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Best Online Therapy For Seniors
best of

Best Full-Service Program

talkspace
  • Licensed therapists
  • Live sessions offered
  • No contract, cancel anytime
best of

Best Range of Mental Health Pros

  • Licensed therapists
  • Financial aid available
  • No contract, cancel anytime
best of

Best for Anxiety & Depression

brightside health logo
  • Licensed therapists
  • Multiple plan options
  • Available in all 50 states

What Is Online Therapy?

For the most part, we aren’t shy about discussing our physical health. Even though our emotional, psychological and social well-being are just as important as our physical health, we aren’t comfortable talking to others about how we think and feel.
In recent years, online mental health therapy has emerged as a way for people to speak with a professional from the comfort of their homes. Online therapy is website or app-based. You can text, call, message, or video chat with a licensed therapist about what you’re thinking, feeling, and experiencing, and they will give you feedback on how to cope or what you should work on changing to help you.

Is Online Therapy as Effective as In-Person Therapy?

Whatever you may be experiencing, seeking help, if you need it, is important. Traditional therapy is where you meet regularly with a therapist in person. You make an appointment, go to their office or facility, and discuss what is happening face-to-face.
Online therapy may seem less personal and, thus, less helpful. But research has found it’s an effective way to treat all types of mental health issues and illnesses. It may not be the right approach for everyone, but it is more convenient, less expensive, and more immediate. We’ve looked into the best online therapy services to help you determine which option might be best for you.

Best Online Therapy Services for 2022

Brand Rating Cost Licensed Therapists Contract Required Prescriptions Insurance Coverage Available Nationwide Video/Phone Availability
Talkspace
$99/week
BetterHelp
$60-$90/week
Brightside
$349/month
Regain $60-$90/week
Cerebral $325/month
Amwell $199 for first visit
Pride Counseling
$60-$90/week
Hims / Hers $10-$100
Lemonaid Variable based on treatment

Best Online Therapy Providers for 2022

There are so many options, and people’s needs are so specific, it’s hard to narrow down what’s a good fit and what’s not. We have compiled our list of the best online therapy programs to help make an appropriate choice for you and your situation, including cost, services, credentials, and reviews.

Best Full-Service Program

  • Overall Rating
    4/5
talkspace
  • Licensed therapists
  • Live sessions offered
  • Specialized therapy available for individuals, couples and teenagers, veterans, LGBTQIA+
  • Covered by some insurance plans

Cost

Messaging Therapy – $65/week
Live Therapy – $99/week
Live & Messaging Therapy – $129/week

Overview

Talkspace is an online therapy website that connects you with licensed therapists from the device you choose. The company allows you to send text, audio, picture, or video messages any time you want and the therapist is supposed to respond daily to you – up to five times a week. If you prefer a face-to-face interaction, Talkspace offers live sessions so you and your therapist can speak by video or phone.

After answering a few questions, TalkSpace uses an algorithm to suggest three potential therapists to you. You can choose the one you think is the best fit. Talkspace is a subscription service with plans that include weekly live sessions and messaging support anytime. Talkspace offers separate psychiatry sessions with a licensed psychiatric prescriber who can prescribe medicine, should you need it. Learn more about how Talkspace therapy works in our full review.

Best Range of Mental Health Pros

  • Overall Rating
    4/5
  • Licensed therapists
  • Financial aid available
  • Live sessions offered
  • Does not accept insurance

Cost

Plans range from $60-$90/week

Overview

BetterHelp claims to be the world’s largest online therapy platform. It offers access to psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and board-licensed professional counselors. All are licensed, trained, and accredited.

BetterHelp matches you to a therapist it thinks fits the type of issues you are dealing with, based on your online questionnaire. The therapy process can be conducted through text, phone, or video. Learn more about how BetterHelp therapy works in our full review.

Best for Anxiety and Depression

  • Overall Rating
    4/5
brightside health logo
  • Specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression and other specific disorders
  • Certain providers can prescribe medication
  • Licensed therapists
  • Multiple plan options
  • Video Sessions

Cost

Medication Plan – $95/month plus pharmacy copay
Therapy Plan – $299/month
Medication & Therapy Plan – $349/month plus pharmacy copay

Overview

Brightside is an online mental health platform that specializes in treating anxiety, bipolar II, depression, insomnia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), phobias, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and social anxiety.

If you are struggling with depression, once you take the online assessment, you’ll be connected to a psychiatrist for a video consultation. The consultation usually lasts around 15 minutes and ends with a plan for the best next steps for you. For other types of disorders, you’ll be connected with a licensed therapist who you can message as much as you need and have a 30-minute video appointment with each week. Learn more about how Brightside therapy works in our full review.

