How do you know if you need counseling? (where to go)

When I moved from Phoenix, Ariz., to New York City 18 years ago, one of the things that struck me — a native small-town Midwesterner — was that everyone in New York spoke openly and freely about what their counselor said.

This stunned me.

Where I'm from, people certainly use mental health counseling, but when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s it was one on the down-low. Even in the early 2000s you hoped your neighbors never saw your car parked outside the local behavioral health clinic.

Thankfully, as the world grows in its acceptance of both mental health, and the general benefits of counseling for everyone, seeing a therapist or counselor is no longer stigmatized like it was. In other words, we're all catching up with trend-setting New York, and the world is better for it.

One trend that has helped this acceptance along is the rise of technology-enabled online counseling. Sites and apps like BetterHelp, Talkspace and MDLive all help make quality counseling more accessible thanks to low prices, convenience and ease-of-use.

Why do you need counseling?

In short: You need counseling if you want to go to counseling. A skilled professional counselor can help you better understand yourself, build more meaningful relationships in your life, and find deeper happiness.

If you are struggling with serious issues like addiction, eating or sleep disruptions, abuse, withdrawal from daily life, feeling numb, delusional or suicidal thoughts, definitely seek out professional counseling, says Michelle Pargman, a licensed clinical mental health counselor in, Jacksonville, Fla.

“However, there is no problem too big or too small to seek out therapy,” Pargman says. “You don’t have to wait for a crisis, or for a time that it gets ‘bad enough.' If someone feels that they prefer not to ‘burden' friends/family and they simply are looking for an outlet, that is a perfectly fine reason to seek therapy.”

How do you know if you need counseling?

If you are not sure if counseling is right for you, consider the advice of Heidi Vanderwerff, licensed independent clinical social worker, and co-owner of  Kennedy Counseling Collective in Washington, D.C.:

“You should consider counseling if you aren’t functioning normally and all the self-care items that used to work for you, are no longer working,” Vanderwerff says. “If you aren’t sleeping well, feeling hopeless, noticing an increase in anger, and don’t have your usual amount of energy, counseling can provide new ways of viewing the things going on in your life, refresh self-care routines, and heal from any old hurts.”

What are the different types of counseling?

In terms of structure, counseling can be categorized by:

  • Individual counseling — one-on-one sessions with the counselor
  • Group counseling — meetings of people grouped by issue they address in a group, lead by the therapist
  • Couples counseling — for romantic partners
  • Family counseling — when members of a family meet with a counselor to improve communication and resolve problems

There are also many types of therapy and counseling:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy — CBT helps you understand your thought-process, and suggest alternative ways of problematic thinking, which is proven to change behaviors
  • Adlerian — action-oriented therapy to help you understand your behaviors, and create new patterns to help you reach your goals
  • Gestalt —  also called “client-based therapy,” this method helps you understand what is really happening in you life right now, rather than what you perceive to be happening based on past experience
  • Jungian —  talk-based psychoanalysis designed to help you understand both your unconscious and conscious mind.
  • Solution-focused — just as it sounds, this method of counseling aims to empower you, the client, to put energy into your abilities to change and control your life.

What should I expect from counseling?

You should expect from a counselor:

  • Confidentiality
  • Build a trusting relationship with your counselor
  • For you to be honest and forthcoming
  • Expect to share your family and personal history — including parts of your past that are painful or embarrassing
  • Expect to set goals and expectations for what you want out of counseling
  • Expect that your counselor may deem your work together as complete at some point

How much does counseling cost?

The cost of counseling for traditional face-to-face sessions can range from $65 to $250 per hour. Sometimes health insurance covers behavioral health services, though this is increasingly rare. Online therapy can be much more affordable, with weekly rates starting at $35.

Is there any free counseling?

You may find free or reduced-cost counseling near you at a community health center, through a local university's psychology department or other local resources. Some counselors offer a free phone consultation for new or prospective clients.

Where to get counseling

To find a counselor, consider:

  • Asking a friend for a recommendation
  • A local listing near you, including Yelp and Google
  • Call a local counseling center
  • Request a referral from your doctor, or through your health insurance
  • Use an online counseling platform

Seeking counseling near me?

You may prefer to seek a counselor in your community — for local, in-person sessions now for the short-term or permanently, or because you hope a counselor can help you connect with local mental health and community services.

