Online-Therapy.com is one of the many online therapy services available. We break down the service for you in this review and share our tester’s experience with the platform.

Quick facts about Online-Therapy.com

  • Cost: $200 to $440 per month
  • Insurance accepted? No
  • Types of therapy: individual and couples
  • Communication types: live video, voice-only calling, and text messaging
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What is Online-Therapy.com?

Online-Therapy.com is a subscription-based online mental health platform that offers virtual therapy to individuals and couples. It was launched in 2009 by Carl Nordström, a former investment banker. When Nordström saw how expensive therapy was, he launched Online-Therapy.com to make mental health care more accessible.

All therapists partnered with Online-Therapy.com use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — a form of talk therapy that helps you identify negative thinking patterns and behaviors and create strategies to challenge and overcome them.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), CBT has been shown to be effective for depression, anxiety disorders, relationship problems, eating disorders, severe mental illness, and alcohol and drug use problems by improving functioning and overall quality of life.

The fact that all therapists use this science-based approach is one thing that makes Online-Therapy.com stand out from other virtual mental health services. Additionally, the company focuses on a holistic approach that also takes into account other mental and social factors.

Your subscription gives you access to regular talk therapy, as well as other mental health tools like an online journal, an activity plan, and yoga and meditation videos — something other platforms don’t typically have.

How to get started with Online-Therapy.com

Signing up for Online-Therapy.com is a straightforward process. You simply go to the website, click “Sign Up,” and then you’ll be taken through a series of prompts to determine what kind of therapy you’re looking for (individual or couple) and what you need help with. There are more than 40 options to choose from, ranging from anxiety and depression to career difficulties and anger management, and you can select as many as you want.

There is no app — instead, the platform is already optimized for smartphones and tablets. Whether you’re on a computer or a smartphone, you can just use your browser to navigate directly to the site.

Once you’ve shared your main reasons for seeking therapy, you’ll be asked about your preferences for a therapist. You can choose as many options as you’d like from female, male, LGBTQIA+, and/or BIPOC. You’ll also choose your preference for the live sessions: video, voice only, or text messaging (you can only choose one).

After you share your therapist preferences, you’ll be prompted to pick a subscription type. There are four options:

  • Basic subscription: There are no live sessions, but you can get daily support through messaging. Online-Therapy.com says this option is ideal for those who prefer a self-guided approach.
  • Standard subscription: This includes one 45-minute live therapy session per week, plus daily support via messaging.
  • Premium subscription: This includes two 45-minute live sessions per week, plus daily support via messaging.
  • Couples therapy: This includes one 45-minute live therapy session per week with your partner and your therapist. This also includes daily support via messaging, and only one subscription is required — you and your partner do not have to sign up for individual subscriptions.

Once you choose your subscription and pay, you’ll be immediately matched with a therapist with whom you can start messaging right away.

Therapist qualifications at Online-Therapy.com

There are strict qualifications to join Online-Therapy.com as a therapist. Right now, the service accepts practitioners from the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia who have CBT as their therapy orientation.

In addition to this knowledge and practice of CBT, all therapists must have an MA, MS, MSW, Psy. or PhD in counseling, social work, clinical psychology, or a related mental health field, plus a minimum of 3 years as a practicing therapist, 2,000 hours of direct counseling experience, or both.

U.S. practitioners also need to be licensed by a state board (LCSW, LMFT, LPC, PsyD or similar). For other countries, practitioners need to hold the equivalent credentials. Additionally, therapists cannot have any disciplinary actions taken against them in the last 10 years.

Therapists can apply to become a practitioner directly through the site, and then Online-Therapy.com will confirm their credentials and either accept or deny the application.

Matching with a therapist with Online-Therapy.com

When signing up, you’re not able to choose your therapist directly, but there are prompts Online-Therapy.com uses to match you with one. First, you’ll choose if you prefer a male, female, LGBTQIA+, or BIPOC practitioner. Then, you’ll choose your preferred method of communication for your live sessions (video, voice only, or text). Your reason(s) for joining are also considered since the therapists specialize in different areas.

