Best Online Grief Counseling

E-Therapy Cafe is the best grief counseling service online

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Loss can affect us in ways that are hard to predict. While grief is a natural process, navigating it can feel overwhelming without proper support. Online grief counseling is designed to help you move through the emotional ups and downs of bereavement in a healthy way, whether your grief is triggered by the death of a parent, the loss of a pregnancy, or even the end of a long-term relationship.

Therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and peer-run support groups can all help you move through the roller coaster of emotions that come with grief. For example, counselors might guide patients to practice the 3 C's of grief during birthdays, holidays, or other reminders of the loss: Choose how you want to spend your time (such as avoiding a family gathering), communicate your plan to those around you, and compromise if necessary.  

The best online grief counseling comes from licensed mental health professionals who can address common stages of grief, such as shock; identify warning signs of depression; and help you navigate practical life changes. Healing isn’t a linear path, and prolonged or complicated grief can bring up additional issues like self-destructive behavior or substance use. That’s why it’s important to get support, either from a trained professional or from those having a similar experience.

Best Grief Counseling of 2023

Why Trust Us
Companies reviewed
Total users surveyed
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.

Best Overall : E-Therapy Cafe

  • Price: $196-360 per month; $55 a session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

E-Therapy Cafe has skilled grief counselors who draw from varied treatment approaches and specialties. It was one of our highest-performing platforms in terms of user satisfaction, making it a reliable resource for those experiencing bereavement.

Pros & Cons
  • Counselors are grief specialists

  • You pick your therapist/coach

  • Counselors use a variety of techniques to treat grief

  • Small pool of counselors

  • Short session times

  • Doesn’t accept insurance


When you’re suffering from loss, having an empathetic and experienced grief counselor is critical. E-Therapy Cafe provides just that—its staff of caring, approachable counselors specializes in grief and draws from varied treatment approaches and specialties to treat it. It’s one of our highest-performing companies in terms of user satisfaction, so unlike other platforms, there’s little chance you’ll need to cycle through counselors of differing quality levels to find the right fit. It’s especially welcoming to military families, veterans, and first responders, all populations which may experience high rates of grief. 

Live sessions are 30 minutes long and held over video or instant chat, or you can opt for an e-journal entry of 700 words (you’ll get a detailed therapist response). Treatment approaches include emotionally-focused therapy (EFT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), all of which are effective for treating loss. E-Therapy Cafe also provides assessments for emotional support animals which can be helpful for those struggling with grief.

Plans & Pricing 

You can pay for sessions (video, chat, or e-journal) one at a time or in bundles. The low cost makes up for the short session times.

  • E-Therapy Shot: $55 for one session 
  • E-Therapy Four: $196 for four sessions, or $49/session
  • E-Therapy Eight: $360 for eight sessions, or $45/session
User Satisfaction  

E-Therapy Cafe has one of the highest user satisfaction scores of the 55 companies we surveyed—94% of users rated it positively, compared to an 84% average. Eighty-two percent of users said their counselors met all or most of their needs, compared to a 77% average, and 90% rated their therapist’s qualifications positively, which is well above the 84% average.

Best for Family Therapy : LifeStance Health

  • Price: $150 to $300 per session, if paying out of pocket
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Children's Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It 

Lifestance Health offers family grief therapy and parent-child relationship therapy, which can both address issues related to loss. It has an extensive pool of clinicians with diverse specialties, which increases the likelihood of finding the right fit.

Pros & Cons
  • Offers family grief therapy

  • Offers parent-child relationship therapy

  • Large pool of providers to choose from

  • No messaging between sessions

  • Asks for payment details immediately upon sign-up

  • Not available in all 50 states


LifeStance Health offers evidence-based therapy for families struggling with grief. The loss of a family member can be particularly painful and influence family structures and relationships. Effective grief therapy for families should include a nuanced approach that acknowledges the many ways loss reverberates through a family unit. Counselors at LifeStance Health provide that care by helping families improve communication, collaboration, and emotional awareness, among other skills. 

Sessions are around 45 minutes long and held over live video. Counselors might use behavioral techniques like role-playing, psychodynamic techniques to assess each family member’s coping style, and structural techniques to help members better understand relationship dynamics. Family grief therapy at LifeStance Health may help members prevent conflict, foster empathy, learn coping skills together, and find the best ways to support each other during difficult times. It also offers parent-child relationship therapy for parents who are struggling with their kids' behavior, which can easily happen in the case of a loss.