Best for Relationship Therapy

ReGain logo
  • Specializes in relationship therapy
  • Licensed therapists
  • Does not prescribe medication
  • Does not accept insurance

Cost

Plans range from $60-$90/week

Overview

ReGain is an online relationship therapy program for couples, as well as individuals. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll be matched to a therapist who fits your needs. You’ll submit whatever you want to discuss online through messaging, and your therapist will read the information and get back to you with guidance.

If you and your partner are taking part in the therapy together, you’ll share a joint account where you both can communicate with the therapist and all three parties will see the communication. All the therapists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists have master’s or Doctoral degrees and have at least three years or 1,000 hours of professional experience.

Best for Specific Mental Health Issues

cerebral logo
  • Can prescribe medication
  • Wide range of mental health and disorder treatment
  • Not all treatment types available nationwide
  • Insurance coverage available for therapists in most states
  • Licensed therapists
  • Phone or video sessions

Cost

Medication & Care Counseling Plan – $99/month
Medication & Therapy Plan – $325/month
Therapy Plan – $259/month

Overview

Cerebral is an online mental health platform that treats anxiety, depression, insomnia, postpartum depression, menopausal depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in all 50 states. Treatment for ADHD, alcohol dependence, bipolar disorder, chronic obesity, and opioid use disorder are only offered in certain states.

Cerebral also treats a range of mental health issues from stress to anger to relationship struggles. Once you fill out the form online, you’ll be asked to choose a subscription plan. From there you will be assigned a provider that you will meet by video or phone within a week. You’ll have weekly sessions with your therapist, who can prescribe medication if needed.

Best for Multiple Options for Healthcare Access

amwell therapy logo
  • Accepts some insurance plans
  • Offers services for a large variety of disorders and issues
  • Medicine can be prescribed
  • Licensed therapists
  • Video sessions

Cost

Therapy – $99 per appointment
Psychiatry – $199 for first visit; $95 for follow-up visits

Overview

Amwell is a healthcare platform that offers a wide variety of services – everything from primary care to mental health treatment. Once you signup online, you’ll be given a list of providers to choose from. When you’ve chosen a provider, you’ll have a video visit and be given a treatment plan with a set number of sessions. Therapists offer help with everything from anxiety to grief counseling.

Amwell also offers psychiatry services from board-certified professionals who can prescribe medicine and will work in concert with your primary care physician to provide you the best care possible.

Best Service for LGBTQ Community

  • Overall Rating
    4/5
pride counseling
  • Specifically designed for the LGBTQ community
  • Not covered by insurance
  • Licensed therapists
  • Message, text, talk, or video chat

Cost

Plans range from $60-$90/week

Overview

Pride Counseling is an online therapy platform designed specifically for the LGBTQ community. Much like other platforms, you sign up and then are matched to a therapist in a short time. You can message, text, talk over the phone, or through video chat with your therapist. Messaging and texting can occur anytime. Video and phone conversations are scheduled. Learn more about Pride Counseling in our full review.

Best for Men’s Overall Personal Wellness

hims logo
  • Specifically for men
  • Can prescribe medications
  • Licensed providers
  • Free, first-time consultation
  • Not covered by insurance

Cost

Prices are variable based on issue and medication (if needed)

Overview

Hims is a personal wellness website specifically for men that covers everything from sexual health to mental health to skincare. It operates under the premise that there are some things men aren’t comfortable talking about. While they do offer mental health services, they don’t specialize in that area.

The company has licensed healthcare providers in dermatology, primary care, psychiatry, urology, and therapy. The online form will help a licensed provider determine your treatment plan. You’ll have a brief online consultation, prescriptions will be written and then mailed directly to your home.

Best for Women’s Personal Wellness

hers logo
  • Specifically geared to women
  • Limited wait time
  • Messaging only communication
  • Does not accept insurance
  • Can prescribe medication
  • Licensed medical professionals

Cost

Medical consultation – $39
Products and Prescriptions – $10-$100

Overview

Hers is an online company focused on the sexual, mental, and physical health of women. After answering a few questions about your medical concerns, a licensed medical professional will contact you. Your communication will be messaging only through the app. You will never have a video chat or phone call with anyone from Hers.

