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Life is hard enough, but with a pandemic creating additional sources of stress from social isolation to extreme anxiety about the future, many people are turning to an online therapist for help.

If you’re looking for an online therapist who can help you work through your emotions and the idea of just you, your PJs, and your therapist sounds appealing, we’ve got you! Keep reading to check our picks for the best online therapy services.

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An online therapist is someone who provides professional mental health support over the internet. Online therapy (aka teletherapy) can happen via text, video conferencing, online chat, or phone. In short: it’s the same as an appointment with your therapist, but you get to stay at home!

While some people enjoy the in-person connection traditional therapy provides, if you suffer from severe anxiety, are very shy, or are in quarantine, online therapy can provide a less intrusive environment to get care.

It’s also a convenient option for people living in rural areas and for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses looking for an alternative to in-person sessions.

Wait a sec: Does online therapy actually work?

Feeling skeptical? Here’s what researchers have to say about teletherapy:

  • A 2015 study found that online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is just as effective as in-person CBT for anxiety treatment.
  • A 2017 report also indicates that, in many settings, psychologists and clients have used this medium to expand access to psychotherapy.

Still unsure if online therapy is a good fit for you? Here are some of the benefits teletherapy has to offer:

  • It can be cheaper. Online therapy is often less expensive than traditional therapy services. You can save even more when considering you won’t have to pay for gas or take extra time off of work just to get to your therapist’s office.
  • It allows for more flexibility. Major perk alert! You can choose what time suits you best to have your teletherapy session instead of having to squeeze another thing into your already busy schedule.
  • It’s comfy. With the therapy sesh coming to you, online therapy allows you to be truly comfortable. Sweatpants and slippers? Check. Emergency cookies? Double check.
  • It protects your health. In times like these when most of us are practicing physical distancing (and are basically Zoom experts at this point), teletherapy is a safer alternative than meeting in person. No need to comprise anyone’s health to get your therapy session going.

If you’re interested in trying online therapy, there are plenty of high quality, secure options available. We recommend checking out one of our top picks.

1. Talkspace online therapists

Best overall online therapist

Price: $65–$99 per week
Services: text, video sessions, audio messages

Talkspace is one of the most widely known online therapy services. It has over 3,000 licensed therapists and offers three main subscription plans:

  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: text, video, audio messaging
  • Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: text, video, audio messaging, plus one live session each month
  • LiveTalk Therapy Unlimited: text, video and audio messaging, plus four live sessions each month

Along with their regular therapy services, Talkspace also offers couples and teen counseling. Some of their services can be covered by insurance and they offer a student discount.

Find a Talkspace online therapist.

2. AmWell online therapists

Best for a quick check-up

Price: $99–$110 per visit
Services: video sessions

If you’re looking for a quick consultation, AmWell might be a good option for you. Here you can find an online therapist for anxiety, depression, and other common mental health issues. AmWell also has other health professionals available 24/7, including psychiatrists.

To schedule an appointment you’ll first need to set up an account, and pick the doctor or therapist you want to work with. The price you pay will depend on the credentials of your therapist.

Find an AmWell online therapist.

3. BetterHelp online therapists

Best for live chat sessions

Price: $40–$70 per week
Services: text, video sessions, live chat, phone calls

If you prefer typing to talking, BetterHelp might be a good option for you.

This online therapy platform offers real-time chat, and video sessions with licensed psychologists, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists. Users rave about the live chat sessions, emphasizing how quickly the counselors reply.

To start a therapy session, you’ll first need to set up an account, and then be matched to a therapist for your specific needs. You can always ask for a different counselor if you prefer.

Find a BetterHelp online therapist.

4. 7 Cups of Tea online therapists

Best for your budget

Price: Free or $150 per month
Services: video sessions, live chat, group chat

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly online therapy option, 7 Cups is your go-to! One of the largest teletherapy platforms, 7 Cups of Tea offers counseling with licensed therapists for only $150 per month.

You can also benefit from free mental health support from their trained volunteers (not licensed counselors). Another cool feature: group chats. You can join a group chat, at no additional cost, to find emotional support from others and listen to their stories.

