Best Online Family Therapy

Thriveworks is the best online family therapy

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A growing cohort of online counseling companies offer family therapy, a tried-and-true method that takes a relational approach to address issues. In bringing family counseling online, virtual family therapy providers combine the advantages of internet-based services with the value of expert mental health support. 

The best virtual family counseling services make it easy to connect with a qualified, licensed therapist at a reasonable price. Many accept insurance; work on various platforms (Internet, apps, phone, text); have expertise relevant to your family, including LGBTQIA+ affirming; and treat a variety of mental health conditions. This year, we reviewed over 50 online therapy providers. Here are the companies we found offering the best online family therapy today. 

Best Online Family Therapy of 2022

Why Trust Us
55
Companies reviewed
5,775
Total users surveyed
350
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 : Thriveworks


  • Price: $39 per month session fee plus a variable session-by-session rate
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Available in most of the United States and in-network with loads of insurance providers, Thriveworks makes it simple for you to connect with a qualified, licensed therapist capable of supporting your family with remote family counseling.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Search functionality includes the option to sort by family counseling

  • You can pick your therapist

  • Option for in-person therapy in some places

Cons
  • Complicated payment structure

  • Not available in all U.S. states

Overview

Thriveworks is a reliable place to find high-quality therapists who specialize in working with families. Around since 2008, Thriveworks now has thousands of licensed therapists, including counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, available in 45 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

Thriveworks has an app, though many reviewers reported that you don’t need it. That’s because everything you need to do at Thriveworks—including scheduling and attending therapy—can be done from your private portal on the Thriveworks website using any internet-enabled device. To participate in live video therapy sessions, you can use any device with a camera and microphone. 

At Thriveworks, searching for therapists with expertise in working with families is straightforward. This stands out from some of its competitors, where finding family therapy providers can be more complicated. Sixty-nine percent of the Thriveworks users we surveyed said navigating its website was easy or very easy.

To find a family therapist at Thriveworks, first enter your location on the website. From there, you can sort by service type: couples/marriage counseling, family counseling, individual counseling, and medication/psychiatry. You can also sort by specialty, which includes options relevant to families seeking counseling, such as addiction, divorce/breakup, domestic abuse, life transition, grief/loss, military/veteran, postpartum/pregnancy, and relationships. 

The quality of the providers you’ll find through this process sets Thriveworks apart, according to the users we surveyed: 89% told us they felt good about the number of providers they discovered. Many families will appreciate the opportunity to choose their therapist. But if you prefer a company to play matchmaker, Thriveworks may not be for you. 

Overall, our survey data indicated Thriveworks users have positive feelings about the company. A full 90% of users had a positive overall experience with Thriveworks, and 80% would  recommend the company to a friend. 

Plans & Pricing


Every other company we reviewed here uses a membership or fee-for-service model; Thriveworks offers both. When you opt for Thriveworks, you’ll pay a membership fee of $39 per month.

You’ll also pay your therapist for each online family counseling session attended. Session rates depend on your location and the clinician you’re working with, but they all fall in a relatively narrow range of $99 to $130 per session. This span captures the cost of family sessions, in addition to individual and couples counseling.

Thriveworks providers accept insurance, including major providers like Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, Optim, and UnitedHealthcare. Some Thriveworks providers also accept Medicare. The Thriveworks website includes an option to filter your therapist search by insurance coverage, which makes it easy to find providers who take your plan. 

Even so, the double-whammy pay system may be why only 47% of the Thriveworks users we surveyed found it affordable. But, on balance, those same users felt the cost was worth it. Of the Thriveworks users we surveyed, 78% said the company had good, very good, or excellent value for money.

Best for Families With Young Kids : Little Otter


  • Price: $90 for a 30-minute “Welcome Session”, $200 for one 45-minute sessions
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Family Therapy, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Little Otter’s online family counseling services were designed by experts to specifically cater to the mental health needs of families with kids aged birth to 14.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Specialized care for kids under 14

  • App lets you track your progress

  • Team-based approach

Cons
  • Not appropriate if the primary focus is older family members

  • Limited insurance accepted

Overview

Little Otter provides multidisciplinary mental health support for families with kids aged 14 and under. Founded in 2020 by Yale-trained psychiatrist Helen Egger, MD, and her daughter Rebecca Egger, Little Otter offers children’s therapy, parent training and support, couples therapy, and psychiatric services. 

