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Best Online LGBTQIA+ Therapy

Medically Reviewed and Edited by 
Olga Kyrychenko, Psychologist

The most recent report from Mental Health America (MHA) underscores a concerning reality: 21% of adults fall within the category of individuals suffering from mental illnesses. In relation to such, in a study conducted by the University of California in 2023, 5.5% of US adults reported that they identify as LGBT. 

In a similar LGBT identification surveys conducted by Gallup and Pew Research Center, they reported a slightly higher figure of 7% in the same year. Considering these numbers, it is approximated that between 1.5 to 2 million LGBT adults in the US have mental health problems.

 

It is worth noting that distress is not confined to adults alone; youth within the LGBTQ+ community, as cited in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2023 report, also experience emotional disturbance. The report states that almost 31% of LGBTQ+ youth experience severe psychological distress. Moreover, HRC also mentioned that for the first time in 40 years, the US was under a National State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans during 2023. This suggests a worsening situation which may result in a significant decrease in the life satisfaction of sexual minorities.

While public opinion leans progressively towards support for the LGBTQ population, with 75 new anti-LGBTQ laws passed last year, the impacts of these legislative actions not only cause distress to the LGBT population but also their families, peers, and allies advocating for rights and freedom.

These statistics highlight the need for a guide for LGBTQIA+ individuals seeking mental health support. Thus, I wrote this article in hopes that you may be able to find an LGBTQ-affirming therapist who can cater to your needs. Below, I will introduce the top online LGBTQ+ therapy services available through brief but comprehensive reviews. I have also listed these online LGBTQ+ therapy platforms’ pros and cons so that you may be able to decide which is the best virtual LGBTQ+ therapy provider for you.

Top 9 Online LGBTQ+ Therapy Sites Quick Comparison

Best Overall For LGBTQ+
Pride Counseling Review
Editorial Rating
98.5%
Pricing

$60- $80 Per Week

Promo

10% off first month

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Pros
  • Therapists are very professional, empathetic and reply often in chat
  • Affordable prices and financial aid program
  • 7 days free trial
Cons
  • Only one subscription plan
  • Can't choose your therapist when you sign up
Best for Medication Management
Brightside Review
Editorial Rating
94.1%
Pricing

$95 - $345 Per Month

Promo

$50 Off Your First Month

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Pros
  • Great flexibility with packages and possible treatments
  • therapists specialize in dealing with anxiety and depression
  • Modern platform with an excellent mobile app
  • Works with many insurance companies
Cons
  • Must pay before getting any treatment
  • You can’t choose your own therapist
Best With Insurance
talkspace review
Editorial Rating
91.2%
Pricing

$69 - $109 Per Week

Promo

$80 discount on the first month

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Pros
  • Guaranteed response time 5 days a week
  • Affordable price and insurance accepted
  • Excellent customer service
  • One week free trial
Cons
  • Getting matched with a therapist can take a few days
  • No live sessions included in the basic plan
Best For Couples Therapy
ReGain review
Editorial Rating
92.3%
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 Gender-Affirming Therapy
Editorial Rating
91.1%
Pricing

$155- $185 Per Session

Promo

None

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Pros
  • 100% caters to LGBTQIA+
  • Many therapy options
  • Can choose your therapist
  • Some counselors take insurance
Cons
  • Quite pricey - billed per session
  • Privacy policy is lacking in info
Best For QTBIPOC
NQTTCN Review
Editorial Rating
88.7%
Pricing

$100- $200 Per Session

Promo

None

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Pros
  • 300+ QTPoC therapists available
  • You can choose your therapist
  • Financial Aid Programs
Cons
  • Currently available only in 30 states
  • No mobile app
Best For Faith Based Therapy
Faithful Counseling Review
Editorial Rating
85%
Pricing

$50- $80 Per Week

Promo

No Available Promo

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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 Christian LGBTQ+ Counseling
Editorial Rating
84.2%
Pricing

$165 Per Session

Promo

No Available Promo

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Pros
  • 100% caters to LGBTQ
  • Emphasizes providing support to the family members of LGBTQIA+ individuals
Cons
  • billed per session
  • Very few therapist to choose from
Most Affordable LGBTQ+ Counseling
Editorial Rating
82.7%
Pricing

