Best Online Therapy

Talkspace is our top pick for the best online therapy

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In the age of remote working and busy family life, therapy and therapists have adapted to the changing landscape. There are more options than ever to see a therapist virtually, which can be more efficient and accessible for both the therapists and the patients. With online therapy, individual adults, teens, children, couples, families, and groups can all see a therapist from the comfort of home and can choose from a variety of therapeutic methods, often including psychiatry and medication management. 

To find a therapist that suits your family’s needs, you may look at a variety of factors including your child’s age, the type of therapy you want, or the particular makeup of your family. However, with the plethora of companies and directories available, finding the right path to get your family the mental health care you need can be overwhelming. We researched 55 providers, surveying over 100 users of each and testing many ourselves, to help break down the best online therapy companies to suit all kinds of family needs.  

Best Online Therapy of 2023

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 : Talkspace


  • Price: $276 - $516 monthly
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Talkspace had the most versatile and best reviewed services of our online therapy providers, including child and family therapy, psychiatry, and couples and individual therapy. Users we surveyed liked the therapy and therapist choices, as well as the flexibility offered by the services. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Many types of therapy offered

  • Accepts insurance 

  • Psychiatry and medication management offered 

Cons
  • Not for small children

  • Can be expensive, especially with additional services

  • Individual subscriptions means family therapy and multiple services can get cumbersome

Overview

Talkspace was our clear overall winner due to the wide range of services offered, including therapy for teens, adults, and families. Additionally, therapy is available via both live video sessions and text-based exchanges to better fit the communication style and schedules of multiple family members.

Our testers especially liked the variety of therapists at Talkspace and felt they were able to find someone they identified with in terms of background and culture. The search filters made it easy to filter for insurance, location, and other qualifiers to find the best therapy fit for their needs and budget. Sign-up was easy, with plenty of information upfront about what to expect and the therapists and types of therapy offered. 

Younger clients and busy parents appreciate the variety of communication methods at Talkspace. And beyond individual therapy for adults and teens, Talkspace offers psychiatry, medication management, and couples therapy. There’s an assessment prior to signing up to help you figure out the level of support you or your family needs. 

Plans & Pricing 

Talkspace has several different plans to choose from. Note: These are starting prices.

  • Messaging therapy: $69 per week; message your therapist anytime (you're guaranteed a response on weekdays)
  • Video + messaging therapy: $99 per week; includes a scheduled video session and messaging
  • Video + messaging + workshops: $109 per week; includes messaging, a live video session, and workshops
  • Psychiatry: $249 for an initial evaluation, $125 per session for follow-ups; additional bundling with other services available
  • Couples: $396 per month and up, depending on location
User Satisfaction 

Talkspace seems to get many things right in terms of making its clients happy. Overall, 50% of the users we surveyed said they would stick with their therapist after 6 months to a year of use. What’s more, 75% would use Talkspace again if they needed to seek therapy again; a whopping 97% of people who tried it said the company was better than other services they’ve tried.

Best for Couples : ReGain


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

ReGain specializes in couples-focused therapy, and according to our reviewers, does it well. The company also offers individual counseling that focuses on relationships. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Text-based platform is very convenient 

  • Specializes in relationships

  • High patient retention rate

Cons
  • Does not take insurance

  • Prescriptions not available 

Overview

ReGain provides relationship-focused therapy to couples and individuals, making it a great choice for parents who want to focus on their core relationship as well as issues relating to parenting. Therapy is offered via video, phone and chat-based interaction. In between sessions, clients can message their therapist directly and receive a response within 24 hours Monday through Friday.

The therapists at ReGain have master’s or doctorate degrees in therapy and specialize in helping people with relationships. This often comes in the form of couples counseling, but can also be for other types of relationships between adults. ReGain advises people who are in crisis or experiencing abuse in their relationship not to seek this kind of therapy. 

Plans & Pricing 

ReGain's plans cost between $60 and $90 a week, depending on location and therapist availability. ReGain bills monthly via credit card or PayPal and users can cancel at any time. 

User Satisfaction 

Nearly half of surveyed users said they wanted to stick with their ReGain therapist after six months. In all, 84% ranked the company positively compared to other services they’ve used in the past. Additionally, 87% of users found sign-up easy or very easy, and 80% said it was a good value for their money.