It’s important to note that while virtual family therapy isn’t listed on Little Otter’s website, the kind of therapy offerings described take the whole family into account, and that’s why we’ve included the company on our list. However, Little Otter is geared toward supporting little kids, so it may not be a good fit for families with older teens or adult family members needing therapy.

To get started with Little Otter, you create an account on its app and complete a free assessment, which generates a custom report about your family’s mental health. From there, you can schedule a welcome session where you and your clinician develop a treatment plan. Your care team at Little Otter may include a care lead, licensed therapist, parent specialist (a board-certified behavior analyst), and child psychiatrist. Sessions at Little Otter take place on phone calls or its app, which you can access via your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The app also lets you schedule appointments, see progress, and contact your team with questions. 

Little Otter is available in 11 states and Washington, D.C., with plans to grow, according to its website. In 2022, it acquired Little Renegades, a shop featuring a collection of mindfulness cards and journals for kids. At the same time, it beta-launched the Kelp Line, an unlimited chat membership option, where parents can message with parenting specialists. This affordable option is available during regular business hours across the United States and is intended to increase access to Little Otter’s virtual family counseling services.

According to Little Otter’s website, their assessments show that 85% of families and kids have “moved from clinical to subclinical” after interacting with their app for six weeks, indicating a reduction in mental health symptoms. The people we surveyed were largely happy with their experience with Little Otter. Seventy-five percent rated Little Otter good, very good, or excellent overall, and 81% said it compared favorably to other mental health services they’d used in the past. 

Plans & Pricing

At Little Otter, you pay per session and the rates are the same no matter who you work with. Your card is charged 23 hours before your session. The fees are:

  • $90 for the initial session
  • $200 per subsequent 45-minute session
  • $400 per 90-minute session

Little Otter is in network for Kaiser Permanente, but out of network for all other insurance providers. However, if you have out-of-network benefits, you can apply for reimbursement for therapy and psychiatry sessions. It’s important to note that sessions with Little Otter’s parent specialists, who are behavior analysts and not licensed therapists, are generally not eligible for reimbursement. Therapy and psychiatry sessions are also HSA/FSA eligible, according to the website

Little Otter offers packages which reduce out-of-pocket costs:

  • $680 per 4-session bundle
  • $1920 per 12-session bundle

Before you book your first session, Little Otter offers a free informational call and a no-cost personalized report with tips for your family. 

Even with these reduced rates and free offerings, virtual family therapy with Little Otter can be expensive. That may be why only 54% of the people we surveyed said that Little Otter was affordable or very affordable. However, the majority of the users we surveyed, 72%, felt Little Otter provided good, very good, or excellent value for the money. 

Little Otter’s unlimited messaging offering, the Kelp Line, costs $30 per month. 

Best for Families With Teens : Wellnite


  • Price: $450 per month to $3510 per year
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management
Why We Chose It

With online family therapy based on cognitive behavioral therapy and specialization in issues pertinent to teens, Wellnite stands out from the competition in the online family counseling space. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Works with people aged 13 and up

  • You can choose your therapist

  • No upcharge for family therapy

Cons
  • Only uses CBT techniques

  • Only accepts PPO insurance

Overview

Founded in 2019, Wellnite uses science-supported therapy techniques to improve the mental health of families with teens. In addition to virtual family therapy, Wellnite offers psychiatric care, individual therapy for adults and teens, and couples therapy. Its focus is on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Research suggests that CBT can help with many mental health challenges, but if you know CBT is not for your family, Wellnite may not be a good fit. 

Wellnite is an excellent choice for families with teens because it serves people aged 13 and older, and specializes in family issues and romantic partner issues. Its therapists are also able to help with depression, eating disorders, friend issues, grief and loss, sleep issues, stress management, ADHD, addiction and substance abuse, anger management, anxiety, bipolar disorder, career issues, LGBTQIA+ issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many of these issues have particular relevance to teens, which made Wellnite stand out among its competitors

Wellnite’s services are available in many U.S. states, and its licensed therapists include social workers, marriage and family therapists, counselors, and psychologists. Wellnite says its medication prescribers are board-certified physicians who know how to treat depression and anxiety

When you sign up for Wellnite, you’ll be able to choose who you would like to work with from a list of providers licensed to practice in your state. Some users say they wish this list was more tailored to online therapists who specialize in the issues they’re facing. However, if you do not like your choice of therapist, you can stop scheduling with them and start scheduling with someone else.