Find a 7 Cups of Tea online therapist.

5. ReGain online therapists

Best for couples

Price: $60–$80 per week
Services: text, video sessions

For couples looking for online therapy we recommend ReGain. This platform focuses specifically on relationship counseling, and offers support from licensed professionals, including accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers.

Though some users dislike the automated process that matches you to a therapist, many emphasize the service is affordable because the price is the same whether it’s just you or you and your partner.

Find a ReGain online therapist.

6. MDLive online therapists

Best for online psychiatry

Price: $108–$284 per visit
Services: text, video sessions, phone calls

If you’re looking for an online psychiatrist, MDLive might be a good choice. This online therapy platform offers both counseling and prescription management with a board certified psychiatrist, starting at $284 for your first visit.

MDLive also has counseling sessions for $108 per visit, but they could be covered by your insurance. To schedule an appointment you’ll need to set up an account, and then choose the best counselor for your specific needs.

Find an MDLive online therapist.

7. Pride Counseling online therapists

Best for LGBTQ+ counseling

Price: $40–$70 per week
Services: text, video sessions, live chat, phone calls

If you’re looking for LGBTQ+ mental health support, we recommend Pride Counseling. All therapists in this online platform are licensed and specialize in support for the LGBTQ+ community.

After being matched to a therapist, you can choose if you want to chat, or schedule video sessions. Many users report being happy with Pride Counseling, describing their online therapy service as “life-changing” and “well worth the money.”

Find a Pride Counseling online therapist.

8. Online-Therapy.com online therapists

Best for cognitive behavioral therapy

Price: $32–$64 per week
Services: text, video sessions, live chat, and other resources

Online-Therapy.com is all about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is one of the most common talk therapy methods to treat depression, anxiety, drug abuse, phobias, and other mental health issues.

This online platform stands out for their toolbox of resources that includes worksheets, an online journal, weekly live chats with your therapist, and messaging. The drawbacks: therapists aren’t available 24/7 for support like other online therapy sites.

Find an Online-Therapy.com online therapist.

9. Doctor on Demand online therapists

Best for single video sessions

Price: $128–$299 per visit
Services: video sessions

Doctor On Demand is a great online therapy platform if you don’t want to commit to a subscription plan. They offer single video sessions with licensed therapists and psychiatrists who can order prescriptions for you.

While its advertised prices are steeper than other online therapy platforms, Doctor on Demand accepts some insurance plans and offers services from a variety of medical professionals.

Find a Doctor on Demand online therapist.

10. Teen Counseling

Best for teens

Price: $40–$70 per week

Services: text, video sessions, live chat, phone calls

A division of BetterHelp, Teen Counseling specializes in online therapy services for teens (aged 13 to 19), and their parents. Some of the issues therapists can bring up during counseling sessions include: anxiety, school-related stress, eating disorders, and bullying.

Though the sessions happen in a private virtual room, the therapist can report abuse if the teen is in danger, so parents don’t need to worry.

Find a Teen Counseling online therapist.

We took many factors into consideration when selecting the best online therapy services, including:

  • credentials (all mental health professionals were licensed therapists, or psychiatrists)
  • positive customer feedback
  • therapy options for every price point
  • ability to use health insurance
  • therapists with a wide range of expertise in different areas (including online therapists for depression, PTSD, relationship issues, and substance abuse, among others)

The American Psychological Association states professionals providing teletherapy need to make a conscious effort to protect and maintain the confidentiality of your data, so most online therapy services use encrypted technology to comply with HIPAA privacy rules.

This means your data is transferred between you and your therapist, and then translated into coding language which no third party can access to help keep your personal info safe!

Still, you can always take a few extra steps to protect your privacy. If you’re at home, for example, make sure you choose a quiet spot for your therapy session where no one can hear you. And always vet the sites by reading their individual privacy policies.

Online therapy is a convenient, affordable, and effective way to take care of yourself and your mental well-being.

Even if you’re not dealing with a diagnosed mental health condition, you can still benefit from therapy. Try one of these online therapists and see how you feel after your first appointment. The doctors are in!