We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Psych Central only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

We chose 7 Cups, Open Path Collective, Talkspace, and others as the best options for low-cost, affordable therapy online. We’re sharing our hands-on reviews as well to help inform your decision.

Being able to access mental health help from the comfort of your home has never been easier. Reasonable online therapy is now super accessible, especially since all you need is a device and a reliable internet connection.

While some online therapy platforms are more expensive than others, we scoped out the top therapy platforms to find the most affordable online therapy options for 2024.

Best for specific mental health experiences

Online-Therapy.com

  • Price: $40 a week
  • Insurance accepted: no
  • Available in the United States: yes
  • Formats: video, voice, text

Online-Therapy.com takes a cognitive behavioral therapy approach to treatment, which is a well-researched form of online therapy to treat depression. It allows people to learn how to recognize and avoid unhelpful thoughts and behavior patterns that negatively affect their lives.

In addition to traditional talk therapy, Online-Therapy.com offers specialized training courses to help you manage mental health issues such as:

To help keep your progress on track they also offer a series of:

  • worksheets
  • yoga and meditation videos
  • digital journals
  • activity plans

Online-Therapy.com has a sliding scale of prices to help make its services fit most people’s budgets.

$40 per weektext-based therapy
$88 per week• two weekly video calls
• express replies from your therapist

There’s a 20% discount off your first month for whichever plan you choose.

Why we chose it

Online-Therapy.com offers specialized training courses based on your individual mental health needs, as well as helpful learning tools like:

  • worksheets
  • videos
  • tests

What we like

  • The platform offers three subscription plans, depending on your needs to get therapy.
  • All plans include daily therapist replies Monday through Friday.
  • You can find a daily journal, videos, and tests to reaffirm the concepts.

What to look out for

  • Therapists may have varying credentials and experience levels.
  • Not all subscription levels include live video conferencing with a therapist.

Best access and availability

BetterHelp

  • Price: $65-100 a week
  • Insurance accepted: no
  • Available in the United States: yes
  • Formats: text, chat, voice, video

With BetterHelp, you get access to a wide network of licensed therapists and mental health professionals whom you can chat with live over:

  • instant messaging
  • phone
  • video

Based on your responses to a survey, BetterHelp will pair you with a therapist it determines will be a good match. You can choose to change therapists at any time, but it may be best to give one a few sessions to see if they’re what you were hoping for.

Both individual and couples counseling are available, and the rates are relatively affordable. The subscription cost for BetterHelp can run from $65–$100 a week, depending on your location, your preferences, and any additional therapy options you might want to add on. However, they don’t take insurance.

Why we chose it

BetterHelp is the largest therapy platform worldwide, offering an increasing number of highly qualified therapists.

What we like

  • Therapists have at least 3 years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience.
  • The service has a flat monthly fee, and you can try it for free for 7 days.
  • It’s available in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • You can stay anonymous.

What to look out for

  • BetterHelp doesn’t work with insurance providers.
  • Therapists cannot diagnose conditions or prescribe medications.
  • The platform doesn’t offer court-ordered therapy.

If you’re interested in learning more about BetterHelp, consider reading our in-depth review.

What our testers say

Healthline SEO associate Heather Riesbeck tested BetterHelp for more than a month to continue her therapy journey and manage OCD symptoms, while also growing in personal aspects of her life.

“I found the process of registering for an account very easy. I answered a relatively quick yet thorough questionnaire on my background, identity, beliefs, feelings, goals…” and more.

She also added that before communicating with the therapist via text and live phone calls, before meeting, her therapist provided information on their education, professional work, counseling style and philosophy, area of specialization, and more.

Riesbeck affirms she’d “definitely recommend this product. I have very high expectations for therapy due to previous positive experiences, and I was very impressed with the quality of the sessions. I also really appreciated having several options for communication, so I could have care that balanced my needs with my availability and capacity to participate.”

She also added that appointments are very flexible to reschedule and cancel, but “if I went a while without a session, my therapist would reach out to see how I was doing and try to get me thinking about my goals again. I am overall very happy with their services.”

Market Editor “Vivian” tried Betterhelp for more than a month to discuss trauma that happened during childhood and try to determine how it was affecting her personal relationships in adulthood.

