Best Online Therapy for Kids

Thriveworks is our pick for the best online therapy for kids

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It can be difficult as a parent to make the decision to seek therapy services for your child, but it’s important to remember that even with the best parenting, kids can still develop mental health issues or need other support.

The preteen and teen years are when many mental health conditions—including depression, anxiety, and impulse-control disorders—first emerge. This is also a crucial stage when young people must learn to navigate conflict with authority, cope with not yet having full control over their lives, and develop their own identities and senses of self.

Luckily, kids these days are less shy when it comes to talking about mental health and seeking in-person or virtual support than they used to be. While online therapy can be more accessible and affordable than traditional therapy (and equally as effective), not all platforms that offer mental health services to minors are equally competent at treating adolescents’ unique psychological needs. To find the best therapy services that offer therapy to minors, we evaluated 55 different companies and 25 therapist directories, surveying over 105 users at each and testing the services ourselves. Here are the services that came out on top in our reviews.

Best Online Therapy for Kids 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 : 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

According to its website, Thriveworks strives to provide “next level” mental health care that offers quality and affordable service to users. Its therapists offer a wide variety of specializations, and many providers are trained specifically in working with children and teens. In addition to therapy services, Thriveworks' clients have access to online resources and can request a referral for psychiatric care if needed.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • In-person and telehealth sessions offered

  • Psychiatry services offered

  • You can choose your therapist or request help with matching

  • Phone and email contact with your therapist between sessions

  • Financial assistance available to help cover membership fee

Cons
  • Clients must pay a membership fee in addition to the cost of sessions

  • Not available in all states

  • Specific pricing information not listed on the website

Overview

Thriveworks has a mission to “help people live happy and successful lives.” Although its is not yet available in all 50 states, it is expanding quickly and offers both telehealth and in-person services.

Thriveworks allows clients to choose their therapist, but the company also offers support and help to ensure you are matched with someone who is a good fit for your needs. In addition, those who want to consider medication as part of their treatment plan can receive psychiatry services directly through Thriveworks and do not need an extra referral.

According to its website, Thriveworks is designed to create the best possible experience for clients, including client comfort, satisfaction, treatment outcomes, and customer service. Scheduling is flexible, and live support is available 24 hours a day. The company also offers a money-back guarantee if a client determines after the first session that Thriveworks is not right for them.

In addition to therapy services, Thriveworks has a mobile app called Therapy Buddy, which offers additional support and resources through a password-protected platform.

Sixty-eight percent of the 105 users we surveyed said the process of finding a therapist was good to great at Thriveworks. Fifty-two percent felt they would still be seeing their therapist in six months. And 90% of users said they had had a good to excellent overall experience.

Plans & Pricing

Thriveworks’s website indicates that your cost depends on your location and method of payment. However, clients who do not use insurance reportedly pay “as low as $99 a session.” The map on the website allows you to check costs based on your specific location, though some locations do not list pricing when you view them.

Users pay $39 a month for membership, which allows for contact with a therapist in between sessions (however, many therapists allow clients to contact them in between sessions without charging a membership fee).

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 offers telehealth services for medication management that is in-network with most insurance plans, making it more accessible and helping prevent interruptions in treatment if your policy changes. The company’s clinicians who specialize in adolescent psychiatry are here to help meet your teen’s unique medication management needs.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free assessment tool to determine treatment needs

  • Pediatric, adolescent, and adult psychiatry offered

  • Flexible scheduling

  • In-network with many insurance plans

  • Specialization in many diagnoses

  • Can prescribe controlled substances

  • Free assessment tool to determine treatment needs

  • Pediatric, adolescent, and adult psychiatry offered

Cons
  • Services not available without insurance

  • Only available in 10 states

Overview

Talkiatry has a simple goal: to connect those who need psychiatric care to competent psychiatrists at convenient times. When our survey was first conducted, Talkiatry was only available in New York state, but it has since extended its service to Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Texas as well. 

For many individuals, medication is an important part of their mental health care. Since only psychiatrists and medical doctors can write prescriptions, this often may mean needing a referral for psychiatric services. Luckily, this isn’t the case with Talkiatry, which makes matching your teen to an appropriate professional simple—no referral required.

