Find Relief: The Best Online Therapy for Depression in 2023
Top 8 Online Therapy Websites for Depression in 2023
Online counseling has revolutionized the way people access therapy for depression. With teletherapy platforms, you can receive counseling services privately and affordably, whether you’re new to therapy or currently receiving treatment. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the best online therapy platform for your needs. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of our top eight picks for the best online therapy websites that can effectively treat depression.
Our Top Picks for the Best Online Therapy for Depression
- Best online therapy for depression that offers medication management: Brightside
- Largest network of licensed therapists for depression: BetterHelp
- Best online therapy for depression that accepts insurance: Talkspace
- Best online therapy for couples dealing with depression: ReGain
- Best online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression: Online-Therapy.com
- Best online therapy for depression that supports members of the LGBTQ+ community: Pride Counseling
- Best online therapy for depression that offers same-day availability: Sesame
- Best online therapy for depression for teens: Teen Counseling
Why You Can Trust Us
We understand the importance of finding reliable and trustworthy sources for your mental health needs. That’s why we’ve spent countless hours conducting independent research, mystery shopping, and becoming customers of online therapy providers ourselves. We’ve also reviewed academic research and verified customer reviews to ensure that our recommendations are based on real experiences and proven efficacy. At [website name], you can trust that we have your best interests in mind.
Best Online Therapy for Depression: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Online Therapy||Session Types||Cost and Payment Options||Prescribes Medication||Accepts Insurance|
|Brightside||Live video and messaging||$95-$349 per month||Yes||Yes|
|BetterHelp||Messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions||$60-$90 per week||No||No|
|Talkspace||Messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions; live workshops||$69-$249 per week||Yes (Talkspace Psychiatry only)||Yes|
|ReGain||Messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions||$60-$90 per week||No||No|
|Online-Therapy.com||Messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions||$39.95-$79.95 per week||No||No|
|Pride Counseling||Messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions||$60-$90 per week||No||No|
|Sesame||Live video||$60-$300+ per session||Yes, if seen by an MD or authorized provider||No|
|Teen Counseling||Messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions||$60-$90 per week||No||No|
1. Best Online Therapy for Depression That Offers Medication Management: Brightside
Combining medication and counseling has been found to be effective in managing depressive symptoms. If you’re looking for an online therapy platform that offers both medication management and therapy sessions, Brightside could be a great option.
- Brightside offers therapy and medication management for depression
- Free assessment available
- Accepts insurance
- Therapy sessions are 45 minutes long
- Has an app for iOS devices
- Appointment times are limited with some providers
- No counseling sessions for children and teens
- Does not have an app for Android devices
Session Format Messaging and Live Video
At Brightside, you can expect to receive a personalized treatment recommendation after taking a long questionnaire. Mental health providers include psychiatrists, physicians, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and therapists. You’ll be matched with a provider who can help you with medication management and therapy.
Your therapist may recommend a combination of live weekly video sessions, messaging, and self-care tools. Depending on your needs, they may also recommend medication or a combination of medication and therapy.
Cost and Payment Options
Brightside offers three separate plans: a medication plan, a therapy plan, and a medication plus therapy plan. The medication plan costs $95 per month, plus your pharmacy copay if you’re using insurance, or $15 per medication without insurance. The therapy plan costs $299 per month and includes unlimited messaging and four monthly 45-minute video sessions. If you need additional live sessions, you can purchase them at $59 each. The combination medication-plus-therapy plan costs $349 per month and includes the features of both the medication plan and the therapy plan, but costs $45 less than if you were to pay for them separately. Your cost may be lower if you use insurance, depending on the details of your plan.
Prescribes Medication and Accepts Insurance
Brightside offers medication management for depression and accepts insurance. If your provider prescribes medication, you’ll receive it in the mail approximately five to seven business days after your consultation. You’ll also receive automatic refills if prescribed.