Best for Families : Little Otter


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

Little Otter is one of the only online therapy companies on the market that can serve children under the age of 10. The service is beloved by users for its accessible, kid-friendly interface. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Treats kids from birth to age 14

  • Medication management available 

  • Also offers adult and couples counseling 

Cons
  • New company, so less experience 

  • Not available in all states

  • Limited therapist options 

Overview 

Little Otter is one of the only online therapy options that serves young children 14 and under. The company focuses on families, with services available for children, parents, guardians, grandparents, and anyone else important in a child's life. Little Otter strives to look at the whole family as a way to help each member thrive. Even if you are located outside of a state Little Otter serves, the website offers a wealth of information, including a blog on raising children and the mental health concerns many parents face. It is worth noting, however, that the company does not offer treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

Because it’s a newer provider, Little Otter is not available in all states, nor does it have a huge roster of providers. The company does not accept insurance (except some Kaiser Permanente plans), but does offer a free 30-minute consultation. However, clients we surveyed were happy with the care. Users especially appreciated the responsiveness of the therapists. 

Plans & Pricing 

After an initial $90 intro session, you'll pay:

  • $200 per standard 45-minute therapy session, or $400 for a 90-minute session
  • $540 for an assessment bundle, which is an assessment plus one therapy session
  • $2.040 for 12 standard therapy sessions ($30 off per session)
User Satisfaction 

Overall, 75% of surveyed users rated their experience at Little Otter good, very good, or excellent. If users stopped therapy, more than half of them did so because they were feeling better and didn’t feel the need to continue seeing their therapist or they met their specific therapeutic goals. What’s more, 70% of users were generally positive about the diversity in the providers and rated Little Otter among the top services they’d tried. More than half of survey respondents said they would recommend this service to a friend.

Best for Children and Teens : Thriveworks


  • Price: Session rate varies by provider; $99 per session if not using insurance
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Thriveworks has a variety of therapy options and is often in-network with insurance, so you pay only copays for sessions. There are many therapy options and therapist choices, making it one of the most versatile options for families with growing kids. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Takes many insurance plans

  • Large network of providers licensed in many locations

  • Medication management available 

Cons
  • Services vary based on location

  • Prices and services vary based on insurance coverage

  • Counselors, not doctors, at most locations

Overview

Thriveworks offers options for both online and in-person therapy, along with psychiatry and medication management. Online therapy options include video and telephone counseling for adults, couples, families, children (ages 10 and up), and teens, as well as group therapy. Providers can treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and more. 

Between sessions, Thriveworks members can communicate with providers via email, phone, and the app. Some, but not all, providers accept Medicaid and there’s a 23.5 hour cancellation policy for appointments. While there is a monthly subscription fee, the company does accept most major and minor health insurance carriers. For those without insurance, there is a flat $99 fee per session.

Thriveworks also offers medication management.

Plans & Pricing 

Per session, price varies depending on your insurance coverage. For those without insurance, there is a flat $99 fee.

User Satisfaction 

Overall, 82% of users we surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with Thriveworks’ choice of therapists, and 88% rated the therapists’ qualifications as good to excellent. In addition, 70% of respondents said they would use Thriveworks again if they needed to search for a new provider, and 86% said Thriveworks compared favorably to services they had used in the past. 

Best for College Students : Mantra Health


  • Price: Initial sessions are free for sponsored students. Following sessions cost $90-125 for therapy, and $125-$180 for psychiatry
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes. Only certain providers at present.
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Mantra Health primarily serves colleges and universities to provide personalized healthcare to students. The service works with in-person counseling centers to provide accessible care to students as well as the general public. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Aligned with the changing landscape of higher education

  • Accepts insurance

  • Psychiatry services available

Cons
  • Does not accept all insurance plans 

  • Cannot prescribe controlled substances

Overview

Mantra Health is committed to providing diverse therapists for college and university students. The service was the first of its kind to work with existing on-campus centers to create a digital space for students to receive online therapy. Even though Mantra focuses on providing care to students at universities across the country, its psychiatry and therapy services are currently available to the general public in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.

The company offers assessments, diagnoses, and therapy. From there, the focus is on lifestyle changes and progress tracking to help students succeed in class and out. The company offers 24/7 messaging—which suits college students who often keep weird hours—and video appointments, which can be done from the privacy of a dorm room. 