Plans & Pricing

LifeStance Health offers a pay-as-you-go system with no subscription required. Cost varies according to provider, as does forms of insurance accepted. Without insurance, you can expect to pay between $75 to $300 per 45-minute session.

User Satisfaction

LifeStance Health has solid user satisfaction scorers—88% of users rated it positively overall, compared to an 84% average. Ninety percent of users rated their therapist’s qualifications positively overall, compared to an 84% average, and 51% said they’d still be seeing the same therapist in six months, compared to a 42% average.

Best for Peer Support : Circles

  • Price: $79 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Peer Support
Why We Chose It 

Circles has online peer support groups led by trained professionals and is designed specifically for grief, loss, separation, and divorce.

Pros & Cons
  • Designed specifically for grief

  • Led by trained professionals

  • Affordable

  • Only for adults 18 and older

  • Likely not supportive enough without additional therapy

  • Not group therapy


Counseling is excellent for treating grief, but isolation and loneliness can still occur. Loneliness among grieving people is common, even among those who are surrounded by friends. Circles, an online group support platform, fulfills the need for social support, not just from friends and family, but from those who truly understand what you’re going through. 

Led by trained counselors, Circles takes participants on a journey through healing with others in a group format facilitated by a professional therapist. Its 12-week, in-depth programs for grief/loss and separation/divorce are limited to 10 participants. The three-month format fosters stability and continuity, while the small group size makes connections more intimate.  Besides sessions, participants can message the group and the therapist facilitator 24/7. While Circles groups are therapist-led, they’re technically support groups rather than group therapy, which is typically more moderated and agenda-driven.

Plans & Pricing

Circles offers a free version and a $79 per month premium version. The premium version offers 12 weeks of support via a group or "circle", and so users are encouraged to commit for three months. Unless you cancel or request to be moved to a different circle, you will remain in the same circle and be billed monthly.

Sessions are held over live video, and you’ll meet at the same time on the same day each week. You can message your group and therapist from your user portal anytime.

User Satisfaction

User satisfaction for Circles was about average, but it’s important to understand that we surveyed users who tried both premium and free groups. Free groups do not have a continuous 12-week format or limited size, which can significantly lower the quality of care. With that in mind, 80% of users rated it positively, compared to an 84% average, 70% would recommend it to a friend, compared to a 71% average, and 77% of users said most or all of their needs were met by counseling sessions.

Best for Spouse Loss : BetterHelp

  • Price: $240 to $360+ per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It 

BetterHelp features a huge pool of licensed counselors who can help you navigate the loss of a spouse. It offers messaging in between live sessions, which can be especially useful for those experiencing unexpected emotions throughout the week.

Pros & Cons
  • Large pool of grief counselors to choose from

  • Uses a combination of live therapy and messaging

  • Providers have diverse treatment approaches

  • Counselors vary in experience levels

  • Doesn’t accept insurance

  • No family options


Clinicians at BetterHelp work with those grieving a spouse in a variety of ways. They support bereaved patients through a combination of 30-minute live sessions and unlimited messaging using varied approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and art therapy. BetterHelp also places a strong emphasis on education, providing worksheets, information, and journaling prompts to help clients better understand and normalize their experience.

Clearly, one of the biggest things BetterHelp has going for it is its pool of clinicians. There are so many approaches to grief therapy, and chances are you’ll benefit from some more than others. It’s worth taking the time to find someone you truly resonate with, and BetterHelp makes that easy by making switching counselors easy. Additionally, the combination of live sessions and messaging is helpful for grieving spouses whose emotions can hit unmanageable levels at unexpected times between sessions.

That said, it’s important to note that BetterHelp has been under investigation recently for potentially exploiting patient privacy for promotional purposes.

Plans & Pricing

There’s only one subscription available at BetterHelp. On average, the plan costs between $60 and $90 per week, billed monthly. Unfortunately, this is based on demand, which means that BetterHelp practices surge pricing. That said, it does offer scholarships that can reduce costs.

The plan will get you the following:

  • Four 30-minute live sessions per month over video, phone, or messaging
  • Unlimited messaging via video, audio, or text
User Satisfaction

BetterHelp has solid ratings overall—86% of users rated it positively overall, compared to an 84% average. Eighty-seven percent rated their therapist’s qualification positively, compared to an 84% average, and 77% would recommend it to a friend, compared to a 71% average. However, only 12% said they came to BetterHelp for grief counseling, so consider these ratings with that in mind.