Brightside is a great option for those seeking medication management and therapy for depression. With upfront prescription prices and plan options, it’s easy to manage your depression treatment. If you’re interested in signing up, you can check insurance eligibility when you go through the sign-up process or by emailing [email protected].
2. The Leading Platform for Online Therapy for Depression: BetterHelp
- Over 24,000 licensed therapists on the platform
- Financial aid available for qualifying individuals
- Easy and seamless process for switching counselors
- “Homework” available between sessions, potentially enhancing the therapy experience for some clients
- Does not accept insurance
- Only available for adults
Session Format Messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions
Cost $60 to $90 per week, varying based on your location, financial aid eligibility, session duration, and therapist type; plans billed monthly
Prescribes Medication No
Accepts Insurance No
BetterHelp is the largest online therapy platform in the world, with over 24,000 mental health experts, including licensed psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional therapists. With such a large number of therapists on the platform, BetterHelp may offer more options for licensed therapists in your state compared to other online therapy providers for depression. If you want to select your own therapist, simply enter your city and state or ZIP code on BetterHelp’s “Find a Therapist” page. Alternatively, during the sign-up process, BetterHelp can match you with a therapist. All counselors hold at least a master’s degree in a related field and possess three or more years of experience.
How you work with your therapist is dependent on your goals and communication preferences. You have access to unlimited messaging in a secure and private online room where you can share your thoughts, concerns, and ask questions. Your therapist will read your messages and respond as soon as they can. BetterHelp does not provide details on the frequency of their therapists’ messaging responses. In response to a question about the response time for therapists, BetterHelp’s website states that it varies depending on the counselor. In our team’s review of over 1,000 online therapy users, 50 percent of BetterHelp users received same-day responses, and close to 13 percent received responses within minutes. The remaining users reported receiving responses within a few days (17 percent), a week (25 percent), or more than a week (8 percent).
Live sessions can take place through chat, phone, or video appointments. However, live sessions are limited to four per month.
BetterHelp Plan Options and Prices
BetterHelp’s weekly subscription prices typically range from $60 to $90 per week, depending on location, therapist type, session duration, and financial aid eligibility. BetterHelp has licensed therapists in all 50 states. Plans are billed monthly and include unlimited messaging through text and one live audio, video, or chat session per week. BetterHelp is one of the few online therapy providers that offer ongoing financial assistance for those who qualify.
Read our detailed review of BetterHelp to learn more about the platform.
3. Talkspace: The Best Online Therapy for Depression That Accepts Insurance
If you’re looking for an online therapy service that accepts insurance and provides counseling and psychiatry services, Talkspace may be the right choice for you. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
- Accepts several insurance plans
- Offers counseling and psychiatry services
- Authorized providers can prescribe medication
- Provides individual, couples, and teen counseling
- Some plans rely on messaging for communication
- Live video sessions are extra
- Can be costly if you’re only looking for a few sessions
Session Format: Talkspace offers messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions, as well as live workshops.
Cost: Prices vary depending on your location, but generally start at $69 per week for Messaging Therapy, $99 per week for Video Therapy Plus Messaging, and $109 per week for a combination of Live Video Therapy Plus Messaging Plus Weekly Workshops. Plans are billed monthly. Talkspace Psychiatry costs $249 for the first session and $125 for follow-up sessions.
Prescribes Medications: Yes, Talkspace Psychiatry offers medication management for adults.
Accepts Insurance: Yes, Talkspace accepts insurance from an extensive list of carriers.
Talkspace offers online counseling sessions for adults and teens ages 13 to 17. Licensed therapists and counselors provide online help for anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and more. Talkspace has high standards for therapists, requiring 3,000 or more clinical hours and at least a master’s degree in a related field.
One advantage of Talkspace is that it accepts insurance from an extensive list of carriers, including Optum and Cigna. Additionally, Talkspace offers online psychiatry appointments, which may be helpful for those needing medication management. However, it’s important to note that it may get costly if you need both medication management through the psychiatry plan and counseling through the therapy plan.
