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Best Online Family Therapy 2024

Medically Reviewed and Edited by 
Olga Kyrychenko, Psychologist

Our familial relationships are amongst the most important ones we will ever have and yet they can often be the most trying. A lot of families have problems which can be difficult to overcome and so family therapy can be a powerful way for troubled families to come together.

The logistics and costs of providing therapy for 3, 4 or more people can prove challenging but thankfully, online family therapy is now available and offers families an affordable option that fits around everyone’s schedule.

Our list of the best family therapy sites will help you review and compare, so you can find the best choice for you and your family. I’m going to examine how exactly family therapy works and at the different ways in which our chosen providers operate. 

Top Family Therapy Platforms - Quick Comparison

Best Overall For Families
Editorial Rating
92.7%
Pricing

$160- $240 Per Session

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Pros
  • Able to choose a provider
  • Accepts some insurance
  • Same or next day appointments
Cons
  • Expensive without insurace
  • Video sessions only - not texting in between
  • Not available in all states
Best For Individual Therapy
Betterhelp review
Editorial Rating
91.3%
Pricing

$60-$90 Per Week

Promo

20% Off First Month

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Pros
  • Safe, Trustworthy Company
  • Excellent customer service and easy to use platform
  • Affordable price and financial aid programs
Cons
  • Only one pricing plan
  • Doesn’t work with insurance, Medicare or Medicaid
Best For Families With Young Kids
Editorial Rating
86.3%
Pricing

$195 Per Session

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Pros
  • Caters to both parents and children
  • Discount offered for session bundles
  • Assigned a Care Team you can message at any time
Cons
  • Costly and no insurance (can only use FSA/HSA)
  • Only for kids 14 or younger
Most Affordable Counseling
Editorial Rating
82.7%
Pricing

$40 - 80 Per Session

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Pros
  • Able to choose a provider
  • Affordable rates; prioritizes underinsured individuals
Cons
  • Not all therapists are experienced; some are still interns
  • $65 lifetime membership fee before sessions begin
  • Doesn't accept insurance, Only some FSA or HSA
Best For Christian Families
Faithful Counseling Review
Editorial Rating
82%
Pricing

$50- $80 Per Week

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Pros
  • The only Christian therapy website with 100% licensed therapists
  • Safe to use and operated by an industry leader
  • Excellent software and mobile app
  • 7 days free trial
Cons
  • Some therapists rarely reply
  • Doesn’t accept any type of insurance
Best For Couples Therapy
Regain review
Editorial Rating
79.3%
Pricing

$60- $80 Per Week

Promo

10% off for the first month

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Pros
  • Safe to use, operated by Betterhelp
  • Therapists are always available on chat and reply often
  • Only one person has to sign up
  • Best prices for couples therapy
Cons
  • No option for 3-way live sessions, you have to be in the same room with your partner
  • No way to text the therapists without your partner reading it
Best LGBTQIA+ Family Counseling
Editorial Rating
76.1%
Pricing

$155- $185 Per Session

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Pros
  • Able to choose a therapist
  • 100% caters to LGBTQIA+, with licensed LMFTs
  • Free 10-minute consultation
Cons
  • Pricey and no insurance accepted
  • Only available in 17 states currently (May 2024)

Best Overall For Online Family Counseling - Thriveworks

I ended up choosing Thriveworks even though they are less known than BetterHelp and other companies listed here. The reason being they offer same day appointments, and do work with most of the major insurance providers.

You can expect to meet a counselor within the day, even on evenings and weekends. They also offer psychiatric services if needed, but only in 26 states at the moment. The regular therapy service is available in all states but North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Thriveworks connects you with over 2,200 licensed therapists and counselors, many of which are LMFTs (licensed marriage and family therapists). Unlike some other platforms, there’s also no age restriction as they treat children as well as teenagers.

For Individuals With Family Problems - BetterHelp

Despite being one of the biggest online therapy site in the world today, BetterHelp does not actually offer family therapy at this time. However, BetterHelp can offer individual therapy and counseling to anybody who has family issues.

As such, BetterHelp is a great option if you are ready to start therapy but your family is not. They are also a good choice if you are already in family therapy but also feel you need some personal support.

BetterHelp offers therapy sessions by video or phone as well as chat support. They have experienced therapists and counselors who can deal with a wide range of issues like anxiety, depression, or of course family issues.

If you are looking to begin individual therapy then check our in-depth BetterHelp review or simply sign up for their free 7 day trial and decide for yourself.

