Best Online Therapy Sites 2020 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

Best Online Therapy Sites

Mental health is just as important as our physical health. To ensure healthy living, sometimes we need professional help, which is now available on some of the best online therapy sites

As many of us can’t afford in-person consultations, online sites come to the rescue to help people with mental health issues.  

Nowadays, with all the technological advances, you can get therapy from the comfort of your home and under conditions that suit you—all with just a few clicks. 

Best Online Therapy Sites in 2020

Product
Rating
Key Features
Website
1
OVERALL RATING
9.8
Expert Review
  • Overall best online counseling
  • You can easily change counselors
  • Messages secured by banking-grade 256-bit encryption
  • Counselors are licensed therapists
FROM: $ 60.00
Visit Site
2
OVERALL RATING
9.6
Expert Review
  • Best platform with affordable online therapy
  • Free 24/7 chat
  • Additional mental health resources
  • Holistic approach
FROM: $ 6.24
Visit Site
3
OVERALL RATING
9.5
Expert Review
  • Best online therapy via text-based chat room
  • Chat room with a therapist is always open
  • Flash sales of subscription plans
  • Depression and anxiety tests
FROM: $ 65.00
Visit Site
4
OVERALL RATING
9.3
Expert Review
  • Among the best online therapy sites with multiple communication channels
  • One-on-one sessions at all times
  • Single flat fee
  • Unlimited access to a dedicated room with a therapist
FROM: $ 60.00
Visit Site
5
OVERALL RATING
8.9
Expert Review
  • Best online therapy that is available for free
  • Free, basic, standard, and premium plans
  • Therapists available from Monday to Friday
  • Online therapy toolbox
FROM: $ 31.96
Visit Site

Online Therapy Reviews: Top Picks

1. BetterHelp Review

OVERALL RATING 9.8
  • Price: $60.00–$80.00 per week
  • Therapists: Accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors
  • Communication Channels: Messages, live chats, phone calls, video calls
  • Discounts: 50% off the first month of counseling
  • Cancellation Policy: Cancel the subscription via email or your account

The first among the best online counseling sites, BetterHelp ensures you improve your quality of life from the comfort of your home.

Whether you need therapy for yourself, your teen, or both you and your partner, BetterHelp is there to assist you. In fact, it offers help to anyone dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, stress, and many other issues. 

However, if you have an emergency, want to hurt yourself or others, or you were court-ordered to undergo therapy, according to online therapy reviews and the platform’s FAQ, BetterHelp is unfortunately not suitable for you. For most other problems, this site’s more than suitable.

The platform’s counselors are licensed professionals that have gone through a strict selection process. They have to provide documents to prove their identity and professionalism and go through five weeks of evaluation. With only 15% of professionals making the cut, you can rest assured that BetterHelp employs only the best online therapists.

It’s no wonder that many reviews praise the platform and its professional therapists. Many users seem to have benefitted a lot during the pandemic. According to their reviews, these users managed to find specialists who hold all the knowledge and expertise needed to provide help. Getting a therapist that checks all the boxes is beyond important, and we’re glad that BetterHelp makes the selection process a walk in the park. 

What online therapy reviews highlight is the convenience of communication with a chosen counselor. You can choose to exchange messages, chat live, make a phone call, or use a video conference option. That makes the communication match all your needs and wants.

All of these amazing features come at a great price, starting from only $60.00 per week. If you’re skeptical, don’t worry, as you can cancel the subscription to the online counseling services anytime.

PROS:
  • You can choose any type of communication that makes you comfortable
  • A variety of professionals
  • Therapists have at least three years of experience
  • Amazing price-value ratio
CONS:
  • Customers’ complaints about slow responses from their therapists

2. 7 Cups Review

OVERALL RATING 9.6
  • Price: From $6.24 per month for the 7 Cups Collection; $150.00 per month for messaging a therapist
  • Therapists: Licensed therapists
  • Communication Channels: Messaging
  • Discounts: Coupons
  • Cancellation Policy: Cancel the subscription anytime

According to many online therapy reviews, 7 Cups is almost everyone’s go-to. If you want someone to lend a listening ear, there are free chat rooms with volunteers. Of course, if you need one-on-one talk with a professional, the platform offers counseling with licensed therapists.

That said, if you’re not comfortable talking, you can always go for self-help guides and growth paths. All in all, the 7 Cups platform is there to accommodate your needs and wants.

For that reason, many users consider 7 Cups one of the best online therapy resources. It’s highly accessible as there’s always someone ready to be all ears. 