Talkspace offers several plan options and prices, which vary based on the type of therapy and the number of sessions per month. To get an exact pricing quote, you will need to fill out and submit an intake questionnaire. Additionally, you need to choose providers who are licensed to practice in your state of residence. Here are some general pricing examples:
- Messaging Therapy: Text, video, and audio messaging; starts at $69 per week; $316 per month
- Live Therapy + Messaging: Four 30-minute live therapy sessions per month; starts at $99 per week; $396 per month
- Live Messaging + Therapy + Weekly Workshops: Text, video, and audio messaging; four live 30-minute sessions per month; access to live workshops; starts at $109 per week; $436 per month
- Teens Therapy (Ages 13 to 17): Text, audio, and video messaging only (no live sessions); $260 per month
- Psychiatrist Sessions: $249 for first consultation and $125 for any follow-up visits
For more information about Talkspace, you can read a comprehensive review.
4. Best Online Therapy for Couples Dealing with Depression: ReGain
When one partner is struggling with depression, it can take a toll on both individuals and their relationship. Research published in The Qualitative Report shows that couples therapy can be an effective way to address depression in a relationship. ReGain is an online therapy platform specifically designed to help couples work through relationship issues, including those related to depression.
- ReGain’s therapists specialize in relationship counseling, so you can be confident that you’re working with a therapist who understands the unique challenges of couples therapy.
- You can attend sessions alone or invite your partner to join you at any time, allowing for flexibility and ease of access to therapy.
- ReGain offers financial aid for those who qualify, making it easier for more people to access this valuable resource.
- Sessions require you and your partner to be in the same location, which may not be possible for all couples.
- There is no private messaging option available, so all messages between you and your therapist will be visible to your partner.
- The price for individual and couples sessions is the same, which may not be cost-effective for couples who only need occasional support.
ReGain offers unlimited messaging and one live chat, phone, or video session per week. This allows you and your partner to communicate with your therapist in a way that works best for you.
The cost of ReGain varies based on your geographic location, preferences, and the therapists available in your area. However, most plans start at $60 to $90 per week, billed monthly.
ReGain does not prescribe medication, but your therapist can help you explore other treatment options.
ReGain does not accept insurance, but they do offer financial aid for those who qualify.
ReGain Plan Options and Prices
ReGain offers affordable monthly subscription plans that include one weekly live session and unlimited messaging. Subscription prices vary based on location, preferences, and financial aid eligibility, but most plans start at $60 to $90 per week.
ReGain’s therapists have a minimum of three years and 1,000 hours of clinical experience, as well as a master’s or doctoral degree in their field. Whether you’re dealing with depression in your relationship or other issues, ReGain can help you and your partner work through them together.
5. Top Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Depression: Online-Therapy.com
If you’re struggling with depression, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be a valuable treatment option for you. CBT is a proven therapy method that focuses on changing negative thinking patterns and unhealthy behaviors, according to the American Psychological Association. Online-Therapy.com is a platform that specializes in CBT for depression, and it provides various resources to support your progress.
- CBT is a highly effective treatment method for a range of behavioral health issues
- Comprehensive toolkit of resources provided as part of treatment plan
- New subscribers can receive a 20 percent discount for their first month
- Only offers individual therapy sessions
- Basic plan does not include live sessions
- No services for children or teens
Online-Therapy.com provides messaging and live video or voice-only sessions for their subscribers. If you choose the basic plan, communication is limited to messaging and worksheets. With the standard or premium plan, you have access to one or two live sessions with your therapist each week.
Online-Therapy.com offers different plans based on your needs, and they are billed monthly. The cost of the subscription ranges from $39.95 to $79.95 per week, depending on the plan you choose. As a new subscriber, you can receive a 20 percent discount for the first month.
No, Online-Therapy.com does not prescribe medication.
