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Circles Review

Medically Reviewed and Edited by 
Olga Kyrychenko, Psychologist

Circles (also known as Circles Up) is an online counseling and teletherapy platform offering help and support to their users by organizing and facilitating online support groups.

Circles specialize in group therapy for a whole range of challenges, mental health problems and life issues by matching their users with people who are going through exactly what they are and by providing trained facilitators to deliver the sessions.

In this Circles review, we are going to take a close look at what Circles Up can help with, how exactly it works and whether it is good value for your bucks. By the end of this review you will hopefully know whether Circles Up is the online group therapy provider for you.

Circles Rating Breakdown 2024

Overall Rating

Overall Rating - 4 Stars

Circles up are very good at what they do. Their database and algorithm gets users matched into a support circle and attending sessions pretty fast. Also, the facilitators are all very well regarded by users. If we’re looking for downsides, then $30 per week is quite pricey for online group therapy.


Price - 3 Stars

The cost of joining a circle is $30 per week. However the first week's session is free so you can try it out and see if it feels right for you.

Treatment Options

Treatment Options - 4 Stars

Circles Up are very good at facilitating group therapy for a wide range of issues including grief, PTSD, relationship issues, parental issues, depression, anxiety and stress. If you are unsure as to whether your particular personal issue could be helped by attending group therapy, then you can easily contact them through their website for more information.

App and Software

App and Software - 4.5 Stars

The Circlesup site is well presented, modern and very easy to navigate. We did get some glitching issues at one point but this could be because of browser or cache issues. Their mobile app is also well regarded by users and the circle app review was largely favorable.

Customer Service

Customer Service - 3 Stars

Unlike some online therapy services, Circles Up don’t offer 24/7 chat assistance on their site. However, their online contact form is easy to use and we received a response from them the next day.

Safety and Privacy

Safety and Privacy - 4 Stars

In terms of privacy, this is not an anonymous service and you will need to verify your identity before you can sign. This is done for the safety of other users and facilitators and the Circles privacy statement says they do not share information with 3rd parties.

Should I use Circles?

Is Circles Up Legit? The Company Behind

Circles is now an established online therapy provider which has attracted a loyal network of users. However, it is not HIPPA compliant. Whilst all facilitators are “state licensed mental health professionals”, few (if any) are psychologists or even counselors. If you are seeking therapy for a debilitating mental health issue or are in crisis, then Circles may not be right for you.

However in terms of facilitating group therapy, they do this extremely well and have proven very good at what they do.

Circles in Numbers For 2024

Year Founded2018 (as Seven Chairs)
U.S Based CompanyYes
Number of Licensed TherapistsUnknown
Accepts Insurance?No
HIPAA CompliantNo
Therapy ModesZoom/Video Conferencing
Available TreatmentsGroup Therapy Sessions
Average Price$30 per week
Sign Up TimeFew Minutes
Response TimeCan take a few days to get matched to a group
Mobile AppYes
Customer Reviews78% Positive
Our Editorial Rating4 Stars
Current PromotionNone

How Circles Therapy Works

The signup process for Circles is pretty fast. You firstly have to complete a short  questionnaire that explores  mental health goals, age, your living circumstances, and what you want to accomplish from group therapy.  Once you have done this, Circles Up uses the information to help find suitable circles to join.

Before you decide to join a group you can check out the facilitators bio and profile although you can’t actually speak with them before you attend a session.

Circles are held once per week by video conference and are 60 minutes long. Whilst the facilitators direct and lead the session, the emphasis is always on encouraging the participants to open up, to share and to support each other.

Remember that the first session is free and if you don’t find it helpful then you are free to walk away. If you do decide to sign on then you can always cancel at a few days notice.

Circles Therapy Price

Circles only has one pricing plan – a subscription plan that costs $30 a week. In return, you get:

1) 1 Group session per week.

2) Chat with your Circle members or facilitator on the Circles app 24/7.

3)Access to Circles Up content, including self-help exercises, blogs, and webinars.

Circles Treatment Types

As you probably know by now, Circlesup only offers group therapy and does not offer any kind of treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Psychoanalysis.

There are a wide variety of different circles including one’s for dealing with the death of a spouse, sibling, parent, friend or child as well as groups helping users to deal with narcissistic personalities in their lives. Other groups include circles for coping with divorce or separation and complicated grief.

All facilitators are state licensed mental health professionals. However, note that this term includes life coaches and clinical licensed social workers. From what I can see none of the facilitators are MD’s and none of evn fully qualified counsellors. Still, for this kind of therapy the facilitators are perfectly adequately qualified.

What Our Readers Have To Say About Circles

After my mother died my friends were great but my Circle really got me - they just understood my grief, the sadness and best of all got my wry humor.
Grief Support Circle
I lost most of my support network when I got divorced so finding a sp[port circle really got me through it and gave my a true sense of Brotherhood
Divorce Circle
COVID-19 has brought so much stress and uncertainty and the whole pandemic really took its toll on my mental health. However, with my support circle I know that I am not alone in feeling this way!
Covid-19 Stress Circle

Circles Review - Frequently Asked Questions

Are Circles Online Support Groups Effective?

Yes. Research has shown that any form of online therapy can be as effective as face to face in office therapy. Whilst some people prefer meeting in person, this is not always possible especially during the COVID pandemic. A major advantage of online group therapy is that you stand a better chance of being matched with peers who are going through exactly the same thing as you are.

How Can I Find The Right Circle?

When you complete the sign up questionnaire, the information provided will be assessed and recommendations as to the best circle(s) for you will be based on it. You are free to reject a recommended circle and you can also check out the facilitators bio before you decide to join.

What Should I Expect From a Circle?

All Circles consist of 6-7 fully vetted members who are facing similar life experiences as you. Circles meet online once a week for a 60 minute live video session. All circles are led by a dedicated, qualified facilitator. By joining a circle, you will learn useful, practical tools for coping, for managing behaviours, and for personal development. If you are not ready to open up and share in your circle then that’s perfectly okay; you can just sit and listen instead. However Circlesup does ask that all members have their camera on live during a session - this is to foster full trust and transparency throughout the group.

How Long Does It Take To Join a Circle?

Whilst the initial sign up [process is quite quick, it can take a few days up to a week to find a circle. In some cases it can be almost 2 weeks after your initial application before you get to attend your first session.

Circles Review - Final Thoughts

If you are looking to join an online support group then Circles Up are one of the best providers out there. They are experienced in matching users with the right group and in facilitating high quality group therapy sessions.

They can help find groups to help you deal with a whole variety of different life challenges and are regularly starting up new circles to cater for members’ needs. 

However, this kind of therapy is not suitable for everybody and not necessarily the best way to deal with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety; these may be better deal with in one on one sessions.

Also, $30 per session is not cheap and you may be able to find a local, in-person support group for cheaper – in fact some of them even operate for free. If price is a concern, we suggest you check our affordable online therapy page, or our page about therapy sites that take insurance.

Overall rating 78.0%

Updated July 26th, 2022
Overall Rating
Treatment Options
App and Software
Customer Service
Safety and Privacy

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