Best for Insurance : Teladoc

  • Price: $0-$299
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Teladoc offers grief counseling from qualified counselors who accept insurance. Counselors can treat individuals, couples, and teens who are experiencing loss.

Pros & Cons
  • Offers grief therapy for adults and teens

  • Accepts a wide range of insurance

  • Medication management available

  • Expensive without insurance

  • No communication options between sessions

  • Therapist bios only visible after sign-up


Teladoc is an excellent resource for insured therapy seekers experiencing grief. It features licensed counselors who can help individuals, couples, and teens get through bereavement and all that it entails. Counselors are trained to spot red flags of depression, like feeling overwhelmed and being unable to get out of bed. Psychiatrists are also available and can assist with medication for those who need additional support, as can sometimes be the case in complicated grief. However, this is generally for patients looking to undergo long-term therapy. Sessions are held over live video or phone and last around an hour.

Teladoc did very well on our survey in terms of overall user satisfaction and has the highest rate of accepting insurance of any platform we surveyed (82%). This is crucial—it’s all too common for mental health providers to avoid accepting any kind of insurance, for a number of reasons, like having to track down insurance providers for payment. It’s rare to find a company that’s affordable (with insurance) and of excellent quality, and Teladoc is both.

Plans & Pricing

Teladoc is the ideal choice for those with insurance, as it accepts a wide range of providers. It’s a pay-as-you-go system with no subscription plans. For those without insurance, it costs $99 per therapy session, $299 for an initial psychiatry session, and $119 for follow-up psychiatry sessions. With insurance, you're likely only responsible for a copay.

User Satisfaction

Teladoc is among our highest-rated platforms—97% of users rated it positively overall, compared to an 84% average, making it our highest ranking platform for overall experience. Ninety-four percent rated therapist qualifications positively, compared to an 84% average, and of users who had health insurance, 82% said Teledoc covered them, compared to a 54% average.

Best for Affordability/No Insurance : Open Path

  • Price: $17 to $115
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

All of Open Path Collective’s clinicians offer the same rates, which makes it faster and easier to find the right fit. With individual sessions as low as $30, they have some of the lowest rates in the industry.

Pros & Cons
  • All providers have the same low rates

  • Providers use a variety of grief therapy methods

  • Can treat individuals, couples, and families

  • Includes less experienced clinicians

  • Insurance not accepted

  • Requires a one-time membership fee


Open Path Collective is doing its part to make therapy more accessible. Every counselor on the directory must charge the same rate, which makes finding a provider faster and easier. As long as you can afford Open Path’s set rates, you can also rest assured that you’ll be able to see any available therapist listed. This can help you focus more on therapist qualifications and specialties when you're searching for a provider.

Session details (such as format options) are handled directly by the counselor. Since Open Path is a directory with a large pool of clinicians, you’ll find counselors who treat grief in a variety of ways. They might draw from family systems theory, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or somatic psychotherapy, for example, and treat grief related to everything from the death of a loved one to the loss of a relationship. The only drawback with Open Path is that the affordable rates mean there are more pre-licensed or recently licensed practitioners on the platform. If finding someone with experience is important to you, you may need to do a little more digging.

Plans & Pricing

Open Path charges a $65 one-time membership fee to access its listings and other resources. In addition to that, you’ll pay the following:

  • $40 to $70 per session for individual counseling
  • $40 to $80 per session for family or couples counseling 
  • $30 for student intern sessions

Open Path does not accept insurance.

User Satisfaction

Open Path seems to be meeting the needs of therapy seekers, with 90% of users rating Open Path positively overall, compared to an 87% average. Eighty-four percent would recommend Open Path to a friend, compared to an 80% average, and 74% said they found a counselor that met all their needs, compared to a 70% average. Seventy-one percent said the process of searching for a counselor on Open Path was easy or very easy.

Best for Children and Teens : TherapyDen

Why We Chose It 

Therapy Den features licensed counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists across the country who can treat grief in kids and teens.

Pros & Cons
  • Grief counselors can treat people of all ages

  • Family and group therapy available

  • Large pool of counselors to choose from

  • Availability varies by location

  • Fees vary by location

  • Not specifically designed for kids and teens


Kids grieve differently than adults, which means they require more specialized grief counseling. Therapy Den fills the gap in online grief therapy for kids with clinicians across the country who treat all ages. Since it's a directory, therapy seekers handle all logistics with counselors directly and can opt for those who offer the rates, specialties, and expertise they need most. This may make finding the right fit easier.

