There are a lot of online therapy platforms that can connect you with licensed providers, but not all of them are created equal, and it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you.
If you are thinking about starting online therapy to improve your mental well-being, read on to discover our top picks for the best online therapy platforms to fit your needs and preferences.
Calmerry – Best Overall
- Licensed and vetted therapists with experience in different fields
- Unlimited messaging therapy (text, audio) and live video sessions
- Quick matching with therapists by Calmerry staff, not an algorithm
- Switch to a different therapist free of charge
- Good resources available on the easy-to-navigate website
- Customer support via phone, email, and private portal
- Free mood tracker, journaling app, and other self-help resources
- No medication management services
- You can’t choose your therapist
Calmerry offers subscription-based online therapy and counseling services to individuals and matches people with licensed therapists from their states. Even though you don’t choose your counselor, you can switch to a different online therapy provider at no cost to find a better match. Calmerry has a dedicated customer support team, and users can easily reach them out via phone, email, or live chat.
All Calmerry therapy providers are clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or licensed professional counselors that have a master’s or doctorate degree in their field. They are trained in different evidence-based therapies, and many of them have experience working with LGBTQ+ community.
Calmerry is a good option to consider if you’re looking for OCD online therapy as well as treatment for anxiety, depression, burnout, trauma and PTSD. Calmerry therapists can also help you improve low self-esteem, cope with life-transitions, and address relationship issues.
Each Calmerry client has access to a personalized Therapy Room that gives them a private space to communicate with their therapist, process their online therapy sessions, and manage their subscription.
Clients can message or video chat with their counselors here as well as get access to their Reflection Helper. It’s a free chatbot that was designed to help Calmerry users track their mood and create journal entries, using prompts, to self-reflect on their mental health journey.
Calmerry clients also have access to the Self-Help library that includes courses and video tips from therapists.
BetterHelp – Best Customer Experience
- Different ways to communicate with your therapist: chat, phone, video, and text messaging
- Individual therapy, couples therapy, and therapy for teens
- Extensive network of licensed therapists
- You can request financial aid
- No extra charge for changing therapists
- Optional weekly group therapy sessions
- No medication management services
- Not covered by insurance
- You can’t choose which therapist you’re paired with
BetterHelp touts its platform as the largest online therapy service in the world and boasts a huge network of licensed, experienced online therapy providers who have gone through a strict vetting process. Before you sign up, you have an opportunity to browse through the detailed bios of the therapists that work with the platform. That can help you feel more confident that you’ll be able to find a mental health professional you can build a therapeutic relationship with.
BetterHelp therapists have experience in addressing various mental health and emotional issues, including stress, anxiety, depression, addictions, eating disorders, family conflicts, grief & loss, LGBTQ+ issues, and more. BetterHelp uses an algorithm to match you to an online therapy provider, but if you think that your counselor isn’t a good fit for you, you can request to change them. Canceling your subscription is also easy, and you can do it at any time. Although the BetterHelp services aren’t covered by insurance, you may apply for financial aid when you sign up.
BetterHelp only offers one subscription plan that includes a variety of communication options for talking to your counselor: video, audio, live chats, and unlimited messaging, and you can pick the most convenient option for you. Weekly live video or phone sessions typically last 30- to 45-minutes, depending on the therapist’s availability. There are also free live interactive group seminars available weekly to supplement therapy.
Talkspace – Best Online Therapy Covered by Insurance
- Multiple ways to communicate with your therapist
- Individual, couples, and teen therapy
- Psychiatry services
- You can choose your therapist from recommended suggestions
- Psychiatrists can prescribe medication that you can pick up from your local pharmacy
- Easy to switch therapists if needed
- Some services may be covered by insurance
- Good resource library
- You can’t see exact pricing information for each plan until you sign up
- Not always in network for health insurance
- Group or family therapy is not available
Talkspace is one of the most well-known online therapy platforms that offers services that now include individual therapy, couples therapy, psychiatry, medication management, and teen therapy. Since Talkspace is a subscription-based platform, you pay a monthly fee for online access to your personal therapist. After you sign up and complete a questionnaire, you can choose your counselor from algorithm-selected matches, and you can also switch therapists at any time for free.
