Many people find that having virtual sessions with a therapist is a more convenient, private, and affordable way of getting quality mental health care. Numerous studies have found that online therapy can be equally as effective as traditional in-person sessions and can produce similar therapeutic outcomes. Since the benefits of online therapy are hard to ignore, it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular ways of getting emotional support from a mental health professional.
Looking for the right online therapy platform to suit your needs? Online therapy platforms make it easier to seek help in the comfort and privacy of one’s own home, but not all of them are created equal. Choosing the service to get quality mental health care can be challenging. So to help you make an informed decision, experts from therapy-reviews.com have analyzed the most popular virtual therapy platforms and compared what they offer. They reviewed their reputation, technical features, the qualifications and credentials of their therapists, cost, and other factors and created this list. Here are the top 5 teletherapy platforms you can trust in 2022.
Calmerry: Best Overall Online Therapy Platform
- Licensed therapists with experience in treating different mental health issues
- Unlimited messaging therapy(text, audio) and live video sessions
- You are matched with a therapist by Calmerry staff, not an algorithm
- Switch to a different therapist for free and cancel any time
- Good resources available on the easy-to-navigate website
- Easy-to-use mobile apps for Android and iOS
- Free online self-care tools: mood tracker and journaling app
- Therapists only respond 1-2 times a day
- No medication management service
Calmerry is a relatively new online therapy platform that offers subscription-based e-therapy and counseling services to individuals and couples and matches clients with licensed therapists from their states. Even though Calmerry clients don’t choose their therapist, they can easily switch to a different provider at no cost. Calmerry has 24/7 customer support, and you can reach them out via email, phone, or online live chat.
All Calmerry therapists are clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, or marriage and family therapists, with a master’s or doctorate degree in their field. They are trained in a wide variety of evidence-based therapies that can help you address different mental health and emotional issues, including stress, OCD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, anger, grief and loss, and relationship issues. Calmerry is a good place to get matched with a therapist if you are looking for therapy for depression and anxiety or need a counselor who has experience working with the LGBTQ+ community.
Each Calmerry client has access to a personal Therapy Room that gives them a private space to meet with their counselor, process their online therapy sessions, and manage their subscription. You can message or video chat with your therapist here and access to your Reflection Helper. It’s a free chatbot designed to help users track their mood and create online journal entries to self-reflect on their mental health journey.
BetterHelp: Best for Convenient Communication
- Unlimited text and audio messaging, live chat, and live video sessions
- Individual therapy, couples counseling, and therapy for teens
- A large provider network
- You can request financial aid
- No extra charge for changing therapists
- Optional weekly group sessions
- Not covered by insurance
- You can’t choose your therapist
- Therapists can’t diagnose conditions or prescribe medication
BetterHelp touts itself as the world’s largest therapy service with an enormous network of licensed, experienced therapists which currently stands at over 26,000. They are clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors who can professionally help with a range of issues.
You can browse through the detailed bios of the therapists that work with BetterHelp and feel more confident that you’ll be able to find a good provider you can build a therapeutic relationship with. Although BetterHelp uses an algorithm to match you to a mental health professional, you are more likely to find a provider that is a good fit. You can also request to change them. The platform’s online therapy services are not covered by insurance, but you can apply for financial aid when you sign up.
Clients can access the BetterHelp platform through their website or mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android. BetterHelp’s therapists are trained to provide treatment for a variety of common mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, stress, relationship struggles, trauma, eating disorders, LGBTQ+ matters, and more. Users can have weekly online video therapy sessions and unlimited messaging with their counselor. They can also opt to keep their identity anonymous during online therapy, to an extent, and can use a nickname instead of their full name when creating their profile.
