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Cerebral Mental Health Therapy

Cerebral Mental Health Therapy Review

  • Overall Rating
  • Products & Services
  • Cost
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support & Reviews
  • Providers prescribe medication
  • Some insurance plans accepted
  • Certain services not available in all states
  • Multiple plans available
Try Cerebral

Cerebral is one of a growing number of online mental health therapy platforms. The company specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia, but offers services for a wide range of other issues, conditions and disorders.

Find What You Need

Cerebral Services

Cerebral is an online mental health platform that offers counseling and psychiatric services, as well as medication management to its clients. Most websites that offer mental health counseling ask you to fill out a questionnaire about your issues or symptoms. What makes Cerebral different is, once you’ve filled out the questionnaire, you are allowed to look through recommended therapists and providers and choose the one you want to work with.

Cerebral offers services to treat the following conditions:

  • ADHD (in certain states)
  • Alcohol Use Disorder (in certain states)
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder (in certain states)
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Menopausal Depression
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Trauma

Cerebral will also help you with the following issues:

  • Anger Management
  • Confidence and Self-esteem
  • Coping with Illness
  • Divorce
  • Grief and Loss
  • LGBTQI+ Issues
  • Phobias
  • Relationship Issues
  • Stress Management
  • Traumatic Life Events

You’ll notice from its website, Cerebral’s focus is on issues or conditions that need medication. But the company offers its clients three different plans to choose from:

Medication + Care Management Plan

Once you’re matched with a provider, you will meet with them through video chat or a phone call for an initial screening. It is generally scheduled within seven days. After speaking with you, your provider will decide your treatment plan and prescribe medication, if needed. Medication will be delivered to your door each month. 

You’ll have monthly 45-minute phone or video calls with a care counselor who will provide you with coping and behavioral health techniques to help you deal with what you’re facing. You’ll also have unlimited messaging ability with Cerebral’s care team. You’ll be given access to a medical professional to submit questions or concerns and have regular process tracking by your prescribing provider.

Medication + Therapy Plan

With this plan, you’ll have an initial video or phone call with your prescribing provider who will determine the best treatment plan for you. If medication is recommended, it will be delivered to your door every month.

You’ll have up to four 45-minute video or phone calls with your therapist each month, but will be able to message them whenever you need to. You’ll be given access to a medical professional to submit questions or concerns and have regular process tracking by your prescribing provider.

Therapy Plan

The therapy plan has no option for medication. You’ll have up to four 45-minute video or phone calls every month with your therapist, but be able to message them whenever you need to.

In addition to offering prescribing doctors and nurse practitioners, Cerebral has licensed clinical social workers, licensed clinical professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed professional counselors. All therapists have a master’s or doctoral degree in their field of study.

What About Cerebral Privacy?

The company says it uses the most up to date security technology to protect you and your data. Cerebral says it won’t share your information with anyone without your consent, and will only use your information internally, when needed, to improve clinical care.

When you sign up for Cerebral, you’ll be given a private ‘room’ to communicate with your therapist and/or prescribing provider. Cerebral says all your communication is protected and kept private.

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What Medications Are Prescribed by Cerebral?

Cerebral providers can prescribe medications for the following conditions:

Because of accusations against the company, Cerebral stopped prescribing stimulants like Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) or Concerta (Methylphenidate) to treat ADHD in mid-2022. The company says prescribers use alternative non-stimulant options like Strattera (atomoxetine) and Wellbutrin (bupropion). 

For the same reasons mentioned above, Cerebral does not prescribe controlled substances like Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) to treat anxiety or panic disorders. Instead, providers prescribe non-controlled substances like Effexor (venlafaxine), Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline). Non-controlled medications are also used to treat depression and insomnia.

If you are undergoing treatment for alcohol use disorder, you may receive a prescription for acamprosate, disulfiram or naltrexone.

Cerebral will also prescribe what it calls ‘as-needed’ medication, which is medicine that doesn’t need to be taken every day – but can be taken in times of acute need.

Federal Investigation of Cerebral

Cerebral found quick success in the online mental health therapy arena, but quickly faced serious questions about its business practices. In 2022, the company found itself under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The FTC has been looking into whether Cerebral engaged in deceptive or unfair advertising and marketing practices. The Wall Street Journal reported the FTC was concerned about claims that clients have trouble cancelling their accounts or receiving refunds for services they haven’t used.

The DOJ is investigating Cerebral for possible violations of the Controlled Substance Act. The Act regulates the distribution of potentially addictive medicines like Xanax and Adderall. The investigation was prompted by reporting from the Wall Street Journal in early 2022 where nurse practitioners claimed they felt pressured to prescribe Adderall and other drugs.

Cerebral denied the allegations and said it was fully cooperating with the government, but has since stopped prescribing stimulants and other controlled substance medications to its patients. The CEO and co-founder of the company, Kyle Robertson, was fired amid the allegations.

On top of the federal investigations, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles ended her partnership with the company in late 2022. Biles received high praise for bringing mental health concerns and care to the forefront during the 2021 Summer Olympics. But the company’s board of directors accused Robertson of trying to push Biles to focus on promoting Cerebral’s prescription services.

Cerebral Customer Reviews

You will find mixed reviews of Cerebral online. On trusted consumer websites like TrustPilot, you will find glowing recommendations of the company – praising specific therapists and the treatments clients have received. Many people find the site easy to use and incredibly accessible. You’ll find certain reviewers giving credit to Cerebral therapists for literally saving their life.

You’ll also find many negative reviews of Cerebral on TrustPilot. Some of the issues are the same reasons the company is currently under investigation – being continually charged for services, even though they’ve cancelled the subscription or being overprescribed medications. Others feel the therapy they received was more harmful than helpful in their particular situation. Similar complaints about billing practices are registered with the Better Business Bureau and Consumers Advocate.

Cerebral Cost

If Cerebral accepts your insurance, then it is a budget-friendly option. You can enter your insurance information on the website and find out if yours accepted. With insurance, all three plans cost $30 a month, plus the amount you owe for medication or co-pays over your insurance coverage. Cerebral does not charge you shipping for any medication your provider prescribes. It’s important to note, Cerebral does not accept Medicaid or Medicare Part B.

If Cerebral doesn’t accept your insurance, the plans are more expensive. The Medication + Care Management Plan starts at $99 a month. Any prescription you are given will be billed separately and is eligible for insurance coverage.

The Medication + Therapy Plan subscription starts at $325 a month. Any prescription you are given will be billed separately and is eligible for insurance coverage.

The company’s Therapy Plan starts at $259 a month and doesn’t offer prescriptions.

You can use your HSA/FSA account to pay for your services. If you are a self-paying customer without insurance, the company says most medications will cost $10.

Cerebral Company Background

Cerebral was founded in 2020 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It was founded by Kyle Robertson and Dr. Ho Anh to help improve access to treatment for depression and anxiety.

The Bottom Line on Cerebral

Cerebral offers a wide variety of services, but their main focus is on treating anxiety, depression and insomnia. They have three plan options, so you can choose one that is right for you. With insurance coverage, it’s a very budget-friendly option for mental health care. The company is under two separate federal investigations for its business and prescription practices, so you may want to take that into consideration before signing up with Cerebral.

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. assumes no liability for inaccuracies. Consult with your doctor before beginning any medications or programs.

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