Despite the rise of online therapy in recent years, modern ‘secular’ therapy isn’t right for everybody; for example, those who have strong religious beliefs or spiritual convictions may find secular therapy to be incomplete by treating the mind, but ignoring the soul. Christian virtual therapy providers are able to bridge that gap by offering contemporary therapy that remains rooted in biblical truth.
On this page, we are going to take a look at 4 of the best Christian online therapy platforms. We will examine what exactly Christian therapy is, and who it is suitable for. We will then compare our 4 hand picked providers looking at the pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses of each.
Faith based therapy is pretty much just conventional, modern therapy delivered from a perspective rooted in faith. Afterall, in order to professionally qualify, a faith based therapist still needs to do all of the same training as any other ‘secular’ therapist and is still obliged to treat non-believer patients (note that this does not necessarily apply to some counselors and ‘coaches’).
A faith focused therapy session will still largely follow the same structure as any other session, and a patient can still expect a therapist to employ techniques such as psychoanalysis, CBT and mindfulness.
However, when issuing observations, insights, advice or guidance (which all therapists generally do sparingly anyway) the therapist may draw upon the faith or upon a holy book. Also, some therapists may invite the patient to pray with them whereas others may not.
Some religious sects do not view modern psychology favorably and fundamentally disagree with its foundational ideas. For example, some sects view Bi Polar not as an acute psychiatric condition, but as demonic possession. However it is extremely unlikely that anybody holding such views would be able to qualify as a therapist and to the best of our knowledge, none of the providers we are going to introduce, hold such beliefs.
Faithful Counseling is our top pick for Christian, faith based counseling and therapy. Part of the BetterHelp platform, Faithful Counseling aspires to provide clinically competent traditional therapy delivered from the perspective of a Christian.
Faithful Counseling utilizes its modern, ergonomic platform to facilitate therapy sessions by chat, phone or video all from the comfort of a patient’s own smartphone.
The site also allows patients to message their therapist anytime via the app (although they may of course have to wait for a response). There is only 1 subscription package which costs $80 a week and includes a weekly video session with your Christian psychologist. There is no option to use insurance, but they do offer financial aid programs that can allow you to cut down the price by as much as 40%.
As Faithful are part of BetterHelp, the therapists are all fully licensed professionals with at least 1000 hours practice experience. However, note that even though all Faithful therapists identify as Christian, they are not necessarily bona-fide biblical scholars and they all primarily practice secular forms of therapy. If you are in need of purely spiritual guidance or would like a deeper biblical understanding, then perhaps pastoral counseling may be more appropriate.
If you want to learn more about this platform and see exactly why we rate it as the best Christian therapy site, read our in-depth Faithful Counseling review here.
Christian Therapist on Demand (CToD) combines tech innovation and clinical excellence with centuries of wisdom and faith. CToD is an IOS and Android app that allows users to connect instantly to a fully qualified, Chrisian therapist whenever they feel the need. While you can book video or phone sessions with a therapist, the focus of the platform is an online, text chat service that is available 24/7.
The app can help patients suffering from common mental health conditions such as anxiety and stress, more complex ones like body dysmorphia right through to acute disorders like bi poplar and psychosis (however, critics argue that chat therapy may be suitable for dealing with acute disorders).
CToD offers a 3 day introductory trial, is fully HIPAA compliant and users have the right to remain anonymous by using a nickname or pseudonym. However, note that whilst all therapists on the platform are fully licensed, the chat function may sometimes be populated by ‘Christian Counsellors’ whose credentials may not be quite as robust.
Christian Therapist on Demand is a great tool for anybody who does not feel they need or want therapy sessions, or as an accompaniment to anybody who is perhaps having mental health treatment elsewhere.
Charity and helping others are central tenets of the Christian faith and each year, Christians across the globe give us countless hours of their spare time to try and shine some light in the world. Chatnow is a volunteer-run online chat service that puts people in need in touch with “a Christian who cares” – a coach who is ready and willing to listen and offer counsel.
The volunteers are all compassionate, and all knowledgeable about the faith but they are not qualified therapists. Whilst they are experienced listeners, this service may not be the best solution for anybody in crisis or suffering from acute mental health problems. That said, Chatnow could certainly be used as a great accompaniment to traditional therapy and psychiatry, and many users reported that speaking to somebody who was not being paid to listen to them, offered a great level of comfort.
Chatnow is completely free to use and can be accessed by absolutely anybody. The Chatnow organization also offers an app called ‘Meet J’ which is updated daily with biblical quotes aimed to offer inspiration and guidance.
Founded in 2009, the Colorado based Cornerstone Counseling are able to offer face to face, in person therapy at either of their 6 locations across the state or offer video sessions to those who cannot attend. In many ways, Cornerstone operates more like a traditional, location based provider as they bill on a ‘pay per session’ basis and do not have any kind of app or chat support function.
Cornerstone’s therapists are all fully licensed, professionals and passionate Christians. Note that Cornerstone therapists are bound by a strict “ethics policy” based on their interpretation of bible law. In practice it means that they do not condone LGBTQ+ lifestyles, divorce, or sexual relationships outside of marriage.
Cornerstone is an ideal provider for Christians looking for a mixture of face to face and video therapy who are comfortable with more traditional, conservative views on life and the world. You can read more about it in our detailed Cornerstone Counseling review.
To answer this question we firstly need to break it down into two. The first question is really whether online therapy can be as effective as its older, traditional face to face sibling. The truth is that all forms of therapy and counseling can be both transformational and beneficial. It ultimately -it comes down to finding the right therapist and fully engaging in the process.
Many users find that virtual therapy works better for them as they find it easier to attend appointments and crucially, they find it affordable – indeed, one of the main reasons typical theory flounders is when patients begin to worry about the spiraling costs. While some patients do admit that it is ‘not the same’ as face to face therapy, others feel more able to express themselves over video or even text chat.
As for whether Christian therapy is effective, well the booming demand for it testifies that it absolutely does. Remember that all qualified therapists are fully trained in modern therapy techniques and bound by professional standards. Being versed in the scriptures and sharing a faith with a patient, also helps to build rapport and trust – two of the most important ingredients for a successful therapy experience.
The sites we feature on this page all offer extremely varied methods of providing mental health support. We tried to include a diverse range of options so our readers can find the exact faith based solution they are looking for. Aside for helping with common mental health conditions, Christian therapy is useful if you are in need of marriage counseling or couples therapy as well.
By now you will hopefully know whether Christian therapy is right for you. Remember, even if you are deeply religious yourself, this does not necessarily mean that your therapist needs to be – that is a decision that only you can make. You can see all therapy platforms we review and get an idea how faith these based counseling sites stack up against industry leaders such as BetterHelp or Talkspace.
However, if you do decide to begin online Christian therapy, then why not take a moment to remember the pros and cons of each provider we have covered before you decide which one to use:
Even though Faithful Counseling offer an excellent all round package, their spiritual credentials may be more of a mixed bag, and they don’t offer face to face sessions. Cornerstone is a good option for those who prefer face to face therapy, but are not available outside of Colorado and maybe not ideal for anybody with progressive worldviews. Chatnow and CToD are both excellent options for anybody happy with text-chat type support that is strongly rooted in faith.
Either way all of these Christian therapy platforms and apps are uniquely positioned to offer some help, support and care during life’s dark times. We hope that you found our reviews to be insightful and we hope that one of the providers we recommend is able to help you on your journey into therapy and improving your wellbeing.