You schedule appointments on your portal or by talking to your therapist, which users say was an easy process. You’re sent a link for your sessions, which you can click on from any device with Internet, a video camera, and microphone. You can choose between live video or phone sessions. While you can’t message your providers, you can message or call the support team anytime. Users said the support team’s responsiveness was a highlight of choosing to work with Wellnite. 

Wellnite’s website includes research it has conducted about how well its services work. The study found that people’s anxiety and depression symptoms measurably decreased after using Wellnite. Keep in mind this research was conducted by the company itself and is not independent, peer-reviewed research.

The fact that Wellnite delivers convenient, evidence-based therapy may have contributed to how rosy its users feel about therapy at Wellnite. Of the people we surveyed, 80% had an overall positive experience with the company.

Plans & Pricing

Wellnite uses a membership model and offers three types of memberships.

  • Therapy: Six 30-minute sessions, four 45-minute sessions, or three 60-minute sessions per month
  • Medical care: One doctor consultation per month, access to wholesale pricing on mental health medication, and free delivery on up to three deliveries
  • Medical care + therapy: One doctor consultation, wholesale pricing on mental health medication, free delivery on up to three deliveries, and two 30-minute therapy sessions or one 60-minute therapy session

At Wellnite, you’re billed upfront. Pricing for each membership type depends on whether you’d like to pay month-to-month or lump your payments. The cost does not appear to change based on session type (individual vs. family). 

Therapy membership prices are:

  • $450 per month
  • $2,160 for six months (a savings of $540)
  • $3,510 per year (a savings of $1,890)


Medical care membership prices are:

  • $95 per month, charged every other week
  • $456 for six months paid in advance (a savings of $114)
  • $744 per year paid in advance (a savings of $396)


Medical care and therapy membership prices are:

  • $245 per month
  • $1,176 for six months paid in advance (a savings of $294)
  • $1,908 per year paid in advance (a savings of $1,032)


In addition to the savings these payment plans offer, Wellnite offers sliding scale rates, which you can request during onboarding. The company also offers a free consultation call if you would like to speak to someone before committing to a membership. Of the Wellnite users we surveyed, 73% said they believed Wellnite had good, very good, or excellent value for the money.

Best for Postpartum Depression or Anxiety : LifeStance Health


  • Price: $150 to $400 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Because of its complexity, effective treatment for postpartum depression and anxiety requires  providers who are experts in perinatal mental health. LifeStance Health therapists have this expertise and are prepared to provide virtual family counseling in most U.S. states.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Expertise in perinatal mental health challenges

  • Accepts most commercial insurance plans

  • Offers psychiatry services

Cons
  • Not easy to estimate your costs

  • Website can be difficult to navigate

Overview

LifeStance Health specializes in myriad issues, including postpartum depression and anxiety, which are serious mental health conditions that are important to treat. Its therapists have an understanding of the particular mental health challenges facing people during the postpartum period. LifeStance Health also has expertise in prenatal depression, a less-talked-about sister of postpartum depression that may occur during pregnancy. For postpartum families, it’s a plus that LifeStance Health offers psychiatry services, because prescription medications, such as antidepressants, are frequently a part of treating these mental health challenges.

Founded in 2017, LifeStance Health is available in 32 states, and its website indicates plans to expand. In addition to online family therapy, LifeStance Health offers online individual therapy, group therapy, and psychiatry. LifeStance Health’s therapists include licensed therapists and psychologists. If you end up using their psychiatry services, you would choose one of their licensed psychiatrists and nurse practitioners to work with.

Once you sign up with LifeStance Health, you get access to a patient portal, where you can schedule your family therapy sessions. Your live video sessions can take place on any device that has a camera and microphone. There is no app to download. LifeStance Health’s website includes a lot of information about mental health conditions, which can be helpful, but only 58% of our survey respondents said the website was easy to navigate.

LifeStance Health’s website did not include any data about client outcomes, but our survey data was largely positive. Of the LifeStance Health users we surveyed, 88% had a positive experience overall, and 75% said they were likely or very likely to recommend LifeStance Health to a friend.

Plans & Pricing

Lifestance Health accepts most commercial insurance providers in the states it serves, and some providers accept Medicare and Medicaid. When you’re selecting your Lifestance therapist, you can see if a particular therapist accepts your insurance on their therapist bio.  

If you pay out-of-pocket, the website says therapy costs an average of $75 to $300 per session.

