February 28, 2024

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Looking for online therapy for teens? We’ve rounded up the 7 best resources to meet a variety of needs and preferences.
Teenagers’ lives have always been marked by change, growth, and at least a few experiences worthy of unpacking in a therapist’s office.
However, over the past few years, teenagers have faced increasing mental health challenges.
Data from the Programme for International Student Assessment and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that rates of loneliness, anxiety, and depression have increased in recent years in young populations — often significantly.
Plus, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately half of lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.
Combine all that with the reality of the current therapist shortage, and families everywhere are searching for quality support for their overall well-being.
Enter online therapy.
Online therapy in its many forms offers teens the option to talk with licensed mental health professionals about what they’re going through in an accessible, convenient fashion.
In addition to offering traditional therapy online via text messaging, email communications, and video chat, several technology companies are experimenting with offering support groups, seminars, and other skills-building programming around mental well-being.
If you want to jump directly to the section for each platform, you can click the links below.
Our selection criteria for the best online therapy for teens included:
Online resources like the ones in this article generally can’t provide help in a crisis (though many services list helpful resources, such as phone numbers of national and international crisis hotlines).
If you’re not in the United States, you can find a crisis helpline in your country with Befrienders Worldwide.
Talkspace provides therapy for individuals, couples, and teens. The sign-up process involves a brief assessment that results in a short list of therapists.
With Talkspace, teens can send messages to their therapist any time of day via text, audio, or video. The therapist will reply on a daily basis.
If you’d like to learn more, consider reading our in-depth Talkspace review.
Owned by well-known online therapy site BetterHelp, Teen Counseling matches teens ages 13 to 17 with licensed counselors.
Teens can seek help for a wide range of issues, including:
Teens and therapists can engage in real-time conversations via chat, allowing for instant feedback during difficult times.
If you’d like to learn more, consider reading our in-depth Teen Counseling review.
Co-founded by psychiatrist Dr. Giovanni Colella, Brightline serves kids and teens ages 6 to 17.
The service offers behavioral therapy and coaching from social workers, psychologists, and counselors, as well as the opportunity to seek prescription medication from licensed physicians.
Brightline allows families to access care from psychiatrists, therapists, coaches, and speech therapists — all of whom can work together.
Launched in 2009, MDLive offers behavioral health therapy, including psychiatry. They don’t require users to make an account before viewing rates. They also have a lookup tool that allows users to check their coverage.
Wait times for a therapist and psychiatrist can vary state by state, so while some states may have face time with a professional available within days, other states may have a wait time of up to 1 month.
MDLive is one of the few online healthcare platforms offering psychiatric care for teens. Psychiatrists can treat numerous mental health conditions, including:
Rethink My Therapy offers a variety of therapy options, including individual and family therapy, for an affordable rate. Teenagers under 18 need a parent or guardian to create an account for them and provide permission for care to begin.
While there are benefits to bigger and sleeker interfaces such as BetterHelp or Talkspace, there are also benefits to the pared-down user experience Rethink My Therapy offers, with less emphasis on tech and more emphasis on the therapeutic work at hand.
Rethink My Therapy offers a free 1-week trial followed by unlimited phone and video sessions (based on the therapists’ availability) for an affordable monthly fee.
At 7 Cups, therapy with a licensed counselor is available only for adults, but teens can chat for free with a trained listener any time, day or night. They can also find peer support in 7 Cups’ teen community forums.
Though trained listeners aren’t licensed therapists, they can offer emotional support and a listening ear. Teens may find it helpful to simply have someone to talk with during difficult or stressful times.
Plus, research from 2015 indicates that users are overall very satisfied with the support from trained listeners.
Whenever teens need a listening ear, 7 Cups’ trained listeners and community forums are available to them 24/7.
Before getting started with an online therapist, all potential clients of Synergy eTherapy get a free consultation. During this time, your teen can get a good idea of what online therapy will be like and ask any questions they might have.
There is no commitment and no subscription plan. You can just pay for each session as you go. If you decide it’s not for you, there are no further payments or obligations.
As of April 2022, Synergy eTherapy is only offered in 15 states:
Synergy eTherapy is a no-commitment healthcare platform that accepts insurance and allows users to test the service before getting started.
Many research studies have found online therapy to be an effective form of therapy.
For instance, a 2017 review of studies found that online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a cost-effective way to treat mental health conditions and is effective in treating and managing conditions like:
Some research from 2018 even suggests that internet-based CBT can be as effective as in-person therapy.
While it may depend greatly on individual needs, online therapy can be particularly convenient for certain teen populations:
If you want to learn more about whether online therapy is right for you, consider checking out this article.
While online therapy can be beneficial for many people, it isn’t suitable for the following teen populations:
Many online telehealth providers accept insurance, and online therapy can often even be covered by Medicaid or Medicare.
However, not all online services are covered by or accept insurance, so it’s important to check with the online therapy provider you’re interested in, as well as your insurance, to see what may and may not be covered.
If you want to learn more about online therapy and insurance, consider checking out this article.
Whether a minor can sign up for therapy services without parental consent can vary from state to state. While some states allow it, most states require written permission from the parents or guardian.
Talkspace, for example, allows minors to sign up without parental consent, depending on the state.
A lot of times, therapists welcome the involvement of parents, but it may depend on your teen’s specific situation, such as their treatment needs and goals.
Yes. As with in-person therapy, online therapy provides counseling from a licensed mental health professional. Most online platforms also require their therapists to have a certain number of years of work experience.
While we tried to compile a solid list of online therapy services for teens, we understand that the platforms we chose may not work for everyone.
If you didn’t find what you were hoping for, it may help to make a list of your own criteria when searching for a therapist. For instance:
Regarding the latter, plenty of online resources may be able to help you find the right support, including:
You may also want to check out Psych Central’s How to Find Mental Health Support hub for more information on topics like:
While some teens may prefer to build a therapeutic alliance in person with a counselor, many may prefer the accessibility and breadth of options of online therapy.
The services on this list may be a good start if you find that you or your child would like to begin an online therapy journey.
Still, keep in mind that the most important thing is to find a service that’s right for your situation and that many local practices may offer both in-person and online options.
Last medically reviewed on April 21, 2022
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