If you need mental health services and truly cannot afford therapy bills, here are some resources for free or low-cost counseling:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's helpline: 800-662-4357.
  • Find local free resources via the National Alliance on Mental Health 24/7. Text to 741741.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255 or Live Online Chat
  • If you are in crisis, you can call 911 or visit your local emergency room
  • Veterans are entitled to free mental health services for a year after separation.

If you find it complicated to find counseling services near you — or have to wait weeks or months to get an appointment — online counseling may be an excellent alternative. Remember, you can use both … starting with online counseling services for immediate help, and in-person local counseling at a later date, if you prefer.

Online counseling services

You can read our list of best online therapy sites, No. 1 of which is BetterHelp, based on my own experience with the app, as well as having the lowest fees, high scrutiny of counselors (only 15% of counselors who apply to BetterHelp are accepted), very low costs, and most transparent process for customer service.

Online counseling services reviews

1. BetterHelp

BetterHelp is my No. 1 best online therapy recommendation, not just because I use it personally, but also because

  • 9,000 counselors, 100% are certified and licensed, and only 15% of applicants are accepted by BetterHelp
  • Start working with your counselor within 24 hours
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Fees starting at $35/week
  • Unlimited messaging
  • All plans include weekly live video sessions
  • Excellent app / technology
  • Free ‘groupinar' group sessions
  • 10% discount (no coupon required) for new clients

BetterHelp does not work with health insurers. BetterHelp does allow you to choose a counselor based on religion, race, gender, political leanings (conservative vs liberal), LGBTQ and specialty experience with various issues. Couples counseling is available.

Check out BetterHelp now >>

You can read more about my own personal experience using the online counseling app in my BetterHelp review.

Where to find therapy

Our #1 pick for online counseling is BetterHelp, but you can read about all the top online therapy sites and apps in our post here. Your regular therapist, or a counselor near you, likely also offers online sessions.

2. Talkspace

Talkspace and BetterHelp are the two largest online counseling platforms, and both are high quality, with A+ BBB ratings. Talkspace is more expensive than BetterHelp, but they do often work with health insurers.

Neither online counseling services offer a free trial.

Talkspace is app-based, while BetterHelp allows messaging and live sessions through both desktop and app — both of which are equally dynamic and up-to-date.

Like BetterHelp, TalkSpace allows you to remain anonymous with your therapist, opting for a nickname or a random username instead.

TalkSpace offers several subscription therapy services that start at $49 per week or $196 per month. You can also choose a monthly plan for $236 per month or an unlimited plan with LiveTalk therapy for $316 per month.

Couples therapy is also offered for $79 per week or $316 per month.

You also have the option to add on live video sessions to any plan for $49 per 30-minute session, or opt for a premium subscription that includes live sessions. By comparison, all of BetterHelp's subscriptions include weekly live sessions.

Learn more with our Talkspace review.

3. is a online-based team of consultant therapists, cognitive behavioral therapists, practitioners and support staff that work together to help clients.

You will have full access to online therapy program designed for your specific needs with easy-to-follow information and hands-on tools, your daily journal and activity plan, including daily contact with your therapist (Monday-Friday), tests to monitor your progress and access to the forum. membership includes:

  • An online, self-directed, 8-module Cognitive Behavioral Therapy course
  • Worksheets — with daily feedback from your personal therapist
  • Journal
  • Live chat, video or phone sessions with your personal certified and licensed therapist
  • Action plan — where you add activities that bring meaning and joy to your life
  • Meditation videos
  • Yoga videos has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+ and prices that start at $39.95/week.

Read the review.

4. MDLive Counseling

In 2014, MDLive, a leader in online medical care, bought online therapy giant Breakthrough. Today, the service is branded “MDLive Counseling.”

The site's process is different from its competitors. For starters, the therapy site doesn't pair you with a therapist.

Instead, you choose your own counselor by criteria like their location, what insurance they accept, or their specialties (anxiety, depression, family issues, etc.). Perfect for those of us who like a bit more control.

To sign up, pick a date and time that works for your schedule and your therapist either confirms the appointment or sends a “counteroffer” for a different date and time.

MDLive Counseling is available through phone calls or video chats using your computer or smartphone. Most states require an initial video assessment, but after that you can discuss whether phone or video are appropriate for your counseling needs.

MDLive Counseling costs $108 per session for therapists, $284 for a first psychiatrist session, and $108 for follow-up sessions.

MDLive has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. Learn more in our MDLive Counseling online counseling review.

