February 22, 2022

Best Online Therapy Platforms

by Psych Times Staff

The online therapy industry has grown significantly in recent years. This is great news, as it means that more and more people have access to the help they need. Still, it can be challenging to determine the best online therapy option for you with more platforms to choose from.

Overall, finding the best online therapy platform shouldn’t be a huge feat with so many benefits to online therapy. Still, you may be looking for certain features over others or are looking for the best overall value for the cost. In this case, it helps to know which are some of the best online therapy platforms, at least to serve as a starting point in your search.

This article will compare the best online therapy platforms to help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs. We will look at the features of each platform, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of each one. This will help you make an informed decision about which of the following best online therapy platforms are right for you.

Three Best Online Therapy Platforms in 2022

BetterHelp

First up is BetterHelp. There are many reasons why BetterHelp is one of the best online therapy platforms available.

This platform has been around for a while, offering a range of services to individuals, teenagers, and couples. BetterHelp also offers a variety of tools to help you get the most out of your therapy experience. BetterHelp’s communication tools include live chats (video and audio) and 24/7 unlimited messaging.

As a whole, BetterHelp users appreciate its all-inclusive pricing, where subscriptions also include weekly sessions up to 45 minutes, depending on their therapist’s availability.

Why is BetterHelp One of the Best Online Therapy Platforms?

With BetterHelp, you are guaranteed a qualified, licensed therapist. The only drawback is that BetterHelp chooses a therapist for you. Although, you can easily switch to a new therapist if you feel your first one isn’t the best match. The other good news is that most users note how responsive BetterHelp therapists are.

There is also a wide variety of talk therapy options available through BetterHelp’s easy-to-use website and app. These talk therapy types include, but are not limited to:

  • CBT and DBT
  • Psychoanalysis
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Journaling

It’s worth noting that the treatment types and educational resources used will vary across therapists. You can read all about each therapist in their bio on BetterHelp’s website.

Subscriptions & Cost

BetterHelp offers one all-inclusive and non-customizable subscription plan. Users are billed once a week every month.

Out-of-pocket costs for BetterHelp seem to vary drastically. Monthly subscription plan costs for better Help range anywhere from $240 to $600, largely depending on your location. Cost can also depend on when you sign up and the number of therapists available (i.e., demand) in your area at that time.

That said, many users can still access BetterHelp for an affordable monthly price, so it’s worth checking their website week to week as prices can change.

While BetterHelp does not take insurance, you can request a receipt for your therapist to submit an insurance claim. In most cases, subscribers can obtain partial out-of-network coverage.

The other main drawback of BetterHelp is that its plan does not include medication management. This could be a dealbreaker for those who need access to a psychiatrist or medical doctor or who determine along the way that a combination of therapy and medication is best.

Final Thoughts on BetterHelp

Depending on your geographic location, BetterHelp tends to cost more than some of the other best online therapy platforms. However, if you are looking for a comprehensive platform with quality features and therapists, BetterHelp may be the right choice.

Talkspace

Talkspace was one of the first of its kind and has remained one of the best online therapy platforms because it’s continually expanding to offer more to its users. They now offer psychiatric help, medication management, couples counseling, and teen counseling, in addition to individual talk therapy.

Unlike BetterHelp, Talkspace offers multiple subscription plans with different price tiers. The variety of communication options available range from video, audio, and live chat.

Why is Talkspace One of the Best Online Therapy Platforms?

Talkspace is one of the best online therapy options available largely because of its wide range of staff and services. From licensed therapists and psychiatrists to doctors and nurses, Talkspace increases the likelihood of finding what and who you need.

Like BetterHelp, it depends on the individual therapist, but overall the common types of therapy you can find through Talkspace include CBT, DBT, mindfulness, and psychodynamic therapy. Through these therapy types, therapists can help individuals address anything from anxiety and depression to bullying, LGBTQ issues, parenting, and stress management – to name a few.

