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Breakthrough Therapy Review

Medically Reviewed and Edited by 
Olga Kyrychenko, Psychologist

These days mental health is widely recognized as being equally as important as general health; indeed, as our understanding increases we see that the two are actually very closely entwined. However, good and effective treatment is still not always easily available or readily affordable.  As such, more and more people are turning to online therapy to access affordable mental health and Breakthrough was one such online therapy provider.

Breakthrough was actually purchased by the tele-medicine giant MDLive in 2021 and has now been fully absorbed by the parent company. As such, the Breakthrough platform no longer exists in any form. The website now re-direct to the MDLive home page and existing customers were transferred onto the MD platform.

This breakthrough review is technically a review of MDLive’s therapy services. Over the course of this detailed review we will also look to compare the new platform with how the old one used to be, and determine what are the the best alternatives for people who are looking for a similar service to what Breakthrough used to offer.

Breakthrough Rating Breakdown 2024

Overall Rating

Overall Rating - 3.5 Stars

Breakthrough was a dedicated online therapy provider, and MDLive is not and it does show. Some users have commented that since being absorbed into MDLive the overall standards declined. However, as part of a telehealth giant MDLive can access and prescribe medication via its roster of Psychiatrists where many other platforms cannot.


Price - 4 Stars

Now that its part MDLive, Breakthrough does not offer subscription plans like most teletherapy providers do. At $108 per meeting, this means that Breakthrough generally can work out a lot more expensive than most other providers for patients who want weekly sessions. However, MDLive does accept most insurance providers and their “pay as you go” model may benefit those who don't want regular therapy.

Treatment Options

Treatment Options - 3 Stars

MDLive is a general telehealth site that does not specialize in therapy and counselling and as such, they only have around 50+ therapists available on the site. Still, amongst them the therapists are able to treat most common mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and addiction.

App and Software

App and Software - 5 Stars

As you may expect from a big company like MDLive, their software and interfaces are very good. In fact their mobile app is the best in the telehealth industry. Signing up and getting started on the platform is quick and easy for both desktop and mobile.

Customer Service

Customer Service - 4.5 Stars

Customer service is often a mixed bag in the teletherapy sector but MDLive does it very well. Their clients highly rate the service standards and in compiling this review we had no issues in getting in touch with them. Unlike most online therapy sites, MDLive’s support function is available by both email and phone.

Safety and Privacy

Safety and Privacy - 4 Stars

In terms of privacy, client confidentiality is a big part of MDLIVE’s Code of Ethics and they claim to take privacy extremely seriously. The firm so fully HIPAA Compliant and MDLive are also bound by the federal privacy rules and regulations of the various states in which they operate.

Should I use Breakthrough Therapy?

Best Breakthrough Alternatives

BetterHelp - Best Therapy Site

$ 60-90 Per Week
  • More than 33,000 Therapists
  • Our Top Rated Therapy Site
  • Great Platform & Easy To Use
  • Financial Aid Programs

Talkspace - Best With Insurance

$ 65-99 Per Week
  • 2nd Largest Therapy Provider
  • Combine Talk Therapy & Psychiatric Care
  • Best With Insurance
  • $80 Off First Month

Sesame - Same Day Appointments

$ 45-120 Per Meeting
  • Same Day Appointments
  • Pick Your Own Therapist
  • Affordable Prices
  • 20% Off First Meeting

Is Breakthrough Therapy Legit? The Company Behind

Yes. Both the predecessor company Breakthrough and MDLive are compleeley legit. All of the therapists are fully qualified and licensed in state and, according to the MDLive website, the service providers have on average 15 or more years of experience.

They also have one of the industry’s highest provider ratings and are fully HIPPA compliant.

MDLive is not just an online therapy provider but is rather a tele-health company who provide online Doctors appointments and remotely prescribe medication for a whole range of health conditions. As such they are very tightly regulated.

Breakthrough in Numbers For 2024

Year Founded2009
U.S Based CompanyYes
Number of Licensed Therapists50
Accepts Insurance?Yes
Hipaa compliantYes
Therapy Modes

 Video and Telephone Live Sessions

Available TreatmentsPsychiatric Treatment, Medication Prescription And Talk Therapy
Average Price$108 Per Meeting
Sign Up Time5 Minutes
Response TimeUsually a Few Days
Mobile AppYes
Customer Reviews82% Positive
Our Editorial Rating3.5 Stars
Current PromotionNone

How Breakthrough Therapy Works

New users of MDLive must firstly complete the signup process (name and contact details)  via the website or app before completing a short questionnaire that is used to assess your mental health needs and match you with a shortlist of possible therapists. Once this has been done, users can browse the profiles of suitable therapists. Users can massage therapists for some additional information before committing to work with them and book an appointment.

Once a suitable therapist has been identified, an appointment is booked for a fist session. All sessions are conducted via video call (or telephone call) and sessions can be booked on an adhoc basis so there is never an established schedule.

The format of a therapy session will largely depend on the condition being treated and the individual therapist’s style. Some of the therapists on the platform are counselors whereas others are fully qualified psychotherapists. Common techniques used in MDLives’ therapy sessions are psychoanalysis, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other coping and de-escalation strategies.