Therapy seekers can filter for kids and teens under services and grief under specialties to find grief counselors who work with children and teens. The directory lists practitioners with varied approaches to counseling. For example, you might find someone with a holistic background who incorporates guided imagery, another who uses family systems therapy, or a clinician who specializes in parent-child therapy.  With so many options to choose from, Therapy Den is an excellent choice for concerned parents seeking grief therapy for kids.

Plans & Pricing

As Therapy Den is a directory, prices, session frequency, and platform options depend on the provider. Some counselors may take insurance.

User Satisfaction

Therapy Den proves itself to be a good resource for those seeking kids' therapy. Ten percent of users said Therapy Den was better than other counseling services because it offered kids therapy, compared to a 9% average. Forty-three percent said the qualifications of counselors were excellent, which was above average compared to other directories we reviewed, and 75% rated its diversity good to excellent.

Best for Pregnancy and Infant Loss : The Compassionate Friends

  • Price: $0 or voluntary donation
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
Why We Chose It 

The Compassionate Friends is a non-profit dedicated to supporting those who have lost a child. It offers in-person and virtual meetings, Facebook groups, grief resources, and education to support grieving families.

Pros & Cons
  • Created for those who have lost a child

  • Online and in-person groups

  • In all 50 states and some countries abroad

  • Online branches only have live chats

  • Not group therapy

  • Only for adults 18 and older


The Compassionate Friends is a non-profit organization that supports families who are suffering from the loss of a child, whether they’re the parents, siblings, or grandparents. It has chapters in all 50 states plus some countries abroad which hold in-person or virtual (over video) meetings. There are also private, state specific Facebook groups you can join. Groups are peer-run, not facilitated by a licensed therapist, and best used in conjunction with professionally guided counseling or therapy.

The Compassionate Friends credo is to accept everyone. Its services are for anyone who has lost a child, whether it happened 30 years or three days prior, and whether the child was a full-grown adult or yet to be born. Compassionate Friends is also an advocate for those suffering from this devastating form of loss. Visitors to the website can request specialized resources about child bereavement and there are even guidelines for co-workers who want to support suffering colleagues.

Plans & Pricing

There is no cost to access resources at The Compassionate Friends. It offers free support via local chapters, which host regular meetings (often bimonthly or monthly) either in person or virtually.

It also has virtual chapters which host regular live chat meetings and private Facebook groups.

User Satisfaction

As it's a nonprofit support group, we did not collect user data from users of The Compassionate Friends. However, we did ask one of the subject matter experts we worked with on this project to evaluate it. “The death of a child is a special kind of grief—it is seen as unnatural, and can affect the family unit as a whole as well as the parents,” says Hannah Owens, LMSW. “Having a dedicated support group that deals with this specific topic is a great resource, as it provides a safe space to process grief amongst those who have experienced exactly the same loss.”

Best for Text-Based Therapy : Talkspace

  • Price: $69-$109 per week for monthly plans; $65 for each additional live session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It 

Talkspace offers flexible plans that include text and video messaging only and messaging plus live chat sessions—which can be helpful for those who don’t feel ready to talk face-to-face. Messaging plans are unlimited and guarantee a response five days a week.

Pros & Cons
  • Offers unlimited messaging-based counseling

  • Provides individual, couples, and teen counseling

  • Accepts insurance

  • Expensive without insurance

  • You can’t choose your therapist


Talkspace is unique in its emphasis on text messaging-based counseling. The grieving process is unpredictable, and the hardest times can occur at any moment. Having the ability to connect to a therapist during unexpected moments can make all the difference. 

Those who want this feature can choose from two plans: messaging only or messaging plus 45-minute live video sessions, at different price points. Either way, you’re guaranteed a response from your licensed therapist five days a week. Some therapy seekers choose messaging therapy through Talkspace for its affordability, its ability to give privacy, and/or because they feel more comfortable connecting through messaging than live. Others may wish to augment their live sessions with messaging in order to get support at critical moments between sessions.

Plans & Prices

Talkspace has three subscription plans:

  • Messaging therapy: $69 per week and includes unlimited messaging with guaranteed therapist responses five days a week
  • Messaging + live therapy: $99 per week and includes four live 45-minute sessions per month plus unlimited messaging
  • Messaging + live therapy with workshops: Includes unlimited messaging, four live sessions a month, and access to weekly workshops for $129 per week

It accepts most major insurance plans.