5. ReGain: Online couples counseling review

Whether you are working on your first, second or third marriage, another romantic relationship, or trying to improve your co-parenting relationship with your child's other parent, online relationship therapy can be an affordable, convenient, and productive tool.

Bonus: You don't have to be in the same room with the person, since you communicate with the counselor via chat, text, email, voice or video!

If your relationship is in trouble, couples counseling could be the answer. Enter ReGain, an online platform that helps couples find counselors to help them get their relationships back on track — or save it.

ReGain a sister site to BetterHelp, our favorite online therapy source, which earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

ReGain costs between $35 and $70 for unlimited messaging and one weekly live video or phone session.

To connect with a couples or marriage counselor online, the Regain website, where you register and fill out a form that helps them match you with the right counselor. ReGain works with psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors. All have at least a master’s or doctorate degree, all have been state-certified and have at least three years and 2,000 hours of professional experience.

You’ll be assigned a private, dedicated “room” where you can check in any time, any day. There you and your partner can write about your relationship – what works, what doesn’t – and what issues you both want to address. The counselor will read and respond to these messages, and the three of you can discuss the topics at the sessions.

ReGain membership includes one weekly 30-minute live call with you and your partner, and the counselor.

Private sessions are also available if, for example, you want to discuss something particularly sensitive.

Does ReGain offer free online couples counseling?

Regain does not offer a free trial.

Does ReGain have an app for online couples counseling?

ReGain has an app for both Apple and Android. It has a 4.7-star rating on the Apple Store and a 4.6-star rating on Google Play.

How much does online couples counseling cost with ReGain?

The cost of online couples counseling through ReGain is $35 to $70 per week It’s billed monthly.

Does my insurance cover online couples counseling with Regain?

Again, ReGain is just a platform to connect couples with the help they need. You’d need to ask your actual counselor whether or not they work with insurance companies.

The bottom line: The path of true love rarely does run smooth. Each person can bring baggage or bad habits into a relationship. We may not even recognize that we’re doing it!

With a little professional help, it’s possible to make our relationships stronger and more fulfilling.

6. 7 Cups

7 Cups was originally named “7 Cups of Tea,” referring to a Chinese poem that celebrates tea as means to tranquility. 7 Cups is unique among online therapy sites:

7 Cups offers free 24/7 connections with “active listeners” as well as paid online treatment with licensed professional therapists for $150/month.

7 Cups: Online therapy review

According to the 7 Cups website, it is an “online emotional support service.” Its active listeners are volunteers who've been trained to listen deeply and to reflect what you're saying when offering feedback, to let you know that you're being heard — all through an easy-to-use chat thread platform.

You can connect with an active listener at any time, day or night. The live chats are anonymous and private. No one will know it's you, and no one except the active listener will be privy to the conversation. This service is 100% free.

It's easy to create a free account at 7 Cups, and to get in touch with an active listener. You ask, and within a short time (sometimes literally seconds), a listener will “pick up” and begin the e-chat.

If you want therapy with a professional rather than active listening, you'll be matched with one of 300 counselors (or allowed to pick your own, from the 7 Cups therapist directory) and given a private chat room. From there you can message the therapist as often as you want, though counselors respond once or twice each day, and only Monday through Friday.

7 Cups does not offer live text, video or phone therapy options.

Read more in our 7 Cups online therapy review

Does 7 Cups offer free online therapy?

No, it does not offer free online therapy. However, all sessions with the active listeners are free.

Does 7 Cups have an app for online therapy?

As noted above, 7 Cups offers therapy with licensed professional therapists via private chat rooms. But it also has an army of “active listeners” ready to hear you out. The 7 Cups app lets you connect with a sympathetic ear with an easy-to-use text chat format.

The Apple version has recently been updated to fix a couple of bugs, such as the keyboard interfering with the chat field.

The app has a 3.7-star rating on the App Store and a 3.5-star app on Google Play.

How much does online therapy cost with 7 Cups of Tea?

If you want to work with a therapist, it costs $150 per month no matter how much (or how little) you use the site.

7 Cups does not have a free trial period.

Does my insurance cover online therapy with 7 Cups?

7 Cups does not work with medical insurance companies.

7. Faithful Counseling 

Faithful Counseling brings together licensed therapists who are practicing Christians and clients who are seeking faith-based mental health care.

“By combining Biblical wisdom with clinical expertise in mental health, our counselors do their best to invite God into the conversation and formulate actionable plans that best address the unique challenges their clients face,” the website states.