$40 - 70 Per Session

Promo

No Available Promo

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Pros
  • Able to choose a provider
  • Affordable rates; prioritizes underinsured individuals
Cons
  • Not all therapists are experienced; some are still under supervision
  • Privacy policy is not comprehensive

What to Consider Before Choosing an Online LGBTQ+ Therapist

Unlike in other specialized therapy like couples therapy wherein certification (i.e., Certification in Gottman Therapy, EFT Certification) has a lot of bearing when choosing a therapist, in LGBTQ+ Therapy, a therapist’s inherent ability to empathize and understand the unique challenges faced by the minority should ever be present. While training and certifications like the LGBTQIA Affirmative Therapy Certification Program exist, it is essential to recognize that the key lies in their commitment to providing proper and competent care.

In an article published in Focus, the American Psychiatric Association’s review journal, they laid out common issues that LGBTQ+ individuals may have in their help-seeking endeavors. The issue of discrimination was mentioned in the article. There may be cases wherein an online psychologist may choose to refer you to another psychologist due to your orientation or identity but that is not always a discriminatory course of action. They will usually explain to you the reason for the referral – if not, then they can be sanctioned for not adhering to the ethical code of their profession.

Another issue the article discussed was the concept of the “closet” and “coming out of the closet”. If you are someone who is still “closeted”- you are still unable to acknowledge or reveal to others your non-heteronormative or non-cisgender feelings, attractions, or fantasies – you may be seeking help to either understand yourself better or you may need aid to “come out”.

However, there could also be a chance that you do not want to disclose such to your online therapist then, that is your right and your choice. If the counselor you have been matched with continues to pry about this part of your identity, then they may not be the right provider for you. Nonetheless, do note that some mental health practitioners do such to profile you better and thus, be able to help you in a way that suits your needs the best. Still, if you feel that there is an ulterior motive behind the constant questioning, know that it is okay to trust your gut feeling with things like this and choose to cease the therapeutic relationship.

Outing, another sensitive issue, emphasizes the importance of confidentiality. Any professional aiding you should uphold strict confidentiality.  If you suspect that you have been outed by your therapist, such an act is punishable. In another case, you may be in distress from being outed and you are hoping that you will be matched with someone who can help you, then seek a professional online who recognizes that it is a serious matter.

The APA highlights that proper LGBTQ+ care spans areas of psychological practice (i.e., career counseling), related helping professions (i.e., social work), and settings (i.e., virtual therapy). They also reiterated that a psychologist being part of the sexual minority does not mean they are more competent in providing support to clients like you.

On the other hand, the National LGBT Health Education Center emphasizes the importance of an affirming and inclusive environment. In the context of online therapy, it is worth noting that when going through psychologist directories or therapy sites, you should always check if they are “inclusive, non-judgmental, and helpful” – do not undergo a therapeutic program wherein your identity as an LGBTQIA+ is considered a problem.

ACA’s list of competencies is very extensive: discussing what pieces of knowledge and level of understanding they should have about human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, and more. The most important part of their guidelines is the client-centered model of supporting someone who is intersex. If you are intersex, it is important that you seek a mental health professional who does not view intersex as an “abnormality” and they should also know that they need to extend their support not just to you, but to your family as well.

Still, as I previously detailed in my guide on choosing an online therapist, additional considerations such as years of experience and therapeutic approach remain relevant.

Best Overall LGBTQ+ Therapy Provider: Pride Counseling

Pride Counseling is an online therapy provider under BetterHelp. As of writing, you can only access Pride Counseling by answering the preliminary questionnaire on BetterHelp’s website. There you will be asked whether you are a member of the LGBTQ+ and if you are specifically seeking LGBTQIA+ therapy or other therapeutic services. The cost of their services ranges from $65 to $90 per week, with LGBTQIA+ therapy sitting near the upper range due to preferences and therapist availability.