Best For Young Kids - Little Otter

This is a specialized platform designed to help parents and children under 14 specifically. They have a large team of certified child and family therapists and offer tailor-made services. Once you sign up and pay $20 for a consultation meeting, you’ll be assigned your own dedicated “Care Team” who will be available to assist you at any time of the day.

Little Otter also has one of the best mobile apps in the industry, and it’s designed specifically to help parents bond with their child through a host of curated activities and tools.

The price is quite high, and they are out of network with most providers. They also offer psychiatric services but those are priced at $500 a session or more – so i suggest you check out my list of best online psychiatry instead.

Most Affordable Family Therapy - Open Path Collective

The Open Path Collective is a non profit organization offering affordable online therapy across all states. They treat families as a whole, as well as individuals, and cater to children of all ages.

The only real downside to this service is the fact you have to pay a one time membership fee of $65 before you even use their services. But once you do that, they are by far the cheapest option out there. You’ll have plenty of licensed therapists to choose from, as well as interns who only charge $30 per session if you prefer those.

Depending on your location and provider of choice, Open Path offers both video sessions as well as in-office meetings. to qualify for their services, you’ll need to prove you have no current insurance and your household income is less than $100,000 a year. 

 

Best For Christian Families - Faithful Counseling

For families that share a faith or a belief system, secular therapy may not be the most suitable option. Faithful Counseling are able to provide fully trained and modern therapists who can also offer a a faith based perspective on matters.

Christian based online therapy follows largely the same format as regular therapy except that the therapist may invite the participants to pray together and may sometimes refer to the scriptures.

Faithful Counseling offers a modern and easy to use platform and conducts its therapy sessions by chat, phone or video conference. While the platform does allow patients to message their therapist anytime via the app, this is not always available for family counseling patients and depends on how the therapy is being conducted.

Please note that even though all of Faithful’s therapists identify as Christian, they primarily practice secular forms of therapy. They also take a more modern, liberal view on a number of issues (mostly around sexuality) than other Christian counselling providers. You can read our Faithful Counseling review for more information on that.

Best For Couples Therapy - ReGain

ReGain is the specialized couples and relationship counseling division of BetterHelp. The platform has a very impressive roster of highly qualified and experienced marriage counselors and relationship therapists who can provide fast, efficient and effective marriage counseling and couples therapy. ReGain is currently our top rated marriage counseling sites, as well as our top pick for couples therapy online.

Very often, family problems originate in the relationship dynamic between the two parents and that by improving this, the entire family unit can benefit. A ReGain subscription package costs between $60 and $80 a week including live sessions (either by phone or by video) in addition to unlimited text and chat messaging which both partners can access.

One disadvantage of ReGain is that the platform doesn’t permit 3-way live sessions. This means that the participants need to be in the same location for video calls which could be a problem if you are separated or simply have conflicting schedules.

For more information about ReGain and the services they can offer, read our detailed ReGain review.

Best For LGBTQ Families - LGBTQ Therapy Space

LGBT Therapy Space is a service dedicated to for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Their specialty is gender affirming treatments, but they also have a host of LMFTs who know how to help both LGBTQ families, and families with LGBTQ members in them.

Once you sign up you’ll see a directory with all available therapists. Each will have tags on their profile indicating what they specialize in – this makes finding the right family psychologist very easy and intuitive.

Normally when it comes to LGBTQIA+ online therapy, my go to recommendation is Pride Counseling. It’s a subsidiary of BetterHelp which no longer works independently. Now, when you fill in the questionnaire while signing up for BetterHelp, if you indicate you want an LGBTQ-friendly counselor you will be redirected there.

So, following the same logic I used with BetterHelp above, they are better for individuals, while LGBTQ Therapy Space is better for the whole family. You can read also my detailed Pride Counseling review first before making up your mind.

How Family Therapy Works

Online family counseling seeks to reduce inter-familial stresses by strengthening interaction and communication between family members. 

There are a few different methods for conducting a family therapy session. The most widely recognized is family group therapy (Structural or Systemic Family Therapy) where the family will sit together with a therapist or a counselor, who will invite them to discuss and explore the issues they are having.

In many ways, the therapist will act as a referee and a mediator but never as a judge – it can often prove invaluable simply having a therapist observe the dynamic within a family and the way in which they interact with one another.

Other forms such as the Bowenian Method entail a therapist seeing the family members on a one on one basis and listening to their different perspectives on shared issues – this is very useful when members don’t feel comfortable sharing in a group setting or where there is perhaps an overtly dominant family member.