Vivian agrees with how easy it was to sign up and learn a bit about your assigned therapist ahead of your appointment and adds that, “while I did not need to, BetterHelp makes it very clear you can request to change therapists at any point.

She agrees with Riesbeck about Betterhelp’s flexibility and adds that she “researched BetterHelp beforehand and was impressed with their transparent pricing estimates. Many places don’t let you know quite how much they expect you to pay, leading to a potentially nasty surprise and anxiety as you try to figure” out if you can afford to continue.

“I would recommend this service as it is convenient to fit around the workday. There are sessions over the weekend, or people can schedule some during breaks or quiet moments at work.”

Best with insurance

Talkspace

  • Price: $69+ a week; $30 co-pay with insurance
  • Insurance accepted: yes
  • Available in the United States: yes
  • Formats: text, voice, video

In an effort to offer affordable therapy to more people, Talkspace has worked with insurance providers to make sure many health insurance plans cover therapy services they offer.

Talkspace may also be covered under your employer’s employee assistance program (EAP) if they have a policy in place.

To find out whether the cost of Talkspace therapy is included or discounted through your employer or insurance plan, you can talk with your human resources representative or call the member services department on your insurance card.

Talkspace offers a few membership plans:

$260 per monthunlimited messaging and daily replies from your therapist
$316 per monthunlimited messaging and one 30-minute live video therapy session per month
$396 per monthunlimited messaging and four 30-minute live video therapy sessions

Why we chose it

Talkspace is unique in that it tries to work with various insurance providers that cover therapy, as well as some EAPs. They also offer several subscription plans to match your budget needs best.

What we like

  • Talkspace chatrooms are available 24/7.
  • You can choose to connect with your online therapist in real time via video, audio, or chat therapy options.
  • Talkspace is available in all 50 United States and Canada.

What to look out for

  • Therapists are available only 5 days a week.
  • Psychiatrists cannot prescribe controlled medications such as Adderall or Xanax.
  • Text- and chat-based therapy formats don’t work for everyone.

If you’d like to learn more about Talkspace, consider reading our in-depth review.

Best for crisis help

Crisis Text Line

  • Price: free
  • Insurance accepted: not applicable
  • Available in the United States: yes
  • Formats: text

The Crisis Text Line is a free service that responds to text messages from people in a crisis. This service made up of volunteers, is available to anyone who is in a painful emotional crisis or thinking about ending their own life.

These volunteers are not licensed therapists and can’t offer medical advice, but they’re there to:

  • listen
  • support
  • help bring you back to a calmer, cooler state

If you feel like you’re in a crisis and need to reach out to someone who will listen, you can text a message to 741741 in the United States and Canada.

Within just a few minutes, you will be connected with a trained volunteer who will help you and lend their support until you feel that you’re in a safer space to end the conversation.

Why we chose it

The Crisis Text Line lets you immediately connect with a trained volunteer if you’re having a mental health crisis.

What we like

Note: The crisis text line says any keywords typed solo in your opening message can activate a secure conversation.

What to look out for

  • The service is not a substitute for therapy.
  • It’s available only in the United States and Canada, but affiliate services are available in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Best for free or low cost support

7 Cups

  • Price: free (or $150 a month ($37.50 per week) for therapy)
  • Insurance accepted: no
  • Available in the United States: yes
  • Formats: chat

If you’re working with a very tight budget, 7 Cups may be the most affordable option. It’s a free 24/7 chat system that pairs you with a trained listener. The listeners are not licensed therapists — they’re volunteers who want to help reach people in need and listen to them without a time limit.

The website also includes a wide Q&A section where you can post questions and receive answers and support from other users. Specialized chat rooms are available to discuss specific issues with people going through similar experiences.

Just keep in mind that anyone can post a reply to your question and that the replies may include unsupported or even harmful medical advice. It’s best to check with a healthcare professional before trying something suggested by another user.

7 Cups also offers a paid therapy option that’s still pretty affordable and lets users chat with a licensed counselor. The cost is $150 per month (or $37.50 per week).

Why we chose it

7 Cups is a good option if you’re on a limited budget and need someone to talk with. They can connect you with a trained listener, or you can access a specialized chat room and talk with other users who are facing similar issues.