Pride Counseling Pros:
Pride Counseling Cons:
  • Able to be matched with a therapist who is experienced in providing care for LGBTQIA+ persons
  • Public directory of credible therapists available; therapists have tags of their experience and specialties
  • Testimonials are up-to-date and continuously updated
  •  Different options to connect with your therapist
  • Comprehensive Privacy Policy
  • Does not have a dedicated page containing information about LGBTQIA+ therapy
  •  Costs are not covered by insurance
  • The first few therapist matches may be problematic in terms of LGBTQIA+-orientedness due to therapist availability; a chance to be matched with a therapist that does not immediately address LGBTQ issues

Best LGBTQIA+ Therapy with Insurance: Talkspace

The LGBTQIA+ Counseling page of Talkspace is easily accessible through their homepage. The dedicated page has readily available resources for you to read which will then help you decide whether or not LGBTQIA+ therapy is what you are looking for. You will be given a list of therapists who provide the services you seek after accomplishing their brief assessment. Their services cost around $280 to $440 per month depending on your chosen subscription plan. Talkspace is currently are top recommend therapy service with insurance overall.

Talkspace Pros:
Talkspace Cons:
  • Able to choose a therapist who is experienced in providing care for LGBTQIA+ persons
  • Public directory of credible therapists available; therapists have tags of their experience and specialties
  • Costs may be covered by insurance
  • Places emphasis on their HIPAA compliance
  • Testimonials are filtered and may not be always up-to-date
  • The first few therapist matches may be problematic in terms of LGBTQIA+-orientedness due to therapist availability; a chance to choose a therapist that does not immediately address LGBTQ issues

Best Psychiatric Services: Brightside

Brightside offers a two-in-one plan wherein you can undergo both therapeutic and psychiatric intervention. If in case you wish to take medications alongside counseling, you do not have to look for separate providers anymore. They also offer therapy and psychiatry standalone. Costs of their services can go lower than their lowest price of $95 per month in special cases due to insurance coverage. Their premium service of Psychiatry + Therapy can cost $349 per month. For More options, visit our best online psychiatry services page.

Brighside Pros:
Brightside Cons:
  • Costs may be covered by insurance
  • Places emphasis on their HIPAA compliance; comprehensive legal policies
  •  Does not specifically cater to LGBTQIA+ individuals
  • Does not have a dedicated page containing information about LGBTQIA+ therapy
  • Only has a limited directory of credible therapists and psychiatrists

Best Couples Counseling: ReGain

ReGain is also an online therapeutic services provider under BetterHelp. Therapists affiliated with ReGain are practicing couples and marriage counseling. Their site is pretty straightforward: you will answer a questionnaire so that they may be able to match you with a practitioner best suited for your needs. They also provide services for single people seeking professional relationship advice, not just couples. Like Pride Counseling, their prices range from $65 to $80 per week.

ReGain Pros:
ReGain Cons:
  • Able to be matched with a therapist who is experienced in providing care for LGBTQIA+ couples
  • Testimonials are up-to-date and continuously updated
  •  Different options to connect with your therapist
  • Comprehensive Privacy Policy
  • Does not have a dedicated page containing information about LGBTQIA+ couples therapy; most resources are for heterosexual and cisgender couples
  • Costs are not covered by insurance
  • No public directory of couples and marriage therapy providers

Best Gender-Affirming Therapy: LGBTQ Therapy Space

LGBT Therapy Space is an online therapy website dedicated to providing services for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. One of the many specialties they have is gender-affirming therapy for which they have a dedicated page. Similar to most online psychological care platforms, you will be asked to answer a questionnaire so they can match you with a therapist. Once matched, you may pay between $155 to $185 per session.

LGBTQ Safe Space Pros:
LGBTQ Safe Space Cons:
  • 100% caters to LGBTQIA+
  • Provides different specialized LGBTQIA+ therapy options
  • Public directory of credible therapists available; therapists have tags of their specialties and guiding principle
  • Costs may be covered by insurance
  • Pricey; billed per session
  • Privacy policy is not comprehensive

Best for QTBIPOC: NQTTCN

National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) serves as a directory for minority therapists. Although they do help you connect with a QTPOC professional, their website is not as optimized for virtual therapy sessions. Due to that, they also do not have a fixed pricing range, instead, therapists in their directory state the costs per session and whether or not they accept insurance.