Patients undergoing psychiatry via MDLive may also be issued with a prescription or a medication plan.

This is by far the biggest change Breakthrough underwent once it has been purchased by MDLive. If you prefer a more rigid schedule, with a monthly subscription plan – then read check all of our online therapy reviews or this BetterHelp review.

Breakthrough Therapy Price

The price per session is $108 for a therapist and $284 for a psychiatrist. As most users typically want one session per week, this can work out more expensive than other online therapy sites although previously, Breakthrough therapy sessions could cost as much s $400. This also means that there is no text chat support function available and patients will have to wait until their weekly session to talk to somebody.

However MDLive does accept most insurance which is quite unusual in online therapy; as such, many users may not actually have to pay that much themselves. That said, if you prioritize a therapy provider who accepts insurance, then Amwell is a much better choice overall.

This is another area where Breakthrough’s offer suffered a lot by the acquisition. It used to be one of best priced therapy providers and now it has shifted into a pay per meet scheme instead. If getting the best value for money is your top priority, check our comparison of the best affordable therapy sites or read our Rethink My Therapy review.

Treatments Types

MDLive claim to treat all manner of conditions but in regards to mental health, they can treat the following;

Basically, MDLive are able to help with most common mental health issues and conditions. This is quite impressive when considering the relatively small number of therapists available. Again, this is an area where a big decrease in quality was observed. If you want a therapy-dedicated provider that can also offer psychiatric treatments, we recommend reading our Amwell review or Brightside review first.

Best Alternative: Breakthrough vs. Brightside

Brightside is a relatively new and small online therapy provider who are able to offer e-counseling, therapy sessions and prescribe medication. For these reasons we feel they are a worthy competitor to Breakthrough/MDLive.

One important difference to note is that Brightside does not allow users to choose their own therapist. Rather they are matched algorithmically. However, patients can change their therapist if they find they are not getting along with them.

In terms of cost, Brightside represents better value for money as their mid-range subscription package costs ($299 per month) and offers a 30-minute live session each week with a therapist. If MDLive users wish to attend weekly sessions then the monthly cost will be $468 per month.

However, Amwell are widely recognised as the best online psychiatry provider (though Brightside may soon rival them) – so this can be another very good alternative if you are not impressed with Breakthrough’s new services.

What Our Readers Have To Say About Breakthrough

I have been using Breakthrough Therapy for over 12 months now. They have really helped me work on my anxiety and I really would not be where I am today without them and the support they offer.
Dana C.
I was a patient with Breakthrough and then transferred over to MDLive. I was able to keep my therapist and was glad to receive the same excellent service standards as Breakthrough had previously provided.
I don't like the new platform at all. I mean, the interface is better, but the overall service kinda sucks.

Breakthrough Review - Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t like my therapist?

You can choose your own therapist on the Breakthrough platform. If you want to switch, simply contact customer support and they will try to match you up with an alternative therapist as soon as possible.

Is Breakthrough legit?

Yes absolutely. The Breakthrough platform was well established as a leading online therapy provider which is precisely why it was an attractive acquisition for MDLive. All of the therapists and counselors now operating via MDLive are fully qualified and licensed in state to practice. MDLive is one of the largest telemedicine firms in the world and is both HIPAA compliant and fully regulated.

Do Breakthrough accept Medicare or Medicaid?

Breakthrough and MDLive work with the largest number of insurers in the tele-therapy space and work with insurers including Cigna and Blue Shield. However, at this time they do not accept Medicare or Medicaid.

What mental health issues can they help with?

Breakthrough's therapists regularly help patients suffering with stress, anxiety, depression, or trauma. MDLive also has psychiatrists available who can prescribe medication for conditions such as bi polar and psychosis.

How soon can I see a therapist?

As there are not all that many therapists working on the Breakthrough/MDLive platform, you may have to wait a while to get an appointment booked in. Whilst some users wwe able to get sessions within 2 days, others reported waiting more than a week. It also partially depends on the issue you want help with and whether you have a strong preference for one chosen therapist or will consider seeing another who has moprew availability.

Breakthrough Review - Final Thoughts

Hopefully, our detailed and thorough breakthrough therapy review helped you to decide whether they or rather their successor is the right online therapy service for you. Another thing you might want to do is read our detailed MDLive review.

Whilst Breakthrough does not exist anymore, the important and valuable work they were doing has been taken on by their successor company MDLive. MDLive is a highly professional organization that utilizes an excellent platform and delivers excellent customer service.

However, while MDLive’s psychiatry is widely lauded as being amongst the best in the online therapy market, their other therapy options do work out quite expensive for patients who want weekly sessions. Furthermore, therapy obtained via MDLive does not come with the extras that other providers offer such as text chat support between sessions. 

Overall, we feel the change has been for the worse. Yes, Breakthrough does have a better mobile app and customer support, but prices and quality of treatments have deteriorated significantly. For that reason, we can no longer rank it among the best online therapy sites, and recommend trying out other companies, such as BetterHelp or Talkspace, instead.

MDLive Logo

Overall rating 81.4%

Updated August 17th, 2023
Overall Rating
Treatment Options
App and Software
Customer Service
Safety and Privacy

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