5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (2024)

Best Affordable Online Therapy Options in 2024

Brightside Health

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (1)

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (2)


All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

  • Monthly fee: $299 for four video sessions
  • Accepts 12 insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid
  • Accepts Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
  • Types of therapy available: Individual, psychiatry and Crisis Care
  • Communication options: Live video, Anytime Messaging
  • Average session length: 45 minutes
  • 1,500 active providers in network
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A-; Trustpilot rating: 1.5

On Brightside's Website

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Our Experience



5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (4)

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (5)


All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

  • Monthly fee: Varies, but around $260 for four video therapy sessions
  • Does not accept insurance or Medicare
  • Accepts HSA and FSA
  • Types of therapy available: Individual, couples (via ReGain), teen (via Teen Counseling)
  • Communication options: Live video, messaging, live chat and voice call
  • Average session length: 30 to 45 minutes
  • 34,000 active providers in network
  • BBB rating: A-; Trustpilot rating: 4.5

On BetterHelp's Website

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Our Experience


Teladoc Health

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (7)

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (8)


All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

  • $99 per video therapy session, billed per session
  • Accepts insurance, does not accept Medicare
  • Accepts HSA and FSA
  • Types of therapy available: Individual, medication management
  • Communication options: Live video
  • Average session length: 45 minutes
  • Does not disclose how many active providers are in its network
  • BBB rating: B; Trustpilot rating: 4.8

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Our Experience


ADHD Advisor

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (9)

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (10)


All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

  • $140 per video therapy session, billed weekly
  • Does not accept insurance or Medicare
  • Accepts HSA and FSA
  • Types of therapy available: Individual, medication management
  • Communication options: Live video
  • Average session length: Does not disclose
  • 50 active providers in network
  • BBB and Trustpilot ratings not available

On ADHDAdvisor.org

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Editor’s Take



5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (12)

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (13)


All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

  • Monthly fee: $320 for four video sessions (for standard plan)
  • Does not accept insurance or Medicare
  • Accepts HSA and FSA
  • Types of therapy available: Individual, couples
  • Communication options: Live video, phone and messaging
  • Average session length: 45 minutes
  • 200 active providers in network
  • BBB rating: Not available; Trustpilot rating: 2.8

On Online Therapy.com's Website

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Editor’s Take


Methodology: How We Picked the Best Affordable Online Therapy of 2024

To determine the best affordable online therapy providers of 2024, the Forbes Health editorial team distributed an in-depth survey to 43 online mental health providers with questions about their services including therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, insurance acceptance, size of provider network and more. The Forbes Health editorial team also independently collected data on a variety of metrics, and in total, analyzed 35 metrics to determine its best affordable online therapy ranking, including:

  • Price per session
  • Weekly and monthly subscription plans
  • Quality of therapists
  • Registration process
  • Insurance options
  • Availability of free initial consultations
  • Therapist selection options
  • Therapist availability
  • Communication modes
  • Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot ratings

Extra points were awarded to companies who were transparent and provided information about their services via the aforementioned survey. All star rankings are determined solely by the editorial team.

Read more about our online therapy review methodology.

What Is Online Therapy?

Online therapy, sometimes called teletherapy or virtual therapy, is a way to receive counseling or psychotherapy without meeting a therapist in person. While it’s often conducted via video, online therapy can also include professional services related to therapeutic support that include texting, instant messaging or phone calls with a therapist.

Some clients seek online therapy through integrated platforms like Talkspace and Betterhelp, while others find providers through their insurance networks.

Due to lockdowns and stay-at-home orders during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, many therapists started offering sessions online, allowing researchers an opportunity to further observe the efficacy of virtual therapy.

Findings from various studies support teletherapy as an effective form of mental health care. And according to a survey from the American Psychology Association conducted after the start of the pandemic, most therapists feel moderately positive about teletherapy and are likely to continue offering it in the future.

What Is Affordable Therapy?

Affordable therapy can provide mental health care without the typical high price that may accompany traditional therapy with a private provider. Seeking any kind of help, even if it’s not your ideal form of therapy, is “definitely better than nothing,” says Ashley Castro, Ph.D., New York-based co-founder and executive director of Therapy4thePeople, an organization that helps people of color and those struggling financially to find mental health care.

Remote and app-based services—which often come at a lower cost than in-person sessions—make therapy more readily available, too, adds Maeve O’Neill, the executive vice president of addiction and recovery at All Sober based in Virginia. “They can help individuals to get started with care that they otherwise would not,” she says.