When you (the parent or guardian) sign up, you complete a free assessment that helps your treatment team determine your child’s unique needs and symptoms. Your child is then matched to a professional whose specialization is a match for their needs. Although you cannot pick your child’s psychiatrist, Talkiatry allows you to change providers if you or your child feel that the initial match was not a good fit.

Talkiatry’s website is intuitive and easy to use, with thorough and comprehensive FAQs, HIPAA compliance measures, and a strict privacy policy. You and your child will meet with the psychiatrist for the clinical interview, and the provider will answer questions about diagnosis, medication, frequency of appointments, and how much information is shared with the parent or guardian.

All psychiatrists at Talkiatry are board-certified or board-eligible psychiatrists, not general practitioners or physician assistants as at some of the other companies we reviewed. 

The adolescent psychiatrists with the company can address a full range of conditions, including ADHD, trauma, anxiety, and mood disorders. Because Talkiatry’s providers have a diverse range of specializations, your child can continue to use the platform when they outgrow the age ranges treated by their initial clinician.

One distinct advantage the company has over many of its competitors is that it can prescribe controlled substances—though only after a thorough assessment. If you suspect your child has ADHD, depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition, you can use Talkiatry to get an assessment and accurate diagnosis.

Our user survey showed overwhelming positive responses to Talkiatry. Eighty-five percent of the users we surveyed said their prescriber’s bedside manner was excellent, very good, or good. When we asked them what else they liked about their prescriber, 58% said their prescriber really took the time to listen to them, 44% said their prescriber didn’t make them feel rushed during sessions, and 35% found their prescriber to be empathetic and caring. Eighty-seven percent said they would recommend Talkiatry to a friend.

Plans & Pricing

While it does not offer free trials or consultations, Talkiatry offers a free assessment that helps you determine what your treatment needs are. 

Talkiatry is not a subscription service—it is a psychiatric practice—so rather than paying a monthly rate for access to the platform, you’ll just pay for the sessions your child attends. Because Talkiatry is in-network with the biggest insurance providers (including Medicaid and Medicare Part B), your final cost will likely be reduced to the relevant copay(s).

However, the website does not list the self-pay rates for sessions with its clinicians, and the company did not provide any in its responses to our questionnaire, so services through Talkiatry could be expensive if you are uninsured. Still, 77% of current clients who responded to our survey reported finding Talkiatry to be a very good or excellent value.

Best for Flexible Scheduling : Doctor on Demand


  • Price: $129-$179 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Doctor on Demand employs licensed, qualified therapists and psychiatrists to help teens who are coping with anxiety and depression. Confidential, competent care is available at your convenience, wherever you are, and clients can access therapy and psychiatric care from the same platform.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free mental health assessment

  • Medication management available

  • Flexible scheduling

  • Medical services are also available

  • You choose your therapist

Cons
  • No free trial or consultation

  • No discounts or sliding scale fees

  • Only video sessions are offered

Overview

In 2016, research found that 4.4 million American teens had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and 1.9 million had been diagnosed with depression, both of which tended to peak in severity during the 12 to 17 age range. Children and adolescents alike need access to competent care from qualified professionals—like those at Doctor on Demand.

Doctor on Demand was founded in 2013 and has both a website and an app that you can use to access services. Providers specialize in many aspects of mental health, including working with teens.

Not everyone needs or wants to use medication to treat their mental health, but many experience symptom relief through medication. Doctor on Demand allows users to get therapy and medication management in the same place, as well as ongoing access to general practitioners.

The website offers quick and easy sign-up; since there is no subscription, you do not have to pay until you use a specific service. Teens can use Doctor on Demand from any device and from anywhere. Sessions are available seven days a week.

When you sign up, you get access to profiles of various Doctor on Demand therapists. You and your teen can choose the provider whose training, treatment approach, and personality seem to be a good fit. You can change therapists if the first provider with whom your child matches is not a good fit.

Of the users we surveyed, 91% of users said the therapist qualifications were good to excellent. Seventy-nine percent of users would recommend Doctor on Demand to a friend or relative. Seventy-five percent of users had an overall good to excellent experience with the online therapy platform.

