11 Best Online Therapy Platforms for Mental Health Counseling via Phone, Video, or Chat

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Online therapy has become a more common option for people seeking mental health services.

It can be a valuable resource for people who live in remote areas, have physical limitations, or lack reliable transportation.

If you’re looking for online counseling - you’re not alone!

According to the CDC, 40% of Americans reported struggling with mental health and substance use in 2020.

Our research has concluded that BetterHelp is the best online therapy service overall.

However, we’ve listed other options because we know that people have different therapy goals.

Keep reading to find the best online therapy service that matches your needs!

Best Online Therapy Sites: First Look

Top Online Therapy Platforms

Editor Notes


  • Largest network of licensed therapists
  • Thorough hiring process
  • Plenty of communication methods
  • Affordable subscription fees

Teen Counseling

  • Plenty of positive reviews
  • Multiple communication options
  • Teens & parents communicate separately


  • 100s of genuine reviews
  • Services in 8 languages
  • FREE week trial


  • Offers prescription medication services
  • Choose your own therapist
  • Accepts insurance
  • Services for teens


  • 24/7 access to therapy
  • 4 types of therapy plans
  • Plenty of positive reviews

Doctor on Demand

  • Accepts insurance
  • Provides prescription medication services
  • Best for addressing short-term needs

7 Cups

  • Affordable option
  • Evidence-based emotional support services
  • Many positive user ratings


  • Accepts some health insurance
  • Save on prescription medication costs
  • 24/7 access & flexible scheduling


  • Budget-conscious
  • Switch therapists for free
  • Cancel at any time & renew your subscription again


  • Free 7-day trial
  • Personalized exercises for individual growth
  • 24/7 chat available


  • Accepts health insurance
  • Affordable
  • Therapy & psychiatry services are available nationwide

1. BetterHelp - Best Online Therapy Overall

  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Subscription Fee: $60 - $90 per week
  • Services operate by subscription with fees ranging from $60-$80 per week
  • Unlimited texts & audio messaging
  • Addresses a wide range of concerns, including stress, mood disorders, and grief

BetterHelp is our best overall pick because it has the largest network of licensed therapists and it does all the vetting and heavy work for you.

All the therapists listed on BetterHelp’s directory must pass a thorough verification process, and only about 20% of applicants get accepted.

Therefore, you have opportunities to connect with therapists committed to providing high-quality service - who will truly help your needs.

A recent study conducted by the Berkeley Well-Being Institute shows that BetterHelp can be as effective as face-to-face therapy, and 98% of users felt that they made significant progress.


  • Largest network of licensed therapists
  • Thorough hiring process
  • Offers communication through video, phone call, & text


  • You get matched with a therapist, so you can’t choose your own
  • Health Insurance might not cover services

2. Teen Counseling - Best Online Mental Health Counseling for Adolescents

  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Price: $60 - $90 per week
  • Provides counseling for teens between the ages of 13-19
  • Helps with coping skills, self-esteem, bullying, eating disorders, anxiety, & depression

Teen Counseling has one of the most expansive networks of therapists specializing in mental health for adolescents.

Once a teen takes the assessment, they’re assigned a therapist. Teens and their parents can communicate with the therapist in separate “rooms” so that the teen feels comfortable sharing openly.

Licensed clinical social workers from Teen Counseling can help all kinds of mental health challenges that many teens experience, including anxiety and depression, bullying, and low self-esteem.

Teens can schedule live sessions with their therapists at varying times so that they can still participate in any extracurricular activities.


  • Plenty of positive reviews
  • Multiple communication options
  • Teens & parents communicate separately


  • Doesn’t accept insurance
  • No free trials or consultations
  • You can’t pick your own therapist

3. Regain - Best Online Therapy Services for Relationships

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Subscription Fee: $40 - $70 per week
  • World’s largest couples therapy service
  • Focuses on healing and strengthening relationships
  • Has bilingual therapists

Regain provides individual and couples therapy and notably exceptional marriage counseling compared to other therapy platforms.

After you and your partner fill out a questionnaire - you get paired with a licensed family therapist.

Regain’s primary mode of communication is through video sessions, and they can accommodate a busy schedule.

You can also work with a bilingual therapist fluent in the following languages:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Persian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog

Individuals may also benefit significantly from Regain if they’re looking to work through a separation, divorce, breakup, or loss of a relationship - as they feature plenty of experienced marriage and family therapists.

However, it’s essential to understand that Regain cannot assist individuals as needed in abusive relationships.


  • 100s of genuine reviews
  • Services in 8 languages
  • Free week trial
  • Easy & flexible scheduling


  • There are better platforms for individual counseling
  • The therapist may not respond immediately to text messages
  • Doesn’t accept health insurance

4. Talkspace - Second Best Online Mental Health Counseling

  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Subscription Fee: $65 - $99 per week
  • Offers therapy for individuals, couples, & teens
  • Psychiatric services for medication management
  • Provides 3 levels of subscription services

Talkspace provides a comprehensive experience for all its users.

It offers therapy sessions for individuals, couples, and teens - and you can also connect with a psychiatrist for medication management services.

