Given the accessibility of technology, online counseling for teens has become more popular than ever. No matter where they are, teens can receive the mental health services they need through virtual counseling sessions.
The best online therapy for teens will provide flexible scheduling and remote access from anywhere because many teenagers lack the time and availability to attend regular in-person counseling appointments due to their busy schedules with school, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and social lives.
Overburdened teenagers have more than enough to handle on their own, therefore, it typically falls on caregivers to conduct the research necessary to identify an effective online therapy platform. Fortunately, there are several options, including therapists who focus on topics specific to teenagers, such as LGBTQIA+ affirmation, ADHD, medication management, anxiety, and more.
We checked out online treatment companies and polled more than 100 clients from each provider to help you limit down your options and pick the best fit for your adolescent. The top online teen treatment services for various needs are included here.
Best Teen Online Therapy in 2023
We adore Teen Counseling because it provides clients with various options to contact their therapist, whether during a session or after regular business hours. We also like that while therapist and teen interactions are kept private, parents are always informed if there is a serious concern.
Because of its adaptability, affordability, and ability to strike a balance between patient anonymity and parental concern, Teen Counseling is our top pick for online counseling for teenagers. Users can speak with their therapist via video, phone, or live chat sessions. They may also send messages safely and privately at any time. Additionally, there is a separate area where parents can engage with therapists, maintaining the confidentiality of teens’ talks with their therapists. Parents may rest easy knowing that if something alarming arises during their child’s treatment session, the provider will let them know and work with them to develop a strategy for the future.
Psychologists, certified marital and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional therapists are among the staff members of Teen Counseling. Every service provider has at least three years of professional experience and a master’s or doctoral degree. Anxiety, sadness, stress, bullying, eating disorders, low self-esteem, aggression, and other issues are all treated. Teen Counseling is designed to assist people between the ages of 13 and 19, and it may be accessed through various electronic devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers. We do want to draw attention to the fact that BetterHelp, the parent firm of Teen Counseling, was recently the subject of criticism in a Wall Street Journal investigation into online counseling after a therapist suggested to a patient that they “quit being gay” to appease their parents. We vehemently oppose this appalling recommendation and stand firmly behind and proud of the LQBTQIA+ community.
In a study of 105 users, 84% said they had a good, very good, or excellent overall experience with Teen Counseling. Numerous patient (teen) and parent testimonials are also available on the Teen Counseling website.
Plans and Costs
Teen Counseling is a subscription service with weekly fees of $60 to $90, invoiced every four weeks for a total of $240 to $360 per cycle. Anytime may be used to cancel it. Teen Counseling does not provide different subscription tiers or plans, in contrast to many other online treatment platforms. Your location, the availability of therapists, and your choices determine the membership fee. Teen Counseling does not currently work with any insurance companies and will not submit claims for payment. However, it is dedicated to maintaining low costs to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
For teens seeking psychiatric and medication management services, we recommend Talkiatry because the platform is simple to use, the business partners with all major insurance providers and the practice’s primary focus are psychiatry, giving parents peace of mind that their child is not receiving excessive medication recommendations.
There are several online treatment platforms, but few psychiatry platforms that will treat teenagers. We chose Talkiatry as the top option for teenagers looking for psychiatric services since it is one of the few online psychiatry practices prepared to treat and provide medication management to teenagers.
Despite having two physical offices in New York, Talkiatry serves patients online in 30 states (and is continuing to expand into other states). It currently treats anxiety, sadness, ADHD, PTSD, and other mood disorders. It does not address illnesses better managed in person, such as substance use, some personality disorders, and suicidal ideation, among others, as it is largely a telemedicine practice.
The practice’s app, which can be downloaded on any Android or Apple device, allows patients to participate in sessions, set up and manage upcoming appointments, and communicate with their doctor. Patients can message their provider anytime through the app, but appointments are only available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, on Saturdays. Additionally, individuals receiving psychiatric care at the facility can make appointments with Talkiatry’s therapists. To those who are not also receiving psychiatric care, the company does not provide standalone therapy.
