There may come a time in your life when you need a professional to talk to, and cost, scheduling, and counselor availability shouldn’t deter you from seeking the help you need and deserve. Fortunately there are a number of increasingly popular alternatives to traditional in-office therapy, with online counseling leading the charge in 21st wellness.
Convenient and typically costing much less than standard brick-and-mortar therapy services, online counseling provides its users with discreet and fully licensed care, tailored to fit their unique set of needs. Members can chat with their professional from the comfort and discretion of their home, and at a time when availability is optimum.
With so many reputable online counseling services and websites, how do you know which one is right for you? Are you looking for a structured web platform that directly matches you with a therapist, or an app that takes a more contemporary approach?
To help get you started, listed below are some of the most popular and well-reviewed online counseling services worth looking into.
1. 7 Cups of Tea
As the cozy name would suggest, 7 Cups of Tea is a wellness-centered app and online service. Users can login anonymously and connect with trained and experienced “active listeners” free of charge or pay for a licensed professional(amounting to about $150 a month), with the opportunity to become listeners themselves.
One size fits all definitely doesn’t apply to counseling, and Ginger.io understands that you need a professional who can work within your specific needs. Available online and as an app, Ginger.io offers individual plans, with regular monitoring of your progress along the way. Counselors can chat with their clients via the app’s video call feature, with the ability to change professionals as your needs determine.
Plans begin at $129 a month, and community user Katie A. reports: “I can talk to my regular coach during the day, and there are always backup coaches available, 24/7. It’s a paid app, but it’s helped me so much. They are called ‘health coaches’ and they’re all masters-level trained helpers.”
This chatbot specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) exclusively through Facebook Messenger. Woebot checks in on the regular, and constructs a unique chart based on your conversations, with an ongoing evaluation pertaining to your thought patterns and responses. You can try it out for free for two weeks, after which you’ll be charged $39 a month.
Sibly communicates with users via a messaging platform, and focuses primarily on reaching one’s goals through thoughtful questioning, active listening, and certain cognitive-behavioral exercises. After providing some information and responses to certain questions, you’ll be matched with a team of Sibly coaches who will work with you around the clock. Sibly starts at $12.45 per week.
Easy, accessible, and stress-free counseling are the goals of BetterHelp, and their growing customer base is proof of their success. Convenient and affordable, BetterHelp lets you get the help you need, anytime you need. After signing up you’ll be immediately matched with a licensed and experienced professional, with sessions conducted via phone, instant messaging, or video conference. BetterHelp averages about $35 to $70 per week.
A discreet peer and online counseling service, iPrevail offers the help of fully trained (and fully anonymous) listeners. Upon signing up you’ll be asked a set of questions and evaluated according to your answers, with further inquiry into your present mental and emotional states.
Upon completion you’ll be assigned a listening group, as well as a customized program of strategies and tools. Paid subscriptions start at $9.99 per week for those wishing to work with a professional, while speaking with listeners is absolutely free.
This web-based platform uses tools and strategies based on cognitive-behavioral methods. After completing an introductory quiz, you’ll be matched with the program that best suits your needs, as well as a personalized coach. Lantern is $49 a month, with the option to cancel at any time.
This website + app enables its users to connect with licensed and reputable online therapists in the most convenient and affordable way possible. Fully anonymous and conducted entirely through virtual communication, Talkspace allows you to chat with an online therapist personally selected for you, with a wide range of payment plans and scheduling options available.
Talkspace starts at a basic plan of $32 a week, with an allowance of one check-in per day.
Regain’s primary focus is on couples counseling online, with all web-based sessions conducted via their entrusted platform. Boasting over 1,500 state-certified and fully licensed therapists, Regain maintains an all-inclusive attitude, welcoming couples of all lifestyles, backgrounds, and identities to join.
10. Teen Counseling
This online platform offers counseling for teens aged 13-20. With sessions conducted via tablet, cell phone, or computer by fully licensed therapists, TeenCounseling’s services are both affordable and discreet. Teens can discuss issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction, anger, bullying, and other concerns in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
TeenCounseling runs on an all-inclusive range of membership plans, with an average cost of $50 to $60 per week.
Based on the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach, OnlineTherapy matches you with a licensed therapist online, available to chat daily Monday through Friday via phone, video conference, or messenger. Subscriptions can be adjusted or canceled anytime, with a 20% discount off the first month of use.
12. Presto Experts
Don’t be deterred by the somewhat lackluster website design; Presto Experts’ online counselors boast years of experience and merit, and are fully trained to help you in any number of areas, including relationships, career, personal setbacks, and self-growth. Presto Experts believes in providing users with a nonjudgmental environment, at rates determined by the individual’s financial capabilities.
13. Pacifica (now called Sanvello)
Not everyone is comfortable speaking with an online therapist, even virtually, and Pacifica (now under the new name Sanvello) takes a more solo-oriented approach. This self-described “self-help mental health app” features activities, audio lessons, relaxation techniques, and mood-tracking charts that can be accessed alone and without the oversight of a counselor, with the option to engage in peer support communities to stay connected. Pacifica is free to join and enjoy.
This app allows you to connect with trained and licensed therapists online by way of livestream video chatting, with professionals additionally trained in areas such as addiction, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and trauma. A standard 50-minute sessions runs about $85, with LARKR offering insurance reimbursement assistance.
For those who aren’t looking to go the traditional counseling route but aren’t quite ready for anything too edgy or untried, Basis offers a refreshing balance via their website and app. Basis specialists are fully trained and experienced to talk with you whenever you need, with the average 45-minute session running $35.
During each session, your specialist will guide you through your problems, and help you adopt a set of unique tools and strategies for tackling whatever stands in your way.
Because many of these listed services offer a free trial period before committing, it may be worth your while to try a few out and see how you feel about online counseling. No matter your ultimate choice, you should be proud of yourself for taking this next big step towards happiness and mental wellbeing.