Benefits and Downsides of Affordable Therapy

Benefits of online and/or affordable therapy include:

  • Lower costs
  • Potential relief of finance-triggered anxiety and stress
  • Possible convenience and flexibility of online/text sessions
  • May have quicker turnaround in seeing a therapist online or via telehealth
  • Anonymity for the patient could be offered

Downsides of online and/or affordable therapy include:

  • Potential cap on the number of sessions available
  • Telehealth or apps may feel impersonal
  • May be ill-equipped for long-term treatment for some individuals who prefer in-person interaction
  • May not be ideal for treating more complex issues, such as serious depression, longstanding trauma, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia

Featured Sponsor Offer 5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (15)

Partner Offers feature brands who paid Forbes Health to appear at the top of our list. While this may influence where their products or services appear on our site, it in no way affects our ratings, which are based on thorough research, solid methodologies and expert advice. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services

Professional Therapy, Done Online

5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (16)
  • Prices vary and start at $65/week
  • Users can be matched with one of over 35,000 licensed therapists in as little as 24 hours
  • Over 4 million people have received support through BetterHelp
  • Subscription includes a weekly one-on-one session and optional group session, journaling, worksheets, goal setting, and more
  • Ability to switch therapists or cancel at any time

On BetterHelp's Website

What Is the Average Cost of Online Therapy?

Virtual mental health care often costs less than traditional in-person therapy sessions. According to Lorandini, the price of online therapy ranges from about $65 to $129 per session out-of-pocket. Compare this to in-person therapy, which typically costs about $100 to $200 per session.

Lorandini also notes that some providers charge flat rate fees for virtual services, while others have tiered pricing based on the type of services provided. “It is important to understand what costs will be incurred before deciding to pursue virtual mental health care,” she says.

In the end, what you pay will largely depend on your insurance coverage and the provider you choose.

How to Save Money on Online Therapy

Several options are available to reduce the cost of online therapy, including insurance, services offered on a sliding scale and community-based resources.

By law, insurance companies are required to offer mental health coverage in the same way as medical health coverage. Still, insurers are not required by law to provide mental health benefits (just that the two services are treated equally). If your health insurance covers mental health services, you may be only required to pay a portion of the total service fee. However, if your mental health provider is out-of-network, you may have to pay the full fee out of pocket.

Health insurance plans provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid include mental health benefits. Before selecting a therapist, check your plan’s description of services covered to find whether it includes mental health coverage and to understand your in-network and out-of-network costs.

Another option for minimizing the cost of online therapy is to find a provider that offers sessions on a sliding scale. The cost of sliding scale therapy is often determined by the individual’s financial resources to make sessions more affordable.

Other avenues for affordable therapy include resources such as chat lines and community support groups. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers free, peer-led support groups nationwide for adults with symptoms of a mental health condition. As a plus, many NAMI support groups offer virtual attendance. Additionally, NAMI offers a HelpLine that can be accessed via telephone, text or virtual chat.

Online Therapy vs. In-Person Therapy

Online therapy offers the following merits:

Accessibility: One of the main advantages of online therapy is that it increases access to mental health care. Many people struggle to find a therapist due to the limited number of providers in their insurance network that are also within driving distance. In fact, as of September 2022, more than 156 million Americans live in a mental health care professional shortage area[1]Mental health care health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). Kaiser Family Foundation. Accessed 1/9/2022. .

“Virtual mental health care may be more accessible than traditional in-person therapy due to its location flexibility and convenience,” says Jeanette Lorandini, a licensed clinical social worker and owner and director of Suffolk DBT in New York.

So instead of being limited to therapists in their city or town, teletherapy clients may receive services from any therapist that is licensed in their state.

Finding a better fit: The fact that online therapy widens the net of access to more providers also means clients can be pickier when it comes to selecting their therapist. Research shows that finding a good match in a mental health professional can directly affect therapy outcomes.

This can be especially beneficial for clients of certain demographics. For example, an ex-military service member may wish to receive care from a therapist who specializes in helping veterans. A sexual assault survivor may need to work with a therapist who is trauma-informed.

With online therapy, clients are able to prioritize the attributes they’re looking for in a therapist rather than being limited to providers in their neighborhood and insurance network.

Comfort and privacy: While there is some concern among therapists about building rapport in an online setting, some clients may actually prefer the virtual format because it allows them to open up to someone from the comfort of their own home.

Some clients also enjoy the privacy that online therapy sessions grants. Rather than having to commute to a provider’s office and sit in their waiting room each week, clients can remain confidential with greater certainty.

“Many virtual platforms provide end-to-end encryption for added safety and confidentiality of patient information,” Lorandini adds.