Once you take an initial assessment, you can choose from a selection of therapists that best match your results.

It’s also easy to switch therapists, and you can do it for free!

Users have 24/7 access to their therapists, so it’s easier to schedule sessions according to your availability.

Talkspace is our runner-up choice because it has a smaller network of therapists and a lower customer satisfaction rate than BetterHelp.


  • Provides prescription medication services
  • Choose your therapist
  • Accepts health insurance
  • Services for teens


  • A lower percentage of satisfaction than BetterHelp
  • No free trial

5. Online-therapy.com - Best Online Therapy for CBT

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Subscription Fee: $32 - $64 per week
  • All services and sessions have a basis in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Provides guided worksheets to give structure to sessions
  • One 30-minute live session a week by text, phone call, or video chat

If you’re specifically interested in CBT, Online-therapy.com is one of the best available platforms.

After you take its survey, you’ll receive a recommended treatment plan. Then, you can work through guided worksheets and activities to help you consistently follow through with your therapy goals.

Something that makes Online-therapy.com unique is that you can work on CBT at your own pace.

You can also connect with CBT-trained therapists who have experience working in a wide range of life challenges and mental health conditions, including mood disorders, agoraphobia, and relationship issues.


  • 24/7 access to your therapy program
  • 4 types of plans to match your mental health needs
  • High percentage of customer satisfaction


  • Doesn’t accept insurance
  • Challenging to get refunds for unused time

6. Doctor on Demand - Best Online Therapy for Short-Term Use

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Price: $129 per 25-minute session & $179 per 50-minute session
  • It doesn’t require a subscription
  • Offers therapy & psychiatric sessions
  • Schedule video calls with a therapist or psychiatrist

Doctor on Demand follows a unique system where you don’t need a subscription plan to receive services.

Instead, users can pay for single video chats with licensed therapists and psychiatrists.

Therapists on this platform have at least a 4.9 out of 5-star rating. They can help with many different issues, including stress, panic attacks, postpartum, and insomnia.

When it comes to costs, Doctor on Demand is more appropriate for short-term sessions because subscription-based therapy platforms end up saving users more money as time goes on.


  • Accepts health insurance
  • Provides prescription medication services
  • Best for addressing short-term needs


  • A smaller network of therapists compared to other therapy platforms
  • One session is more expensive than the average weekly subscription amount of competitors

7. 7 Cups - Top Online Therapy for Free Counselling

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Price: Free emotional support; $150 per month for professional virtual counseling
  • Free & anonymous 24/7 chat with trained volunteers
  • Addresses loneliness
  • Offers support for adults & teens

7 Cups began after the founder, Glen Moriarty, experienced the benefits of active listening and wanted to provide this service to people who live in isolation or loneliness.

Once users register a free account, they can request to connect to a 7 Cups Listener whenever they want to chat with someone.

All Listeners have received training in providing emotional support.

If they believe a user would benefit from speaking with a licensed therapist, they will make the recommendation to the user.

Users only get charged if they connect with a therapist - making this service accessible to everyone.


  • Affordable option for therapy
  • Evidence-based emotional support services
  • Many users are satisfied with the free services
  • Large Q&A section


  • Has a smaller network of therapists
  • Not for individuals with more complex mental health needs

8. MDLive - Best Online Therapy Platform for Psychiatric Services

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Price: $0 - $108 per visit
  • Psychiatry Price: $0-284 for the initial visit; $0-$108 for follow-up visits
  • Possible to receive free services depending on insurance coverage
  • Users can receive prescriptions and work with a therapist through one platform
  • Work with psychiatrists and therapists that have about 15 years of experience

MDLive offers behavioral health services and can connect individuals to its directory of vetted providers.

Once you set up an account and complete their intake survey, you can look through their psychiatrist and therapist profiles list and select someone who matches your needs.

MDLive may be a better option for individuals looking for short-term services. Since users have to pay for each consultation and session, the costs can add up fairly quickly.

Individuals looking for a long-term option may benefit from using a subscription service.


  • Accepts some health insurance
  • Save on prescription medication costs
  • 24/7 access & flexible scheduling
  • Users can choose their provider


  • Not for emotional support
  • It can get expensive if the user doesn’t have insurance

9. Calmerry - Best Up & Coming Online Therapy Platform

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Price: Starts at $42 per week for the basic subscription
  • Offers text & video therapy
  • The mission is to make therapy more affordable & accessible
  • 100s of positive reviews from satisfied customers

Calmerry is a relatively new therapy platform that appeared in May 2020 in response to the increase of mental health needs due to the pandemic.

It’s a subscription-based service that has 3 levels of membership.

Once you complete the initial survey, you can decide on which subscription you’d like to select. Then, a specialist will match you with a therapist based on your survey results within 24 hours.

Calmerry offers counseling and therapy for various needs, including grief, anxiety and depression, LGBTQ+ needs, self-esteem, and family and relationship counseling.

You and the therapist will establish short-term and long-term goals, and grief counselors will work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Since Calmerry is a newer platform, it’ll be wise to keep an eye out for them as they fine-tune their systems and processes and work to keep mental health costs affordable.