From there, you’ll be automatically matched with a therapist that the company deems a fit for your needs. If you do not like the therapist who was chosen for you, you can request a transfer to a different one. At this point, you can look through the list of therapists and view their profiles, which provide information on their approach to therapy as well as their credentials and therapy orientations. You can also see reviews from other patients.

When you find one you like, you can click a “pick me” button, and you’ll be automatically reassigned to that therapist.

Pros and cons of Online-Therapy.com

What we like

  • several options for live sessions, including video, voice-only, and text
  • subscription includes access to a journal, activity plan, and yoga videos
  • HIPAA-compliant platform
  • financial aid available
  • takes HSA and FSA accounts
  • can pick your own therapist when initiating a transfer

What we don’t like

  • no app
  • no medication management
  • cannot choose your own therapist initially
  • does not take insurance
  • cannot pay per session; have to sign up for a monthly subscription
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Cost of Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com offers four subscription types with varying rates. They advertise a weekly price — subscriptions start at $50 per week — but you’re billed monthly. When you sign up, you’ll get a 20% discount for your first month, and then you’ll start paying the full subscription price at the start of your second month.

The cost depends on which subscription plan you choose:

  • Basic subscription: starts at $200 per month ($50 weekly)
  • Standard subscription: starts at $320 per month ($80 weekly)
  • Premium subscription: starts at $440 per month ($110 weekly)
  • Couples therapy: starts at $440 per month ($110 weekly)

If these fees are not within your budget, you can apply for financial aid. If your application is accepted, you’ll get a discounted rate based on your employment status, veteran status, and monthly income.

Does Online-Therapy.com take insurance?

No, Online-Therapy.com does not take insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid) directly, but you may be able to get your sessions covered, depending on your insurance plan. Online-Therapy.com will give you itemized receipts that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement after you’ve paid for your sessions upfront.

That said, it’s always a good idea to check in with your insurance company first to see what’s covered. Your insurance provider may provide full, partial, or no coverage for online therapy, so you’ll want to double-check before you try to submit a claim.

And while insurance is not accepted, Online-Therapy.com does accept HSA and FSA payments.

Services offered from Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com offers two main services: individual and couples therapy. Both use CBT, with the difference being who attends the sessions. You can either meet with your therapist alone or include your partner if there are relationship issues you’d like to try to work out. If you choose couples therapy, only one subscription is required.

This therapy is complemented by other mental health tools like “sections,” which are mini informational sessions, worksheets, a journal, an activity plan, and yoga.

Sections

Sections are informational chapters about relevant mental health conditions or related symptoms. Each section includes information and hands-on exercises that can help you identify and work toward overcoming your roadblocks. You can read through the sections, or you can choose video or audio narration.

Worksheets

Each section contains several worksheets that help you digest and apply what you learned from the informational sessions. The worksheets include question prompts that can help your therapist guide you. When you answer the questions in the worksheets, your therapist will use your responses to share relevant tools and tips for you to put into practice.

Journal

You also get access to an online journal. It’s recommended that you start and end your day with journaling. You’ll answer questions like, “What am I grateful for?” and “How do I want to feel today?”. You can also leave quick notes to yourself about how you want to feel and what you want to accomplish that day.

Activity Plan

The activity plan helps you put all the concepts into practice. You’re encouraged to use this feature to schedule more enjoyable events and hold yourself accountable to these plans. You can use it to plan a coffee date with friends or family, go for a walk, or play with your pets. You add your plan to your schedule and then mark off when you’ve done it.

Online-Therapy.com says their philosophy is to “do something each day that brings you joy,” and the activity plan is their way to help you do that.

Yoga

The yoga aspect sets Online-Therapy.com apart from its competitors because most don’t offer this mind-body tool as part of their subscription. Often, you have to pay for a separate subscription if you want access to regular yoga videos.

Online-Therapy.com makes guided yoga classes a core part of its program. The videos range from 10 to 60 minutes and work for all skill levels from beginner to advanced.