For homebound or mobility-impaired clients, online therapy offers more than comfort. “Those with disabilities or limited mobility may find virtual care more accessible than traditional in- person services,” Lorandini says.

Is Online Therapy Cheaper Than In-Person Therapy?

The median cost of a 60-minute in-person therapy session in the U.S. in 2018 was $130, according to a report by SimplePractice, a management system for mental health practitioners[2]Psychotherapy session rates by state & city: 2018. SimplePractice. Accessed 5/18/2023. . Meanwhile, online therapy services—including services that made our list—are able to offer therapy sessions ranging as low as $50 to $99.

Does Online Therapy Take Insurance?

The question of whether insurance covers teletherapy depends on your provider and the state you live in.

“Physician reimbursem*nt for virtual care services vary and are not always covered by insurance plans like traditional medical visits would be,” says Lorandini. “It is important to check with one’s provider or insurer prior to receiving care.”

When the pandemic hit, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adjusted their Medicaid policies to cover telehealth.

Medicare has removed many restrictions on its coverage of telemedicine permanently. This means qualifying Medicare patients can receive teletherapy anywhere in the U.S.

Many private employers have followed suit, with more than eight out of 10 expanding their virtual health services during the pandemic and more than half (62%) planning to maintain those changes[3]2021 Plan Design Survey: Employer perspectives on the health care landscape. Business Group on Health. Accessed 1/9/2023. .

“Chatting with the [online therapy] website’s customer support or contacting your provider to double-check can also be helpful,” says Lorandini.

Where Can I Find Affordable Therapy?

There are several affordable therapy options for various concerns and financial needs. Here are some commonly accessible outlets:

Telehealth and Mobile Apps

Telehealth, text therapy and mobile app interfaces are becoming increasingly popular forms of mental health care. The offerings are typically less expensive than traditional psychotherapy, but still show “equivalent outcomes to the standard once-a-week therapy appointment,” says Bill Hudenko, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist in Lyme, New Hampshire, and global head of Mental Health at K Health.

O’Neill recommends Sondermind and Cerebral, which connect individuals to affordable therapists. Other popular telehealth platforms include LiveHealth, Talkspace and BetterHelp, which pair you with a therapist on its platforms to chat via text or video.

Therapy Through Work or School

Castro suggests checking whether your work or school provides discounted therapy options. College students and employees may have access to a counselor through the school; however, there is typically a cap on the number of sessions you can have with that counselor.

Free mental health services are becoming more common in schools even before college, adds Castro. “There’s a lot of barriers that are eliminated when kids can go to a therapist right in their school.”

Training Clinics

Before becoming licensed, mental health providers typically offer services for free or at a reduced cost as part of their licensing training. In these cases, the trainees are overseen by a licensed professional to ensure you are still receiving quality care. Castro recommends looking for schools for psychologists and master’s level clinicians in your area to see what they might offer.

Sliding Scale

There is also the chance of finding a private practice therapist who offers sessions on a sliding scale, which means the cost per session is based on your financial resources. They may even offer some free slots, according to Castro.

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective, for example, can help you find a local therapist who offers in-person and online sessions between $30 and $60.

Affordable Therapy Alternatives

“Given that there is a therapist shortage and so much demand for mental health services, I do encourage people to explore non-therapy alternatives,” says Castro. She suggests looking into potentially helpful resources like chat lines, peer support groups and guided self-help apps, which tend to be free or low-cost. You can also try activities like meditation or yoga to cope with minor anxiety.

These alternatives may end up suiting your needs while you wait for a therapy appointment, especially if your symptoms or concerns are on the milder side. But even if they don’t wholly address your worries, Castro still recommends checking them out, as they could serve as a helpful tool. Contact a professional if depression consumes your day-to-day, and if suicidal thoughts develop, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Other Affordable Mental Health Support and Therapy Options

  • EAPs: Some companies offer employee assistance programs (EAPs), which are usually third-party mental health services accessible through human resources. EAPs help employees resolve personal issues related to health, wellness and productivity through counseling.
  • Student health centers: Many colleges and universities offer free or low cost mental health services to students through campus health centers. Some partner with telehealth platforms as well, making services digitally accessible.
  • Health nonprofits and community clinics: Some organizations can connect you with therapists who volunteer their time. Search for “health non-profits” and the name of your location.
  • Support groups: Online support groups are often free and provide a supportive environment for people experiencing various life challenges. These top online support group platforms can help you find an appropriate group.

What to Look for When Choosing an Affordable Online Therapist

“While many forms of traditional counseling can be adapted to an online setting, not all therapies are suitable for a virtual environment,” says Lorandini. “It is important to research whether or not the type of therapy being offered through virtual services is appropriate for you or your family member’s individual needs.”

