BEST ONLINE THERAPY PLATFORMS OF 2021
Online therapy platforms help individuals access professional care for mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs without having to travel to a specific physical location.
With so many companies offering therapy services via video and phone calls, live chats, and email messaging, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you and your needs.
To help users, we evaluated the most popular online therapy platforms based on 14 of the key features most important to those looking for an online therapist, forming the basis for our recommendations for the top 10 online therapy sessions.
BetterHelp — Best Overall
With 12,000 therapists trained to address a range of mental health needs, flexible communication methods, and affordable rates, BetterHelp tops our list as the best overall online therapy platform.
ReGain — Best for Couples
This platform focuses on delivering relationship counseling, with licensed counselors ready to help couples and individuals address issues like resolving conflict, building trust, improving communication, and developing intimacy.
Talkspace — Best for Convenient Communication
Talkspace is designed for ultimate accessibility and convenience, with therapy delivered primarily via unlimited messages between a client and their therapist, through Talkspace’s website or mobile app.
Teen Counseling — Best for Teens
Teen Counseling is a safe, secure way for parents and teens to get help from a licensed therapist who specializes in working with adolescents and young adults ages 13-19.
Amwell — Best for Insurance Coverage
As a full-service telehealth platform, Amwell accepts insurance from dozens of major providers, including Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare, making therapy accessible and affordable for many.
Online-Therapy.com — Best Guided Therapy Program
Online-Therapy.com offers users a virtual “toolbox” of approaches and activities to help them improve their mental and emotional health, including therapy sessions, journaling, worksheets, and yoga exercises.
7 Cups — Best for Free Services
Although 7 Cups offers sessions with licensed therapists, they also provide multiple free services, including self-help guides, online support groups, and 24/7 live chat with trained volunteer listeners.
Doctor on Demand — Best for Medication Management
For individuals who need treatment options beyond talk therapy, Doctor on Demand also employs licensed psychiatrists who can prescribe medications to help treat mental health issues.
MDLive — Best Membership Plan
With a free MDLive membership, users get access to therapy and psychiatry services, as well as on-demand medical care for many common acute conditions, like colds, coughs, and allergies.
Pride Counseling — Best for LGBTQ+
Pride Counseling’s mission is to provide discreet, affordable, and convenient care to the LGBTQ+ community, with counselors who specialize in working with the unique needs of this population.
HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST ONLINE THERAPY PLATFORMS
In curating our list of the best online therapy platforms, we evaluated online therapy platforms based on key features that ensure that these services are secure, reliable, and accessible to a wide range of patients.
Engaging in online therapy is attractive because of its convenience and comfort. Telehealth platforms let clients choose the communication method they feel the most comfortable with, and fits best into their schedule. Therefore, we prioritized services that offer multiple ways for patients to connect with their therapists, including video and phone calls, live chats, and secure email and text messaging.
Whether it’s in-person or online, finding the right therapist is a personal, precise process. We focused on online therapy platforms that have a large roster of available therapists, including those with different areas of training, like licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors. We also looked carefully at the client-therapist matching process, and prioritized services that let clients choose their own therapist.
Online therapy means the days of waiting weeks for an in-person appointment with a mental healthcare professional are quickly becoming a thing of the past. We looked for services that facilitate sessions for clients as soon as possible, including same-day appointments. We also focused on platforms that provide on-demand services, like the ability for clients and their therapists to exchange messages in between sessions.
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