Moreover, many users loved the support they got not only from the professionals and volunteers but also from the 7 Cups community. The platform has been introducing chat rooms available to anyone. To put it differently, you can find a support group filled with people who will most likely relate to your struggles. 

With so many options, it’s no wonder that 7 Cups is most people’s favorite. Whether you’re looking for a quick rant or long-term therapy, you can easily get the help you need at an attractive monthly price of $150.00.

What’s more, you could also opt for the 7 Cups Collection. By investing as little as $7.99 a month (yearly subscription), you’ll unlock multiple features: five mental health series, up to 30 single paths targeting various mental health issues, monthly email, and 2nd–3rd level growth path (acceptance and managing emotions).

Revered and cited by many as one of the best online therapy websites, 7 Cups is worth your consideration.

PROS:
  • Free 24/7 chat
  • Great emotional support
  • Affordable
CONS:
  • Lack of communication options

3. Talkspace Review

OVERALL RATING 9.5
  • Price: $65.00–$99.00 per week
  • Therapists: Licensed therapists with additional training in specific approaches to therapy
  • Communication Channels: Text messages, audio messages, pictures, video messages, and video calls
  • Discounts: Flash sales taking $120.00 off
  • Cancellation Policy: Put your subscription on a 7-day hold at any time or cancel it through your account settings

Talkspace is another contender for a place among the best online therapy sites. The company employs thousands of licensed therapists and offers multiple payment plans. What’s more, you can always get in touch with its top-quality customer service should you run into any non-clinical issues.

Talkspace’s therapists can help you with anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, or any relationship problems, among some other issues. It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult, a teenager, or a couple as Talkspace strives to provide services for everyone.

You can also send the Talkspace gift cards to your friends or family members. With these cards, your loved ones will get a unique opportunity to improve their mental wellbeing and thrive even more. After all, Talkspace, as one of the best online counseling sites, ensures that its licensed therapists have at least 3,000 hours of clinical experience. 

What’s more, the company’s Board of Advisors makes sure to employ experts with additional training in specific approaches to therapy. In other words, if you’re looking for a therapist who practices cognitive behavioral therapy or a psychodynamic approach to therapy, you’re bound to find a professional who will meet your requirements. Still, if you’re not satisfied with a chosen therapist, you can easily change them with just a few clicks.

According to online counseling reviews, some users loved that they could message their counselor at any time. To put it another way, the platform’s users can tell what happened to them without having to wait for the next session. Following this, all important moments are easily recorded and processed. However, keep in mind that your therapist will get back to you twice a day. 

With that being said, there are even more means of communication, like audio messages and video calls. Some users like to keep as much of that in-person therapy experience as possible, and it seems like Talkspace is highly aware of that.

Overall, when browsing the online therapy reviews, we’ve found that Talkspace is an amazing site for mental health help. It’s quite affordable and it makes mental health services available to more people.

PROS:
  • Compatible with different devices
  • You can easily switch therapists
  • You can choose from several counseling options
  • You can message your therapist 24/7
CONS:
  • Users’ complaints about a significant delay in responses

4. iCounseling Review

OVERALL RATING 9.3
  • Price: $60.00–$80.00 per week
  • Therapists: Accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors
  • Communication Channels: Messages, phone calls, video conferences, and live chats
  • Discounts: No information available
  • Cancellation Policy: Cancel at any time through your account settings

iCounseling is one of the great online counseling websites we just had to include in our list because of its amazing features.

If you’re wondering if iCounseling is the right choice for you, note that its licensed therapists can help you with self-esteem, parenting, sleep, trauma, and much more. Basically, they can help you with anything that prevents you from achieving your goals.

However, if you have thoughts about hurting yourself, it’s suggested that you refer to emergency contacts to receive immediate help. Those are serious issues that cannot be addressed adequately through online therapy sessions.

If you’re simply looking up therapy sessions that are held online, then you should definitely proceed to look into this platform. Based on your needs and preferences, iCounseling matches you with a counselor that you can always replace if you’re not happy. 

All therapists are certified and have a Master’s Degree in their respective fields. That means that they’re trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, or licensed professional counselors.

Many online therapy sites’ reviews pointed to the convenience of the platform. What’s more, the users appreciated professional and timely support. Even though some therapists take a few hours to respond, they make sure to respond with follow-up questions and proper advice. Moreover, if you’re not a fan of messaging, you can schedule a video call or a phone call—whichever you prefer.