Plans & Pricing

Doctor on Demand accepts many insurance plans, so most clients will not have to pay the full cost of the service out of pocket. It does not offer a sliding scale or discounts, though, so if you pay out of pocket, the cost will be:

  • Therapy: $129 per 25-minute session, $179 per 50-minute session
  • Initial psychiatric consultation: $299
  • Follow-up psychiatric visits: $129 each

Best for Anxiety and Depression : 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 provides telehealth services for children starting at age 10 with parental consent. Its providers have specialized training in conducting therapy with children and teens, and it offers psychiatric and medication management services when needed. While the service can be expensive if you pay out-of-pocket, Amwell works with most insurance plans to reduce your treatment cost.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accepts many insurance plans

  • Psychiatry services available

  • Individual and family services available

  • Flexible scheduling, with nights and weekend openings

Cons
  • No free trial or consultation

  • Very few additional resources offered

  • No phone or text-based communication offered

Overview

Parents and guardians can sign up their children as young as age 10 for therapy with Amwell. Amwell’s platform allows families to make accounts, with each member accessing their own sub-account. This allows the child or teen to have individual sessions and communication with their therapist, and the family account allows for joint sessions with the parent or guardian as needed.

Amwell’s platform is HIPAA-compliant, but if a client sees multiple providers, they can authorize their treatment team to communicate for care coordination. If a client feels that medication might be an important part of their treatment plan, they can easily get a referral within the platform. Amwell employs licensed therapists with a variety of schedules and availability, so kids can access after-school or weekend appointments that fit their schedule.

In addition, Amwell’s providers have special training in issues including anxiety and depression, using evidence-based therapeutic approaches to treat both of these conditions. Urgent care services are available as well. Although your specific therapist might not be available for a last-minute appointment, another provider can address any immediate concerns that come up.

Eighty-six percent of Amwell users surveyed felt their therapist met all their needs. Eighty-eight percent of users had an overall good to excellent experience using Amwell. Fifty-three percent of users said they would still be seeing their therapist in six months.

Plans & Pricing

Amwell’s therapy sessions cost $109 with master's-level providers and $129 with doctoral-level providers. This is lower than the national average for session costs. In addition, Amwell accepts Employee Assistance Programs and most insurance plans.

Best With Insurance : Teladoc


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

Teladoc advertises that it prioritizes “whole-person virtual care,” and it provides a variety of services, including therapy and medication management, for those seeking mental health support. It aims to create personalized experiences for each client based on their needs and priorities, and accepts most insurance plans and EAPs to make care more affordable.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Appointments seven days a week

  • Accepts most insurance plans

  • Medication management available

  • You choose your therapist

  • Other health care services available

Cons
  • No free trial or consultation available

  • Website is unclear about how much information is shared with parents

  • No sliding scale fees

Overview

Teladoc has been offering online therapy and medical appointments since 2002, making it one of the oldest telehealth providers in the United States. The platform also employs prescribers, so if your child requires medication management in addition to therapy, they can receive both services through the same platform. Providers can communicate with each other to ensure that the client’s unique needs are met. 

Teladoc is in-network with most insurance plans, and you can choose your therapist, so you do not have to worry that a therapist who is a good fit for your child’s needs will be out of network. You and your child can read through specializations together and you can give them a choice in their treatment, which increases engagement.

The site has an abundant section of free resources about physical and mental health, including articles, webinars, and testimonials. It does not specify how much information will be shared with you (the parent or guardian) about your teen’s therapy sessions, as this is at the discretion of the individual provider. Since each family has unique needs, specific confidentiality limits may vary, so a specific policy for the entire company may not fit some clients’ needs.

Eighty percent of users surveyed said their therapist at Teladoc met their needs. Ninety-seven percent of users rated their experience as good to excellent. Eighty-six percent of users said they would recommend Teladoc to friends and family.

Plans & Pricing

Your out-of-pocket cost for therapy will vary depending on your insurance plan. Teladoc’s therapy is $99 per session for anyone not using insurance. Psychiatric care is $299 for the initial consultation and $199 for a follow-up visit.