The price differs depending on your location, the experience level of your therapist, and the type of therapy you receive. Family therapy is often more expensive than individual therapy and, based on this description, it’s likely this is the case at Lifestance Health as well. 

Reviewers noted that lack of clarity about the cost of therapy as a downside of working with LifeStance Health. Fifty-seven percent of the people we surveyed said LifeStance Health was affordable or very affordable, but 76% said online therapy with LifeStance Health was a good value.

Best for LGBTQIA+ Families : Kip Therapy


  • Price: $95 to $250 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

Through actions and words, Kip Therapy makes it clear it supports and understands LGBTQIA+ clients, making the company an ideal choice for online therapy for New York-based queer families.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Gender and sexuality team provides competent care

  • Therapist bios include gender and sexual identity disclosures

  • Sliding scale rates available

Cons
  • No insurance accepted

  • Only available in New York state

Overview

Small but mighty, Kip Therapy is a welcoming, inclusive online family counseling service. Based in New York City, Kip Therapy was founded in 2013 as a brick-and-mortar therapy office and pivoted online when the pandemic hit in 2020. It has since stayed online, where it is now able to serve families throughout New York state and clients aged 12 and older. 

In addition to family therapy, Kip Therapy’s clinicians offer online individual therapy to adults and adolescents and couples therapy. The practice includes licensed and not-yet-licensed therapists. The licensed therapists are primarily social workers, and the not-yet-licensed therapists include graduate-level interns and pre-licensure fellows who have completed graduate school. 

Kip Therapy doesn’t beat around the bush about its support for LGBTQIA+ individuals. On the FAQ page, the first answer proclaims, “We work hard to serve clients who have felt misunderstood by other psychotherapists—including queer clients, people of color, and people who identify as transgender.” Kip Therapy’s mission includes providing education and training for therapists, which often covers how to work with gender-diverse and sexually diverse clients

Kip Therapy has a gender and sexuality team filled with providers who are capable of supporting LGBTQIA+ families. To make it easier to find a provider who is a good fit for you, therapist bios include disclosures about gender identity and sexual orientation, and you can search for therapists based on these traits

After scheduling an initial consultation session, you schedule regular sessions with your therapist as needed. Kip Therapy doesn’t require an app and sessions can take place via live video or phone call on whatever device you prefer. Kip Therapy maintains the feel of a small practice that just happens to be online now, and that seems to suit the people we surveyed: 73% of Kip Therapy users felt positive about their overall experience.

Plans & Pricing

At Kip Therapy, you pay per 45-minute therapy session. The session rate depends on your therapist’s experience and your session type. Kip Therapy categorizes therapist experience into three tiers, which impact the cost of your sessions.

  • Tier I: Emerging Therapists, who are graduate-level interns; $200 per session
  • Tier II: Resident Fellows, who have graduated with a degree and are accruing hours and experience before they can be licensed; $200 per session
  • Tier III: Senior Clinicians, who are advanced licensed therapists; $250 per session

Even though these tiers might give some families pause about therapist qualifications, 71% of the Kip Therapy users we surveyed felt generally positive about their therapist’s qualifications. Your first 45-minute session, called a consultation session, is priced lower than a regular session; it’s free for tier I providers and $25 for tier II and III providers.

The website doesn’t list separate pricing for online family counseling, but we contacted Kip, and its clinical director told us the rate for virtual family therapy is the same as the rate listed for virtual adolescent and couples therapy. 

Kip Therapy’s prices can be high for families on a budget. Of the people we surveyed, only 40% thought Kip Therapy was affordable, and 65% thought the company offered good value for money. However, its website says Kip Therapy has a limited number of below-standard-rate openings for people who’ve been historically excluded from therapy or are facing economic hardship.

Most Affordable + Best Flexibility : Amwell


  • Price: $109 to $279
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Amwell is available in all 50 states, accepts most insurance plans, and has no upcharge for family therapy with their expert, licensed therapists. Live video session appointments are available during days, evenings, and weekends to support your family’s mental health when it's most convenient for you.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Flat rate per session

  • Available on evenings and weekends

  • Available nationwide

Cons
  • Family therapist search cumbersome

  • Only works with clients age 10 and up

Overview

Since 2006, Amwell has provided affordable, accessible telemedicine services. It continues to stand out for its ability to connect people across the country with expert providers—including family therapists—who can deliver care at a reasonable rate, at times of their choosing. In addition to family therapy, Amwell’s behavioral health providers offer individual therapy, couples therapy, and psychiatry. Other Amwell providers offer urgent care, pediatrics, breastfeeding support, nutrition counseling, second opinions, and women’s health.  

