“Affordable” and “therapy” aren’t typically words we hear in the same sentence and for good reason. While invaluable to one’s mental health and overall quality of life, therapy is often treated as a luxury thanks to its hefty price tag and somewhat exclusive reputation.
Studies show that an average in-office therapist charges anywhere between $75 to $200 per session on a recommended once-a-week schedule, ultimately costing a client anywhere from $300 to $600 a month. While insurance may alleviate some of that burden, mental healthcare is still a right many struggle to have adequate access to.
Online therapy has quickly risen to become a widely used alternative to traditional therapy. Discreet, convenient, and costing sometimes less than half of what a brick-and-mortar therapy session can run, online therapy is leading the charge in 21st-century wellness. If you’re considering making the switch, or are a first-time user, you may feel a little overwhelmed by your options.
Below is a brief list of the most affordable online therapy services (a comprehensive list can be found here) that can help you heal without breaking the bank.
Connecting users directly with professionals and operating under the proactive mission to provide both affordable and anonymous therapy online, Talkspace is leading the charge in virtual platform therapy. Upon signing up and consulting with a preliminary therapist who can best determine your needs, you’ll be matched with a long term therapist. All sessions are conducted online or by phone, with services averaging about $32 a week.
One of the most widely recommended online therapy services, BetterHelp’s mission is to provide an affordable and convenient service to all users, whenever and wherever they need it. Within minutes of signing up, users are matched with a fully trained and licensed therapist, with sessions scheduled and conducted via video conference, instant messenger, or by phone.
All listed therapists are specialized in a number of areas including trauma, addiction, depression, and recovery, and if you don’t feel your therapist is a right fit, you always have the option of obtaining a new one.
7 Cups of Tea
Alluding to its name in both numbers and comfort, 7 Cups offers a diverse range of options: their app alone consisting of over 160,000 trained listeners and certified online therapists available in 189 countries, and in 140 languages. Users can chat with a trained listener for free, or opt for specialized one-on-one therapy sessions. Over time you can also apply to become a listener yourself. Monthly subscriptions start at $12.99, with a sliding price range depending on whether or not you choose to opt for a professional therapist.
Free online therapy site Blah offers users the option of speaking with an experienced stranger who can listen and supply constructive feedback free of cost, or paying to speak with a licensed therapist. With 24/7 access and someone always available to chat with, Blah Therapy assures its users of around-the-clock help whenever they need it, with a particularly gentle pricing spectrum.
Breakthrough excels in connecting patients and online therapists directly, with special focus on those residing in underserved areas. Sessions are conducted around your particular schedule, and via the medium you prefer. The initial consultation is absolutely free, with proceeding services arranged on a sliding scale or pay-as-you-go basis.
Not only does eTherapyPro help you find the right therapist through their extensive listing, but the service also provides a safe and confidential platform in which patient and therapist can communicate by way of chat, video, or call.
Therapists only have access to your user name, but no knowledge of your personal details. eTherapyPro offers news users a free one month trial, after which $40 a week (a rate of $160 a month) will be charged.
An intuitive messaging platform offering active listening, goal-oriented exercises, and a cognitive-behavioral model, Sibly matches you with a team of four to six trained coaches, available 24/7. Pursuing a more alternative model to traditional therapy, appointed Sibly coaches assist their clients through active reflective listening and motivational instruction.
Amwell is a no-nonsense online therapy site that connects you directly to a certified healthcare provider. Users enroll by setting up an account, whereupon they’re offered a list of online therapists to choose from, all of whom are available through both the website and mobile app.
One of Amwell’s notable features is the ability of their listed doctors to prescribe necessary medication to their patients, with many insurance programs expanding to include Amwell in their coverage.
This free online therapy program works on a peer-to-peer system, in which users log in to chat with a trained “peer specialist,” with the additional option of filling out a more in-depth questionnaire to receive personally tailored assistance. iPrevail’s free and low-stress model produced overwhelmingly positive results and feedback after its first clinical trial and is rapidly growing in popularity.
Ginger.io’s exceptional app offers an inclusive set of services geared towards community and individual care alike. Users can access assistance directly through therapy video sessions and one-on-one coaching, as well as receive updates on their progress. With 24/7 specialists on hand to help at whatever hour the need arises, Ginger.io understands that mental health and good living are not a one-size-fits-all matter.
Modern Technology Makes Therapy Online More Affordable Than Ever
Not so long ago therapy was relegated to on-site locations only, at an equally formidable cost. Thanks to the unprecedented popularity of online therapy platforms, you can access the professional help you need at a price and structure that’s right for you.
Busy schedules, budgetary concerns, and location shouldn’t deter one from connecting to the right therapist, and the online model may just be the life-changing choice you’ve been waiting for. As with any mode of professional care, make sure you do your research and take the time to find the service that’s right for you.
Read the reviews, compare prices and above all feel good about yourself for taking a step in the right direction.