Where To Find the Best Free Online Therapy And Why It Matters
Updated December 09, 2019
Are you suffering from chronic mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)- And trying to find relief? If you're suffering from chronic mental health issues like the ones listed above, you may find yourself searching for free online therapy or free online therapy chat to find relief. You may be surprised to find that you're not alone in your search. Over 43 million Americans in the United States suffer from symptoms of mental illness annually.
As the stigma surrounding mental health begins to change, many people are waking up to the importance of taking good care of your mental health to have a healthy and productive life. In this article, we discuss options for finding the best free online therapy, provide resources on where you can get free online therapy for depression, and give you the scoop on one of the best free online therapy apps around that can introduce you to the concept of online therapy.
Let's get started with what you get when you search for the best free online therapy.
Best Free Online Therapy Sites
The online therapy platforms in this section provide free access to therapy in the forms of free therapy consultations, free online therapy sessions, free trials, or by providing free access to online self-guided resources. It's important to note the distinction between licensed and board-certified therapists who provide therapeutic care - and experts who have been trained in the art of providing general advice. You may need to access a free online therapy chat consultation with a licensed therapy provider if your symptoms require therapeutic intervention.
This is especially true in the case of chronic mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Over 40 million people in the United States are suffering from mental health symptoms annually with anxiety and depression listed as the top two complaints. When it comes to the number of cases reported annually - depression and anxiety are followed closely by eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Chronic mental health disorders like these require trauma-informed care with licensed and trained professionals who can recognize the appropriate treatments, medications, and resources to provide based on their client's condition. The following are leading mental health sites that you're likely to come across when you do a Google search for the "best free online therapy sites."
This is one of the world's leading (and largest) therapy providers online. BetterHelp.com boasts a staff of over 2000 licensed therapists and clients can access their platform online directly and by logging in to the free therapy app. The therapists at BetterHelp are psychologists, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and licensed clinical social workers. This platform's therapists can provide a wide variety of counseling services including services for individuals, couples, and families.
BetterHelp is known as one of the leading therapy platforms due to its' ease of use, affordability, and live video chat features. BetterHelp rates start as low as $40.00 - $70.00 per week for unlimited messaging sessions with a therapist that is available to answer questions 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
RegainUS is another one of the leading therapy platforms that have been voted the best platform for couples. Regain specializes in providing couples and relationship therapy for married and dating couples. Couples who use Regain therapy report high levels of success in the improvement of their relationships after applying the strategies and techniques learned in therapy.
The costs for Regain couples therapy are comparable to the starting costs of BetterHelp.com and range between $40.00 - $70.00 per week. Couples using the platform also have 24-hour access to login and chat with licensed and certified relationship providers who specialize in counseling for dating, marriage, and intimate relationships. This couples-focused site is available to provide services individually, couples sessions, and has resources for access to other online couples resources to help the counseling process along.
Talkspace is another popular therapy provider that has become well-known for its popular celebrity spokesperson Micheal Phelps. This is online counseling platform (also accessible via their free therapy app) offers services similar to the previous platforms that we've mentioned - at a slightly higher cost. Talkspace has a staff of about 3000 therapists who provide online counseling services for individuals, couples, and families.
To get started with Talkspace services online, the cost starts at $65.00 - $99.00 per week.You have to be subscribed to the higher price plan on this platform to gain access to live-chat therapists on this platform. Many people like the Talkspace platform, but it's not necessarily the best option available online for the price.
7 Cups Of Tea
7 Cups is a free peer-to-peer counseling platform that provides free online therapy sessions for people who need someone to talk to. The creators of 7 Cups of Tea understand that everyone may not be able to afford traditional therapy. This platform provides access to trained listeners that provide non-therapeutic advice on its online platform.
This versatile free platform provides access to online support options for people of all age ranges. 7 Cups even has a separate support section that specializes in providing support for teens via age-appropriate teen listeners that have been trained to provide general advice.
If you find that you need to go beyond the free options offered on the 7 Cups platform, you can upgrade your membership to a paid plan to be connected with licensed therapy providers that can provide you with a therapeutic level of support.
The Average Costs Of Therapy
Now that you have some insight into today's leading free and paid therapy providers, let's dive further into the average costs of therapy. The following is a brief overview of what today's therapy clients can expect to pay for therapy - depending on their chosen method and location.
In-Office Therapy Costs - The national average for getting in-office therapy in the United States ranges between $65.00 an hour and can go up to as much as $200.00 an hour to start. Sessions with in-office therapists are often scheduled by preference, provider health care referral, or other means. Cash-pay clients can expect to pay the full costs of in-office visits and can also expect to incur additional costs for gasoline, auto maintenance, and other fees that apply when they make the drive into the office for therapy. Health insurance benefits can cover the costs for behavioral health care (in some cases) under the Mental Health Parity Act of 2008.
Online Therapy Costs - The costs of online therapy are drastically lower than in-office therapy in the US. Online therapy costs range as low as a few dollars to an average of about $100.00 per week. Remember that the $100.00 end of the online therapy spectrum is more likely the exception - than the rule. The costs for seeing a therapist online include many benefits that visiting an in-office therapist can't provide. People who go to therapy online save less on gas as they no longer have to attend therapy sessions in person - or have reduced the number of therapy sessions they need to attend in the office. Online mental health clients also gain access to 24-hour a day always on therapy support that an in-office therapist may not be able to provide.
Free Therapy Options
While there are free options available for therapy, they require a little more legwork to find than the options that we discussed above. Free options for therapy can normally be found with a quick Google search that is likely to yield offline results located in or near your neighborhood. Free options for getting therapy locally include your local Department of Public Health, Department of Family and Children's Services, and private sliding-fee or reduced fee options that you can find locally. Limited free options for therapy are available online by using peer-to-peer counseling services like 7 Cups of Tea online.
Benefits Of Online Therapy
People who get therapy online are finding out that the benefits are endless. Not only do you get to improve the quality of your life from the privacy and comfort of your own home - you have access to an affordable necessity that helps you to live a more balanced and productive life. As we begin to learn more about the importance of maintaining good mental health, we're learning that the consequences for "not" taking care of our mental health can be detrimental.
Recently, we've learned that mental health is just as important as physical health. Without a combination of a harmonious mind and body, we may be limiting the amount of joy and happiness that we can experience in our lives. Getting therapy and learning how to pick yourself up after getting knocked down to develop mental toughness and resilience - is one of the best gifts that we can ever give ourselves. Having 24-hour access to therapy online can help make it easier.
In this article, we've talked about the best free online therapy sites, the average costs of therapy, and the benefits of getting online therapy. Now that you have more information on how therapy works, how much it costs, and how vital therapy can be for maintaining good mental health - what will your next steps be?
If you're ready to get started with maintaining better mental health with a licensed therapy professional, contact a therapy support specialist at BetterHelp.com to get started today!