No, Online-Therapy.com does not accept insurance.
Online-Therapy.com’s Comprehensive Toolkit
Online-Therapy.com’s treatment plan includes a toolkit that features therapist-assigned worksheets, journals, meditation and yoga videos, activity plans, and assessments to help you check your progress. The worksheets are divided into eight sections and are designed to help you overcome depression and other mental health issues. You and your therapist can use these tools as a foundation to work from, and they serve as valuable “homework assignments,” which is one of the ways CBT differs from talk therapies, according to the South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center.
Communication with Your Therapist
Online-Therapy.com’s therapists provide feedback based on the information you share on the worksheets within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. While communication through the worksheets is not in real-time, you have the freedom to message your therapist at any time. Additionally, you can upgrade to the standard or premium plan to access live sessions with your therapist.
Online-Therapy.com Plan Options and Prices
- The basic plan costs $39.95 per week and comes with self-paced worksheets, yoga and meditation videos, journals, activity plans, and tests, as well as unlimited communication with your therapist through messaging and worksheets. This plan does not include live sessions.
- The standard plan costs $59.95 per week and includes the same features as the basic plan, with the addition of one live session per week and unlimited messaging.
- The premium plan costs $79.95 per week and includes the same features as the basic and standard plan, with the addition of two live sessions with your therapist per week and unlimited messaging.
6. Best Online Counseling for Depression for the LGBTQ+ Community: Pride Counseling
Depression is a mental health condition that can affect anyone, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. However, LGBTQ+ individuals may face unique stressors and challenges that can contribute to depression, making it crucial to find a therapist who is familiar with the LGBTQ+ community’s specific needs. Pride Counseling is an online counseling platform dedicated to serving members of the LGBTQ+ community and their mental health needs.
- Therapists on Pride Counseling have experience working with the LGBTQ+ community, including depression related issues.
- Financial aid is available for those who qualify, making it more affordable for those in need.
- The process of changing therapists is simple, making it easier for individuals to find a counselor they feel comfortable with.
- Pride Counseling does not accept insurance, so users will have to pay out-of-pocket.
- Counseling is not available for teens under 18 years old, limiting the platform’s scope.
Pride Counseling offers users unlimited messaging through a dedicated chatroom and one live counseling session per week. Live sessions can be conducted via live chat, video, or phone.
Pricing for Pride Counseling ranges from $60 to $90 per week, depending on the user’s geographic location, therapist, and preferences. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. All plans are billed monthly.
Pride Counseling does not prescribe medication, but their therapists can provide support and guidance on medication management in collaboration with a primary care physician or psychiatrist.
Pride Counseling does not accept insurance, but they provide affordable options for users in need of mental health services.
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community struggling with depression or related mental health issues, Pride Counseling is an excellent online therapy option to consider. With therapists who have experience working with the LGBTQ+ community and a range of affordable pricing options, Pride Counseling can provide a safe and private space to access the support you need.
7. Best Online Therapy for Depression That Offers Same-Day Availability: Sesame
When it comes to mental health care, waiting weeks for an appointment can be discouraging, especially when you’re experiencing depression symptoms. Fortunately, Sesame is an online therapy platform that offers same-day availability for individuals in need of immediate help.
- Same-day appointments
- Offers couples, family, and individual therapy
- Generous cancellation policy
- Video sessions only
- Limited same-day availability in some states
- Expensive if you need long-term or frequent sessions
Sesame offers live video therapy sessions, including video therapy, video mental health consult, video psychiatry, prescription refill, and video couples therapy.
Sesame’s pricing ranges from $60 to $300+ per session, depending on the therapist, type of session, and geographic location. While the cost may be high, the platform does offer same-day availability and a pay-as-you-go system.
Yes, if seen by an MD or authorized provider.