Once the medical professional determines a diagnosis, they will give you a treatment plan. If a prescription is needed, the medicine will be mailed to your home

Best Primary Care Help

lemonaid logo
  • Can prescribe medication
  • Limited services
  • Does not accept insurance
  • Specific pricing for each plan
  • Licensed healthcare professionals

Cost

Consultation Fee – $25
Health & Wellness Coaching – $115/month
Anxiety Treatment – $95/month
Depression Treatment – $95/month
Insomnia Treatment – $60/month
Smoking Cessation – $15/month

Overview

Lemonaid considers itself an online doctor’s office. They offer a wide variety of services, but when it comes to mental health, they only treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, and smoking cessation. When you sign up, you’ll be asked questions about your medical history. Your information will be reviewed by a doctor who will contact you within 24 hours to ask follow-up questions.

Treatment for anxiety and depression requires a live video chat, and if medication is being prescribed it will be sent to your home. Lemonaid offers general health and wellness coaching to give you guidance and direction. All of their mental health services offer unlimited messaging.

What Can I Expect in an Online Therapy Session?

You may wonder how online therapy works as you research companies that might interest you. Most will ask you to fill out a form online to give them some insight into your mental health. From there, you will be matched up with a licensed professional, and an appointment will be set up for a first ‘meeting.’ Since these happen over the internet, the appointments are scheduled quickly, usually within a week.

Most appointments will be video consultations with a time limit of between 15 and 45 minutes. During that time, the therapists will learn more about you and what you may be struggling with. Having a solid internet connection when interacting with your therapist is essential. You don’t want to spend time repeating yourself or not understanding what the therapist is saying because the video or audio keeps dropping out.
After your initial consultation, you’ll be given a plan that includes the time and date for your regular ‘meetings,’ if they are offered. Most platforms allow unlimited texting or messaging through the app – so you can share your thoughts whenever you want. You may not get an immediate response, but you will get a timely one.

Most companies don’t require a contract; you can cancel the subscription anytime. Before you decide on a provider – consider these tips:
Know the billing cycle. Many providers will bill monthly or automatically charge your credit card, but you’ll want to know when and how that works to avoid surprises.

Don’t stay with a therapist if they don’t seem like a good fit. Just because you’ve been assigned a therapist doesn’t mean you have to keep them. Just like any other service, if you feel like someone else will help you more – request a change.
Before you sign up, find out about insurance. You can call your insurance company and find out if they cover the service you are considering.
If you feel you may need medication as part of your therapy process, choose a provider who can prescribe it. Psychiatrists can write prescriptions, while therapists cannot.

Make sure you are working with a licensed professional. The therapist isn’t a legally protected word in many states, meaning anyone can offer services and call themselves a therapist. Choose a provider who makes it clear their practitioners are licensed and accredited. Many of the websites will have all their mental health professionals listed. If you want to verify for yourself, a Google search will likely turn up the therapist’s name and their licenses.

What’s the Difference between Mental Health and Mental Illness?

Often the terms mental health and mental illness are used interchangeably. But they aren’t the same. Mental illness is a disorder that can be diagnosed with a standard set of criteria. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone regardless of age, sex, race, or socioeconomic class. It likely stems from brain chemistry, genetics, or trauma and affects your behavior, mood, and thinking. Depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia are all examples of mental illness.

On the other hand, mental health is our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It substantially impacts how we handle problems that arise, make decisions, and interact with others. Grief, stress and relationship struggles can all impact our lives and cause us to act differently. You can have mental health struggles but not have a mental illness.

How Do Online Therapy Websites Protect My Privacy?

Therapy for whatever issue you may be facing is a very personal and private journey. It’s important that you feel safe and protected when using any online platform. There are industry best practices to keep information private. So, you will want to make sure the service you choose follows those.

All companies have a privacy policy listed somewhere on their site. Chances are, you don’t ever look at or read them but it’s important to pay attention to them if you’re considering online mental health services. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Does Insurance Cover Online Therapy?

These days, most health insurance plans cover in-person therapy sessions. With the COVID-19 pandemic emerged a greater need for online health services – including those for mental health. Some insurance companies have started to cover online services, and you will likely be able to find an online therapy provider who will take your plan. It will depend on the therapist you choose, your insurance plan, and the state regulations where you live.

Most online mental health therapy companies will tell you on their website whether they take insurance and what type they accept. If you can’t find that information, you can always call your insurance company and ask. If you have Medicare, it covers online therapy for all its members. If you have Medicaid, coverage will depend on the state you live in.

Conclusion

Online mental health therapy is an effective tool to help you combat all types of issues. It works just as well as face-to-face interactions. Before choosing a provider, make sure the therapists are licensed and determine if your insurance will cover the sessions.

Content on this site is for reference and information purposes only. Do not rely solely on this content, as it is not a substitute for advice from a licensed healthcare professional. Aging.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies. Consult with your doctor before beginning any medications or programs.

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