Talkspace: Best Network of Licensed Therapists
- Multiple online communication options: text, audio messaging, live video sessions
- Individual, couples, and teen therapy
- Psychiatry services
- High professional standards for therapists
- Clients can choose their therapist from recommended suggestions
- Medication management services
- Employee assistance programs available
- Online resource library
- Can only choose providers from algorithm-selected matches
- Response time varies and depends on the individual therapist
Talkspace online therapy services now include individual therapy, couples therapy, teen therapy, and psychiatry. It’s a subscription-based platform, so clients pay monthly for online access to their personal therapist. Users can choose from several subscription plans, all priced differently. If you want to switch therapists to find a better fit, Talkspace allows you to do that at any time without paying an additional fee. The company partners with several health insurance providers, works with some EAP plans, and accepts payments from HSA and FSA cards., which means that some clients can talk to an online therapist without breaking the bank.
Talkspace has a large network of licensed therapists and psychiatrists that cover a range of specialties. They can treat a variety of mental health conditions or concerns, including anxiety, depression, stress, burnout, eating disorders, mood disorders, chronic illness, sleep problems, OCD, substance abuse, and more. The platform should be on your shortlist of potential online therapy providers if you are interested in accessing to online psychiatric services because it offers personalized psychiatric treatment and prescription management from a licensed prescriber. The platform offers different communication options for talking with your counselor online, including video, audio, live chat, and unlimited messaging.
Online-Therapy.com: Best Online Program for CBT
- Self-guided program based on cognitive behavioral therapy
- Unlimited messaging with an assigned therapist
- Therapists respond to messages within 24 hours, Monday through Friday
- Three subscription plans available
- A great suite of self-care tools you can use outside of session
- Anonymous and private
- 20% discount first month for all users
- Is not covered by insurance
- The Basic plan doesn’t include live video sessions with a therapist
- Is not available in every state
Online-therapy.com is a good option for self-motivated people who are interested in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This evidence-based approach helps you identify, challenge, and overcome negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. CBT is effective when addressing different mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, phobias, eating disorders, and alcohol and drug issues.
The Online-Therapy’s program based on CBT is presented as a “toolbox” of online resources that includes 25 self-led worksheets, an online journal for tracking emotions and thoughts, a 30-minute weekly live session with your therapist, text messaging, activity plan, tests as well as yoga and meditation videos. There is no set time for completing the program, which is convenient for people with busy schedules.
Online-Therapy.com offers 3 subscription plans based on your individual mental health needs and goals you want to achieve. By signing up for the online services, you will have full access to the online therapy program, which you complete as it is convenient for you. Your assigned therapist will also give you personalized feedback on your progress after you finish any of the online activities in the portal.
MDLive: Best Online Platform for Psychiatry
- Online appointments available on nights and weekends
- Talk therapy and psychiatry
- Psychiatrists can diagnose mental health conditions
- Accepts some insurance plans
- You can choose your own provider and it’s easy to find a match
- Medication management services
- There are no subscription plans
- No email or chat support option
- Rather expensive without insurance
MDLive is a general-purpose online platform that provides access to a broad network of licensed therapists and board-certified psychiatrists for you to choose from. Users can get online support for bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, substance use, eating disorder, relationship concerns, parenting challenges, job loss, loss of a loved one, LGBTQ+ issues, and more. You can also get medication prescriptions, which will be sent directly to the pharmacy of your choice.
All MDLive therapists and psychiatrists go through a background check for licensure, education and training, and work history. Besides, they have all been specially trained in telehealth. There is online platform’s directory where you can find additional information about each provider so you can your find the right fit.
MDLive doesn’t offer a subscription-based online therapy service, but offers access to therapists and psychiatrists on a per-session basis. You need to book each online appointment separately. You have to request the appointment time and then wait for the therapist to get back to you. The price of seeing a psychiatrist on this platform is higher than on other similar services. But if you have health insurance plan provides coverage for mental health services, your out-of-pocket costs for online therapy may be lower.
There are a lot of virtual therapy providers out there, so you may feel somewhat at a loss when choosing the one to connect with a licensed therapist and get emotional support. The best approach is to use our recommendations of the e-therapy platforms to look for a good therapist and do your own research. We recommend looking for online services that employ only vetted licensed mental health professionals and follow the best practices to protect users’ confidentiality and privacy.