Amwell has one large website for people seeking all of these services. This wide breadth of services may have contributed to Amwell’s website providing little information about its virtual family counseling services. While its website may not be clear, the Amwell representative we spoke to was: Amwell offers family therapy online. 

To find an Amwell therapist for your family, you’ll first have to create an account using a browser or the company’s app. Then you’ll need to read the bios of the therapists available in your state with an eye for language indicating they are equipped to provide family therapy. Good clues are declarations that they are licensed marriage and family therapists or otherwise experienced in working with families. Although this search process isn’t as technologically slick as some other online family therapy services, it still results in connecting people to qualified therapists, according to 86% of Amwell users we surveyed.

Once you select a therapist, you’ll immediately be able to schedule your first session in your portal, where you’ll also be able to message your provider and receive an asynchronous reply. Amwell therapists are available to schedule during the day, evening, and weekend, which can help ensure you’ll be able to make virtual family therapy fit into your schedule. Therapy sessions can include family members who are age 10 and older, depending on the age groups your therapist serves. All family therapy sessions take place over live video, which you can access through your Amwell account on your web browser or through the Amwell app on your phone or tablet. 

Our survey results from Amwell users were unusually glowing. Ninety percent of people surveyed said they had an overall positive experience with Amwell and 78% would recommend Amwell to a friend. 

Plans & Pricing

With Amwell, you pay per 45-minute session. Rates for online family therapy are the same as any other type of therapy; there’s no upcharge.

  • $109 per session with a master’s-level therapist
  • $129 per session with a doctoral-level therapist

Amwell also accepts health insurance, which may lower your family’s costs further. Amwell does not offer any free consultations before starting paid sessions. Most people we surveyed said they found Amwell to be affordable, and 88% said it was good value for their money.

Best for Christian Families : Faithful Counseling


  • Price: $240 to $400 per month out of pocket
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No. Can provide bills for insurance claims
Why We Chose It 

Faithful Counseling connects families with licensed therapists who are prepared to provide counsel grounded in your shared Christian faith.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Therapists agree to a Christian statement of faith

  • Can request therapist with experience in family issues

  • Available nationwide

Cons
  • No insurance accepted

  • Sessions generally not eligible for out-of-network benefits

Overview

It can be difficult to find licensed mental health providers who are willing and able to integrate their Christian faith into sessions, but that’s not so at Faithful Counseling. Launched by BetterHelp in 2018, Faithful Counseling’s goal is to link people who want their mental health care provider to counsel them from a Christian point of view.  

Every part of the process at Faithful Counseling aims to take your relationship to Christ into account. During signup, you’ll have the option to share your Christian denomination, how long faith has been important to you, and the frequency of prayer in your life. You’ll also be able to note the way you want religion to show up in your therapy: Would you like mental health therapy from a Christian perspective, spiritual therapy on primarily faith-based matters, or holistic therapy that combines both? Therapists themselves have agreed to the four core tenets articulated in the Statement of Faith on the Faithful Counseling website. These tenents  are inspired by Paul’s appeal for unity in 1 Corinthians 1:10

While Faithful Counseling’s website does not directly mention family therapy, it does appear to offer it. There are a number of ways to signal your interest in online family counseling services. When you sign up, you’ll have the opportunity to request a therapist who has experience in relationship issues, family conflicts, and intimacy-related issues, in addition to other areas. You can also name areas you’d like to focus on in therapy, and many of the choices reflect common challenges for families, including communication problems, control issues, forgiveness, caregiver issues and stress, pregnancy and childbirth, divorce and separation, attachment issues, money, and financial issues, and sexuality. 

The process of signing up for, scheduling, and attending therapy takes place on Faithful Counseling’s unique website and app. All Faithful Counseling providers are licensed therapists, and there are providers available in all 50 states able to work with clients aged 13 and older. Faithful Counseling does not provide any psychiatry or medication management, so if you’re looking for a virtual family therapist that will make it easier to access mental health medication, you might prefer another service. 

The therapy format at Faithful Counseling is flexible. You can message your therapist anytime or schedule live chat, live video, and live phone sessions. For live sessions, you’ll have your choice between 30- and 45-minute lengths. While the shorter sessions may be easier to fit into your schedule, they may be too brief if you have multiple family members attending.