Best for Eating Disorders : Equip Health


  • Price: Not listed
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Children's Therapy, Family Therapy
Why We Chose It

Equip uses family-based treatment (FBT), an evidence-based approach to treating children with eating disorders with family involvement and support. Eating disorders have some of the highest mortality rates of any mental health issue, so evidence-based, competent, accessible care is essential. Equip appears to be leading the way in the field for treating eating disorders via telehealth.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Works with clients age six through 24

  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, DC

  • Evidence-based treatment with a comprehensive treatment team

  • Free screening available on the website

Cons
  • No in-person options available

  • Pricing information not listed on website

Overview

Equip was created by psychologists who experienced eating disorders in childhood. The company aims to help children with eating disorders receive care through telehealth. It is currently available across the U.S.

Equip uses tools from different therapy orientations, including cognitive-behavioral and dialectical behavioral therapy. Their program is based on family-based treatment, which has extensive literature showing its effectiveness in treating eating disorders.

Clients with Equip meet with a care team including a therapist, physician, peer mentor, family mentor, and dietitian to ensure that the unique mental and physical health needs faced by people with eating disorders are individually addressed. Equip also provides monitoring and ongoing information to ensure that clients who require a higher level of care, such as hospitalization, have these needs met.

Plans & Pricing

Equip does not list pricing information on its website. However, the founders have stated that they work with insurance companies to ensure that the services provided by Equip are covered. A representative for the company stated that they are currently credentialed with most major health insurance providers. They are not presently able to accept Medicaid but are in the process of getting approval to offer this.

The company representative states that patients paying out-of-pocket are priced on a sliding scale based on each client’s means and needs.

Best for Stress Related to Bullying : Wellnite


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

Wellnite offers convenient therapy services, including therapists who specialize in stress and peer relationship issues. Its specialization in friend issues for clients aged 13 and older is a unique offering not seen on other platforms. Users pay a subscription fee based on the best plan for them and can have up to six therapy sessions per month.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Discounts and promo codes available

  • Multiple subscription offerings

  • Medication management available

  • You choose your therapist

  • Free consultation available

Cons
  • Does not accept all insurance plans

  • Will only prescribe limited medications

Overview

When signing up for Wellnite, you complete a free consultation during which you and an onboarding specialist discuss your treatment needs to ensure that you receive appropriate care. During this call, you can ask about insurance coverage and sliding scale options to ensure that Wellnite’s services are within your means. 

When it was founded in 2019, Wellnite specialized in treating depression and anxiety in adults. However, it has grown to serve individuals 13 and older with other mental health concerns—such as eating disorders, grief, family dysfunction, and friendship/relationship problems—primarily using CBT and mindfulness techniques.

Wellnite’s website includes comprehensive information about the services offered, presenting concerns addressed, and populations served with education about how users can benefit from therapy. This freely available information helps you and your child decide whether therapy services are a good fit for their needs.

Sign-up is easy, and you choose how often you want to be seen and whether you are seeking therapy, medication management, or both. You can purchase additional sessions each month if needed. After you sign up, you get to choose your therapist, increasing the likelihood that your child will connect with their provider.

This specialization in “friend issues'' therapy is unique to Wellnite. According to founder Paulo Gonzalez, clients “can bring a friend to therapy and work out their relationship with a neutral and arbitrary professional.” Gonzalez says that sometimes when an individual seeks therapy, issues related to friends or family arise, and they can bring that individual to a session to work through it.

Many teens and preteens experience bullying and friendship conflicts, and it can be difficult to find support that directly addresses these concerns. Wellnite’s added specializations give users a unique opportunity to process these issues in a safe environment.

Seventy-five percent of the users we surveyed felt Wellnite met most or all of their needs.Seventy-two percent of users would recommend Wellnite to friends and family. Eighty percent of users said they had an overall good to excellent experience using Wellnite.

Plans & Pricing

Two therapy plans are listed on Wellnite’s website, with different resources and services available:

  • Medical care + therapy: This plan is $245 per month and includes same-day doctor consultations, therapy, and medication management.
  • Therapy: This plan is $450 per month and includes being matched with a specific therapist for up to six monthly sessions.

In addition, Wellnite offers discounts and promotional codes, which can reduce the cost of care. Sliding scale options are also available.