How Sesame Works
Sesame is a direct-to-patient care marketplace that provides access to both mental health care and medical care. Individuals can pay as they go, making it a convenient and affordable option for those seeking immediate care. Sesame works with providers licensed in all 50 states, so you can rest assured that you’ll be connected with a licensed therapist no matter where you live.
To get started, simply enter your ZIP code on the Sesame website to find therapists with same-day availability in your area. The process of finding and making an appointment is straightforward, and you’ll be able to see the therapist’s credentials, wait time, and cost before scheduling your session.
Sesame Plan Options and Prices
Sesame prices are based on your geographic location. Rates for someone living in San Francisco are as follows:
- Video Mental Health Consult: $47
- Video Psychiatry Consult (New Patient): $165–$275
- Video Therapy Session (New Patient): $165
- Video Couples Therapy Session: $165
- Video Prescription Refill: $47
If you join Sesame Plus for $10.99 per month or $9.99 per year, you’ll receive $20 off all virtual therapy visits. While Sesame may be expensive for long-term or frequent therapy sessions, it’s an excellent option for those in need of immediate care or for those who don’t have access to in-person therapy.
8. Best Online Therapy for Depression for Teens: Teen Counseling
Depression is a common mental health issue among teenagers, but not all online therapy platforms cater specifically to this age group. Teen Counseling is an online therapy service that specializes in helping teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19. Here’s what you need to know about the pros, cons, and costs of this platform.
- Counseling rooms and chat options ideal for teens
- Financial aid for those who qualify
- Parents can attend sessions if invited by the teen
- Does not accept insurance
- Therapists do not diagnose teens
- Not approved for court-mandated counseling
Teen Counseling offers a variety of session formats, including messaging and live chat, phone, and video sessions. Teenagers can choose the format that best suits their needs and preferences.
Privacy is a top priority at Teen Counseling. The platform provides counseling rooms that are accessible only to the therapist and the teen. Parents need permission to join the room. What is discussed in the sessions is private, unless the teen shares that they are considering harming themselves or someone else, indicate abuse, or divulge information about serious neglect.
Teen Counseling’s weekly subscription prices range from $60 to $90 per week, depending on your geographic location, financial aid eligibility, and the fees charged by the therapist you’re matched with. However, the fees may be higher, and plans are billed monthly.
Teen Counseling does not prescribe medication. If medication is deemed necessary, the therapist will refer the teen to a qualified medical professional.
Teen Counseling does not accept insurance. However, the platform does offer financial aid to those who qualify.
Teen Counseling is an online therapy platform that provides targeted mental health services to teenagers. With a variety of session formats, financial aid options, and a focus on privacy, it’s a top option for teens struggling with depression.
Determining if Online Therapy for Depression is Right for You
If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider. Depending on factors such as symptom severity, duration, and overall physical and mental health, therapy may be recommended. Keeping track of your symptoms using a journal or app can help your healthcare provider make an accurate diagnosis.
Understanding Depression Symptoms
Depression symptoms can vary in severity and duration, with some individuals experiencing only a few symptoms and others experiencing a range of symptoms. It’s important to share your symptoms with a mental health provider to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) lists some common signs of depression, including:
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and pessimism
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling unsettled
- Changes in appetite
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Difficulty remembering, making decisions, or concentrating
- Increase in aches and pains, headaches, and digestive problems
- Changes in grooming and self-care
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Types of Depression
There are several forms of depression, such as major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, postpartum depression, psychotic depression, and seasonal affective disorder. A healthcare provider will assess your symptoms to provide an accurate diagnosis.
In conclusion, if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to seek help from a mental health provider. By sharing your symptoms and using a tool to track them, you can help ensure you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Is Online Therapy Right for You? A Guide to Online Therapy for Depression
If you’re struggling with symptoms related to mild to moderate depression, online therapy might be an option for you. Online therapy offers the ease and convenience of talking to a therapist from the comfort of your own home, making it easier to access regular services if transportation is an issue or if you’re living with a health condition that impacts your ability to travel. But before deciding whether online therapy is right for you, it’s important to consider certain factors.
