When you need to talk to someone—but can’t leave the house—online therapy apps can offer support. This alternative approach to therapy has boomed in recent years, especially as an entry point to more traditional models. According to the American Psychological Association, “the ease and convenience of scheduling a therapy appointment online and talking with a therapist from the privacy of one’s own home is a huge draw for consumers, many of whom are seeking therapy for the first time in their lives.” If you’re ready to dip your toe in, keep reading. After browsing the list, skip the waiting room and get started with the best online therapy apps.
In traditional therapy settings, you meet in a therapist’s office and sit on a comfortable couch for your session, but the Internet makes much-needed care even more accessible from the comfort of home. If you’re struggling with stress, anxiety, grief, relationship woes, or other common challenges, online therapy apps connect you to qualified therapists to offer support when you need it. One of the benefits is being able to choose the best method for you. Whether you prefer a video call, text chat, or group conversations via message board, you can customize your experience.
From budget-friendly picks (ahem, totally free) to apps with a monthly fee, you can find the right fit for you.
LARKR uses livestream video chat to connect you with a licensed therapist, and you can choose someone with a specific expertise, such as anxiety or addiction. A proprietary algorithm analyzes your intake questions to automatically match you with a recommended therapist. If you find they’re not a good fit, you can always request someone new.
Price: $85 (50-minutes)
BetterHelp is the world’s largest e-counseling platform. You can choose from more than 1,500 licensed therapists who all have a master’s or doctorate degree, plus at least three years and 2,000 hours of training under their belt. And the type of counseling is up to you—try messaging, live chats, phone calls, or video chats.
Price: $35-$70/week for unlimited communication
This online counseling platform gives you access to licensed, U.S.-based therapists for a flat monthly fee. Everything from relationship issues and mood disorders to grief and PTSD can be addressed. The only potential downside? Unlike some other programs (like BetterHelp), you won’t be assigned a designated therapist to build an ongoing relationship.
For a crisis any time of day, Talkspace is here. This phone app (it’s also available on the computer) matches you with a licensed therapist, and lets you send texts, voice messages, video messages, or photos to them 24/7. Your therapist might not respond ASAP, but this feature makes it easy to get something off your chest in the moment, and sets the stage for future conversations.
Price: $32/week (unlimited therapy)
Not ready to commit to a 50-minute session? Try 7 Cups for free anonymous instant messaging—no appointment required. You’ll have the ear of a trained volunteer (aka an “active listener”) or an online counselor that you’re able to choose yourself, and you can also join virtual support groups and open-ended forums to meet others going through similar issues.
Price: Free (licensed therapists are available for a fee)
Formerly known as Pacifica, Sanvello recently underwent a brand makeover and expanded its offerings. Now you can find on-demand access to virtual coaching and clinically proven therapies for addressing stress, depression, anxiety, and more. Each self-help “path” is psychologist-developed and includes relevant activities, mood and health tracking, and audio lessons. You can also interact with free online support groups to share your experiences, ask advice, and discuss similar circumstances.
Here’s an app out to prove that yes, therapy can be fun. This app was developed by a game designer, and is powered by the Live Gamefully® method; a framework that activates the psychological strengths of online game play to build motivation, optimism, and resilience offline.
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