What we like

  • Chatting with a trained listener is free.
  • You can chat with other users facing similar issues.
  • Therapy with licensed professionals is available for $150 per month.

What to look out for

  • Listeners are not licensed therapists.
  • Some listeners may give better (or worse) advice than others.
  • This is not a crisis line.

Best for therapy on a budget

Open Path Collective

  • Price:
    • $65 for lifetime membership
    • $40-$70 per individual therapy session
    • • $40-$80 per family/couple session
  • Insurance accepted: no
  • Available in the United States: yes
  • Formats: in-person, online, phone

Open Path Collective is a nonprofit organization that offers affordable online therapy services, both in-office and online, for people who are without insurance or whose insurance lacks sufficient mental health coverage.

Here’s how it works:

  • Use the Open Path search feature to find affordable therapists online near you.
  • Once you find one you like, complete a brief registration form and pay a one-time membership fee of $65.
  • Once you’re a member, you can engage in psychotherapy sessions ranging from $40–$70 per session ($30 for student intern-led sessions).

Why we chose it

If you’re uninsured or underinsured, Open Path Collective offers you the opportunity to access affordable therapy options, both in-person and online, by paying a one-time fee of $65.

What we like

  • The therapy platform is available to anyone who cannot afford typical therapy prices and who makes less than $100,000 per year.
  • Couples therapy online only requires one membership fee rather than two.
  • You can change therapists if you feel it’s not a good match.

What to look out for

  • Even if your insurance covers therapy, you can’t use your insurance to pay the membership fee.
  • The membership fee is non-refundable.

Best for all ages and stages

Amwell

  • Price: $99 or less per therapy session; $199 initial visit, $95 follow-up visits for a psychiatrist
  • Insurance accepted: yes
  • Available in the United States: yes
  • Formats: video

With Amwell, you not only get access to telehealth therapy sessions with psychologists, but you can also get online appointments for non-emergency medical issues with:

This makes Amwell a one-stop resource for keeping up with your mental and physical health, especially since all the professionals can work with each other if you want them to (i.e., in case you need medication).

Therapy sessions are about 45 minutes each and are available for kids ages 10–17 with parental consent. Plus, sessions are covered by many insurance providers to help keep your therapy costs down. You might even be able to pay $0 with insurance or a low copay.

If you’re looking for an affordable online therapy option without insurance, you can keep your costs down by picking a therapist with certain credentials. For example, the cost of each therapy session is $109 if you select a professional with a master’s degree or $129 if they have a doctoral degree.

Why we chose it

Amwell offers a one-stop resource for many of your healthcare needs. With Amwell, you can see a physician for your sore throat and schedule an appointment with a therapist to discuss your anxiety.

What we like

  • There is no extra charge for weekends, holidays, or nights.
  • Amwell works with insurance companies.
  • It serves children ages 10–17 with parental consent.
  • Therapy is more affordable if you choose a therapist with a master’s degree (rather than a doctoral degree).

What to look out for

  • Healthcare and mental health professionals at Amwell cannot treat emergencies.
  • Amwell cannot take the place of your primary care physician.
  • Professionals at Amwell cannot order lab tests or prescribe controlled substances.

If you’re interested in learning more about this platform, consider reading our in-depth review on Amwell.

Best for LGBTQIA+ experiences

Inclusive Therapists

  • Price: Varies with each therapist (not handled by platform)
  • Insurance accepted: Yes, based on insurance plan and therapist
  • Available in the United States: Yes
  • Formats: Online, in-person

Inclusive Therapists is a service dedicated to helping people in the LGBTQIA+ community with depression or other mental health challenges as well as other marginalized groups connect with sensitive therapists around the United States.

You can use their free search tool to connect with social-justice oriented therapists in your area. Their mission in the field of mental health is to dismantle:

  • racism
  • ableism
  • stigma
  • discrimination
  • classism
  • sanism
  • white cis-hetero patriarchy

Connecting with a culturally, racially, and stigma-conscious therapist may help improve outcomes from therapy. It is important to feel comfortable, safe, and able to communicate effectively with a therapist to get the most out of services.