We do believe iCounseling is one of the best online counseling sites as you get what you pay for. It’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t have hundreds of dollars for in-person counseling but still needs help.

PROS:
  • Multiple options of reaching out to your therapist
  • You get matched with a therapist within 24 hours
  • A lot of additional information on the website
CONS:
  • Lack of billing clarity

5. Online-Therapy Review

OVERALL RATING 8.9
  • Price: $31.96–$63.96 per week
  • Therapists: Certified CBT therapists
  • Communication Channels: Live chats, messaging, video calls, voice sessions
  • Discounts: First month 20% discoun
  • Cancellation Policy: You can cancel it anytime and keep your pre-paid days

Online-Therapy is one of the best online therapy sites that truly stand out.

For almost any problem you might have, Online-Therapy has a professional that’s ready to help you. That means that they deal with issues ranging from weight problems and insomnia to bipolar disorders and PTSD. 

This counseling website is ideal for anyone who wants to save money and time while getting the needed help to improve one’s mental health. If you are on a tight budget, you might want to look into the platform’s “online therapy for free” option.

Note that the company only employs therapists experienced in CBT—cognitive behavioral therapy. Online-Therapy verifies them, so you can rest assured knowing that you are working with experts. 

Once you’re matched with a therapist, you’ll be able to access their full profile from your dashboard. If you find yourself unsatisfied with a chosen therapist, you can always change to a new one via the dashboard.

According to users, one of the key benefits of this site is that it offers free online counseling. Believe it or not, you can access meditation and yoga videos, as well as tests, activity plans, and journals. You’re also able to access eight easy-to-follow sections absolutely for free. 

That said, you might want to get more assistance through the following: daily therapist feedback, support via messaging, express replies, video calls, and voice sessions. If any of these features spark your interest, you can look into the three other programs: basic, standard, and premium. Of course, the higher the price, the bigger the set of available features.

By and large, you could always test it out first to see if it’s for you. If you like the platform enough to continue, you could expect to get high-quality, affordable counselor sessions.

PROS:
  • Great price-value ratio
  • All therapists are experienced in cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Great therapy toolbox
CONS:
  • Doesn’t have a mobile app

How We Compiled the List of the Best Online Therapy Sites

After going through our list of therapy sites, you might wonder how we picked platforms for this review. 

There were quite a number of aspects we took into account. Keep on reading to find out what we paid the most attention to.

Mental Health Coverage 

When choosing any service, we need to make sure it’s suitable for us. The majority of the best online therapy apps and platforms make it clear.

Still, most of them don’t cover all possible mental health issues or types of services, like marriage counseling or counseling for teenagers.

That’s why we focused on finding sites that offered a number of services for different types of potential clientele.

We knew that one virtual place with licensed online therapy wouldn’t be able to cover all mental health issues, so we searched for a few quality online offers that you could choose from.

Professional Help

Mental health is inexplicably important to our overall wellbeing. Following this, it comes as no surprise that we want only those qualified to assist with our problems. 

To ensure that sites with qualified professionals made the cut, we looked into who the platforms in question were employing.

User Reviews 

Users of these services are to be trusted with providing unbiased information about a particular therapy site operating  online. While most sites tend to claim their excellence, real people with real-life experience are the ones who can tell us how it really is.

For that reason, we searched for customer reviews for every site on this list. We considered both positive and negative feedback. What’s more, our team double-checked the claims we combed through to weed out fake or unfounded statements. 

Communication 

Apart from the price and ease of use, communication is cited as one of the most crucial factors that users consider when looking for the best online counseling services.

Here, we looked into the ease of getting in touch with one’s therapist. We also paid attention to the existing communication channels: text messages, audio messages, phone calls, live chats, etc.

Price

Price is perhaps the main reason people flock to the top online therapy sites.

Unfortunately, therapy tends to be quite expensive. However, mental health services are becoming more and more affordable, thanks to online platforms. 

That is why we took the time to find affordable therapy sites that had great features and were truly helpful. To put it differently, we looked into existing subscription plans to find the best value-price ratio.

How to Choose Best Online Mental Health Services 

Before we dive into our extensive buyer’s guide, we would love to emphasize the importance of consulting a physician to establish any deficiencies that might influence your mood. It has been proven, for instance, that the lack of certain vitamins might lead to mood fluctuations. Doing some blood work will help determine which vitamins you should take in order to alleviate the existing symptoms. 

That said, more often than not, the worsening of mental state asks for more intensive treatment. More and more people seem to start realizing that as they are looking up “online therapy for free.”