Faithful Counseling clients can access both pre-scheduled sessions with their therapist as well as have unlimited messaging with counselors any time they are available. You can also pick your preferred method of discussion for each session, either by phone, video call, or messaging. Because of the unlimited contact, costs for Faithful Counseling can be much lower than a traditional, per-session charge.

Faithful Counseling offers financial assistance if you cannot afford to pay.

Faithful Counseling’s process walks you through an easy questionnaire to share your:

  • Gender
  • Language
  • Age
  • State of residence
  • If you’ve been in counseling previously
  • Physical health
  • Stressors
  • Medications
  • Denomination
  • How much faith you’re comfortable incorporating into sessions

Then, within 24 hours, you’ll be matched with a therapist. Each has identified as a practicing Christian and verified their beliefs align with Faithful Counseling’s Statement of Faith. As each counselor has a different approach and area of expertise; the site will match you with someone to fit your situation. However, if you don’t connect well with your matched counselor, you can easily switch to another one. You also never have to share your full name or full contact information, guarding your privacy.

Counselors through the site specialize in:

  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Health
  • Anxiety
  • Relationships
  • Parenting
  • Depression
  • Addictions
  • Eating habits
  • Sleeping issues
  • Trauma
  • Anger
  • Family conflicts
  • LGBTQ matters
  • Grief
  • Religion
  • Self-esteem

Once you are matched to a counselor, you both will receive access to a dedicated online “room,” (like a chatroom), where you can securely share private messages. You’ll be able to share what’s going on in your life, ask questions, share thoughts, and describe issues you would like to discuss. Your counselor can read your messages and then respond with their thoughts, more questions for you, feedback, and specific guidance.

Online Christian counseling review 

Counselors fit in work as often as they need to, reviewers say, noting their counselor was always available and responsive.

The faith-based approach is also valuable and adds another layer to the counseling experience.

“Having a Christian therapist who already has a relationship with the Lord is helpful,” a reviewer shared.

Each counselor must:

  • Be professionally licensed
  • Be in good standing with their state’s licensing board
  • Go through a video review
  • Have earned a master’s degree (many also have a doctorate degree)
  • Have least three years of experience
  • Gone through least 2,000 hours of training.

Faithful Counseling counselors can be psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, or licensed professional counselors.

Faithful Counseling is one of the services offered under the umbrella company BetterHelp, which has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

Does Faithful Counseling offer free online counseling?

As a private company, the organization does not receive donations or outside funding, so the monthly subscriptions provide income for the highly qualified counselors on the services. No free counseling is available on the platform, however, Faithful Counseling does offer financial assistance.

Does Faithful Counseling have an app for online therapy?

Faithful Counseling has an app available on iOS for Apple products and Android products on Google Play, via the BetterHealth platform.

How much does online therapy cost with Faithful Counseling? 

Faithful Counseling offers monthly subscriptions between $35 and $70 per week, billed monthly. Financial aid is available.

Does my insurance cover online therapy with Faithful Counseling?

Faithful Counseling services are not always covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance. If there is coverage, it may be limited. You can call your insurance company to ask for details. 

8. Teen Counseling

Teen Counseling is an online therapy platform to help meet the mental and emotional needs of teens aged 13 to 19.

The site also caters to parents, with parents or guardians having access to the same therapist (though the discussions are confidential at all times, unless the therapist has a concern about serious risk). Each can have unlimited contact with the counselor, via whatever digital method is preferred: video call, phone call, or messaging.

Teen Counseling is aimed at teens ages 13 to 19, though either a parent/guardian or a teen can initiate the sign-up process.

The following info is needed to sign up for Teen Counseling — either by the teen him/herself, or a parent: 

  • Teen’s identified gender
  • How you are related
  • Teen’s age
  • Living situation
  • Type of school attended
  • Physical health
  • Sleeping habits
  • Eating habits
  • If there have been any anxiety or panic attacks
  • Areas of concern

After you complete the questions, you’ll be paired with a licensed therapist, and then you can invite the teen to also access online counseling.

If a teen wants to start the process, you can as well. You’ll answer similar questions, including gender, age, issues you’re facing, how your relationship with your parents is, and what type of school you go to.