When finding an online therapist or other therapy formats, you can ask questions that are meaningful to you to help ensure you find the right fit.

Why we chose it

Inclusive Therapists is an online search tool and social advocate company. Its goals of ending discrimination and stigma in mental health align with Healthline’s own core values.

What we like

  • Therapists selected for their directory must provide supportive, unbiased care to all people.
  • Listings are available throughout the United States.
  • You can look for in-person and online therapy and options that work best for you.
  • It can help connect you and your loved ones with helpful resources.

What to look out for

  • Prices and insurance acceptance are not consistent across providers, though searching for sliding scale therapists is an option you can select, though it is unlikely that you’ll find free therapy.
  • Options may be limited in certain areas of the country.

Best for People of Color

Therapy for Black Girls

  • Price: Varies with each therapist (not handled by platform)
  • Insurance accepted: yes (based on individual therapist)
  • Available in the United States: yes
  • Formats: Online, in-person

Therapy for Black Girls is an extension of the popular podcast with the same name.

Both the podcast and the therapy platform were designed to bring mental health issues to the forefront of Black communities and to help Black women overcome the stigma around mental illness.

This is important, as Black adults in the United States are more likely than their white counterparts to report persistent feelings of emotional distress, such as hopelessness and feeling like everything is a chore. Still, only one in three Black adults who live with mental health condition gets the help they need.

While it’s not necessary to have a therapist of your specific ethnicity or race, your therapist must have cultural competency. This means your therapist understands the beliefs and values important to you and your culture or community.

Before you choose a therapist, be sure to ask them all the questions that are important to you.

Why we chose it

Therapy for Black Girls is unique in that it highlights and addresses the specific mental health needs of Black women. For example, a call to action or praise of “being so resilient” is actually perceived by some to be dismissive of the human factor and lived experiences of marginalized groups.

What we like

  • This platform strives to remove the stigma around mental health issues in Black communities.
  • You can search for a therapist who offers therapy formats that include in person, online, or both.
  • The site features a blog written by various therapists on relevant, interesting topics.
  • The platform features licensed therapists in all 50 states.

What to look out for

  • The online community (Sister Circle) charges a fee of $9.99 per month to join.
  • There are few in-person therapy options.
  • There are a few navigation challenges on the website.
BrandPriceAvailable via:
Online-Therapy.com$40 a week (20% discount first month)• video
• phone/voice
• text
BetterHelp$65-100 a week• video
• phone/voice
• text
• chat
Talkspacei$69+ a week; $30 co-pay with insurance• video
• phone/voice
• text
Crisis Text Linefreetext
7 Cupsfree (or $150 a month for therapy)chat
Open Path Collective• $65 membership fee
• $40-$70 per individual session
• $40-$80 per couple/family session
• chat
• phone/voice
Amwelli• $99 or less a session for therapy
• $199 initial visit, $95 follow-up visits
psychiatrist
video
Inclusive Therapistsivaries with location and therapistsvaries per therapist
Therapy for Black Girlsivaries with therapistvideo

i= insurance accepted or varies by therapist

When creating our list of the best affordable online therapy options, we kept these things in mind:

  • Price. This was a biggie for this list. Of course, affordability is relative because everyone is working with different budgets. But every service listed above is less expensive than a typical in-office session.
  • Ease of use. How do users access their therapist, and what technical issues (and fixes) may they face?
  • User reviews. What are current users saying about the quality of service in a therapy review or other publications?
  • Therapist qualifications. Who are the counselors? What makes them qualified? How do they interact with clients?
  • Therapist accessibility. How often can you check in and engage with your therapist?
  • Vetting. All services have been vetted to ensure they meet PsychCentral’s medical, editorial, and business standards.

Online therapy, also known as e-therapy or teletherapy, is any form of psychotherapy or counseling services – such as couples therapy – conducted online.

Many online therapy services offer live video calls and private chat rooms that can simulate the in-person therapy experience to make the sessions just as effective if you need therapy. Some therapists also offer therapy formats such as:

  • video calls
  • phone calls or voice communication (without video)
  • text
  • chat

The rise in therapy online over the last few years (a by-product of the COVID-19 pandemic) has removed many of the barriers that kept people from finding help in the past. You no longer have to find time in your busy day to commute to a therapist’s office.