Factors to Consider Before Using Online Therapy for Depression
Symptom Severity: The severity of your depression symptoms can help determine if online therapy is appropriate. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as suicidal thoughts or a risk of harming someone else, you should seek emergency medical attention.
Privacy and Confidentiality: Online therapy can be a great option for those who need a private, confidential, and secure location to participate in sessions. However, if you do not have such a location, or you have concerns about someone within earshot overhearing your conversation with a therapist, you may prefer in-person therapy in a more private location.
Exposure and Activation Benefits: While online therapy can offer many benefits, it may not provide the same exposure and activation benefits that in-person therapy provides. According to Nicole Siegfried, PhD, the chief clinical officer at Lightfully Behavioral Health in Thousand Oaks, California, at some point, the online platform may not offer the same level of benefits as in-person therapy, especially for those with severe symptoms.
Who Should Not Use Online Therapy for Depression?
Severe Symptoms: If you are experiencing active thoughts of suicide or harm to someone else, it is not recommended to use online therapy. In these emergency situations, it’s best to call 911 or seek immediate medical attention.
Benefits of Online Therapy for Depression
Online therapy can offer several benefits for those with mild to moderate depression, including:
Convenience: Online therapy allows you to talk to a therapist from the comfort of your own home, making it easier to access regular services.
Accessibility: If transportation is an issue, online therapy can be a great option as it eliminates the need to travel to an in-person appointment.
Privacy: Online therapy offers a private, confidential, and secure location to participate in therapy sessions.
Cost-effective: Online therapy can be more cost-effective than in-person therapy as it eliminates the need to travel, which can save you money on transportation and other related expenses.
Online therapy for depression is a viable option for those who are struggling with mild to moderate depression. However, it is important to consider several factors before deciding if it’s right for you. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, it’s best to seek emergency medical attention. If you’re looking for a private, convenient, and accessible way to talk to a therapist, online therapy may be a great option for you.
Can You Get Medication for Depression through Online Therapy?
Online therapy platforms that have licensed providers can offer medication management for depression. For instance, Talkspace has board-certified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners who can prescribe antidepressants, a group of drugs frequently used to treat depression. Similarly, Sesame provides medication services when you’re seen by an authorized provider.
Antidepressants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that are commonly prescribed include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
It’s crucial to have your depression medication managed by a licensed prescriber such as a psychiatrist or another physician who can monitor your condition throughout treatment. Remember, not all online therapy platforms offer medication services, so it’s vital to inquire with the provider if they provide this service.
Is Online Therapy Effective for Depression? What to Consider Before Purchasing a Subscription
Online therapy for depression has become increasingly popular due to its convenience and accessibility. However, it’s important to consider whether it’s the right fit for you and your mental health needs. Here’s what you need to know before signing up for an online therapy subscription.
Is Online Therapy Effective for Depression?
A review published in the journal Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine found that internet-based interventions are effective in reducing depressive symptoms. However, it’s important to note that online therapy is more appropriate for mild to moderate depression. Severe cases of depression may require more intensive treatment methods and in-person office visits to fully evaluate the patient.
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Subscription for Online Therapy for Depression
It’s important to evaluate different online therapy platforms to determine which one is the best fit for your needs. Here are some questions to consider when researching a subscription for online help for depression:
- Is online counseling appropriate for your current physical and mental health? It may be necessary to consult with a doctor or licensed mental health expert to determine if online therapy is appropriate.
- Does the pricing and insurance coverage meet your budget and expectations?
- Do you have a private space for online sessions that accommodates privacy, connectivity, and comfort?
- Can you afford a monthly plan or a pay-per-session plan?
- Are the apps and online platforms the providers use compatible with your technology?
- Do you have the freedom to choose a therapist, or are you matched with one?
- Does the company provide a straightforward cancellation policy on its website?