NQTTCN Pros:
NQTTCN Cons:
  • 100% caters to LGBTQIA+ and minorities
  •  No dedicated platform for therapy sessions
  • No fixed pricing
  • No privacy policy statement displayed

Best Overall Christian Counseling: Faithful Counseling

Similar to ReGain and Pride Counseling, Faithful Counseling is also under BetterHelp. They offer online faith-based counseling to those who finish answering the initial questionnaire. After being matched with a counselor who is knowledgeable in faith-based interventions, you are expected to pay $260 to $360 every month.

Faithful Counseling Pros:
Faithful Counseling Cons:
  • Able to be matched with a therapist who is experienced in practicing faith-based therapy with LGBTQIA+
  •  Testimonials are up-to-date and continuously updated
  • Different options to connect with your therapist
  • Does not have a dedicated page containing information about LGBTQIA+ and faith-based therapy
  • Costs are not covered by insurance

Best Christian LGBTQ+ Counseling: The Christian Closet

The Christian Closet is a virtual therapy provider whose therapists’ practices are centered around the faith-based approach in intervention. If you are an LGBTQIA+ Christian who seeks therapeutic help from fellow Christians who identify as LGBTQ or are experienced in counseling LGBTQ people, The Christian Closet offers their online services for a starting price of $165 per hour.

The Christian Closet Pros:
The Christian Closet Cons:
  • 100% caters to LGBTQ
  • Emphasizes providing support to the family members of LGBTQIA+ individuals
  • Pricey; billed per session
  • Small therapist directory
  • No privacy policy statement displayed

Most Affordable LGBTQ+ Counseling: Open Path Collective

Open Path Collective is a nonprofit organization that provides a directory of mental health practitioners in the US. You may navigate their list of providers using their provided filters so that you will be able to choose who to ask for help from. It is worth noting that not all those listed in the directory are professionals, some are interns who are still under supervision. Simply paying a one-time lifetime membership fee of $65 makes you eligible for their per-session rates ranging from $40 to $70. For more options, check my list of the most affordable online therapy sites.

Open Path Collective Pros:
Open Path Collective Cons:
  • Able to choose a provider who is knowledgeable in LGBTQIA+ therapy
  • Affordable rates; prioritizes underinsured individuals
  • Does not have a dedicated page containing information about LGBTQIA+ therapy
  • Not all therapists are experienced; some are still under supervision
  • Privacy policy is not comprehensive

How Does Online LGBTQIA+ Therapy Work?

In a previous article I have written, I have described common types of therapy. There, I have mentioned approaches that cannot be done online such as cognitive behavioral therapy. This part of the review will briefly explain online LGBTQIA+ therapy – yes, this type of therapy can be conducted online.

According to a guide made by the MHA, virtual therapeutic sessions closely mirror their in-person counterparts. Schedules vary depending on the approach and the availability of your therapist to conduct online counseling. Now, the difference between online LGBTQ+ therapy and other traditional therapies done in a virtual setting is mainly the approach taken by the professional who is providing the psychological assistance.

In a study exploring internet-based interventions for the LGBTQ+ community, researchers emphasized the need for a multi-dimensional approach. Recognizing the diverse struggles within the LGBTQIA+ population, the study suggested that online therapeutic interventions should prioritize psychoeducation and group discussions. This nuanced approach calls for a shift in the design of virtual programs, catering specifically to the unique needs and identities within the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

Research also indicates that online LGBTQIA+ therapy plays a pivotal role in motivating individuals within the community to seek help. While the study highlighted that the sought help might not always be professional, the acknowledgment of psychological distress represents a significant step toward fostering a positive outlook towards online therapy and therapy in general.

As for a specific type of online LGBT therapy, there is a journal article published by the University of Tennessee that studied whether an online mindfulness therapy program tailored for sexual minorities would be efficient and well-accepted by the LGB population. Results revealed that participants from the LGB community expressed satisfaction, describing the approach as “well-organized” and emphasizing that they “did not feel pressured” due to the chosen modality and type of therapy.

Contrary to a one-size-fits-all approach, studies conclude that mental health care for the LGBTQIA+ community should deviate from methods employed for heterosexual and/or cisgender individuals, including online therapy.