User Satisfaction

Talkspace is one of the oldest online therapy platforms and it seems to have nailed the niche—90% of users rated Talkspace positively overall, compared to an 84% average. Ninety-two percent rated therapist qualifications as generally positive, compared to an 84% average, and 75% would start their therapist search at Talkspace again if needed, compared to a 59% average.

Compare the Best Grief Counseling of 2023

Best For
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
E-Therapy Cafe Best Overall $196-360 per month; $55 a session No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
LifeStance Health Best for Family Therapy $150 to $300 per session, if paying out of pocket Yes Yes Children's Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Video Chat Learn More
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Circles Best for Peer Support $79 per month No No Peer Support Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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BetterHelp Best for Spouse Loss $240 to $360+ per month No Yes Individual Therapy Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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Teladoc Best for Insurance $0-$299 Yes No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Open Path Best for Affordability/No Insurance $17 to $115 N/A No Individual Therapy N/A Learn More
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TherapyDen Best for Children and Teens N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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The Compassionate Friends Best for Pregnancy and Infant Loss $0 or voluntary donation No No N/A N/A Learn More
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Talkspace Best for Text-Based Therapy $69-$109 per week for monthly plans; $65 for each additional live session Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me

Final Verdict

E-Therapy Cafe offers the best online grief counseling. It has one of the highest user satisfaction scores of all companies we surveyed, which means those suffering from grief can avoid cycling through counselors of varying quality and get great care right away. Its grief counselors use a variety of modalities to treat loss and are highly experienced. Plus, it’s affordable and flexible, with a pay-as-you-go system.

Peer support can be incredibly helpful to supplement individual therapy. Circles is an excellent option that’s grief-specific. Grief/loss and separation/divorce groups are limited to 10 people and are 12 weeks long, which gives bereaved people the chance to get to know one another and connect. They’re led by licensed counselors who are available to chat between group meetings.

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Grief Counseling

How Does Grief Counseling Work? 

Grief counseling works like any other type of counseling in that you’ll meet with a counselor either individually or with your partner, family members, or child. Grief counselors may help you work through many aspects of loss, such as sadness, anger, or changes in identity.

Clinicians use a variety of methods to help grieving patients, says subject matter expert Amy Marschall, PsyD. “While everyone will have unique needs, many grief counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, expressive arts therapies, or cognitive processing therapy. It depends also on the severity of the grief and the client's response—someone experiencing traumatic grief might need more trauma treatment.”

When grief symptoms last longer than a year, patients are considered to have prolonged grief disorder, also called "complicated grief." This type of grief is often characterized by isolation, difficulty functioning, and depression, among other symptoms. In severe cases, it can lead to suicidal ideation. Getting help from a therapist who specializes in grief early on after a loss can help lower the chances of prolonged grief disorder.

Is Online Grief Counseling Right for Children and Teens? 

Grief counseling has been shown to be effective for children and teens. Grief counselors who work with kids are trained to look at and work with the unique ways that children demonstrate grief. The approach each clinician takes will be appropriate to your child’s needs and maturity level. 

“Depending on the age of the child, they might have a literal understanding of loss—they will not be able to see that person anymore, that person is in a place they cannot go—but the concept of death might be beyond their comprehension,” says subject matter expert Hannah Owens.

What Are Some of the Treatment Modalities for Grief in Children?

Grief therapy for children will typically include modalities commonly used for kids' therapy, such as play therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). This might look like:

  • Talking about emotions surrounding grief 
  • Processing emotions with play therapy
  • Developing rituals with the family to help the child honor the deceased person
  • Finding self-soothing strategies to deal with emotions, like hugging a stuffed animal or looking at pictures

Art therapy can be particularly good for kids suffering from grief, says Owens. “Art therapy is a good way to help children work through their feelings about a loss—for instance, depicting good and bad memories about the person and sharing those pictures with their family to facilitate conversation about the person who died. A provider with a background in trauma work and experience with children and art therapy would be a good choice for grief therapy for kids.”

Grief that’s a result of disturbing, repeated, or violent losses can be especially hard on children, such as the case with children of military personnel. In these cases, the loss may be experienced as traumatic and trauma-focused treatment, such as trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, is important.