- Does the platform work with your schedule? Check the flexibility and accessibility for session times and days, especially if you need sessions on the weekend, early in the morning, or later in the day.
- Do you need multiple ways to communicate with your counselor (such as phone, video, online chat, and text)?
- Does the platform offer multiple counseling sessions such as family or couples?
- Is the platform HIPAA-compliant?
By considering these factors, you can determine if an online therapy subscription is the right fit for your mental health needs. Remember to consult with a doctor or licensed mental health expert to determine the best course of treatment for your individual situation.
How to Get Ready for Your Initial Session of Online Therapy for Depression
Once you’ve picked out an online platform and therapist for your online therapy sessions, it’s important to prepare for your first session. The following tips can assist you in getting started:
- Check that your internet connection can handle online therapy sessions.
- Ensure that your software is up to date and download any apps you’ll need to communicate with your therapist.
- Choose a secure, private, and quiet location for your online therapy sessions.
- Confirm your appointment time and preferred method of communication with your therapist.
- Make sure your camera and volume work on the device you’ll be using for your session.
- Think about what you want to achieve from these sessions and write down any thoughts or questions to ask during your initial appointment.
- Check if your insurance or employee assistance program covers online therapy.
- Plan to join the session 15 minutes early so that you have time to test your technology and get comfortable.
- Have a meal and hydrate before your session.
- Allow yourself 15 to 30 minutes after the session to write down any thoughts, impressions, or follow-up questions.
Online therapy platforms offer an alternative way to receive mental health services for depression from licensed counselors, psychologists, or therapists. Meeting virtually allows for flexibility in scheduling, convenience, and privacy. While there are many virtual therapy platforms available, not all of them have therapists that specialize in treating depression. Therefore, it’s crucial to conduct research and inquire about the mental health issues each platform treats.
If having access to unlimited messaging and health insurance coverage is important, Talkspace may be a good choice. It may also be beneficial if you need prescription management for depression symptoms. BetterHelp may be a good option if you’re concerned about finding a therapist who is available in your state or who fits into your schedule because it has the largest number of therapists of all the online therapy platforms for depression. Our Talkspace vs. BetterHelp review delves into more detail about the differences between the two companies.
Brightside is our top choice for mental health experts who specialize in depression and medication management for depression symptoms. Finally, if live appointments are your preferred communication method, consider Sesame’s therapy services, which offer only live video sessions, some of which have same-day availability.
It’s crucial to find a therapist who uses evidence-based practices and has experience providing online services. “Clinicians who provide online therapy should have additional training in utilizing this platform, as there are specific ethical and logistical competencies that are required,” according to Dr. Siegfried. Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist if they have received additional training in online services.
How We Evaluate and Research Online Therapy Platforms
As a services reviews team, we hold every service we research and recommend to an extensive level of scrutiny, including the online therapy market. Our team recommends online therapy platforms that we believe will make a difference for our readers.
Together, we’ve researched the most prominent brands in the market, relying on the experiences of real customers collected by trusted third-party reviews sites like BBB and Trustpilot. We’ve also consulted with independent psychologists and other mental health professionals to better understand why people seek out online therapy and read the latest research on the efficacy of online therapy compared to in-person therapy.
When evaluating each company, we consider several factors, including the session types they offer, the modes of therapy they specialize in, the credentials of their therapists, their business reputation and reported customer satisfaction, as well as the ease of registration and how easy it is to use the service. Price, payment options, and whether the company accepts insurance are all crucial components to consider. We always try to recommend a range for all budgets, with special consideration for lower budgets.
After our experts have selected the best online therapy platforms on the market, a practicing and independent licensed therapist reviews our picks to audit each company as a whole and ensure every selection we recommend is appropriate for the users we identify.
It’s important to note that if you are in crisis, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. In case of an emergency, call 911. This includes plans to harm yourself or others. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Help is available 24/7.
Additionally, you can reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). The SAMHSA helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-days-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals facing mental or substance abuse disorders.