While Mantra Health doctors and nurse practitioners can prescribe medication, they cannot prescribe controlled substances such as Adderall and Ritalin, which are often used for ADHD, or benzodiazepines, such as Xanax or Klonopin, which are often used for panic attacks and anxiety. While college students often misuse these drugs, they may also be necessary for students with serious mental health conditions. These patients will need to have their medications managed elsewhere. 

Plans & Pricing 

Prices vary based on insurance coverage. Without insurance, an initial 60-minute therapy session is $125, and subsequent 45-minute appointments cost $90. For psychiatry, an initial 60-minute appointment is $180; follow-ups last 30 minutes, for $125.

User Satisfaction 

In our survey, 90% of users reported they were satisfied with their experience at Mantra. While almost half of the patients were still seeing their provider after a year, most users who discontinued therapy did so because they no longer needed therapy or felt they reached their therapeutic goals. In addition, 86% rated the therapists' qualifications positively, 81% rated the therapists' diversity positively, and 70% of people said they would recommend Mantra Health to a friend. 

Best Directory for BIPOC Families : Zencare


Why We Chose It

Founded by two BIPOC women, Zencare strives to create an inclusive space for patients who seek mental health care. The directory helps patients find a culturally sensitive therapist who fits their specific mental health needs. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Many options for therapy and therapists

  • Good search filters 

  • Inclusive mission statement 

Cons
  • Not available in all states

  • No centralized pricing or care

  • Standard of care may vary 

Overview 

Zencare is a therapist database, not a therapy company, but it is more curated than other directories in that it is on a mission to provide quality care to patients from diverse communities. The types of therapy vary by therapist, but Zencare provides filters so you can search for individual therapy in various modalities, couples counseling, treatment centers, group therapy, psychiatry, family therapy, and medication management, among other specialties. 

You can choose your provider based on the usual filters such as insurance and location, but also by race, ethnicity, religion, and gender identity. The Zencare team vets each clinician to make sure they are qualified for their target patients. The clinicians also have to submit quizzes and reviews from clients to maintain their listing in the system. 

Plans & Pricing 

Because of the wide range of therapists listed, there is no centralized pricing information; fees vary by provider. Unlike some competitors, Zencare does not charge a membership fee. 

User Satisfaction 

Zencare scored highly among patients seeking inclusive care and performed particularly well among people who wanted help with parenting-related mental health concerns. Overall, 90% of users rated the service good or very good. In addition, 84% said they would use Zencare again if they needed a new therapist, while 72% are still using their Zencare therapist. 

Most LGBTQIA+ Friendly Directory : TherapyDen


Why We Chose It 

TherapyDen helps patients find a therapist that is the right fit for them based on more than just location and insurance information. It supports therapy seekers in their search for an inclusive, identity-affirming therapist. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • More search filters than other databases 

  • Spotlight on the LGBTQIA+ community 

  • Blog with articles on mental health topics

Cons
  • Not an online therapy company

  • Smaller company, so sometimes customer service is slower

  • Therapists can join for free, which means there's less vetting

Overview

TherapyDen is an online therapy directory that lists independent therapists nationwide who provide individual, couples, family, or group therapy, including services for children and teens. TherapyDen also lists practitioners who can provide diagnoses and medication management. Like most directories, to find a therapist using TherapyDen, you can set the search parameters to reflect your insurance provider, the type of service you are looking for, and your location. What makes TherapyDen stand out is that you can also choose from many other filters, including a long list of specialties and identities, to help you find the best fit for you.

Best of all, you can also specify if you’d like your therapist to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and choose from a menu of gender identities that include gender fluid and trans/nonbinary. In addition, you can choose from a long list of religious faiths you’d like your provider to be familiar with.  

While the company’s mission statement is inclusive and on the right track, it does boast that therapists can join and create profiles for free. This is good for therapists, but could muddy the waters for clients who want a more curated list. 

Plans & Pricing

The TherapyDen directory is free to use. Therapist prices vary by location and insurance coverage. Search filters show a range of $0 to $500 per session.

User Satisfaction 

In our survey, 80% of respondents rated TherapyDen as good or very good for helping them find a therapist. In addition, 75% of users said the website was easy to use, and that they would use the service again to find a new provider, if needed. More than half of our reviewers are still using the therapist they found using TherapyDen and found the choices to be diverse. 

Best for Psychiatry : Talkiatry


  • Price: Depends on your insurance
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Talkiatry scored highly in all categories, but is by far the best choice for medication management and psychiatric services because of its availability, variety of services, and high-quality providers. It specializes in psychiatry, but also provides supplemental therapy. 

