializes in counseling couples. They can address a wide array of challenges in the relationship, from communication issues to infidelity and trust. All its counselors are trained, accredited, and experienced psychologists and licensed marriage and family therapists with at least 2000 hours of hands-on therapy experience. It offers a safe space for you and your partner with the ability to talk privately to the therapist. It costs $65 per week, which includes unlimited messaging and one live session each week.
- Focuses on couple’s therapy and problems
- No extra fee if it is a couple or an individual in the sessions
- Couples can attend therapy even when they are not physically in the same location
- Live sessions are encouraged and available
- No live customer support
- No 3-way live video sessions available
- No free trial available
- Some therapists reply after 24 hours
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TeenCounseling.com: Teens are The Priority
Teen Counseling specializes in treating individuals that are aged between 13 and 19. They have professional therapists that have the experience needed to deal with issues like self-esteem, bullying, eating disorders, stress, and anxiety. It was founded in 2013, with more than 1000 licensed counselors. It has two plans that come with a price tag of $45 and $65 per week.
- Sessions are confidential
- Counselors are well-equipped to deal with teen-related issues
- Private “room” for teens and their therapists
- Live sessions available on-demand or a part of the plan
- Ability to attend the therapy as a parent with no extra charge
- Various communication methods with live sessions
- The platform will not provide diagnosis
- It does not fulfill court orders
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Pride Counseling: Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community
PrideCounseling was launched in 2017 as a part of the BetterHelp therapy platform. It provides the LGBTQ+ community with the support they need. All the professionals are aware of all the issues that the members of the LGBTQ+ community suffer daily. They are well-trained, understanding, friendly, and, most importantly, licensed and HIPAA compliant. It offers its services at a flat fee subscription of $65 per week. It includes unlimited text, audio, and video messaging, and one live session each week.
- Live chat and sessions available
- Specializes in all mental health issues of the LGBTQ+ community
- Affordable, with available financial aid to those who are eligible
- Easy and accessible treatment via phone, laptop, or tablet
- HIPAA compliant
- Long questionnaire when signing up
- Matching with a therapist can take up to 24 hours
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AmWell: For All Your Medical Needs Online
AmWell is a comprehensive online telemedicine website. It offers you access to specialists, therapists, and doctors alike. It has a user-friendly app that enables you to reach professionals at any time, 24/7/365. It works both ways, as it also provides doctors and specialists with the ability to connect with patients online, especially during this Coronavirus pandemic. So, whether you need medical or mental support, AmWell is here for you. The fields of experience include cardiology, mental therapy, urgent care, and dermatology, to name a few. The platform charges per visit, with a price tag between $59 and $99. The cost depends on the credentials and the experience of the chosen therapist.
- Offers medical support in a variety of fields (cardiology, mental health, dermatology, and more)
- Connects doctor and patients
- Competitive pricing and easy access to online medical aid
- Accepted by numerous insurance companies
- Doctors and specialists available 24/7
- Doctors can prescribe medication
- No free trial
- Prices vary depending on the therapist you get
7 Cups of Tea: A New Approach with a Free Therapy Option
7 Cups of Tea offers an original approach to online therapy. While it has licensed and trained professionals under its paid service, it offers free therapy. You can get the opportunity to talk with volunteers, or you can volunteer yourself. Of course, it has its pros and cons, but it is an exceptionally good and unique approach. The licensed online therapy costs $150 a month, and it includes accessible communication with the therapist, including live chat and sessions.
- Affordable online therapy
- Chat for free 24/7 with volunteers and listeners
- Allows you to grow and progress at your own pace
- Group support sessions available (anxiety, LGBTQ+, relationship, etc…)
- Newcomers might be confused about how to start at first
- Free therapy is with unlicensed and untrained volunteers
Doctor on Demand: Support is only a Few Clicks Away
Doctor on Demand has a great variety of mental and physical health services. It was founded in 2012 with a fantastic track record. They have a massive team of psychiatrists and psychologists who offer the support and aid you might need. They also have free mental health assessment through the screening tool. It will not take more than a few minutes to finish. The prices vary between $129 and $299 per visit, depending on the session’s time and purpose.
- Upfront and transparent pricing
- Effective medication management and emotional support
- 24/7 availability
- Plenty of options to get the help you need
- Free screening tool available
- No e-mail or chat customer support
- There are minor delays in replies from support
- Video chat is the only option
- Higher-priced when compared to other platforms
MDLive: Get a Consultation Online and Via Phone
MDLive is a telemedicine website that was founded in 2009. It provides patients, health systems, health plans, and self-insured individuals with access to a broad range of certified doctors. It also provides access to licensed therapists and pediatricians. The consultations are carried out via phone, video, or through the mobile app. It is a very popular service, which vouches for the quality of the service it offers. As for pricing, it costs $99 for a single session with a therapist. A session with a psychiatrist begins at $259 for the first session and $99 for follow-ups.
- Accepted by numerous insurance agencies
- Offers a wide array of services including psychiatrist and counselors
- Can prescribe medication
- Treating numerous mental health problems (stress, depressions, intimacy, and more)
- Easy communication via phone and video
- The platform might not be able to match you with a therapist/psychiatrist immediately
- You must plan and schedule an appointment
- Can be a bit costly
Top 5 Benefits of Online Counseling
- Online counseling gives you access to a larger directory of mental health professionals who might be more culturally competent and diverse than local counselors.
- Online counseling gives you the choice on how often and what method of communication you would like to use, helping you feel in control and safe.
- You can refer to old text messages and emails between you and your therapist as a form of reference. They remain secure in your messenger app or email for you to review at any time.
- Online counseling is great for those who struggle with such things as severe trauma, depression, social anxiety, and trust issues. This is a safe way to talk about sensitive issues while in the comfort of your own home. It is often easier being vulnerable when you trust your surroundings.
- Treatment is more flexible because you are not limited to traditional office hours. It is also a terrific way to stay connected with your therapist while traveling for work or family event. It can be beneficial for couples who are having relationship issues, as well. They can participate in couples therapy online and never have to stop treatment.
Online Counseling Concerns
Though online counseling is effective, there a few disadvantages that come with the online platform:
- Privacy Issues: Online therapy should be done in a private setting. Make sure your therapist is not outside in public to make sure your conversation remains private and just between you and your counselor. Likewise, if participating in a video conference call, make sure you are in a quiet and private place, as well. This will help you feel more secure.
- Severe Mental Illness: Though online counseling is effective, studies have shown that if you are dealing will sever mental illness, traditional therapy is a more effective form of treatment.
- Internet Connection: To take advantage of the telehealth platform, you will need access to the Internet.
- Lack of Real Human Relationship: You will not feel this too much with video conferencing sessions, but texting messaging and emailing will limit your connection with the person. There are many benefits in learning how to read someone’s body language for both you and the counselor, especially for those who are looking to work on building stronger relationships and better communication skills.