After the COVID-19 pandemic drove huge segments of the workforce into remote employment, online therapy was one of several industries that saw a significant and sustained spike in demand.
Unfortunately, the surge in interest in online therapy hasn’t come without growing pains. For many consumers, the sheer number of online therapy providers can make it difficult to navigate and differentiate between the most credible and beneficial options. And even for those with a good grasp on the market, navigating the cumbersome online therapy landscape can prove to be a time-consuming and confusing experience.
To give you a head start navigating the complex world of online therapy, we’ve put together the following guide to the best onlinetherapy options. We hope this guide will help you better understand the direction of the industry and help you make an informed decision about your best fit for therapy.
What is Online Therapy?
Online therapy is a growing field that combines the therapeutic power of human interaction with the efficiency and accessibility of video, text, and audio chat technologies. The result is a powerful tool for improving mental health.
Today, there are a growing number of online therapy platforms that specialize in providing a comforting environment for clients of all demographics and financial means. Instead of meeting with a therapist in person, you’ll be able to connect with them online, allowing you to work together from the convenience of your home or office. This can be an important factor for individuals who live far away from a therapist or are unable to travel to sessions, or for those who simply don’t have the time to make it to sessions.
Some of the most common uses of online therapy are web-based counseling, interactive socialization forums, and online CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) modules.
Top 3 Best Online Therapy Platforms for 2022
To help streamline your hunt for the best online therapy platform, we’ve compiled a list of three of the most popular and well-known online therapy providers. While far from exhaustive, this list is a great place to start if you want to narrow down your potential options.
Founded in 2013, BetterHelp offers a wide range of mental health services via an interactive online portal. Marketed as the world’s largest counseling platform, BetterHelp’s portal is staffed 24/7 by more than 20,000 therapists. Starting at $90 per month, BetterHelp customers can take advantage of private messaging, live audio chat, and secure video conferencing.
Amwell operates one of the largest telemedicine platforms in the United States. Like BetterHelp, Amwell’s teleconferencing platform is available 24/7 and allows customers to connect with licensed mental health professionals at a moment’s notice. Amwell customers can also access a wider range of services as part of their subscription, including primary and urgent care appointments. Unsurprisingly, this convenience comes with an added subscription cost of $108 per week.
Talkspace is a mobile-first platform that has become a favorite among millennials, offering in-app texting and secure video chat. With a guaranteed response outside of weekends and subscription rates starting at $65 per month, Talkspace is an excellent option if you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative to in-person therapy.
Choosing the Best Online Therapy
When it comes to selecting an online therapy provider, there are a number of factors that you should consider. First and foremost, you should determine what budget you have to work with. As you can see from our list of online therapy sites, there is significant variation in price points.
The next thing to consider is the level of personalization that the platform provides. Some online therapy platforms specialize in offering a more tailored experience, which can be great for those who want the support of a counselor that is specifically trained to work with their particular issues. On the other hand, some online therapy providers offer a more generalized experience, which can work for those who just want the structured support of a trained therapist.
You should also consider the level of convenience that each platform offers. While all three providers in our list offer a variety of convenient online therapy modalities, some clients prefer video chat over text chat or vice versa. If this is the case for you, it might be a good idea to try out a few different platforms to figure out which works best for you.
Finally, once you have your budget and service considerations in mind, take the time to evaluate the reputation of your shortlisted online therapy sites. In addition to promotional customer testimonials, you can look at third-party websites for online therapy reviews and customer service ratings. The last thing you want is to end up in a situation where you have a poor experience with your therapy platform, leaving you with more stress and anxiety than what you started with.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the decision of where to find online therapy should be based on your budget, personal preference, and the level of convenience offered by each platform. By doing your research and being patient while you’re searching for the best online therapy for you, you can rest assured that you’re making the best decision for your mental health.