After you’re paired with a counselor, the teen and/or their parent can have text, phone or video sessiosn through a computer, tablet, or smartphone, and both the parent and teen can have (separate) contact with the counselor as much as each would like. You can message your therapist at any time, and you’ll see a notification when they message back. You can also pre-schedule as many set times as you’d like for a video call, phone call, or direct message real-time conversation.

Teens can discuss anything they’d like with a counselor, including coping skills for the pressures in life, how to boost their self-esteem, manage depression symptoms, how to manage an eating disorder, or struggles with anger.

Therapists at the online counseling for teens site specialize in:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationships
  • Bullying
  • Trauma
  • Stress
  • Conflict with parents and friends
  • Eating disorders
  • Overwhelm
  • Poor health and weight

And many other topics. Both teens and parents have found their insights to be helpful and supportive. 

Online teen counseling review

Reviewers note their teens who used the online counseling for teens felt comfortable and were listened to with empathy.

The therapist helped their student recognize how he was motivated, how to recognize weak areas, and how to strengthen them, one reviewer noted.

Other comments from reviewers included highlighting the practical suggestions given by counselors, and how professional and approachable they are.

Each counselor available through Teen Counseling is one of the following qualified professionals: 

  • A psychologist
  • A marriage and family therapist
  • A clinical social worker
  • A licensed, professional counselor
  • Each counselor also must have a professional license
  • Each is in good standing with their state’s licensing board
  • Have a master’s degree or doctorate degree, have three years of professional experience, and have completed at least 2,000 hours of training. 

You will be able to connect with a qualified counselor if you and your teen are looking for support. However, note that therapists on the website aren’t able to make any official diagnosis, fulfill any court order, or prescribed medication. 

The online counseling for teens website has an A+ rating through the Better Business Bureau, via its parent company, BetterHelp. 

Does Teen Counseling offer free online counseling?

Teen Counseling does not have a free version, but does have financial assistance for those who cannot afford to pay full-price.

Does Teen Counseling have an app for online therapy?

Yes, which makes it incredibly easy to use. You can send messages to your therapist and see notifications and messages from them right in the app. You can also schedule sessions and review your account details. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. 

How much does online therapy cost with Teen Counseling?

Rather than paying hundreds of dollars per session, has fees ranging from $35 to $70/week, paid on a monthly membership basis. Sliding-scale prices available.

Does my insurance cover online therapy with Teen Counseling?

Teen Counseling is part of the BetterHelp family of online counseling services, which do not work with insurers, but do offer financial assistance.

9. Pride Counseling

Help should always be accessible to anyone who needs it.

The LGBTQ community members suffer from mental health challenges at a twice the rate of the general population — with suicide rates at twice that of straight people, and nearly half of transgender adults attempting suicide within the past 12 months, compared with just 4% of the general public, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

depression, anxiety and PDSD at a much higher rate than other parts of our neighborhoods and towns. Pride Counseling set out to be a catalyst to getting the help to those who need it with LGBTQ therapists.

“By providing online counseling, we make help accessible and accepting of everyone,” the website says.

Pride Counseling enables people of all ages to receive needed therapy discreetly – you don’t even have to share your full name. The site also includes more affordable options than in-person counseling, and the convenience of unlimited interactions with your counselor.

Pride Counseling collects information from you to understand why you’re looking for an LGBT therapist, and what special training they can match you with for your counselor.

To begin, users go through a quick questionnaire noting your:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Preferred pronoun
  • Relationship status
  • Physical health
  • Sleeping habits
  • Eating habits
  • Stressors
  • How you’re feeling these days
  • How you concentrate
  • Pain you may be experiencing
  • Medications
  • Religious affiliation

Then, usually within the next 24 hours, you’ll be matched with a therapist who specializes in the challenges you’re facing. If it’s not a good fit, you can switch counselors at any time. And everything you share with your counselor is protected by strict legal parameters.

Regardless of your match, you can rest assured every counselor available to you specializes in the LGBTQ community and is ready to listen. Specific issues they are well versed in include: 

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Relationships
  • Parenting
  • Depression
  • Addictions
  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Trauma
  • Anger
  • Family conflicts
  • Grief
  • Religion
  • Self-esteem

Once you are paired with an LGBT therapist, you will be given access to a room, (similar to a chat room), where you can exchange messages with your counselor at any time. You’ll be notified any time they send you any thoughts, and the messages are saved so you can go back and read them at any time.

There is no limit to how many messages you can send or receive. You can also meet with your counselor at pre-scheduled times however you prefer: by video chat, over the phone, or via real-time typed messages. And you can have as many of those connections as you’d like!

