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Therapy is an effective way to address a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Therapy can also help improve your communication skills, develop strategies to manage stress, and build more self-awareness.

Finding the right therapist can sometimes feel like the biggest challenge. That’s where SonderMind comes in. SonderMind is an online virtual and in-person therapy service that connects licensed therapists with users based on their unique needs.

Read on to learn more about how SonderMind works and whether the service is the right fit for you.

Pros

  • The service attempts to match you with a licensed therapist in 24 to 48 hours.
  • They accept many types of health insurance.
  • There are options to connect in person with a therapist near you, if available.
  • SonderMind has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • The service uses Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant, encrypted software.

Cons

  • Some reviewers report they had difficulties when it came to billing their insurance.
  • The company has no third-party certifications.
  • SonderMind claims to employ licensed mental health professionals. But they don’t provide biographical information about their professionals or specify education and qualifications.

SonderMind is a service that connects individuals with licensed mental health professionals.

SonderMind accepts many types of insurance, though anyone can use the service, regardless of insurance status.

While telehealth services are a popular therapy option right now, especially in quarantine, SonderMind offers both video telehealth and in-person therapy options.

Signing up for SonderMind is a simple process that starts with answering questions to match you with a licensed therapist who has experience specific to your needs.

The SonderMind intake process starts by asking where you are in your therapy search, such as whether you’re still exploring your therapy options or are ready to start immediately. Once you answer that initial question, SonderMind requires your location information to identify mental health professionals in your area.

SonderMind also asks more in-depth questions related to your mental health, such as whether you feel anxious, depressed, or are looking for general guidance and support. You’re also able to specify whether you want in-person or video sessions, along with you your race, gender, and other identity preferences for a therapist.

Once you answer the intake questions, you’ll then provide contact, insurance, and credit card information. SonderMind will store your credit card in their system to automatically charge for copays and missed sessions. Once you match with a therapist, the final step is to schedule a video or in-person session.

SonderMind works to match users with therapists as quickly as possible. You can expect to be matched in 24 to 48 hours.

SonderMind works with both licensed therapists and psychiatrists, providing SonderMind users with the option for both talk therapy and treatment for mental health disorders. All SonderMind professionals are required to have a valid license and a master’s level degree or higher in mental and behavioral health.

SonderMind has therapists with a broad range of specialties, though their intake process focuses on anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and medication guidance.

Healthline’s vetting process

Healthline takes our vetting process seriously, and we have a team of mental health professionals, which includes psychiatrists and licensed therapists, who use a strict scoring system to ensure that all recommendations have medical credibility, good business practices, and social impact.

As part of our vetting process, our experts ensured SonderMind’s health and medical claims are supported by the current body of scientific evidence and that they use industry best practices.

Once you match with a therapist, SonderMind recommends that you talk with them to decide whether you’re going to do a virtual or in-person session.

Video telehealth sessions

SonderMind offers video telehealth sessions that are a safe and convenient way to connect with a therapist. Video sessions are a great option if you can’t find therapists near you. And it’s an especially great option during the pandemic.

In-person sessions

What makes SonderMind unique is their in-person therapy offerings. While many online services connect users with therapists virtually, SonderMind offers the option to connect in person with a therapist near you.

SonderMind is a good option for anyone looking to start therapy and get help finding a therapist specific to their unique needs. This service is also a great option for anyone who wants to explore both virtual video and in-person therapy.

SonderMind therapists are trained to address a wide range of conditions. During the intake process, one of the questions is, “Are there any other qualities we should look for in a therapist? This might include race, ethnicity, sexuality, or another identity that feels important to you.”

Once you press “yes,” you’ll be directed to a field that says, “I am looking for a therapist who…” There, you can write in any specifics related to what you’re looking for in a therapist, such as what conditions you’re looking to address, and what type of therapy you’re looking for, such as couples, trauma, eating disorder, etc.

SonderMind will then use that information to pair you with a therapist who specializes in your specific needs.

While the research on online therapy is limited, available studies suggest it provides benefits.

Research from 2020 showed that virtual therapy is as clinically effective as traditional in-person therapy. That same study also indicated that clients were as satisfied with their results from virtual therapy as those who went with in-personal therapy.

A small 2016 study found that people with major depressive disorder who experienced a blended therapy protocol of face-to-face and online sessions reported improvements in depression, health-related quality of life, and anxiety.

Research from 2018 also found that both internet-based and traditional treatment can yield a significant reduction in depression symptoms. That being said, researchers of this study concluded that further exploration into the effectiveness of internet-based treatment is needed.

Therapy can be expensive. If you have insurance, you may be able to bring down the cost, though.

SonderMind is in-network with a wide range of insurance networks: Aetna, Anthem (Blue Cross Blue Shield), Apostrophe, Bright Health, Cigna, Friday Health Plans, Kaiser, Optum, Medicare, and United Healthcare.

SonderMind therapists are in-network with Medicaid in some states. If you have insurance, call the customer service number on the back of your card to confirm your specific benefits and find out how much you’ll pay per session out of pocket. For up-to-date information, you can visit sondermind.com/insurance.

Without insurance, most therapists charge $75–$175 per session.

Patients can sleep easily knowing that their information is protected through SonderMind. SonderMind uses HIPAA-compliant, encrypted software, and the company states that they follow the highest national standards for security and privacy for all clients and therapists. Video calls are never recorded.

There’s a thorough incident reporting process in place for clients to report cases of negative clinical outcomes or patient harm. A complaint can be filed at any time by contacting the SonderMind support team. More information can be found on the website’s Terms of Service page.

There’s a stated policy for clients to request access to medical records. More information can be found on the website’s Notice of Privacy Practices page, under the section “Your Health Information Rights.”

SonderMind is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and they have an A+ rating.

Overall, reviewers share positive experiences working with SonderMind. People who rate SonderMind positively say that the company was able to match them with a therapist who they liked and continued working with.

However, most reviews on the BBB website say they had major billing issues, stating that SonderMind was difficult to work with when it came to billing insurance.

One of the first things to ask yourself when beginning therapy is what communication method you prefer and what kind of therapist you want to work with.

If you’re interested in both video and in-person therapy, and you’re looking for a service that can help identify therapists for you, SonderMind may be a good fit.

Taking care of your mental health is important. However, finding a therapist who you feel comfortable with can be a challenge.

SonderMind is a service that helps connect individuals with licensed professionals, both virtually and in person. Anyone looking for a basic, no-frills therapy matching service will find luck with SonderMind.


Lucia Whalen is a Chicago-based writer and multimedia journalist specializing in the intersection of health, science, and environment. She is also a co-founder of Trashy Magazine. Her writing has been featured in Atlas Obscura, South Side Weekly, MindBodyGreen, and other publications. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.