Best for LGBTQIA+ Youth : 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

Kip offers telehealth and in-person therapy services for clients of all ages. All clinicians are highly trained, and many have specialization in LGBTQIA+ identities. It also has providers with competency in various mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and life transitions.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Culturally competent and LGBTQIA+ affirming therapists

  • You choose your therapist

  • Lower cost is available depending on the tier of therapist

  • Free resources are on the website

  • Teens get privacy and confidentiality in their sessions

Cons
  • Not in-network with insurance

  • Therapists require weekly sessions

  • No free consultation available

Overview

Everyone, but especially young people, needs support when they’re exploring their identities. Luckily, Kip Therapy employs highly trained therapists who specialize in a myriad of conditions and presenting concerns and who work with adolescents and adults.

Minority stress and oppression can be risk factors for mental health issues and substance use for folks who are LGBTQIA+ and/or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color). That’s why Kip places an emphasis on cultural competency and ensuring that therapists are trained to work effectively with different populations. 

Kip’s therapists specialize in mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, trauma, and life changes. They can also delve into secondary mental health issues due to bullying or mistreatment stress.

Kip’s website has resources including webinars and blog entries that anyone can use to learn more about mental health and identity work.

The website has easy-to-follow steps for signing up for treatment. You can have sessions via telephone, video, or in-person at Kip's New York City office. 

Privacy is essential in building and maintaining therapeutic relationships, especially for preteens and teens who might not have the expectation of confidentiality in other parts of their lives. Kip requires that parents sign a privacy agreement that spells out exactly what information will be shared with parents or guardians. These guidelines are as follows:

  • Guardians are not permitted to ask about specific details of what is discussed in therapy sessions.
  • Guardians are given general updates about progress and can participate in sessions on an as-needed basis.
  • Therapists will inform guardians about safety concerns, including suicidal ideation, intent to harm others, or high-risk behaviors.

Spelling out these expectations prior to starting treatment keeps the therapist, client, and guardian on the same page regarding what can be expected in sessions.

LGBTQIA+ people of all ages might worry when seeking therapy services that their new clinicians will not be competent or accepting of their identities. Still, Kip’s clinicians are trained to ensure that the therapy space is safe, comfortable, and affirming for all.

Seventy percent of Kip therapy users surveyed said their provider met most or all their needs. Fifty-four percent of users said they would recommend Kip to friends and family. Seventy-three percent of our surveyed users rated their overall experience with Kip as good to excellent.

Plans & Pricing

Kip Therapy offers a variety of pricing options per session based on which therapist you choose. Those tiered options are:

  • Tier I: "Emerging therapist” or intern, $65-$95
  • Tier II: “Resident fellow” or postdoctoral resident, $130-$150
  • Tier III: “Senior clinician” or licensed therapist, $170-$225

Kip Therapy does not accept insurance but will create a superbill that allows clients to seek reimbursement from their insurance provider. Tier I therapists are not eligible for reimbursement, however.

Best for Kids Under 14 : 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

Although telehealth can be an effective resource for children, many providers and organizations do not offer this service to children. Little Otter provides support for children from birth through age 14, as well as coaching, skill-building, and counseling for parents. This accessibility to very young children sets it apart from other organizations and platforms.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers parenting support and coaching services

  • Works with children from birth through age 14

  • Medication management available

  • Therapy available for parents as well as children

  • Discounts available when you purchase a package

Cons
  • Not available in all states

  • No support for autistic children or their parents

  • $90 sign up fee

  • Only accepts one insurance plan

Overview

Little Otter was developed to offer telehealth services for young children, who are often overlooked by other telehealth organizations. It works with children from birth through age 14 and provides individual therapy for children when appropriate as well as parent coaching, therapy for parents, and family therapy services.

Taking a family approach to a child’s mental health treatment is important because children respond to stress in the home, and parents are often unsure about what choices to make to help their child.

Little Otter also offers assessments and reports to provide clear, specific information about presenting concerns and best practices for treatment. Psychiatric care is also available.

Users can complete a free informational call to determine whether Little Otter is the right fit for their family. After sign-up, families receive access to digital worksheets, resources, and educational materials that can supplement their care. They can access their care team via text at any time.

Sixty-five percent of the users we surveyed were satisfied with the therapist options provided. Overall, 75% of survey respondents had a positive experience with Little Otter, rating its services as good to excellent, while 70% said that most or all of their needs were met.

