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.
Online group therapy may be a good option for those seeking mental health support from the comfort of their home.
Much like individual therapy, group therapy provides a safe space to work through obstacles or find ways to overcome or cope with conditions or issues.
However, group therapy gives you the opportunity to work alongside others who may be facing similar challenges, all under the supportive leadership of a licensed mental health professional.
In recent years, online forms of therapy have become popular, offering a commute-free way to participate in sessions from the comfort of your own home.
In fact, research from 2019 shows that more than half of people who participate in therapy prefer online treatment over in-person options. This includes group therapy, with members meeting in a virtual space to share, discuss, and find common solutions and support for their experiences.
If you’re considering self-harm or suicide, help is available
Online resources like the ones in this article generally can’t provide help in a crisis (though many services list helpful resources, such as phone numbers to national and international crisis hotlines).
If you need help right now:
- Call a crisis hotline:
- HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741
- START to The Trevor Project at 678678
- The Veterans Crisis Line at 838255
- HAND to the Deaf Crisis Line at 839863
- If you’re not in the United States, you can find a crisis helpline in your country with Befrienders Worldwide.
In a nutshell, group therapy is when a licensed mental health professional meets with several clients at the same time, all of whom are facing a common challenge.
These regularly held sessions are most often centered around specific conditions, such as:
- substance use
- disordered eating
The trained professional leading the group guides members through each session, facilitating discussion and providing a safe space for growth and exploration.
Groups generally meet once or twice a week, and can take place either in a physical location — like a therapist’s office or a community space — or in a virtual setting online. Online groups usually use video or voice chat platforms to bring members together.
Some people find that they benefit from group therapy over individual options, while others attend both types of sessions. It all depends on what works best for the individual and their specific diagnosis.
If you want to jump directly to the sections for each platform, you can click the links below.
We took several factors into consideration when selecting our top online group therapy picks, including:
- user reviews and ratings. All services are highly rated and reviewed by clients.
- reputable, well-established sites. The programs have been around for a while and are respected and reputable.
- safe and secure platforms. The platforms follow high security and safety standards to ensure user privacy.
- quality of staff. All groups are led by licensed mental health professionals or experienced peers.
- vetting. All services have been vetted to ensure that they meet Psych Central’s medical, editorial, and business standards.
- Price: $60–$90 per week (billed every 4 weeks)
- Conditions and topics covered: depression, anxiety, grief, stress
BetterHelp offers an easy way to access support from a licensed therapist wherever you are. While their focus is mainly on individual sessions or couples counseling, BetterHelp does offer group therapy with a mental health professional matched especially to you.
Why we chose it for ‘Best overall’
Members get access to over 20 live weekly sessions led by licensed professionals. These sessions are interactive, and anyone can attend them. Participants can remain anonymous, so you can retain your privacy and confidentiality if you choose.
What we like
- Services are available via video, phone, messaging, and chat.
- Group sessions are offered for various age groups, as well as couples and families.
- Therapists are available 24/7.
What to look out for
- It can be expensive, based on plan.
- Insurance coverage is limited.
- Mozilla recently raised concerns about BetterHelp’s security and privacy practices.
Best on a budget
- Price: $35 per week
- Conditions and topics covered: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), borderline personality disorder, relationship issues
Grouport is a nationwide service that solely offers online group therapy. For a weekly fee, members participate in once-a-week sessions with a licensed therapist over Zoom.
While client names are shared with the therapist, participants are allowed to use nicknames or pseudonyms during sessions for added privacy. They can also choose to listen and observe in meetings as they grow comfortable, rather than being required to share each week.
Why we chose it for ‘Best on a budget’
With a price tag of $35 per week, Grouport’s group therapy services are lower priced than many other comparable services.
What we like
- Grouport focuses solely on online group therapy.
- Groups are capped at 12 members to ensure equal attention and support for all.
- Prices for weekly sessions are reasonable.
- Grouport allows for anonymity.
What to look out for
- This service doesn’t accept insurance.
Best for substance use disorders
- Price: varies by location and mental health professional
- Conditions and topics covered: substance use and addiction, anxiety, depression, people living with HIV or AIDS, LGBTQIA+, marriage and family, OCD, teens
While TherapyTribe doesn’t provide all services themselves, they do offer an easy way to connect with mental health professionals in your area.
The site contains listings for therapists throughout the world, giving you a one-stop-shop to finding the right therapist and group services to meet your needs.
They also offer a variety of free mental health and wellness services and resources for both clients and professionals.
Why we chose it for ‘Best for substance use disorder’
TherapyTribe offers hundreds of free online wellness support groups that cover different issues, including many groups focused on overcoming addiction and substance use.
It’s important to note, however, that these are peer-led support groups and not considered group therapy, as there is no oversight from a licensed professional.
What we like
- TherapyTribe connects users with a large assortment of mental health professionals in their area.
- The site is easy to use.
- It offers a variety of resources and information on mental health and wellness.
What to look out for
- Group therapy sessions are offered through individual mental health professionals and not directly through the TherapyTribe site.
- TherapyTribe does offer free wellness support groups, but these are peer-led and not facilitated by a licensed professional.