Family therapy often entails looking over events from many years ago. Problems between parents and children or siblings often stem from childhood experience and as such, delving into them can prove very hard for some participants – this is why family therapy should only ever be attempted by a properly qualified and experienced therapist.

In family therapy, typical therapeutic techniques such as psychoanalysis and CBT may not be suitable and often, the therapist’s role is largely to facilitate constructive communication.

For this reason, family therapy is sometimes considered to be one of the few forms of therapy that can be almost as effectively handled by an experienced counselor or even a ‘life coach’ as well as by a fully qualified psychotherapist.

How is Virtual Family Counseling Different?

Because of the special requirements and logistical realities of families nowadays, it is not the easiest form of therapy to conduct, even online. For example, whilst video and telephone conferencing can act as a proxy for family group counseling, it can be difficult for a therapist to maintain structure and order in the sessions remotely.

Also, online therapy typically utilizes text and chat functions quite extensively. In fact, many patients find that one of the major benefits of virtual therapy is that patients can access chat 24/7. However, chat does not work as effectively in the context of family therapy.

For these reasons, relatively few online counseling and therapy providers are offering family therapy, not even the major ones such as Talkspace and Amwell. However, all online therapy sites are able to offer counseling to individual patients who want help with family issues such as destructive sibling rivalries or abusive parents.

Is Online Family Therapy Really Effective?

The evidence for the effectiveness of online family therapy is strong. The dynamics and inter-behavioral patterns between families are usually so deeply entrenched, dating back decades, that members genuinely struggle to see them. Therapy therefore forces families to stand back, and really listen to one another often for the first time in years. A trained therapist or counselor, is also able to act as a mediator and help families to communicate more effectively that they perhaps otherwise would be able to.

Although family therapy may well be at its most effective when conducted face to face, this is simply not always possible. Some families live in different geographical locations or they may simply not be able to attend the sessions at the appointed time. Thereofere, virtual family therapy sessions conducted by video or telephone conference call help to get the family together.

Family therapy is also generally quite expensive, especially if the therapist is billing on a per person basis. Therefore, using an online provider can help to drastically reduce the cost; this is especially pertinent considering that family therapy is rarely ever covered by health insurance even if a therapist is willing to accept it.

Family Therapy Online - Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Family Therapy?

Family therapy (AKA family counseling and family systems therapy) is a form of psychology which helps families make positive changes within the family dynamic. Typically this just means helping them to communicate and understand one another better

Who Could Benefit From Family Therapy?

Family therapy is especially useful for any family that feels it is in some way “dysfunctional” or where relationships between members have broken down. For example, this could mean divorced parents attending therapy with their children and even their new partners in order to help them all to adapt to the new dynamics, or it could mean a family where there was perhaps a history of abuse coming together to try and work past their shared trauma.

What Techniques Are Used in Family Therapy?

Traditional therapy techniques like psychoanalysis, CBT and mind mapping are less helpful in family therapy where the aim is more to counsel, mediate and help the members to communicate. The therapist will rather encourage active listening and empathy as well as act as a mediator. That said, techniques such as mindfulness and anger management may be employed in order to help participants learn to cope with stressful family interactions.

What If My Family Dont Want To Attend Therapy?

Family members should only ever attend therapy when they are ready to and never be forced or coerced into it. That said, it is perfectly normal for some family members to be more excited about the prospect of beginning therapy than others and it is equally common for initially reluctant participants to embrace therapy once they experience it for themselves.

Can I Attend Family Therapy If I Am Already in Therapy?

Generally yes. Even if you are already in “regular” therapy there is no reason why you should not attend family therapy. Family therapy is all about the interaction between a family whereas individual therapy is about exploring the cognitive processes of an individual. However, if a family member is in psychiatry for a mental disorder such as bi-polar, severe depression or a personality disorder, then it may be wise to consult that member's therapist before commencing family therapy.

Final Thoughts

By this point you will hopefully know whether online family therapy may be helpful for you and your loved ones. Families are important and it is vital that we all do whatever we can to maintain and improve those relationships.

In terms of online family therapy, whilst the volume of providers are not yet as extensive as they are for other forms of therapy, there are still some great options out there. 

The Thrivework Family service ensures highly cost effective family therapy whereas Faithful Counseling and LGBTQ Therapy Space are excellent ‘niche’ options to help deal with specific family issues.

If your family is not yet ready to attend therapy, or you want some extra individual therapy, then the online therapy market leader BetterHelp is a sound option. Finally, for couples family therapy, Regain provides affordable, expert relationship counseling.