While online therapy isn’t the best solution for everyone, it has become one of the most popular ways of getting professional mental health care. The benefits of receiving therapy online are hard to ignore, so it’s quickly becoming a new normal.
A lot of people prefer virtual sessions because they’re often more convenient, private, and affordable than traditional face-to-face sessions. Teletherapy platforms also help make therapy more accessible to people who live in remote areas or simply never had the time to commute to appointments.
Multiple studies have found that online therapy and counseling can be equally as effective as in-person treatment and can produce similar therapeutic outcomes. Online therapy can work for almost anyone who is looking for emotional support. Common issues that are treated online include depression, anxiety, stress management, relationship problems, sleep issues, trauma, grief, and substance abuse.
With many new online therapy platforms appearing in recent years, choosing one can be a difficult task. Different providers offer different options and ways to communicate with a therapist, and based on the type of counseling you’re looking for and your preferences, one platform may be better suited for you than the next.
To help you decide which of the online therapy providers is right for you, drmental.org did extensive research and compared the leading platforms. They reviewed their reputation, technical features, cost, the qualifications and credentials of their therapists, and other factors, and selected the best ones for different needs and preferences.
Here are the findings of their analysis and the best online therapy platforms of 2022.
1. Calmerry – Best Online Therapy Platform Overall
- Licensed 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 at no cost to you
- Good resources available on the easy-to-navigate website
- Easy-to-use mobile apps for Android and iOS
- Free mood tracker and journaling app
- Therapists can’t prescribe medication
- Although messaging is unlimited, therapists only respond 1-2 times per day
Calmerry offers subscription-based online therapy and counseling services to individuals and matches clients with licensed therapists from their states. Even though clients don’t choose their therapist, they can switch to a different provider at no cost. Calmerry has 24/7 customer support, and you can reach them out via phone, email, or live chat.
All Calmerry therapists are clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or licensed professional counselors with a master’s or doctorate degree in their field.
They are trained in a wide variety of evidence-based therapies can help you address depression, anxiety, stress, OCD, PTSD, anger, grief and loss, relationship issues, and other mental health and emotional issues. Calmerry can also match you with an experienced self-esteem therapist or a counselor who has experience working with LGBTQ+ community.
Each user has access to a personalized Therapy Room that gives them a private space to meet with their therapist, process their sessions, and manage their subscription. You can message or video chat with your counselor here as well as access to your Reflection Helper, a free chatbot designed to help you track your mood and create journal entries to self-reflect on your mental health journey.
2. Talkspace – Best for Online Psychiatric Services
- Multiple counseling options: text, audio, video sessions
- Individual, couples, teen counseling, and psychiatry services
- High professional standards for therapists
- Convenient mobile apps for iOS and Android
- Some services are covered by insurance
- Some providers can prescribe medication
- No free trial
- Can only choose therapist from algorithm-selected matches
- Response time depends on the individual therapist
Talkspace online therapy services now include individual therapy, couples therapy, psychiatry, and teen therapy. It is a subscription-based platform, meaning you pay monthly for access to your personal therapist. If you want to switch therapists, Talkspace allows you to do that at any time.
The platform offers a variety of different communication options for talking with your counselor, including video, audio, live chat, and unlimited messaging. Talkspace partners with several health insurance providers, which means that you can talk to a therapist without breaking the bank.
Talkspace has a large network of licensed providers that cover a range of specialties. They can treat a variety of conditions or concerns, including depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorders, mood disorders, chronic illness, OCD, substance abuse, and more.
Talkspace should be on your shortlist of potential therapy providers if you are interested in psychiatric services because it offers personalized psychiatric treatment and prescription management from a licensed prescriber.
3. Betterhelp – Best for Convenient Communication
- Individual, couples, and teen counseling
- Multiple communication methods: video, audio, live chat and unlimited messaging
- Financial aid is available for those who qualify
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS
- Switch therapists at any time
- Optional weekly group therapy sessions
- Not covered by insurance
- Therapist chosen for you
- Therapists can’t diagnose conditions or prescribe medication
Betterhelp touts itself as the world’s largest therapy service with an enormous pool of therapists which currently stands at over 25,000. They are psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors with masters or doctorate degrees. Although the platform uses an algorithm to match you to a therapist, you are more likely to find one that is a good fit.
Betterhelp doesn’t take insurance, but you can apply for financial aid at signup.
Users can access BetterHelp through their website or mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS. BetterHelp’s therapists are trained to provide counseling for a variety of common mental health issues including depression, anxiety, grief, addiction, relationship struggles, trauma, eating disorders, LGBTQ+ matters, and more.
You will have weekly video therapy sessions and unlimited messaging with your counselor. You can also opt to keep your identity anonymous during therapy, to an extent, and can use a nickname instead of your full name when creating your profile.
4. Online-Therapy.com – Best Guided Therapy Program
- Program based on cognitive behavioral therapy
- Unlimited messaging with your therapist
- Therapists respond to messages within 24 hours, Monday through Friday
- A great suite of self-care tools you can use outside of session
- Anonymous and private
- 20% discount first month
- Doesn’t accept insurance
- No group therapy offered
- No medication management services
Online-Therapy’s program, which they present as a “toolbox”, is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This approach is effective when treating a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, phobias, alcohol and drug issues, eating disorders. CBT helps you identify, challenge, and overcome your dysfunctional thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
Online-Therapy.com offers four subscription plans based on your individual mental health needs. By signing up for Online-Therapy’s services, you will have full access to their online therapy program that is divided into eight sections and has twenty-five worksheets. There is no set time limit for completing the program.
Online-Therapy.com assigns therapists based on information in your profile, although you can request to switch therapists at any time. Depending on what therapist you’re matched with, you can have therapy sessions via chat messaging, phone, or video session. Therapy sessions are part of a larger plan that includes journal prompts, yoga videos, activity plan, and homework worksheets that your therapist provides feedback on.
5. Doctor on Demand – Best for Single Video Sessions
- Free screening tool for mental health assessment
- Psychologists and psychiatrists can provide medication management
- You can choose your mental health provider
- Therapists are available seven days a week
- Mobile app for Android and iOS
- Accepts some insurance
- Rather expensive
- Fewer therapists are available compared with other online services
- Live video session is the only option
Doctor on Demand is good for short-term consultations and prescriptions for emotional and mental health concerns. It offers access to physicians and trained mental health professionals who are licensed psychiatrists and psychologists. The platform can be a good option for people who want to do single sessions instead of subscribing to a plan. The standard session lasts fifty minutes, but there is an option to schedule an appointment that lasts twenty-five minutes.
Doctor on Demand offers services for behavioral health needs, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, as well as other areas of mental health, including grief, PTSD, emotional and physical trauma. If you take medication as a part of your treatment, a psychiatrist can order electronic prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice.
Users can browse all available therapists licensed in their state of residence, viewing bios, credentials, and other details, to choose a provider and schedule an appointment. You can also book appointments with medical doctors for other physical conditions.
With its convenience, accessibility, potential cost savings, and added perks, online therapy has become one of the top ways people seek mental health services. Whether you’re new to therapy or curious about how online counseling works, we recommend taking some time to research what’s available and compare different options. At https://drmental.org/, you can find more reviews of different online therapy platforms that were tested by their editorial team.
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