For instance, the experiences of clients and efficacy of online therapy when it comes to relational therapy (such as marriage therapy or couples therapy) is not as well known. So, some clients may find in-person interactions more valuable in this scenario.

However, cognitive behavioral therapy, a popular modality that is effective for depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, and other forms of mental illness, is a good modality for teletherapy.

It’s also important to research a provider’s credentials. “Not all counselors on these websites are licensed therapists, but it is usually indicated if they are and what their level of education is,” says Lorandini. “You may choose from counselors, licensed therapists, psychologists with master’s degrees, psychologists with doctorates and psychiatrists.”

“It may be helpful to interview potential providers and ask questions about their qualifications before committing to a particular therapist or practice,” she adds.

Compare the Most Affordable Online Therapy Options in 2024

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Brightside Health5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (18)5.05 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (19)Learn MoreOn Brightside's Websitehttps://brightside.pxf.io/c/1955282/1043563/12658" rel="nofollow"
BetterHelp5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (20)4.95 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (21)Learn MoreOn BetterHelp's Websitehttps://hasofferstracking.betterhelp.com/aff_c?offer_id=2&aff_id=3811&source=forbeshealth" rel="nofollow"
Teladoc Health 5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (22)4.65 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (23)Learn MoreAbout Our Featured Partnerhttps://www.forbes.com/health/mind/online-therapy-partners/
ADHD Advisor5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (24)4.35 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (25)Learn MoreOn ADHDAdvisor.orghttps://www.adhdadvisor.org/initial-assessment?utm_campaign=#health" rel="nofollow"
Online-Therapy.com5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (26)4.25 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (27)Learn MoreOn Online Therapy.com's Websitehttps://onlinetherapy.go2cloud.org/aff_c?offer_id=2&aff_id=2168" rel="nofollow"

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much should online therapy cost?

Online therapy typically costs about $65 to $129 per session out-of-pocket. With insurance, clients can pay co-pays as low as $20 per session, according to Lorandini.

What can you do if you can’t afford online therapy?

Individuals who are unable to afford online therapy have other options for finding mental health care. Alternatives to online therapy include community-based support groups (including those offered through various NAMI chapters across the U.S.) and online support groups.

Can you get online therapy for free?

While finding a therapist for free on a long-term basis can be challenging, there are some avenues to get therapy for free on a short-term basis or at a low cost.

Why are therapists so expensive?

Several factors contribute to the cost of therapy, including geographic location, level of training and related education debt, overhead costs for maintaining an office, insurance coverage limits and barriers many therapists face when attempting to enter an insurance network.




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  • BetterHelp Review
  • Talkspace Review

Information provided on Forbes Health is for educational purposes only. Your health and wellness is unique to you, and the products and services we review may not be right for your circ*mstances. We do not offer individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment plans. For personal advice, please consult with a medical professional.

Forbes Health adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers.

Nina ChamlouContributor

Nina Chamlou is a writer, interviewer and storyteller from Portland, Oregon. She covers technology, healthcare, psychology, mental health and social justice issues. Her motto is that useful info should be accessible and consumable to audiences from all walks of life and levels of education. You can find her floating around the Pacific Northwest’s funky cafés and observing the locale from behind her MacBook.

Maddie LloydEditor

Maddie is a writer and editor based in Durham, North Carolina. Prior to joining Forbes Health, Maddie was a personal finance editor at Credible where she specialized in mortgage and personal loan topics. She has also worked for the literary agency Howland Literary and the magazine The Vincent Brothers Review as a manuscript reader and copy editor. When she’s not writing or editing, Maddie can be found tending to her houseplants or crocheting with her cat, Sushi, at her side.

Judy Ho, PH.D., A.B.P.P., A.B.P.d.N.Clinical Psychology / Neuropsychology / Mental Health

Dr. Judy Ho is a triple board certified and licensed clinical and forensic neuropsychologist, a tenured associate professor at Pepperdine University and published author. Dr. Judy maintains a private practice in Manhattan Beach, California, where she specializes in comprehensive neuropsychological assessments and expert witness work. She regularly appears as an expert psychologist on television, podcasts and radio, and contributes to other media including print and electronic periodicals. She is a co-host on the syndicate daytime television talk show The Doctors, co-host of CBS’s Face the Truth and host of The SuperCharged Life podcast, which focuses on scientific, tangible tips for physical and mental wellness, and strategies for motivation and productivity.