Best of all, most online therapy sessions are more affordable than face-to-face ones.

The only problem? There are a lot of online therapy options out there, so it can be tough to find one that offers quality and an affordable price. That’s why we put together this list to help you find the best based on your needs.

Research from 2020 shows that online therapy is an effective tool for people dealing with stress, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

The terms “counselor” and “therapist” can sometimes be used interchangeably, but they differ in their training and focus.

Counselors usually hold master’s degrees and provide short-term guidance for specific challenges like stress and relationships.

Therapists, often psychologists, hold advanced degrees and address diagnosable mental health issues like depression and trauma. They delve deeper into emotions and behaviors, aiming to address underlying concerns.

To be clear, psychologists are therapists, but not all therapists are psychologists.

An hour of therapy may range from $65 to $200 or more. If your insurance covers therapy, your copayment may range from $5 to $50 or more.

You can also ask your therapist if they offer a sliding rate scale based on income or if they could recommend someone who offers a sliding scale. Still, it’s good to keep in mind that sliding scale spots often fill up quickly, so you may need to be patient until you find a therapist who has a slot available.

Therapy costs can be influenced by factors such as:

  • therapist education
  • experience
  • overhead expenses
  • the specialized nature of mental health services

Additionally, therapy involves personalized attention and ongoing professional development, contributing to the overall cost.

If you’re paying out of pocket, online therapy is often cheaper than in-person therapy. But prices vary, depending on factors such as:

  • which services you use
  • the credentials of the therapist
  • how often you speak with a therapist
  • therapy formats, such as online, in person, or group

Finding affordable therapy can be tricky if you’re on a budget, but there are several alternative ways to help yourself:

  • Self-help resources: Explore books, articles, and online materials focused on mental health and self-improvement.
  • Support groups: Join local or online support groups for a sense of community.
  • Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity for mood and stress management.
  • Mindfulness: Practice relaxation and mindfulness techniques to reduce anxiety.
  • Reach out: Talk to friends and family about your feelings, and don’t hesitate to seek emotional support from them.
  • Community resources: Explore low-cost or sliding-scale mental health services in your area.

The cost of therapy can vary, but $100 per session is often considered a reasonable rate for individual therapy in many locations. Whether this is expensive depends on your personal financial situation and priorities. If cost is a concern, you can explore therapists who offer sliding scale fees or online therapy, which may be more affordable options.

People afford therapy through various means, including:

Online therapy platforms also offer more affordable options for those seeking help without insurance. Additionally, some nonprofit organizations and community health centers provide accessible and affordable therapy services, ensuring that financial constraints don’t prevent individuals from getting the support they need.

Therapy rates can vary greatly throughout the United States. Location, speciality, therapy formats (in person, online, group, etc), and the practice itself can all affect the rates you will pay.

In-person therapy can range between about 100 to 250 dollars an hour. Some therapists may charge more, depending on what they help with, such as couples therapy or individual therapy.

You can also ask about sliding scale fees. Sliding scale means you may pay a bit less per hour based on your ability to pay, often based on your financial situation.

BetterHelp offers affordable therapy through an online connection center that helps to connect you to therapists that can help you. The average weekly cost is between 65 to 100 dollars a week.

It states this is lower than most people’s local therapist session costs of between 100 and 200 dollars. Many people find it to be a more affordable therapy option than traditional in person therapy.

Online therapy has made it easier to find help from licensed professionals from the comfort of your home and on your schedule.

While there’s no substitute for one-on-one evaluations, online services have opened up avenues for healing to people who were previously unable to access a qualified therapist due to:

  • cost
  • geography
  • some other barrier

We realize that “affordable online therapy” means something different to each person based on their financial situation. What is affordable to one person may be inaccessible to another.

You can feel empowered to seek help, especially if you cannot find a service that fits your budget at first. Money shouldn’t be the barrier between you and the mental health therapy you need and deserve.

Additional resources

If our list doesn’t match what you’re looking for, or if you’re looking for a therapist with a certain cultural background or specialization, consider these tools to find support:

Was this helpful?