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Accepts insurance

  • All in-house and centralized

  • Talk to a real person, not a chat or bot 

Cons
  • Cannot treat all conditions 

  • Not available in all states 

Overview

Talkiatry specializes in psychiatry and provides assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plans, which can often include medication management and supplemental therapy. Communication is easy on Talkiatry's app, which is where you'll access your live appointments, as well as messaging between appointments, scheduling, and medication information.

Some practitioners are licensed to treat children as young as 5 years old. All practitioners are board-certified, or eligible, and are either psychiatrists or psychiatric nurse practitioners. They coordinate with therapists and other members of your care team. 

Plans & Pricing

Because insurance is accepted, pricing varies based on your plan. Medicare is accepted.

User Satisfaction

Users were overwhelmingly satisfied with Talkiatry: 95% rated their experience good, very good, or excellent. Nearly 60% are still using their therapist a year after beginning treatment. What’s more, 87% of users said they would recommend Talkitary to a friend, with 84% saying it’s better than services they’ve used in the past, and 70% saying they would use Talkiatry again if they needed to find a new psychiatrist.  

Most Affordable Without Insurance : Teladoc


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

Teladoc is one of the highest-rated online therapy providers on the market and works with many insurance providers, as well as self-pay patients. It has options for medication management and psychiatry as well, making it one of the most versatile services for the price. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Works with or without insurance

  • Provides therapy and medication management 

  • Lower prices per session than other providers

Cons
  • Cannot manage medication for minors

  • Can treat teens for therapy but not young children individually

  • Cannot prescribe controlled substances

Overview 

Teladoc has one of the highest ratings of the online therapy choices we surveyed, and is a good choice no matter your budget. However, the service particularly excels with patients who want to use self-pay or who do not have insurance. Teladoc’s therapists and counselors provide a wide range of therapies, with different methodologies including individual behavior therapy and couples counseling. Psychiatrists are available to diagnose and treat conditions requiring medication, though they cannot prescribe controlled substances such as Adderall or Xanax, which may limit some patients’ needs. 

Teladoc is one of the older and bigger companies out there, which means it has already overcome some of the problems plaguing other digital healthcare companies. This is both a pro and con: it means you can use the service for all your telehealth needs, but it also makes the website more difficult to navigate than other companies that only offer counseling and therapy. Once they found a therapist, though, users were very happy and felt they received high-quality care.

Plans & Pricing

Teladoc takes many insurance plans, but without insurance, therapy sessions are $99 each. For psychiatry services, an initial consultation is $299 and follow-ups are $119. There is no membership or subscription fee.

User Satisfaction 

Overall, 97% of users rated Teladoc positively, our highest rating. What’s more, 94% thought the therapists were highly qualified and 90% felt generally positive about the diversity of the therapists. Finally, 86% of surveyed users said they would recommend Teladoc to a friend. 

Best Directory for Families : Psychology Today


Why We Chose It

While there are many therapy directories out there, Psychology Today lists the most child- and family-serving mental health providers.

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Biggest selection

  • Variety of filter criteria

  • Up-to-date availability 

Cons
  • Directory not curated

  • Less specialized to specific populations

  • Can’t filter for online therapy only

Overview 

Insurance companies often point patients looking for a therapist to the Psychology Today directory, because it’s most likely to have current data on whether providers are accepting new clients and which insurance plans they take. That means busy families won’t feel like they’re wasting their time looking for a therapist who’s a perfect fit, only to find them unavailable.

You start by choosing whether you want to find a therapist, psychiatrist, treatment center, or support group. From there, you can filter by specific issues and types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or play therapy. Most therapists offer online therapy, but one drawback of the site is that it doesn’t have a filter to specify this. So you might find someone you like, and then discover they only schedule in-person appointments. 

Plans & Pricing

This database is free to use and you can search for therapists who offer sessions anywhere from under $90 to above $130, as well as clinicians who use a sliding fee scale. 

User Satisfaction 

Psychology Today’s directory gets a high overall user satisfaction rating of 85%. In addition, 88% of users found the website easy or very easy to navigate, and 68% of people found a therapist that met all their needs without needing to compromise. 