The platform offers different communication options for talking with your therapist online, including video, audio, live chat, and unlimited messaging. Talkspace also partners with many different health insurance providers and EAP plans. That means you can have therapy sessions without breaking the bank if your insurance plan is in-network.
Talkspace has a large network of licensed therapy providers that cover a range of specialties. The company’s strict licensing requirements for all mental health professionals guarantee clients the best care. Talkspace therapists can help you manage a variety of mental health conditions or concerns, including stress, anxiety, burnout, depression, eating disorders, OCD, chronic illness, substance abuse, relationship issues, and more.
MDLive – Best for Online Psychiatry
- Talk therapy and psychiatry
- Experienced licensed therapists and psychiatrists
- Clients can choose their own provider
- Choose between phone and live video appointments
- Offers medication prescription and management
- Is covered by some health insurance plans
- Available in all US states
- Rather pricey for those without insurance
- No option for text therapy
- Therapist availability varies by state
While MDLive is primarily a general-purpose platform for online medical help, it also offers behavioral health services that include therapy and psychiatry. MDLive employs licensed therapists and counselors providing talk therapy and board-certified psychiatrists. All mental health professionals go through a thorough background check for licensure, training, and work history.
The MDLive therapists can provide online treatment and support for many common mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, OCD, trauma & PTSD, phobias, panic disorders, grief & loss, addiction, relationship issues, and more. They all go through specialized telehealth training in communication, diagnosis, and treatment by video or phone.
Clients need to sign in and can browse a directory to search for therapists and psychiatrists by specialty, gender, language, and/or available date. Each provider has their own profile where they describe their treatment approach and provide information about their scheduling options. Typically, clients have to request an appointment time and wait for the therapist or psychiatrist to get back to them, rather than booking an online therapy session immediately.
Clients can communicate with their therapist or psychiatrist using audio or video via computer or app. If clients need any types of medical tests, their therapists can refer them to other specialists within the MDLive platform. Providers on MDLive can prescribe medication to clients with depression, bipolar disorder, trauma and PTSD, and other mental health concerns and send the prescription directly to the pharmacy of their choice.
Doctor on Demand – Best for Single Video Sessions
- Free online screening tool for mental health assessment
- You can choose your mental health provider
- You can schedule appointments on any day of the week
- Psychiatrists can order prescriptions to your pharmacy of choice
- Mental health support is also available for children
- Accepts some insurance
- More expensive than other online therapy services
- Depending on your location, you may only have a few therapists to choose from.
- Live video chat is the only communication option
- No customer service
Doctor on Demand is one of the fastest-growing telemedicine providers in America that takes a combined approach to virtual health care. The platform offers fast appointments not only with primary care doctors but also with mental health professionals – psychologists and psychiatrists. You can browse through therapists’ bios and choose your own therapist based on their qualifications and area of expertise. All online therapy sessions are accessible exclusively by video chat.
If clients aren’t sure what kind of mental health support they need, there is a free online assessment tool that helps them screen for anxiety and depression before they even sign up. The platform also offers online support for other mental health conditions and concerns, including bipolar disorder, PTSD, grief and loss, substance use disorders, and insomnia.
Although the out-of-pocket costs per therapy session are more expensive than at most of the online therapy sites, the Doctor on Demand services are covered by some health insurance plans, including such popular insurers as Humana, United Healthcare, Cigna, and Aetna among others. But clients need to create an account in order to see whether their insurance is accepted, as well as begin to browse through the platform’s online therapist directory.
Online therapy has never been more popular than it is now, and it is quickly becoming not only just a safe and convenient substitute for in-person care but a new norm. Online therapy platforms vary in the services and features they offer so it’s crucial to know what your most important needs and preferences are. Still, in many cases, finding a good online therapy platform is all about finding the right counselor you click with.