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Read our hands-on reviews for Talkspace and Calmerry to see if the experiences match what you’re looking for. Plus, take a look at other top rated online therapy services for teens.

Teen participating in online therapyShare on Pinterest
Teen participating in online therapy.

You are not alone.

Online therapy is not for mental health emergencies. If you’re in need of help, know someone who needs help, or if you just need someone to listen, check out these resources:

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Increased access to mental health treatment can help teens navigate some of the unique life circumstances that affect them, including, but limited to, social media; bullying; and physical, social, and emotional changes.

If you’re a teen wondering if you can get online therapy and if it will work for you, you can read on to learn more about it, plus which services pass our criteria.

ServiceCostWhat it’s best forAccepts insurance?
Talkspace$69 per week,
$276 per month
24/7 access to a mental health professional yes
Teen Counseling$109–$279, depending on type of therapy and the professional’s qualificationsrange of communication optionsno
Calmerry$50–$80 per weekmental health resources outside of therapyno
Amwell$109–$279, depending on type of therapy and professional’s qualificationselementary and middle school-age childrenyes
Synergy eTherapy$100–$200,
$50 if you decide to consult with interns (select states only)
flexible, pay-as-you-go pricingyes
Doctor on Demand$79–$299 depending on type of service and the professional’s qualificationsteens who need prescriptions for certain medicationsyes
7 Cups$150 per month, free chat services with volunteerspeer-to-peer supportno
Thriveworks$15–$40 copay and deductible with insurance,
$99 without insurance
toddlers to high schoolersyes

We only recommend companies we stand behind as being credible and ethical (learn more about our vetting process here). Healthline’s Medical Network is made up of a diverse group of mental health professionals who bring experience from a variety of specialty areas. These experts review all our recommendations for mental health-related products.

Therefore, we only considered online services that provide therapy to people under the age of 18. We chose services that employ licensed mental health professionals, including social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists, to name a few. These professionals can treat a range of concerns, from anxiety and depression to trauma and daily life struggles.

We also looked at factors like affordability or insurance eligibility, expertise in issues concerning teens, and good customer reviews.

We recommend making sure your assigned professional is equipped with the proper skills for your needs by asking them about their experience.

If you’re a teen experiencing distressing behavioral or emotional symptoms that interfere with your daily life at home or school, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Online counseling allows your therapist to meet with you where you are instead of in an office environment. Therapists might communicate over text, video, phone, or a mobile app, depending on the service.

According to the NIMH, teens may benefit from evaluation and treatment if they experience:

  • changes in sleep patterns, including sleeping too much or too little
  • loss of interest in things that they used to enjoy
  • low energy
  • self-isolation and avoidance of time with friends or family
  • changes in appetite
  • a decline in grades or school performance
  • increased irritability
  • physical symptoms of anxiety, like stomach aches, muscle tension, and restlessness

Online counseling might not be a good fit for teens if they are:

  • engaging in high risk behaviors, including drug and alcohol use
  • performing self-harm behaviors
  • having suicidal thoughts — if you or someone you know needs immediate help, call 911 or the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
  • living with a severe mental health condition that requires intensive psychological supervision or psychiatric care
  • unable to access a reliable internet connection
  • expressing symptoms of an eating disorder, excessive diet or exercise, or fear of gaining weight

The above conditions and situations are not particularly suited for online therapy because they can require in-person treatment and care that goes beyond the scope of what virtual sessions can offer. In these cases, telehealth counseling could supplement in-person treatment or be used for follow-up treatment to help manage a condition in the future.

Need in-person help?

If you know a teen who is dealing with any of these issues — or you are a teen going through them — reach out to a doctor, school counselor, or another trusted adult to help you find available in-person treatment options in your area.

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If you’re having trouble coping on your own, it may be time to talk with a therapist. A therapist can help you understand your feelings. They can also give you helpful strategies on ways to cope with emotions you’re not sure how to process. If you are having severe mental health symptoms, such as panic attacks, self-harming, or suicidal thoughts, it’s very important to get help.

Also, consider talking with a therapist if you’ve been previously diagnosed with a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and you feel like you’re not managing well.