What are the Different Types of Online LGBTQIA+ Therapy?

Unlike traditional therapies that focus more on heterosexual and cisgender experiences, LGBTQIA+ therapy encompasses a spectrum of specialized modalities designed to address the intricacies of sexual orientation, gender identity, and the associated social and psychological factors. 

From integrative therapy to gender-affirming therapy, I will help you comprehend these types of LGBTQIA+ therapy through brief discussions so that you will be well-informed about which therapeutic approach is best for you.

LGBTQIA+ Affirmative and Integrative Counseling

Your counselor aids you through milestones and self-identity in an affirming manner. They make sure that they are well aware of their possible heteronormative privilege and biases so that you will trust them more as an LGBTQIA+ person. Your online therapist also uses the trauma-informed approach which then strengthens the therapeutic relationship.

LGBTQ Affirmative Couple and Family Therapy

The therapist knows how to counsel gay couples using the principles of the attachment theory. They are skilled in conducting sex therapy for gay and lesbian couples. They also provide help to queer women who are having trouble with their relationships by consulting feminist approaches. 

Additionally, they “understand the assumptions and social forces” behind bisexual relationships. These online mental health professionals also recognize biases they might have towards transgender and nonbinary couples. They are experts in same-sex divorce and relationship dissolution. For more options read my guides on couples therapy or family therapy.

LGBTQ-Affirmative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a well-known therapeutic technique that helps you in dealing with the stressors of your daily life. In LGBTQ-Affirmative CBT, your therapist focuses on the stress that arises from being LGBTQ. They will also help you develop resilience considering that sexual minorities often lack adequate social support being surrounded by heterosexual and cisgender people.

Gender-Affirming Therapy

The National  Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) described conversion therapy as a harmful and “discredited practice focused on changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity”. A report published by The Trevor Project presented that such a dangerous and ineffective type of therapy called conversion therapy (or reparative therapy) for LGBTQIA+ people is still rampant in the US.

Below is a map that illustrates which states have banned conversion therapy and which have not:

Source: List of U.S. jurisdictions banning conversion therapy (Wikipedia)

In 2018, the American Psychiatric Association declared its stance regarding conversion therapy. They stated that mental health practitioners should not make any attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation and that they should “respect the identities of those with diverse gender expressions”. 

Similarly, the American Psychological Association also published resolutions regarding Gender Identity Change Efforts (GICE) and Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE). Both resolutions highlight suicidality in LGBTQIA+ persons who experienced such change efforts be it from professionals and non-professionals.

Concerning such, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) alongside the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) both have called to cease such practices so that LGBTQIA+ people, especially the LGBTQ youth, would be able to live healthy and fulfilled lives.

Another point worth discussing is that conversion therapy is often fueled by religious guilt. That is why we have included reviews of our faith-based online therapy services in this guide in order to address this issue which contradicts the very essence of therapy. Embracing and understanding your sexual identity is a personal journey that should unfold in an open, supportive environment.

We recommend reaching out to the LGBT National Youth Talkline or the Trevor Project if you are a minor who is grappling with self-blame and conflicting thoughts. If you are a guardian or a concerned peer, your efforts help foster environments that encourage acceptance.

Is Online LGBTQIA+ Therapy Right For Me?

If you identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ minority and most of the distress you are experiencing is related to your identity as an LGBTQIA+, then I hope the reviews and information I have provided will encourage you to seek professional help. 

Also, if you have a family or a peer who is an LGBTQIA+ person and you want to help them overcome the struggles that come with being part of the sexual minority, I suggest that you recommend this article to them.

Questioning individuals can also seek the help of LGBTQIA+ therapy providers to comprehend and in turn, affirm their identity. If you feel that you need assistance in understanding your gender and sexual identity more, then LGBTQIA+ therapy may be of help to you.

In terms of receiving therapeutic care in a virtual setting, the accessibility of online LGBTQIA+ platforms provides you with the option to be supported in the comfort of your home or be able to connect with your preferred LGBTQIA+ therapist who may be a couple of states away from you. It also cuts some costs: transportation fees, meals you eat outside before or after therapy, and the like.