Overall, the people we surveyed were happy with their Faithful Counseling experience: 87% said they felt positively about their experience with Faithful Counseling.

Plans and Pricing

Faithful Counseling uses a membership-style model, which includes one therapy session per week and unlimited messaging. Its website includes a range of weekly rates, which are billed in a lump sum every four weeks. To receive therapy with Faithful Counseling you will pay $240 to $360 every four weeks.

Where your cost will fall within that range depends on your location, preferences, and therapist availability, according to Faithful Counseling’s website. In many practices, family therapy is more expensive than individual therapy, and that may be the case here as well.

Faithful Counseling does not accept health insurance. While many other online therapy options that don’t take insurance are still eligible for out-of-network insurance reimbursements, it’s important to note that services from Faithful Counseling are not generally covered by health insurance, according to its website. This appears to be because its offerings lean more toward spiritual care than mental health care. Perhaps this is why only 39% of the Faithful Counseling users we surveyed said it was affordable or very affordable. Even though the cost may have felt high, the majority of those users told us that Faithful Counseling was worth it to them: 73% said the service provided good value for the money. 

Compare the Best Online Family Therapy of 2022

Overall Rating Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Accepts Hsa Or Fsa
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Thriveworks Best Overall $39 per month session fee plus a variable session-by-session rate Yes N/A Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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Little Otter Best for Families With Young Kids $90 for a 30-minute “Welcome Session”, $200 for one 45-minute sessions Yes N/A Family Therapy, Teen Counseling Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Wellnite Best for Families With Teens $450 per month to $3510 per year Yes N/A Individual Therapy, Medication Management Live Chat, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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LifeStance Health Best for Postpartum Depression or Anxiety $150 to $400 per session Yes N/A Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Psychiatry N/A Learn More
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Kip Therapy Best for LGBTQIA+ Families $95 to $250 per session No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement N/A Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Amwell Most Affordable + Best Flexibility $109 to $279 Yes N/A Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Video Chat Learn More
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Faithful Counseling Best for Christian Families $240 to $400 per month out of pocket No. Can provide bills for insurance claims N/A N/A N/A Learn More
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Final Verdict

When it comes to online family therapy, there are more options than ever. Some companies specialize in supporting individuals with particular identities, like Kip Therapy for LGBTQIA+ folks and Faithful Counseling for Christians. Others, like Little Otter, focus on certain age groups. But for most people, the best online family therapy provider is Thriveworks. 

Thriveworks dominates across a range of metrics that matter most. Its website makes it easy to search for therapists who are trained to help families. Providers accept lots of insurance plans. Even without insurance, out-of-pocket costs are competitive. But what really sets Thriveworks apart is the quality of its therapists. The users we surveyed were overwhelmingly positive about the providers they found at Thriveworks, making it an ideal first place to look for a virtual family counselor.

Compare the Best Online Family Therapy

Company Price App Available Platforms Insurance
Rethink My Therapy
Best Overall
$99 per month for single plan; $129 per month for couples plan; $159 per month for family/children plan No Live video and audio, messaging No
TeenCounseling
Best for Improving Communication 
$60–$90 per week Yes Live chat, phone, and video No
Kip Therapy
Best for Gender Identity Issues
$95–$250 per session No Video, phone, in-person in New York City office No
Talkspace
Best Flexibility
$69-$129 per week Yes Live video, chat, audio, unlimited messaging Yes
Thriveworks
Best on a Budget
$15–$40 per session with insurance; $65–$140 per session without insurance; $39 enrollment fee No Video, phone, in-person in 300+ locations Yes
MyCounselor.Online
Best for Christians
$55–$195 per session No Video, phone No

Guide for Choosing the Best Online Family Therapy

Is Online Family Therapy Worth It?

Online family therapy can be a worthwhile investment in your family’s mental health. Family therapy might be worth it for you if:

  • Your family is in a difficult season, dealing with stressful issues like grief, health challenges, financial problems, or infidelity 
  • Your family is changing because of birth, adoption, divorce, or remarriage
  • Members of your family are fighting with each other
  • A substance use or addiction issue is impacting the family
  • You notice your child struggling with their mental health

There are particular benefits to accessing family therapy online. Virtual family counseling might be right for you if:

  • You have a busy schedule
  • You have a hard time seeing a family therapist in person
  • Members of your family don’t live near each other
  • Local therapists have long waitlists 
  • Your current family counselor isn’t working for your current needs

Online family therapy is a virtual type of online counseling that can help family members improve communication, resolve conflicts, and address mental health or substance abuse issues that can impact home and family life.