Online counseling can be a good first step, but is probably not the best long-term fit for severe mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder or suicidal ideation.

You can call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to speak with a licensed professional at any time. You’ll reach a trained counselor who will listen carefully and understand how your specific issues are impacting you, offer support, and refer you to any necessary resources.

When choosing a therapist, it’s important to select someone who has expertise in the area of concern you’d like to focus on so you can receive targeted care.

Choosing a therapist with cultural competency is also an important consideration. Cultural competence in therapy means that a mental health practitioner can understand, empathize with, and thoughtfully discuss the convictions, histories, and principles held by their patients. This encompasses factors like your cultural background, ethnicity, and the like.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is the connection you make with your therapist. It’s crucial to feel comfortable in a space where you’re opening up and being vulnerable. You’ll likely know from your initial meetings whether this person is a good fit.

Ways to tell if they’re a good fit is by asking yourself whether you feel you can easily talk with them and share your feelings. You may also want to consider whether you feel at ease during your therapy sessions.

Know that it may take time for you to find the right fit, and that’s OK. If you don’t feel comfortable with a particular therapist or they’re not particularly helpful, it’s best to move on to someone else who you can really connect with.

“The Healthline Consumer & Market Insights Team conducted a 2022 study evaluating consumer behavior related to online therapy. Results showed consumers changed their therapist at least twice before settling on one who fit their needs and with whom they easily connected with.

It’s important that you’re honest with yourself about how you feel when you’re talking with your therapist. If things just do not feel right, trust your gut.

You can continue looking to find someone who makes you feel comfortable. Taking this step will help tremendously long term in making your therapy sessions as beneficial as possible.

Teen counseling is an effective way to provide support and guidance to those dealing with a variety of different situations and emotions.

Counselors work with adolescents to identify areas they may need help in and help them understand how their behavior affects emotions and the people around them. The goal is to provide teens with tools that help them better address their issues. Many types of teen therapy are available depending on the individual’s needs.

The goals of teen counseling are varied but generally include helping teens:

  • create positive coping skills
  • improve their communication
  • learn how to express feelings appropriately

It can also help teens identify healthy boundaries and develop decision-making skills.

Teens should also remember that seeking professional help does not mean something is wrong but that it serves as an opportunity for growth.

Not all insurance providers cover online counseling, but out-of-pocket costs may still be lower than traditional in-person therapy.

You can talk with your insurance provider and review your plan documents to see what’s covered under your plan.

Most U.S. states require a parent or guardian to provide consent for teens under 18 years old to start therapy. For example, parents may need to provide consent by video message before a teen can begin online counseling.

Additionally, parents may also have access to their children’s therapy records, but therapists will typically work with families to support their privacy unless there’s a safety issue.

However, each state has its own laws, so it’s important to check the guidelines for your state.

Sessions are typically confidential. However, minors do not always have the right to full privacy.

If a teen discloses an instance of sexual assault, child abuse, or abuse happening to an older adult or disabled adult, or if they express intent to harm themselves or others, therapists are required to report this to child protective services and sometimes to the police.

Therapists may consult with parents before beginning therapy to discuss how parents can best support their teens during therapy and what to expect.

The online counseling services on this list provide counseling by licensed therapists, social workers, counselors, and psychologists. You should feel comfortable asking your therapist about their credentials.

Common professional designations include:

  • licensed mental health counselor (LMHC)
  • licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT)
  • licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC)
  • licensed professional counselor (LPC)
  • licensed clinical social worker (LCSW)
  • psychologist (PhD or PsyD)
  • psychiatrist (MD, DO)

Online counseling is typically not appropriate for teens who are:

  • having suicidal thoughts
  • engaging in behaviors like substance use and self-harm that can lead to negative effects and outcomes
  • living with a severe mental health condition that requires intensive management and supervision
  • have certain mental health conditions such as eating disorders

Mental health conditions among teens are on the rise, but teens often don’t receive the treatment they need.

Early diagnosis and treatment are key in preventing the more severe, debilitating effects of mental health conditions. Online counseling can be a convenient, more accessible, and cost-effective way to get teens the help they need to live healthier, happier lives.