Talkspace therapists can treat ADHD, trauma, addiction, or bipolar disorder. However, it’s worth noting that the sessions are only 30 minutes long, making it hard to explore some topics deeply in a single session.

Talkspace works with a handful of insurance providers and EAP (Employee Assistance Program) plans. They also accept HSA and FSA card payments, focusing on providing affordable mental health care to everyone who needs it.

Subscriptions & Cost

Talkspace offers three main subscription plans:

  • The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus Plan: includes text, audio, and video messaging with a therapist. It does not include live sessions.
  • The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium Plan: includes text, audio, and video messaging with a therapist. It includes one 30-minute live video session each month.
  • The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate Plan: includes text, audio, and video messaging with a therapist. It also includes four 30-minute live video sessions each month.

With monthly plan costs ranging from $260 to $400 per month, Talkspace’s services are more affordable than traditional talk therapy through private practices. However, costs can add up quickly if you add psychiatric services such as medication management.

One downside to Talkspace is that you must use your live sessions each month; they do not rollover.

Final Thoughts on Talkspace

Talkspace is an easy-to-use online therapy platform both online and in the app. Talkspace provides access to licensed therapists along with a comprehensive list of services. However, its most affordable messaging-only plan, nor its plans with 30-minute live sessions, may not be enough to address serious mental health needs.

Cerebral

Cerebral was selected as one of the best online therapy services because it provides affordable therapy and medication management services. Cerebral accepts many in-network insurance plans to cover talk therapy services provided by therapists with a graduate degree or Ph.D.

Why is Cerebral One of the Best Online Therapy Platforms?

Cerebral is one of the most affordable online therapy services between its in-network insurance policies and out-of-pocket costs. Plus, Cerebral includes medication in the costs of the plans that offer it. This means that even if your insurance is not in-network, you may still find the affordable and convenient care you need each month through Cerebral.

Cerebral therapists can help their patients address various mental health needs through CBT, mindfulness, stress management, and breathing and grounding exercises.

It’s important to note that talk therapy through Cerebral is currently only offered in 30 states, while medication management is available to all 50.

Because Cerebral can prescribe medication when needed, it can be a great option for those struggling with ADHD, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. However, Cerebral can only prescribe medications for these issues in certain states.

Subscriptions & Cost

There are three plans offered through Cerebral that are billed monthly:

  • The Medication & Care Counseling Plan: includes an evaluation, diagnosis, and prescription from a medical provider. It also includes regular phone or video sessions with a care counselor and costs $85 per month. The medication cost is separate but includes automatic monthly shipments to your home.
  • The Therapy Plan: includes weekly phone or video sessions with a therapist. It also allows you to message your therapist any time and costs $259 per month.
  • The Medication + Therapy Plan: includes everything from the two above plans and costs $325 per month.

Subscribers may also choose to pay for their plan using HSA or FSA funds.

Finally, it’s important to note that Cerebral does not mention their session times upfront, which can be an important factor for many.

Final Thoughts on Cerebral

While Cerebral may be a hit or miss option, those who can utilize Cerebral are likely to have an excellent experience. If you wish to explore Cerebral more thoroughly for certain mental issues or medications, be sure to check what’s available in your state.

Final Thoughts on the Best Online Therapy

BetterHelp, Talkspace, and Cerebral are three of the best online therapy services available today. We chose them as the best online therapy platforms due to their overall offerings and value for the price. That said, these are just three of several online talk therapy options, so if you don’t see what you need here, do not be discouraged.

One person’s best online therapy platform won’t always be the same for someone else. This is especially important to remember if you need a platform that addresses specific needs or issues, such as group therapy, couples therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The same goes for specific communities, from LGBTQIA+ to the BIPOC community and counseling for Christians.

The more this industry grows, the more therapists and insurance networks will get on board to make online therapy as affordable and inclusive as possible. But for now, we hope this list of the best online therapy platforms at least served as a starting point or source of inspiration on what the best online therapy platforms can offer.


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