Specifically, online family therapy, like in-person family therapy, can help family members identify problems, develop coping and communication skills, and strengthen relationships. 

For example, a 2019 study found that family therapy helped improve different areas of family functioning to help teens who were experiencing mental health problems. A 2018 review found that family therapy could be useful in treating adult-focused problems, including relationship distress, intimate partner violence, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis, alcohol issues, and adjustment to chronic physical illness.

“Many [of my] clients have expressed finding it beneficial to be able to be in their own space, wrapped in their own cozy blanket, sitting on their own couch while processing challenging emotions or memories,” says Samantha Kingma, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Arizona. “[Online] family and couples therapy have the potential to be even more impactful, because you are able to talk through the conflict or relationship stresses in the exact location where you will continue to interact throughout the week.”

For families with teens, in particular, online therapy may also be beneficial. A 2016 study of teens in Australia found that 72% of adolescents said they would access online therapy if they experienced a mental health problem and required support. 

Of course, as with any therapy, finding an online therapist who is the right fit for the family members is essential. Research has shown that the relationship between the therapist and the client is a reliable predictor of the outcome of therapy. “Connecting online can feel different than an in-person connection, and you will want to find someone who you can form a therapeutic relationship with without ever meeting in person,” says Kingma. 

If your family is facing challenges impacting daily functioning, experiencing extreme emotional reactions, or suffering from a communication breakdown, family therapy may be right for you. And if you’re finding that in-person therapy sessions are hard to manage, online family therapy may be helpful. 

“Many clients are finding that dealing with traffic, parking, and sitting in a waiting room are actually elements that increase their stress prior to a therapy appointment,” says Kingma. “Obviously, the goal of therapy typically involves reducing stress, so when online therapy allows us to do the same work without these added stresses, it is a real win.”

When searching for an online family therapy provider that’s right for your family, it’s important to consider these factors:

  • Cost: While some providers accept insurance, many health plans don’t cover telehealth or online therapy. Check with your health plan provider before booking or scheduling your first consultation. 
  • Therapy methods and platforms: Determine if group therapy sessions are essential for your family, or if you would prefer separate sessions for parents and children. Research the online therapy service to see what communication methods are available and which your family would be most comfortable with. Some teens may be more comfortable with messaging and live chat than audio and video, while some families may prefer the face-to-face interaction of live video conferencing.
  • Medication management: If you’re dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, it’s also important to determine if the online therapy companies you’re considering offer prescription medication services.
  • Services for teens and children: Check if the online therapy provider serves minors. Some companies also offer services, especially for teens, which is important if you’re looking to address issues specific to them, such as eating disorders, bullying, grief due to divorce, or stress.

To avoid possible technical difficulties, check your internet connection in advance or ensure that your audio and microphone are working properly. Before your first session, find a safe, comfortable, and quiet space where you can easily talk and share with family members. 

“If a family or couple is feeling safe enough to be in a separate room from their therapist while they work through issues or concerns, online therapy could be a great fit,” says Kingma. “But if any member of the family or couple is feeling physically or emotionally unsafe, and would feel more comfortable working through difficult topics in the physical presence of a therapist, online therapy may not be the right option.”

How Do I Compare Online Family Therapy Options?

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing which online therapy is best. These include:

  • Price: The cost of working with online family therapy providers (at least the ones listed in this review) ranges from roughly $99 to $300 per session if you are paying out of pocket. Factors like where you live, the training your therapist has, and the length of your session all impact the price. You may have to weigh the value of these factors for you and your family against your budget. While it can sometimes be the case that you get what you pay for, good therapy is also about a good fit between therapist and client. Being willing to work with a therapist earlier in their career or shop around a little may help you find a good fit at a lower price point. 
  • Insurance: Many insurance plans now cover telehealth just like they cover in-person healthcare, and all insurance plans are federally required to cover mental health services. An increasing number of virtual family counseling companies accept insurance, making it more affordable than ever for families to receive mental healthcare online. Even if you opt to work with an online family therapist that doesn’t accept your insurance, your plan may still end up reducing your cost if you have out-of-network benefits. You can request documentation, sometimes called a superbill, to make it easier to get reimbursed by your insurance company.  
  • Financial assistance: The prices listed are not always set in stone. Many online family counseling services offer financial assistance in the form of sliding scales and pro bono work. If cost is a barrier to accessing therapy, it is worth contacting customer support or asking your therapist directly about financial assistance options. 
  • Areas of expertise: Different therapists have different expertise. To make sure your virtual family therapist is a match for the issues you’d like help with, you have a few options, which vary from company to company. Many companies offering virtual family counseling services will ask you to select the concerns you have during the therapist selection or intake process. Others make it simple to search for therapists with particular subject expertise on their website. Many therapists list their specialties in their online bios. 
  • Scheduling: Ease of scheduling commonly drives people to online therapy, according to the users we surveyed. At many companies, it’s possible to schedule your appointments using an online scheduler, just like you might book a haircut. A number of these companies still allow scheduling the old-fashioned way, by making arrangements directly with your therapist at the end of the session.
  • Location: Online therapy can allow you to work with therapists you couldn’t visit easily in person, but your choices will still be constrained somewhat by your location. There is no national license for mental health therapists in the United States. Instead, therapists are licensed to practice in one or more states. To work with a licensed mental health therapist, you and your family must be in the state or states where your therapist is licensed to practice 
  • Session format: Online therapy can be delivered in a variety of formats including text messaging, live chat, phone calls, and video calls. Which you choose depends on what is available and what makes sense given the people participating in therapy. Research suggests that both phone calls and video therapy can be effective. Text messaging and live chat, however, are newer methods and have not been studied as much. One study indicated that teens, in particular, may enjoy using text- or chat-based therapy, but therapists have concerns about its efficacy
  • Ease of switching therapists: One benefit of online therapy is that it can be easier to switch therapists if things aren’t working out. Some companies make this process more painless than others, including by making it simple to see information about possible therapists before you commit to a session.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online Family Therapy More Affordable Than In-Person Therapy?

Online family therapy can be more affordable than in-person sessions. If you are paying out-of-pocket, deciding to work with an online family therapist may mean selecting from a larger pool of therapists, giving you a better chance of finding someone who works within your budget. Most insurance companies cover telemedicine visits, including virtual counseling services, the same as in-person visits. With family therapy online, you may also experience cost savings related to decreased need for transportation or time off work.

Are Online Family Therapists Certified?

Many online family therapists are certified just like in-person family therapists. Online family therapists who are licensed marriage and family therapists have completed advanced training in family therapy. These practitioners hold a master’s or doctoral degree and have credentials that vary by state, including MFT, LMFT, and LAMFT. Some licensed online therapists may have substantial experience with families without a distinct marriage and family therapist license. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Online Family Therapy?

The disadvantages of online family therapy are similar to the disadvantages of other types of online therapy. Research is still emerging on best practices for online family therapy. Related research, however, suggests that there may be concerns related to privacy, therapist comfort with technology, technology problems, and the therapist’s ability to respond in an emergency situation.

How Long Should I Be in Family Therapy?

How long you should be in family therapy depends on your situation. In many cases, family therapy is designed to be brief and oriented around addressing a specific goal or problem. The average duration of family therapy is 12 sessions, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Methodology

Our methodology for determining the best online therapy providers is research-informed. We investigated a pool of 55 virtual counseling companies. Our team tested the therapy services and compared survey data from 105 users of each company to get a thorough, in-depth understanding of each company's offerings. For this review, we considered virtual therapy providers who offer online family therapy, a specific type of therapy not available at all companies. 

We did a deep dive to examine how therapy works at each company, assessing factors like where they operate, ease of use, website and app functionality, demonstrated expertise, quantified results, and quality of therapists. Each family is unique, so to make sure our review really reflects the best online counseling options for most families, we analyzed the responses from our 116-question survey with special weight to factors related to broad satisfaction, including questions about how users rate the company overall and whether they would recommend it. 

Because cost is a deciding factor for many families, we also paid particular attention to affordability metrics. These include the out-of-pocket price, whether insurance is accepted, and whether our surveys indicate that users believe the companies provide good value for money.

This multi-method approach provides both broad and deep context for investigating the best virtual family counseling services.

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 Emily P.G. Erickson
Emily P.G. Erickson is a journalist specializing in mental health and parenting. Her writing has appeared in major digital publications, including Everyday Health, Health, Motherly, The New York Times, Reviewed, Romper, Scary Mommy, WIRED, and more. A former mental health researcher, she holds a master’s degree in psychology.

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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 mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

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April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Verywell Mind, VErywell Family, Verywell, Fit, Verywell Health, Time, Parents, Parents Magazine, The Straits Times, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

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