  • Budget-conscious
  • Switch therapists for free
  • Cancel at any time & renew your subscription again
  • Therapists offer worksheets


  • No free trial
  • Doesn’t accept insurance
  • Users can’t choose their own therapist

10. Circles - Best Online Therapy for Groups

  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Price: Starts at $30 per week
  • Focuses on group therapy
  • Connects people to unique groups that might not be available in their vicinity
  • 80% of users are satisfied with Circles services, and 90% would recommend it to others

Circles focus on group therapy and match its users with others who are going through similar life circumstances and other mental health concerns.

Users get placed in groups of up to 8 members, and a professional therapist leads the group sessions.

Group therapy can be a more affordable option, and Circles provides plans that start at $30 per week.

Once you complete the initial assessment, a specialist will match you with a group that meets for a specific type of support.

Circles can provide support for many different needs, including grief, divorce, and COVID-19 stress.


  • Free 7-day trial & the first session is free
  • Personalized exercises that focus on individual growth
  • 24/7 chat that you can use outside of formal group sessions


  • Small network of group therapists
  • Doesn’t provide options for groups to join

11. Amwell - Best Online Therapy for Comprehensive Care

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Therapy Price: $109 - $129 per visit
  • Psychiatry Price: $279 initial visit, $109 follow-up visit
  • It’s a one-stop-shop for physical & mental health services
  • Has a 97% satisfaction rate for therapy sessions
  • Has psychiatric services for medication management

Amwell is a great and relatively affordable option for taking care of your physical and mental health.

Online therapists on Amwell can provide support for various needs, including mood disorders, PTSD and trauma, life transitions, insomnia, and couples therapy.

Along with meeting with a licensed therapist, you can meet with a psychiatrist for help with medication and prescription management.


  • Accepts insurance
  • More affordable than in-person visits
  • Therapy & psychiatry services are available nationwide in the US


  • No free trials
  • Only offers live sessions

Best Online Therapy Service: What You Need to Know

If you’re interested in online therapy but feel a little hesitant, here are some answers to frequently asked questions that other concerned readers have had.

What Is the Best LGBTQ-friendly Online Counseling Service?

Pride Counseling is probably the top LGBTQ-friendly online counseling platform available.

It caters to all gender identities and is a great platform to get expert help regarding any issues you may be going through.

Is Online Therapy OK?

Yes, online therapy is a valid form of therapy that effectively helps your mental health.

Research shows that individuals benefited from receiving therapy, especially with some mood disorders and trauma.

Many online therapy platforms are HIPAA-compliant - so as long as you’re using a trusted resource, you won’t have to worry about a breach in your confidentiality.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT for short is a specific branch of therapy where licensed clinical social workers or qualified online therapists help to break negative patterns of thought which often lead to depression.

Many online therapy platforms like BetterHelp offer these types of mental health services for individuals who need them.

Are Online Therapy Services Just as Effective?

The answer to this question heavily depends on the individual.

For example, some people like having the option of communicating over text. Online counseling is an excellent option for people who want more affordable fees per session or don’t have reliable transportation.

It also helps people who live in areas lacking mental health resources.

They can connect with therapists with specific certifications and specializations that they otherwise might not be able to find in their vicinity.

Online therapy does fall short with people who have more severe mental illness or circumstances, such as being actively suicidal or experiencing psychosis.

However, with general talk therapy, some studies show that online counseling can be just as effective as talk therapy.

Is BetterHelp a Legitimate Online Therapist Chat Platform?

Yes, BetterHelp is a legitimate service.

It has one of the largest networks of licensed therapists and has a thorough selection process.

There are also tens of thousands of positive reviews along with multiple ratings above 4.5/5 stars.

However, there are instances where a licensed therapist may not be as responsive, which is often an issue with the individual therapist rather than the platform itself.

If you’re not satisfied with your therapist, you can always request to switch to a new one. BetterHelp also offers a free trial period, so you don’t have to commit to using its services right away.

Does BetterHelp Sell Your Data?

According to BetterHelp’s Privacy Policy, BetterHelp may disclose information to third parties, including vendors and service providers, data hosting and storage partners, and analytics and advertising providers.

However, BetterHelp will ask for your consent to share your information with third parties, meaning that you can always opt-out of them sharing your data.

Online Therapy Platforms - Which Is the Best One for You?

The best overall online therapy platform is BetterHelp.

It’s been in the business for years and constantly responds and makes improvements based on customer feedback.

It also provides different forms of communication, which can be convenient if you’re looking to talk to someone - but you don’t need an entire online counseling session.

Regain is also a great platform because it has a similar suite of services, but it’s a slightly smaller network and has a lower satisfaction rate from its users.

Overall, online therapy is an excellent option for people looking for psychological services, and it can often be just as effective as in-person therapy sessions.

There are many licensed therapists available online - including marriage and family therapists

It has opened up the way for more people to receive therapy, and people have a better chance of finding therapists that best match their needs and preferences.

Good luck!

Farrinstitute is reader supported. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.

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