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Affordable Online Therapy

writtenByWritten by: Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

Read more posts by this author.
reviewBy Reviewed by: Dr. Madeline Ofina
Reviewer

Dr. Madeline Ofina

Dr. Ofina is a top online therapist at PlushCare. She received her Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco, at Alliant International University. Dr. Ofina has 7 years of experience practicing psychotherapy in medical and outpatient settings.

December 29, 2020 Read Time - 6 minutes

Get Affordable Therapy Online

Are you interested in starting therapy, but worried about the cost? While online therapy can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. If you know where to look, you can find affordable online therapy. Let’s talk about some of the online therapy options available today and whether it’s as good as in-person therapy.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

Benefits of Online Therapy

Online therapy has many benefits. Here are some of the best reasons to seek out an online therapist.

Online Therapy Benefits: Accessibility

There can be a lot of barriers preventing somebody from seeing a therapist in-person. Whether you have limited mobility, live in a rural area without any local therapy options, or just struggle to get out of your home, online therapy is accessible to anybody with internet access. Online therapy makes it much easier for many people to access therapy who may otherwise be unable to receive it. 

Online Therapy Benefits: Convenience

It’s hard to beat the convenience of doing therapy from your home, office, or anywhere else you like. You save time, transportation costs, and stress when you can do therapy online.

Online Therapy Benefits: Affordability

Online therapy tends to be much more affordable than in-person therapy. When a therapist doesn’t have to worry about overhead costs like an office to see patients at, they can set lower rates that are more affordable.

The average rate of in-person therapy ranges from $75 to $150 per session and may cost as much as $200 in large cities. Online therapy averages $60 to $80 per session.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

Is Online Therapy as Good as In-Person Therapy?

Studies have shown that internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) is as effective as conventional CBT for depression, panic disorder, and social phobia.

That said, some mental illnesses are better treated in person, including schizophrenia, moderate to severe addiction issues, suicidal thoughts or tendencies, and other severe mental illnesses.

How to Find an Online Therapist

Finding a good therapist isn’t always as simple as doing a search and picking a name at random.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing an online therapist.

What Type of Therapy Do You Want?

There many different types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), psychodynamic therapy, and more. You should research some of the most common types of therapy to get an idea of what might be best for you.

In addition to that, there are many ways to do online therapy. Do you want phone or video appointments, or would you prefer to send messages back and forth?

Length and Frequency of Appointments

Are you looking for an hour-long appointment once a week, or do you want to spend a few minutes every day sending messages? Do you want your appointments to be on a regular schedule, or do you want to be able to make appointments as needed?

Cost and Insurance

Some insurance companies cover therapy. If they do, you may need to find a therapist who is in your network, and you may need a referral from a doctor. Some therapists don’t accept insurance at all. And if your insurance doesn’t cover therapy, or if you don’t have insurance, costs can vary, so it’s something you will want to keep in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions About Therapy

Can You Talk to a Therapist Online for Free?

The short answer is no, not usually. The long answer is a little more complicated than that. 

Your city may offer free or low-cost therapy options. While these therapy options are usually in-person services, online appointments may be available. You can call 211 or check out the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or MentalHealth.gov to find local free or reduced-cost therapy options near you.

Additionally, some websites and apps offer the chance to talk to strangers or peer specialists for free. These people are not trained therapists, so it isn’t therapy. However, if you just need somebody to listen, sites like 7 Cups, iPrevail, and Blah Therapy may be good free resources.

You can also meet with a top online therapist at PlushCare for a free consultation before committing to our online therapy program. Just email [email protected] to set up your free consultation.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

What Is the Cheapest Online Therapy?

For online therapy with a licensed therapist, the cheapest option may be Open Path Collective. They are a nonprofit organization and charge fees on a sliding scale based on your income. There is a one-time $59 membership fee. After that, sessions cost between $30 and $60. There may be a waiting list or income restrictions, so it may not be the right option for everybody.

How Much Does Virtual Therapy Cost?

Online therapy costs vary wildly, but they tend to average $60-$80 a week, which is often billed monthly. Some online therapy options, especially those that offer messaging rather than video appointments, may be less than $60 a week, while other sites may cost more than $80 a week.

Get Affordable Online Therapy Today

For only $65 per session (billed monthly), you get a 45-minute weekly video session with a licensed therapist when you join PlushCare’s affordable online therapy program.

You can start with a free online therapy consultation, where you will talk to an online therapist for 15 minutes to see if they’re a good fit. Set up your free consultation by calling 1-800-690-1562 or emailing [email protected].

If you’re ready to go ahead and book an appointment, click here or download the PlushCare App.

Note that for now, we are only offering online therapy in California, Florida, and Texas, with more states coming soon.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is thinking about attempting suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, your local emergency number, 911, or one of the following hotlines:


Read More About Online Therapy


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

American Psychological Association. A Growing Wave of  Online Therapy. Accessed on December 22, 2020 at https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/02/online-therapy

PubMed. Cognitive behavior therapy via the Internet: a systematic review of applications, clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Accessed on December 22, 2020 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23252357/

Good Therapy. Pros and Cons of Online Therapy via the Internet: a systematic review of applications, clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Accessed on December 22, 2020 at https://www.goodtherapy.org/for-professionals/software-technology/telehealth/article/confessions-of-a-virtual-therapist-pros-and-cons-of-online-therapy

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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