Compare the Best Online Therapy of 2023

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Talkspace Best Overall $276 - $516 monthly Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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ReGain Best for Couples $240-$360+ per month No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Little Otter Best for Families $90 for a 30-minute “Welcome Session”, $200 for one 45-minute sessions Yes No Children's Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Teen Counseling Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Thriveworks Best for Children and Teens Session rate varies by provider; $99 per session if not using insurance Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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Mantra Health Best for College Students Initial sessions are free for sponsored students. Following sessions cost $90-125 for therapy, and $125-$180 for psychiatry Yes. Only certain providers at present. Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Zencare Best Directory for BIPOC Families N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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TherapyDen Most LGBTQIA+ Friendly Directory N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Talkiatry Best for Psychiatry Depends on your insurance Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Video Chat Learn More
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Teladoc Most Affordable Without Insurance $0-$299 Yes No Psychiatry Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Psychology Today Best Directory for Families N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Final Verdict

There are many good choices for online therapy. We selected Talkspace as best overall over more decentralized companies, such as Thriveworks, because of its commitment to helping families get the best care using the communication method that most suits their needs. By including therapy and medication management in one digital space, the company makes it easy for families to coordinate care. If you're looking for a platform that's more affordable without insurance, Teladoc may be a good option.

Companies We Considered That Didn’t Make Our List

Some companies that didn’t make our list have failed to meet consumer needs. BetterHelp is a big name in online therapy, but only 86% of our users rated it good, very good, or excellent, as opposed to our top choices, which were rated in the upper 90s. BetterHelp also sells a lot of its clients’ private information and owns Pride Counseling, which serves the LGBTQIA+ population, and Teen Counseling, which serves teens and their parents. Therefore, we omitted all three companies. Additionally, Ayana Therapy has a great reputation for adults who want a therapist in the BIPOC community, but it only serves adults. 

Guide to Choosing Online Therapy 

How Does Online Therapy Work?

Online therapy can take on a few different forms, depending on what type of therapy the patient is receiving. For individual adult or teen therapy, it might work much like a face-to-face therapy session, except the therapist is in their office, and the patient is at home in front of their computer or phone. Couples seeking therapy might meet in a room on one screen while the therapist meets in their own office, or couples might meet in separate rooms, making the total number of screens three. 

For family therapy, sometimes clients will be in a room together or in separate homes or rooms. Children in online therapy sometimes sit with a parent in the room, especially if they are young and don’t know how to work the technology. Older children may choose to be in their own space. 

Often the therapist will have a HIPAA-compliant Zoom or Google meeting invite sent before the meeting. Some online therapy systems have their own video or phone portals for therapy sessions. Others use healthcare-specific platforms like Doxy.me

Some online therapy text only, either in a specific “room” on the company website or as text messages or emails with your provider. Phone or audio-only therapy sessions are also an option at many companies. The terms of your communication with your provider should be made clear before you begin treatment. 

Is Online Therapy Appropriate for Families?

Online therapy is a great choice for families and is sometimes preferable to in-person therapy for a few reasons. “Online therapy increases service accessibility for many populations, including those who don't live close to a clinic (clients in rural areas) and those who have transportation issues,” says Amy Marschall, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist who is certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and telemental health and who works primarily with children and adolescents. 

“For families specifically, online therapy makes service more accessible because parents don't have to transport kids to the session (this can be difficult, especially for large families), and if only some family members have sessions, they don't need to figure out childcare for the rest of the family," Dr. Marschall says. Going online makes the process easier.

What to Consider When Choosing an Online Therapy Company

When selecting an online therapy company, it’s important to consider many factors. Communication style preference is one of the most important. Perhaps a text-based approach would work best if your family prefers to only communicate via text. If you have small children, a provider experienced in communicating with young kids via video is important. 

The type of therapy offered is a consideration as well. Many types of therapy work just as well online as they do in person. Group therapy or family therapy might be more convenient if you are trying to coordinate schedules and locations of busy people. Logging onto a home computer is easier than traveling to an in-person appointment. 

Your insurance plan and budget should be a factor. Many online therapy companies take insurance or offer a superbill which you can submit for reimbursement. Always find out ahead of time what your financial responsibility will be so there are no surprises. 

Many online therapy companies offer medication management if you require a prescription. However, some cannot prescribe common controlled substances like those often used for ADHD or anxiety. Make sure the medications you take are covered by any potential teletherapy providers. 