Plans and Costs
Talkiatry will assist you in figuring out your unique benefits and eligibility because we are in-network with all major insurance companies. To see a provider, you don’t need to be a member. Self-pay is an option. However, clients must speak with the office directly to inquire about costs and to discuss their circumstances.
Talkspace for Teens
Teens can receive treatment through Talkspace, which is our recommendation for any adolescent who prefers texting or chatting to conventional therapy sessions. Teens may simply send their therapist text, video, audio, or picture messages whenever they need to communicate using this platform; no appointments are required. In other words, it’s treatment on their terms.
Planning and scheduling a therapy session in a formal setting is necessary, and it may be very uncomfortable. Talkspace is the best option for teenagers who don’t want traditional counseling but don’t mind messaging nonstop. Unlike other services, Talkspace for Teens only offers messaging-based treatment rather than traditional sessions.
Parents must first assist their child in creating a profile for the first step (parental consent is required for every minor using the platform). The teen must then complete an evaluation for Talkspace for Teens to identify their requirements and compile a list of suggested therapists. They can enter their therapy “room” via the website or the platform’s app, and once they’ve chosen a therapist, they may begin messaging in there (available on any Android or Apple device).
Users can communicate with their therapist through their therapy room by sending text, video, photo, or audio messages, and the therapist will reply. Until the patient feels they are in a better frame of mind, they can converse back and forth as necessary. Teens don’t need to wait for an appointment to message their therapist anytime or night (but the therapist isn’t always available, so responses are delayed). Furthermore, their therapy area is private and secure. Only if a teen voluntarily shows their parents can they listen in on the chat between their child and their therapist.
Talkspace offers traditional internet counseling, but you’ll need to join up for a different, more expensive plan if your adolescent decides they’re interested in it.
Plans and Costs
Talkspace provides a range of plans, such as:
- Text, video, and audio messaging are all included in messaging therapy, with a weekly starting price of $69 and five days of guaranteed therapist response times.
- The cost of live therapy sessions via live chat, phone, or video call begins at $99 per week and includes four sessions of 45 minutes each.
- Live + messaging therapy: Starts at $129 per week and includes texting in addition to four live sessions.
Premera, Cigna, Optum, Gatorcare, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield are just a few insurance plans that Talkspace accepts.
Thriveworks is excellent for individual therapy, but we particularly appreciate it for family therapy because of its flexible scheduling, the ability for patients to pay out-of-pocket or submit an insurance claim, and the availability of both online and in-person counseling.
We adore Thriveworks for families searching for an online counseling platform where they can all attend sessions together. Families can choose to pay for each session themselves, or Thriveworks can submit a claim to in-network insurance companies (and it partners with most major carriers). Patients are matched with therapists in their state, and many providers provide the choice of in-person or online sessions, which is convenient for families who are unsure whether internet therapy is the best option for them.
Any device that has a dependable internet connection, a camera, and a microphone can be used to attend a video session with a therapist at Thriveworks by simply clicking on a secure link. Online appointment scheduling is offered for visits that last 50 to 60 minutes and may usually be made three to five days in advance (sometimes same-day appointments are available, too). Thriveworks also lets families book sessions for evenings and weekends to accommodate your teen’s sports or part-time employment schedule.
Thriveworks is accessible in 45 states and the District of Columbia (it is not available in New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, or West Virginia). In our survey of 105 users, 95% said they had a good, very good, or excellent experience with Thriveworks, and 71% stated that using the platform to choose a provider was either very easy or easy.
Plans and Costs
Patients at Thriveworks can pay out of pocket or submit an insurance claim (for in-network plans). Most major insurance companies, including Blue Cross, Anthem, Optum, UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Cigna, and Humana, are compatible with it (though this can vary by provider). Sessions start at $99 for self-pay patients, depending on your area and the therapist you select. The cost of any session won’t catch you off guard because it is stated in full on each provider’s bio. With Thriveworks, there is no risk-free or discounted trial period.