Plans & Pricing

When parents sign up for Little Otter, they pay a $90 fee for a welcome session and for start-up. Little Otter does not offer memberships or subscriptions with recurring payments. Sessions are $200 each. Psychiatry services are $500 for an initial evaluation and $250 for a 30-minute follow-up appointment.

In addition, Little Otter offers the following bundles, which allow for discounted session rates when purchased in advance:

  • Assessment bundle: $540 for a 90-minute assessment and one therapy session
  • Session bundle: $2,040 for 12 sessions

However, you cannot receive a refund for unused sessions if you discontinue treatment before the bundle is fully used. This could be a concern, as clients have the right to end treatment at any time without consequence, and clients or parents might feel that they need to finish out the bundle.

Little Otter is out of network for all clients except those with Kaiser Permanente, but it offers superbills for reimbursement.

Best Directory : Mental Health Match


Why We Chose It

Finding a therapist can be a daunting task, and parents may struggle to determine who is the best fit for their child’s needs. Mental Health Match is a therapist directory that allows you to find a therapist two ways: you can browse available therapists based on your preferences and needs, or you can use a free system that matches you to a therapist based on information that you provide. By giving clients the option to find a therapist on their own or get help matching, Mental Health Match makes the process of finding a therapist easy and accessible.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • All therapists are vetted by the directory

  • Directory helps you follow up if you are having trouble reaching a therapist

  • Therapists are available in all 50 states with services in 30 languages

  • Algorithm will match clients to an appropriate therapist if they are unsure where to start

  • Free for clients to use

Cons
  • Website lacks accessibility features

  • Cannot search by keyword

  • No information about handling user complaints

Overview

Mental Health Match is a directory of over 4,000 therapists serving all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It provides an algorithm that matches users to therapists who are likely to be a good fit and have the qualifications the individual is seeking. Although other directories have match services available, Mental Health Match provides instant matches based on the information provided.

When someone has never been to therapy, they might not even know what they are looking for in a therapist. The average person may not know about specific types of therapy or best practices for their treatment. A service that removes the guesswork and offers suggestions and matches simplifies the process. 

Mental Health Match also has the option to browse local therapists, so if your child wants to pick their therapist, they also have this option. Therapists on Mental Health Match accept a variety of insurance providers and payment methods, offer both in-person and telehealth sessions, and specialize in a variety of presenting concerns.

Mental Health Match aims to match any client to a qualified provider and does not specify one population, making them appropriate for anyone who needs help finding the right therapist.

Seventy percent of users rated the overall process of matching with a therapist as good or very good. Fifty-eight percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options provided in Mental Health Match’s directory. Sixty-one percent of users surveyed rated the therapist diversity offered within the directory as good to very good.

Plans & Pricing

Mental Health Match is free to use for those seeking therapy. Rates are dependent on the therapist.

Compare the Best Online Therapy for Kids of 2023

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Thriveworks Best Overall 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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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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Doctor on Demand Best for Flexible Scheduling $129-$179 per session Yes Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Amwell Best for Anxiety and Depression $109 to $279 Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Video Chat Learn More
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Teladoc Best With Insurance $0-$299 Yes No Psychiatry Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Equip Health Best for Eating Disorders Not listed Yes No Children's Therapy, Family Therapy N/A Learn More
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Wellnite Best for Stress Related to Bullying $450 per month to $3510 per year Yes No Individual Therapy, Medication Management Live Chat, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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Kip Therapy Best for LGBTQIA+ Youth $95 to $250 per session No. Can provide receipt for reimbursement No Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Little Otter Best for Kids Under 14 $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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Mental Health Match Best Directory N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Final Verdict

Overall, our pick as best overall online therapy company is Thriveworks. It's affordable and delivers quality care tailored to your child or family. The therapists are specifically trained in working with kids and adolescents and if necessary, you can also get a referral for psychiatric care at the same company. It also offers in-person therapy in some locations. That said, Thriveworks is not available in all 50 states yet, so if you’re unable to sign up, we recommend considering Doctor on Demand, which offers convenient—though entirely online—care for children ages 12 and up. It also accepts insurance.

If you are looking for an online psychiatrist for your child, rather than a therapist, we recommend Talkiatry. Its services are provided by board-certified psychiatrists who conduct thorough assessments and accurate diagnoses when prescribing any medication.