There are many types of therapists. A psychiatrist has been to medical school and can prescribe medication; so can a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Many therapists and counselors have master’s degrees and their credentials vary based on the type of program they attended and their state of licensure. Some therapists have PhDs or PsyDs, doctorates in their field, but they cannot prescribe. Knowing the right type of therapist for your needs might seem confusing. It’s a good idea to read the therapists’ bios to get a sense of their experience and areas of focus. Some online therapy companies offer guidance in helping you choose the right type of provider for your needs, and some even match you to a provider. 

If you or a member of your family belongs to a historically marginalized group, such as being a person of color, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, or a member of a religious group, you may want to seek out a therapist who is also part of that community, or explicitly states they are inclusive and affirming. Many online companies give you search options with these filters. 

What Are Signs My Child or Teen Could Benefit From Therapy?

Therapy is good for everyone, but there are some specific signs that a child or teen might benefit from therapy. Dr. Marschall says the main sign is “Any big change in behavior or emotions can be a sign that someone would benefit from therapy.” You know your child best and know when something is off.

“Other signs that therapy might be beneficial include: they've dealt with a big change or life stressor, their grades have dropped, they seem anxious or scared when they haven't been before, or they are withdrawing from friends or activities they've enjoyed in the past,” she says. If you notice these signs, it’s a good idea to begin looking for help in the form of a mental health professional. 

What Are Signs My Family Could Benefit From Family Therapy?

While we love our families, sometimes a therapist can help address points of conflict or dysfunction. The same reasons you might take a child for individual therapy might be the reasons you may want to engage the entire family in a discussion. If there’s been a major change such as divorce or a big move, or if you’re noticing big behavior changes, it might be a good idea to seek help.  

What Are Signs We Could Benefit From Couples Therapy?

Again, working on communication and connection with your partner with the help of a therapist is something you can do even if you don’t feel you have any conflict at all. “There is no minimum threshold to benefit from therapy, but couples who find themselves miscommunicating or arguing might benefit from therapy,” says Dr. Marschall.  

However, major crises don’t have to dictate beginning couples counseling. Dr. Marschall says, “It can also be beneficial to go even if you don't perceive any big issues to ensure that you are on the same page.” Making time for yourselves as a couple, not just as parents, is an important part of being a functional family unit. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Online Therapists Accept Insurance?

Each company is different in terms of whether it accepts insurance and which insurance companies it contracts with. Some take most major insurance plans and you pay a copay; some take no insurance at all; some bill you via credit card or other payment method, then provide you with a superbill you can submit for reimbursement.

Can Online Therapists Provide An Official Diagnosis?

Yes. Online therapists are licensed by the state and can provide an official diagnosis for various mental health conditions. Often insurance companies require a diagnosis in order to cover mental health treatment.

Can Online Therapists Prescribe Medication?

Sometimes. Psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners can prescribe medication. In order to do so, they will likely need some health information from you and may need to get labs from your primary care physician. Most online therapists cannot prescribe controlled substances such as benzodiazepines and stimulants.

Is Online Therapy for Kids and Families?

Yes. Online therapy is a great choice for kids and families, especially busy people who find it easier to log onto their computer at home than add more commuting time to their day. Many children and teens prefer the communication style of online therapy over in-person sessions.

Methodology

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy and counseling companies is comprehensive and data-driven. To review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users of each. In addition, we examined five additional counseling companies that specialize in treating families, using data collectors to gather more information about them in addition to reading user reviews online. We narrowed down our list by analyzing each company’s offering based on price, specialization, locations served, therapist qualifications, user satisfaction, types of therapy, and value for the cost. 

Read our full online therapy methodology to see how we evaluated each service.

Online Therapy Session

Pressmaster / Getty Images

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.
  1. Pescatello MS, Pedersen TR, Baldwin SA. Treatment engagement and effectiveness of an internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy program at a university counseling center. Psychother Res. 2021;31(5):656-667. doi:10.1080/10503307.2020.1822559

  2. Luo C, Sanger N, Singhal N, et al. A comparison of electronically-delivered and face to face cognitive behavioural therapies in depressive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. eClinMed. 2020;24:100442. doi:10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100442

By Laura Wheatman Hill
Laura Wheatman Hill (she/her) lives in Oregon with her two children. She has a masters of arts in teaching and has taught English, writing, and drama to students in preschool through adulthood. She writes on a wide variety of topics including parenting, health, mental health, lifestyle, finance, and culture. She has been published by Health, Slate, CNN, Real Simple, Parents, and others.

Edited by 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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and Simone Scully
Simone Scully Headshot

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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