Best for getting started
- Price: varies based on mental health professional
- Conditions and topics covered: may depend on individual mental health professional
Like TherapyTribe, GoodTherapy is a directory service that connects you with qualified professionals in your location.
It helps make it easier to find the right therapist for your particular situation and needs, without the hassle and overwhelm that can sometimes come with choosing the right mental health professional.
Why we chose it for ‘Best for getting started’
GoodTherapy is a good option for people who are considering therapy and unsure where to start. Alongside their robust therapist directory, the site also has a seemingly endless amount of resources and information on mental health and wellness, including different conditions and treatment options available, as well as what types of therapy may be best.
What we like
- Easily connects you with quality mental health professionals in your area.
- The site offers a large resource library on many conditions and their treatment options.
What to look out for
- Group sessions are offered through individual mental health professionals and not directly through the GoodTherapy site.
- Price can vary greatly depending between therapists.
Best for young adults
- Price: $50–$55 per session ($150 initial screening fee)
- Conditions and topics covered: relationships, grief, postpartum support, perfectionism
Catalyss Counseling is a Colorado-based therapy service that offers many online support options, all led by Cataylss’s team of trained and licensed professionals.
Groups target various needs, including groups that support:
- recovering perfectionists
- those dealing with grief or loss
- those facing challenges in their relationships
Why we chose it for ‘Best for young adults’
One of the reasons that Catalyss stands out is its unique support of young adults. These groups bring together people navigating the early years and stresses of adulthood in a safe and supportive space.
What we like
- Support groups are available nationwide, with most participants coming from in or around Colorado.
- Catalyss Counseling offers a wide variety of support options.
- The service accepts some insurance providers.
What to look out for
- Individual options are only available to Colorado residents.
- Insurance use is limited by provider.
|Service||Price||Accepts insurance?||Nationwide availability?|
|BetterHelp||$60–$90 per week||varies based on insurance provider||yes|
|Grouport||$35 per week||no||yes|
|TherapyTribe||varies by location and professional||yes||yes|
|GoodTherapy||varies based on professional||yes||yes|
|Catalyss Counseling||$50–$55 per session ($150 initial screening fee)||varies based on insurance provider||support groups: yes; otherwise only Colorado|
While anyone can benefit from group therapy and the peer support it provides, the type of therapy you choose depends on your preferences and needs.
Group therapy can be especially beneficial for those looking for support from others going through similar health conditions or life experiences. They can help create accountability, openness, and better self-awareness.
Group therapy is also a more budget-friendly alternative to individual treatment, making it great for people who may want more affordable mental healthcare options.
When it comes to choosing the best online group for you, there is no “one-size-fits-all” option. In fact, it may take trying a few different groups to find the right fit for you.
The American Psychological Association recommends considering the following in your search:
- group size
- whether a group is open or closed
- diversity within the group
- what or how much you’re willing to share
Another thing to think about is whether you plan to only participate in group therapy, or if you’ll also be attending individual sessions. If choosing both options, consider getting your therapist’s insight. They can recommend groups that will best meet your needs and complement your solo sessions.
What is the difference between group therapy and support groups?
Group therapy and support groups both aim to provide a peer-based setting for working through or living with certain issues or conditions. However, group therapy is always led by a trained and licensed mental health professional, who facilitates discussion and offers insight and guidance for treatment and solutions.
Support groups, on the other hand, are generally peer-led. They don’t have a professional overseeing sessions and cannot provide official medical diagnosis or treatments.
What conditions does group therapy treat?
Common conditions that can benefit from group therapy include:
- eating disorders
- substance use disorders
- chronic stress
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- grief and loss
- chronic pain
What are the benefits of online group therapy?
Group therapy has many benefits, whether online or in person. While some
Most notably, online group therapy provides comfort and convenience. It allows people to participate in meetings from their own home or wherever else they may feel most relaxed. Studies have shown that online therapy also eliminates certain barriers to treatment, including the time and resources needed for traveling, as well as access based on how far a client may live from a care facility.
Online support also helps:
- ensure patient privacy and confidentiality
- create accountability
- build self-awareness
- support openness with others
Is online group therapy covered by insurance?
Whether or not insurance will cover the cost of online group therapy varies. Some services accept insurance, while others aren’t set up for it. It can also depend on your insurance provider or policy and what mental health services they cover.
Most online therapy sites will let you know if they accept insurance as payment on their sign-up page or in their FAQs. Your insurance provider can also answer questions about your policy and what it covers.
Group therapy is a form of therapy in which a mental health professional can meet with several clients facing a common challenge or condition at one time.
This group setting gives people a safe space to connect with others going through similar experiences, while helping reinforce accountability, create self-awareness, and provide a sense of togetherness.
In recent years, online support groups have grown in popularity, with a majority of clients preferring online support over face-to-face options. A virtual format allows participants to be a part of sessions from the comfort of their own homes, without the time commitment or stress of a commute. It also gives clients more privacy — even allowing them to remain anonymous or even off-camera in video sessions in some cases.
There are many services that provide a platform for online group therapy. Some offer services directly on their site, while others focus on connecting you with a group or professional who can best meet your needs.