Find The Best Online Therapy

  • Best Online Therapy Services
  • Best Online Therapy That Takes Insurance
  • Best Online Couples Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy For ADHD
  • Best Online Therapy For Anxiety
  • Best Online Therapy For Depression
  • BetterHelp Online Therapy Review
  • Talkspace Online Therapy Review
5 Best Affordable Online Therapy Options Of 2024 (2024)


What's the most affordable online therapy? ›

The most affordable online therapy platforms of 2024
  • BetterHelp: Most Affordable Online Therapy Overall.
  • Calmerry: Most Affordable Messaging Therapy.
  • Monument: Most Affordable Online Alcohol Use Treatment.
  • Open Path: Best for Paying per Session.
Feb 19, 2024

What is the best online platform for therapy? ›

Here are our top online therapy platforms:
  • BetterHelp: Best overall.
  • Online-Therapy.com: Best for making lasting changes.
  • Talkspace: Best for using insurance.
  • Sesame: Best for in-person or online care.
Jun 1, 2024

Is there a cheaper option than BetterHelp? ›

Calmerry. Calmerry is an e-counseling platform on a mission to provide accessible and affordable counseling for all. Starting from only $50 a week, Calmerry offers the best of online therapy from professionally licensed therapists, alongside daily support, a flexible schedule, worksheets, and video sessions.

Who can I talk to online for free? ›

BuddyHelp will connect you to trained active listeners - compassionate, caring volunteers who will listen, support, and be there for you.

What is the difference between Talkspace and BetterHelp? ›

For instance, Talkspace usually focuses on in-app messaging between therapist and client, while BetterHelp generally allows for video chats, audio calls, and in-app messaging. Talkspace therapists usually take two days off per week, while BetterHelp therapists can be available as often as seven days per week.

Is Talkspace legit? ›

Yes, Talkspace is a legitimate source for mental health and psychiatric care. Talkspace subscribers connect with licensed therapists during online sessions and in between sessions via text messaging.

What is the world's largest online therapy platform? ›

BetterHelp is the world's largest online therapy service, facilitating over 5,000,000 video sessions, voice calls, chats, and messages every month.

What is the best website to find a therapist? ›

Two websites for locating psychologists include the Psychologist Locator on the website of the American Psychological Association and the National Register.

Is online therapy good enough? ›

However, is online therapy effective? Research is on its side, showing that it can be just as effective as in-person sessions. Though there are a few disadvantages to consider, online therapy may fit your lifestyle and budget much more comfortably.

What is the lawsuit against BetterHelp? ›

BetterHelp agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle the FTC's charges, first announced in March 2023, that it used and revealed sensitive consumer data—specifically email addresses, IP addresses, and answers to personal health questions—for advertising purposes.

What is the monthly cost for BetterHelp? ›

BetterHelp cost breakdown

If you're wondering how much does therapy cost in BetterHelp, a BetterHelp subscription typically costs around $65-$100 per week, billed every four weeks to your credit card or PayPal account. You can expect a charge of around $260 to $400 on your account every month.

Is BetterHelp worth the hype? ›

BetterHelp is rated as a top teletherapy platform for a variety of mental health concerns. Users generally report positive experiences with BetterHelp's network of therapists, services, and the effectiveness of the therapy sessions.

Is free online therapy legit? ›

Free online therapy services do not always have true mental health experts available to chat. Instead, free online therapy may only be a starting point for receiving support and care.

Where can I find someone to just talk to? ›

If you need someone to talk to, friends and family are one option. Online forums, support groups, therapists, clubs, hotlines, and religious organizations can also be helpful. "Having open conversations with others is invaluable for mental health.

Is eTherapyPro free? ›

It's completely free to try it out with no obligations. Can eTherapyPro online counseling really help? While everyone's circ*mstances and experiences vary, people often report significant improvements in the first few weeks of online counseling.

How much does online therapy.com cost? ›

How Much Does Online-Therapy.com Cost?
TierServices IncludedMonthly Cost
Standard• Unlimited Messaging • Access to therapy program • One 45-minute live session per week$320
Premium• Unlimited Messaging • Access to therapy program • Two 45-minute live sessions per week$440
1 more row
May 13, 2024

Is online therapy less expensive? ›

Virtual mental health care often costs less than traditional in-person therapy sessions. According to Lorandini, the price of online therapy ranges from about $65 to $129 per session out-of-pocket. Compare this to in-person therapy, which typically costs about $100 to $200 per session.

Which type of therapy is most economical in terms of cost? ›

CBT achieves significant results in fewer sessions than older therapies and is more cost-effective as a result.

Is virtual therapy worth it? ›

A 2018 review suggests that CBT delivered online was just as helpful as in-person therapy for a handful of mental health conditions, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


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