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Therapy for Kids Over 10

Is Online Therapy Right for Your Child?

If your child is struggling with mental health, therapy services can help them cope and overcome their symptoms. Online therapy is a viable option for treating many presenting concerns. Research shows that children and teens can benefit from online therapy, achieving comparable treatment outcomes to in-person services.

Online therapy might be a good option for your child if you live in a rural area where there are few or no nearby providers, if other children in your home require your attention during your child’s session, if you have transportation issues that make traveling to and from sessions difficult, or if your child has medical issues that put them at risk by spending time in a crowded waiting room.

What Are the Different Types of Therapy for Kids?

Online therapy can effectively administer services to children and teens, with various models and interventions transferring relatively easily from in-person to online.

Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) is a therapy in which the therapist guides the parent in activities with their child that foster appropriate behavior while increasing attachment. PCIT transitions easily to the online format, as in-person PCIT usually has the therapist in another room during the session. Individual online therapy can also be effective with children and teens. Many play therapy activities have telehealth options, and children can direct play with physical toys over telehealth as well. Cognitive behavioral techniques are easy to implement through a telehealth platform as well.

When Does a Child Need Therapy?

There is no minimum threshold for therapy, so if you think your child might benefit from talking to a professional, it is a good idea to find a therapist. If they express that they want to talk to someone, regardless of the reason why, get them in with a therapist who can help.

In addition, if you notice any big, sudden changes in your child’s mood or behavior, it might be a good idea to have them talk to a therapist. If they seem worried about things that are unlikely to happen, or incredibly stressed by things that are happening, therapy can help. If they seem sad or upset much of the time, they might need to talk to a therapist. If there is a sudden change in their grades, friendships, or behavior, they might benefit from therapy.

If your child talks about suicide or self-harm, or you learn that they are engaging in self-harm behavior, get them connected to a therapist. (If they are in immediate danger or crisis, do not wait for an appointment—they may need support and help immediately.)

What Do I Do If my Child Has Shown Signs of Self-Harm?

In the United States, 988 is a national crisis number that can connect you with local resources for mental health. If you are worried that your child is an immediate danger to themselves, go to your local emergency room for an assessment and, if necessary, a psychiatric hospitalization to keep them safe and develop a plan to address the underlying mental health issues associated with the crisis.

If your child already has a therapist and shows signs of self-harm, you should let their therapist know right away. The therapist will help you and your child develop a safety plan to protect them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Effective Therapy for Kids?

No one type of therapy is the best fit for everyone. Depending on age and developmental level, children may benefit from play therapy versus talk therapy. If a child has experienced trauma, a trauma-informed approach may help them as well. Family therapy might be necessary if the difficulties a child is experiencing relate to family stressors, conflicts, or changes.

What Age Can My Child Begin Therapy?

Providers have different specializations, and since children’s development changes so quickly, they must see a therapist who is trained in and can treat their age range. Some therapists are trained in working with children as young as age two.

Does Online Therapy Work for Kids?

Yes, in most cases and for many presenting concerns, online therapy is effective for children as young as four.

How Do I Know If a Therapist Specializes in Working With Kids?

Therapists have a responsibility to practice within their scope—in other words, they must work with clients they are qualified to see and advertise themselves accurately. A therapist who specializes in working with children should indicate this on their website or in their directory listing. When you reach out to inquire about an appointment, you can ask about their specialization, training, and experience working with children your child’s age and with your child’s presenting concerns.

Methodology

We assessed 55 online therapy companies and 25 online therapy directories along with surveying 105 to 180 existing users from each company and directory to determine which was best in each category. We also considered factors like confidentiality, therapist qualifications, and specialization in working specifically with children. We then consulted subject matter experts on our findings to ensure the final list was as thoroughly vetted as possible.

Best online therapy for kids

VeryWell Family / Design by Amelia Manley

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 Amy Marschall, PsyD
Amy Marschall, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist who works with children and adolescents. She is certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and telemental health. She provides individual, family, and group psychotherapy.

Edited by Simone Scully,
simone-scully-verywell

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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Ray Finch,
Ray Finch

Ray is a special projects editor on the performance marketing team.

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and 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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