 If you aren’t sure how to pick the most suitable therapy for you, read on.

Online vs. In-Person Counseling

Many people wonder if virtual therapy is as good as in-person therapy. Studies have shown that online sessions are just as effective as in-person counseling.

What makes online therapy platforms even more appealing is that they’re more affordable in general. Another factor that contributes to the increasing popularity of virtual therapy is the ease-of-use and constant mental health support, as you can access most text-based chats at any time. In other words, mental health services will be tailored to your individual needs.

Moreover, if you have social anxiety, online therapy is likely to be more accommodating as most online counseling sites offer several communication channels. All in all, online therapy enables you to curate the experience you are craving to get.

Types of Counseling

To decide which site is the best for you, double-check if the site under consideration offers the type of counseling you are looking for.

First, we suggest that you make a list of things that are troubling you. Make sure to write them out so that you have a clearer idea of what you are trying to find. 

Second, go through online therapy sites and check if their therapists are qualified to help with your issues. What’s more, if you’re looking for a specific approach to therapy, make sure to locate information regarding this. If there’s no information about approaches to therapy, you might want to contact customer service and inquire about it. 

Flexibility

Flexibility is yet another aspect worth your consideration. 

Many of you are most likely extremely busy, meaning that scheduling sessions might pose a serious challenge. On top of that, many people don’t have access to affordable means of transportation. In other words, making it to in-person counseling is daunting for quite a number of people. 

That’s where the best online counseling sites come in handy. Most online services offer 24/7 availability. That means you can message your counselor any time you want, or you can chat with volunteer listeners who will provide you with emotional support.

That said, keep in mind that some platforms are only available through workdays, eight hours per day.

Another key element of flexibility is the number of devices you can use. With most of us glued to our phones, it comes as no wonder that the best platforms out there offer mobile apps for more convenience.

On-Site Toolbox and Other Important Information

It goes without saying that the most prominent online therapy services are the ones that are transparent. Surely, you’d want detailed information regarding one’s services so that you can make an informed decision.

It’s crucial that an online therapy site discloses information about its privacy policy, cancellation policy, and therapists’ selection, to name a few. Sharing this vital information is what gains customers’ trust.

Furthermore, many quality therapy websites offer a lot of additional information about mental health. Whether you have a certain type of anxiety or struggle with stress, you’re likely to find worksheets, meditation tips, yoga videos, and much more. Additional resources most definitely complement online mental health counseling and raise your overall awareness of mental health.

Anonymity

One of the main reasons many people opt for virtual-based therapy is the option to stay anonymous. Understandably, not everyone’s comfortable with identifying themselves.

That’s why we suggest that you check a company’s privacy policy before hitting that “subscribe” button. Most sites realize the importance of this aspect and provide all the necessary information about encryption and other techniques aimed to protect your privacy.

Moreover, we urge you to check how you can protect your identity in online counseling sessions. In other words, double-check what you are expected to share and see if you’re comfortable with that. 

Being able to stay unknown and still get much-needed help is certainly one of the key benefits of virtual counseling. 

Conclusion

Even though there are numerous treatments that alleviate anxiety and reduce stress, more and more people flock to therapy. 

No matter what led you to seek online help, we believe you are to take this seriously and put all the time and effort into selecting mental health services. We also understand that it might be overwhelming, which is why we came up with this extensive guide to make it all a piece of cake. 

Our team hopes that you will find the help you need. Check our list of the best online therapy sites to start your healing journey.

FAQs

Is online therapy legit?

Yes, it is. In fact, it’s just as good as in-person therapy. Most platforms that provide online therapy employ licensed therapists. Following this, you can be sure that you’re getting expert help.

Moreover, counseling on online platforms is more convenient for those on-the-go or those who prefer multiple communication channels.

Can I talk to a counselor online for free?

Online-Therapy offers a free therapy program with worksheets, tests, and an activity plan. However, you can’t have therapy sessions or counselor’s feedback. On the other hand, 7 Cups has a completely free chat, where you can get help from volunteer listeners anytime. So, even though you have to pay to talk to a therapist, there are still some free options. 

Is online therapy cheaper?

Yes, it is! While in-person therapy might cost you $150.00–$200.00 per session, therapy sessions held online start at $30.00 per week. As you can see, online therapy is way more affordable.

What is the best online therapy site?

Our team considers BetterHelp to be the best one. It offers multiple communication options and its therapists are licensed and certified.

Still, we have compiled the list of the best online therapy sites for a reason. All in all, we suggest that you consider all five sites before making a final decision.