Online Pride Counseling review

Reviewers say the counselors on Pride Counseling are incredibly respectful and “tremendously supportive.”

Reviewers also note the amount of compassion and patience demonstrated, as well as the effective strategies therapists provide.

To provide services through the website, each counselor is required to: 

  • Have a professional license
  • Remain in good standing with their state’s licensing board
  • Have a master’s degree (many also have their doctorate degree)
  • Have three years of experience or more
  • Complete at least 2,000 hours of training
  • Have completed a video review

Each LGBT counselor is one of the following: psychologist, marriage and family therapist, clinical social worker, or licensed professional counselor.

If you are wondering about hormone replacement therapy, receiving a letter of recommendation for this will vary, depending on the counselor you are paired with.

The Better Business Bureau provides an A+ rating for Pride Counseling’s parent company, BetterHealth. 

Does Pride Counseling offer free online counseling?

Pride Counseling does offer financial assistance. Otherwise, rates are $35-$70 for unlimited sessions, no coupon code required.

Does Pride Counseling have an app for online therapy?

Yes! Pride Counseling has an app available on both iOS and Android devices, through its BetterHelp platform. You can send messages to your LGBT therapist right in the app, as well as schedule a sessions, switch therapists, and review your account. 

How much does online therapy cost with Pride Counseling?

The service is much more reasonably priced than many in-person therapy sessions, with a price range of $35 to $70 each week, charged on a monthly basis. 

Does my insurance cover online therapy with Pride Counseling?

Many private and government-provided insurances do not cover these mental health services. If they do, coverage may be limited, though some will apply the membership charges to copays or deductibles. It’s best to check with your insurance company to learn what they cover. 

10. Amwell therapy

Amwell is primarily a telemedicine service for medical issues, but does offer online therapy. Amwell simply offers access to a counselor online for a flat rate of $85-99 per 45-min session.

Amwell offers Psychiatrist visits at $199 for the first visit, and $99 for subsequent visits,

Amwell Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best online doctor platforms and apps — reviews, cost and tech

11. Brightside online counseling

Brightside offers a combination of talk therapy and/or psychiatric prescription.

For prescriptions, you are evaluated remotely by a physician, and your medication is delivered to your door monthly. You also receive ongoing physician support and monitoring of your care.

For online therapy-only packages, clients take an online assessment from Brightside, get unlimited text support from your counselor, and get access to self-paced audio lessons.

There is no one-on-one scheduled counseling sessions with Brightside.

Therapy only with Brightside costs $165 per month for unlimited messaging.

The Brightside Medication Plan costs $95 per month + your pharmacy copay or $15 per medication. 

Medication + Therapy costs $240 per month plus your pharmacy copay or $15 per medication. Medication and therapy-only plans vary.

Brightside works with many insurers, especially for its prescription / psychiatric services.

12. Ginger online therapy is a combination of live coaching though the Ginger app, and behavioral health therapy and psychiatry. Ginger is only available through employers, who can purchase Ginger services for their employees as a benefit.

In other words: Ginger is not available directly to the public like other online therapy apps and services.

Best online counseling service: BetterHelp

I recommend BetterHelp above others for these reasons:

  • Low price, which includes live weekly sessions
  • Rigorous vetting of counselors
  • 9,000 counselors to choose from
  • Great technology
  • Equally nimble on app or desktop
  • Easy to switch counselors if one is not a good fit
  • Easy to cancel at any time

Get 10% off BetterHelp now >>

How does online counseling work?

Many therapists offer online counseling via Zoom, FaceTime or Skype — especially during the coronavirus quarantines. Ask your counselor if they offer online counseling, whether for the occasional session when you are traveling, or for your own ongoing convenience.

Otherwise, counseling from the online platforms typically involves creating an account, being assigned a counselor, and working with him or her via chat/messaging, phone or video sessions — not unlike traditional therapy as you know it. Some counseling apps also have group sessions, online education and other virtual tools.

Is online counseling effective?

There are troves of data that find that behavioral health counseling is effective, and a growing body of research that finds that online counseling is effective. The key is to find a counselor that you trust, connect with and will support you to make changes you need and desire.

Related: 8 reasons online therapy is great for parents

About Emma Johnson founder  Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist and author. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Emma's Top Single Mom Resources.

1 Comment

  1. Shelbi Stump on June 19, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you so much for your wisdom! Your info is great.

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