Privacy and security at Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com’s online services meet the standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for privacy and security.

All communication between you and your therapist, including audio, video, and chat messages, is encrypted. This means it’s scrambled into a code that outside users can’t understand without full access to the platform. Plus, all health information is secured with multiple safeguards to ensure data security.

When you sign up, your account — and any personal information you add to it — are automatically set up for deletion in 2 years so nothing is stored indefinitely. You can manually change this timeframe in your settings if you want to keep your account active, or you can delete your account at any time if you don’t want to wait 2 years.

Online-Therapy.com’s reviews and reputation

It’s difficult to get an unbiased picture of Online-Therapy.com since most of the user reviews available online are posted on their own website, and there’s no way to filter them. That said, our experts have carefully researched and vetted more than 35 online therapy platforms and ultimately chose Online-Therapy.com as the best online therapy service overall.

Additionally, Online-Therapy.com has never been involved in a lawsuit or had any official negative claims brought against them.

Online-Therapy.com vs. competitors

PriceInsurance accepted?Medication
management
Online-Therapy.comstarts at $50 per weeknono
BetterHelpstarts at $65 per weeknono
Talkspacestarts at $69 per weekyesyes, with Talkspace Psychiatry
Doctor on Demandstarts at $79 per weekyesyes
MDLivestarts at $82yes, depends on insurance provideryes

Who should not use Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com is not a good fit for those with severe mental health disorders or those who need medication management — regardless of qualifications, none of the therapists can prescribe or manage medications.

Because this is a subscription service, it’s also not a great option for those who prefer to pay by appointment. You have to pay monthly for this service, which includes up to two sessions per month depending on your plan. And if you’re looking for an online therapy program that accepts insurance, you’ll have to skip Online-Therapy.com. While you may be eligible for reimbursement, the platform does not accept insurance directly.

Additionally, in general, online therapy is not meant for crisis management. If you’re in a time of crisis, call 988 (the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), 911, or local emergency services.

Final takeaways

Online-Therapy.com is a highly rated mental health platform that connects you with therapists who are trained in CBT — one of the most successful forms of therapy.

This service offers talk therapy through live sessions, video only, or text messaging, but there’s no option for prescriptions or medication management. If you’re currently taking medications, you can use Online-Therapy as a complement to your current program, but it will not take the place of it.

This is a subscription-based model, but the cost-per-session breakdown is still less expensive than traditional therapy options, so it can be a good option for those who are looking for a more budget-friendly alternative to in-person therapy.

If you’re having a mental health crisis, call 911, local emergency services, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

Frequently asked questions about Online-Therapy.com

Yes, Online-Therapy.com is credible. The company partners only with licensed therapists and social workers who are professionally trained in CBT techniques.

Carl Nordström is the founder and CEO of Online-Therapy.com. A former investment banker, he started the company in 2009 to make web-based CBT more accessible to the general public.

OnlineTherapy.com, which is owned by BetterHelp, is a database that connects people with therapists from around the world. You can look through a list of therapists in your area and choose one, or use BetterHelp’s platform to get matched with one. Once you find the therapist you like, you make your own appointments separately.

Online-Therapy.com is a virtual therapy platform. You’re also matched with a therapist, but sessions take place through the website, and you pay a subscription fee for the service.

Yes, you can change your therapist at any time right through your dashboard. Sign into your account, navigate to your main dashboard, and then request a transfer to a new therapist.

Once you’ve been assigned an initial therapist, you can also view a full list of therapists and pick the one you want to transfer to.

While it may be possible to get a refund from Online-Therapy.com, requests are handled on a case-by-case basis. If you want to request a refund, you’ll contact your care team and explain the situation. They will then determine if you are eligible.

There is some fine print, though: All refund requests must be made within 90 days of the charge on your bank statement, and live sessions that have already happened, missed sessions, and late cancellations are not eligible for refunds.

No, you cannot use insurance for Online-Therapy.com. The company will provide an itemized receipt for potential reimbursement if your insurance plan covers online therapy, though. Additionally, FSA and HSA accounts are accepted for payment.