Comparing Online Grief Counseling Services

There are various factors to consider when choosing which online counseling is best. Some of these include:

  • Price: The cost of counseling varies widely among practitioners and platforms, and also depends on whether the provider accepts your insurance. After checking your coverage, shop around and look for a counselor you can afford to see for the long term. Some platforms have sliding scale rates. Keep in mind, though, that many counselors who offer low rates may be pre-licensed or recently licensed, and will not have the expertise of other counselors.
  • Modality: There are many ways to treat grief. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is among the most widely used and researched, but there are many other approaches, including expressive arts therapy, somatic psychotherapy, mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy, and more. You may wish to research a potential therapist’s modalities to see if they align with your needs or would be supportive of your goals. 
  • Scheduling: Online therapy is often more convenient than in-person therapy, as you don’t need to worry about commuting to and from an office. That said, you still want a therapist who can see you at a time that’s convenient for you. For example, having a session on a lunch break and then returning to work might not be ideal if you’re processing a lot of emotions. Try to give yourself ample time after a session for self-care and relaxation.
  •  Counseling platform: Online therapy comes in many forms, notably video chat, phone chat, and messaging. Some platforms and providers offer a combination of two or more of these. Pick what works best for you. Many people find that video therapy gives them the most intimate connection with their therapist, while others are more comfortable with text-based options. 
  • Ease of switching between counselors: For subscription services, it’s important that the process of switching counselors is convenient and easy. Not every counselor will be a match for you. This is especially true if you opt for low-cost platforms that often have high numbers of pre- or newly licensed counselors.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Can You Help a Child or Teen Cope With Grief?

    It's important to be honest about loss with your kids. While you don’t need to tell young children every detail, you should make it clear that the deceased person isn't just sleeping—instead, let them know that the person’s body isn’t working and they’re not coming back.

    Whether child or teen, help them acknowledge the loss through rituals such as lighting a candle, writing a letter, or creating a scrapbook of memories. Get counseling right away and check in with your kid down the road, as they may feel the loss later in life, such as when a parent isn’t there during an important personal milestone. Take care of yourself so you can be a good example.

  • Does a Child’s Brain Change After Grief?

    Grief can cause neurobiological changes that affect a child’s thinking patterns, emotions, and behavior. These changes might manifest in a number of ways, such as generalized fear and anxiety, inability to manage stress, becoming quiet and withdrawn, or conversely, acting out.

    However, these changes need not be permanent—our brains are changeable or "plastic," especially in childhood. The sooner a child is able to use healthy coping mechanisms (such as those facilitated in therapy) to process intense stress and emotion, the better off they’ll be.

  • Can You Fully Recover From Grief?

    Grief is a part of life. Counseling can make it easier, though that doesn’t mean the grief ever truly goes away. “You will probably never be at a point where you are happy that your loved one died,” says subject matter expert Amy Marschall. “You might still miss them, especially on special anniversaries or when you're reminded of them. But you can get to a point where that grief is integrated and does not prevent you from living your life or moving forward.”

  • Is Online Therapy for Grief as Effective as In-Person Therapy?

    There is ample evidence to support the effectiveness of online therapy.

    • A 2021 study in Psychotherapy Research found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was a viable alternative to in-person therapy.
    • A 2021 study in JMIR Mental Health found that online therapy was effective in treating anxiety and depression.


To select the best online grief counseling, we surveyed 105 users at 55 of the most popular online therapy platforms and 180 users at 25 directories. We also tested many of these platforms ourselves, consulted three industry experts, and sent questionnaires to the companies themselves. We favored platforms with experienced licensed grief counselors with extensive training and diverse modalities. Companies on our selected list provide grief-specific services from experienced grief counselors, the option for both therapy and psychiatry, a variety of treatment modalities, and high user satisfaction. Those that had high user satisfaction scores made it to the top of the list. We liked those that accept insurance and/or have affordable rates, have flexible subscription plans, and are culturally inclusive.

Black mother embraces child
Parenting though grief.

Getty: skynesher

Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Brittany Elyse Vargas
Brittany Elyse Vargas has been exploring topics around psychology, mental health, mind-body medicine, and psychospiritual development for the past twenty years. She’s written professionally for over ten years as a journalist, copywriter, and ghostwriter. Brittany is committed to rigorous reporting and to tackling topics on the cutting edge of wellness, healing, and mindfulness movements.

Edited by Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is an expert in health, science, sustainability, wellness, mental health, and parenting. She has written for publications including The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

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and Simone Scully
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Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering pregnancy, parenting, health, medicine, science, and lifestyle topics.

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