Over the past few years, online therapy has been steadily growing as an alternative, cheaper option for mental health treatments. As more and more therapy sites accept insurance, the difference in price is becoming dramatic and you can expect to pay less than half of what you would pay for a live, face to face session.
Now, more than ever, people are looking for affordable and reliable mental health options and they often go online to seek themonline. In the U.S, the cost of a therapy session averages at about $150-$200 (per session). Based on our findings, the average cost of online therapy, per weekly video session, is just $74. In fact, the cheapest online therapy (by BetterHelp) costs as little as $60 per weekly video session.
Online therapy as a whole is far more affordable than face to face therapy, but there is more to it when you are trying to cut costs to the minimum. Choosing platforms which are both reliable and price-friendly for your needs can save you a a lot more money.
Below you can find a comparison of the industry benchmark and the best price offered for each type of therapy versus the industry’s benchmark price:
As you can see in the above chart, you can save as much as 30% compared to the benchmark by simply choosing the right providers. Below you can find more data showing which is the most affordable therapy platform in each category:
Industry Benchmark, USD, Per Week
Who is Offering Best Price
Best Price, USD, Per Week
Percentage Savings by Choosing Best Provider
Weekly Video Session
Pay per meet
Prescriptions + Therapy
Therapy With Insurance
If you are new to online therapy, BetterHelp is a great place to start. It’s our pick for the best online therapy site out there and is also very affordable. The level of therapy is high, and the platform itself is modern and very easy to use.
BetterHelp’s biggest downside when it comes to affordability is the fact they do not accept insurance. That said, between the generous welcome promo and their financial aid programs, the prices are still quite competitive.
BetterHelp offers a financial aid program which reduces the monthly cost by as much as 40%. It is very easy to apply to and most chances are you’ll at least meet the requirements for some sort of discount. You can do that as part of the signup process, and know if you are eligible in a matter of minutes.
It is also worth noting that BetterHelp is the most cost-effective platform if you are looking for a more niche focused therapy. As part of their network, they also operate Teen Counseling, ReGain and Pride Counseling – which offer the some of the cheapest therapy solutions for teens, couples and the LGBTQ+ community respectively. Pricing is the same as BetterHelp, and you can still apply for the financial aid program.
When it comes to which platform is the best for online therapy in general, Talkspace and BetterHelp are almost tied. In the end, I feel like BetterHelp has the slight edge (see our BetterHelp vs Talkspace comparison), but when it comes to price, Talkspace might actually be the better choice.
If you are looking for a low cost therapy option, but don’t want to compromise quality too much, then both Talkspace and BetterHelp are great choices. Between insurance copay available at Talkspace, and BetterHelp’s financial aid program, you are very likely to find a cheap counseling package.
Since both sites offer a free trial our suggestion would be to open an account with both. You can take a week to see where you feel more comfortable, browse the profiles of potential therapists, and find out if you are eligible for discounts on either platform.
Calmerry is a relatively new addition to the online therapy industry, having only been launched in 2019. It has already been making significant waves though, presenting an excellent alternative to the big companies featured above.
Even though they do not accept insurance, Calmerry’s prices are amongst the best in the industry. What really sets them apart is the fact they allow weekly subscriptions and not just monthly ones. This means you can start off for an extremely cheap price, and figure out whether the platform answers your needs or not – there is no reason to commit (and pay) for a whole month right off the bat.
If you are looking strictly for a chat-based therapy service, without phone or video sessions, then Calmerry’s rates are actually slightly lower than Talkspace’s.
Brightside is an online therapy service that offers you the option to combine talk therapy with psychiatric care and medical prescriptions. While there are a handful of other similar services, I believe Brightside is the best choice for a few key reasons. First, they operate in all states, their prescription delivery only takes a few days, and their software is world class.
If saving money is your top priority, you can also check Cerebral who offers a similar service for $20 less a month. Keep in mind you pay for medications separately, and while at Brightside they all cost $15, in Cerebral the price varies and can cost anywhere between $10 and $45 each.