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Synergy eTherapy, Thriveworks, and Doctor on Demand all make our list of the top online therapy services for kids this year. See our criteria plus a hands-on review.

Therapy serviceDo they accept health insurance?Outreach optionsCan they write prescriptions?
Synergy eTherapysome therapists in the network accept health insurance, while others do notphone and videoin some states
TeenCounselingusually not covered by insurance, so check your planmessaging, chat, phone, videono
Talkspaceyes, most accept ittexts, video, phoneyes
Amwellsome plans acceptedvideo through the app or websiteyes
MD Liveyes, most accept itvideo through the app or websiteyes
Doctor on Demandyes, most accept itlive video sessionsyes
Online-Therapy.comnolive video sessions, messages, in-app worksheetsno
7 Cupsnochat rooms and one-on-one chats with volunteers or therapists, messagingno
Rethink My Therapynovideo, phone, secure messagingyes
Thriveworksyes, most accept itin-person and online sessions, textingyes

If you’re starting to suspect that your child needs support to work out their problems and concerns, you may wish to consider counseling. Finding the right counselor for your child can help them work through the challenges they face. It may also help prevent or manage mental health conditions as they move through various phases of development.

Online counseling (a form of telehealth) is quickly becoming one of the most popular methods for receiving mental health services. Telehealth is a highly accessible form of counseling. It can make it easier to find the right therapist as well as make and attend appointments.

Online therapy for kids is often less expensive than counseling in person. All you need is a computer or smartphone.

It’s also a safe and convenient way to access mental health treatment for your child from the comfort of your own home.

Keep in mind

Online counseling isn’t a substitute for urgent or emergency services.

In the event of a mental health emergency — if your child is thinking about harming themselves or someone else — you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

You can also call 911 for mental health emergencies.

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Best overall

Synergy eTherapy

Synergy eTherapy
  • Price: The cost of sessions with Synergy eTherapy varies based on the therapist you choose. For a typical 45- to 50-minute session, the cost ranges from $100–$250.
  • Coverage: Some Synergy therapists are in network with insurance providers. Others are private pay only and set their own out-of-pocket rates.
  • Features: There’s support for both phone and video sessions, evening and weekend sessions are available, and there’s an opportunity for prescription medication in some states.

Synergy eTherapy offers online counseling in multiple states. Licensed therapists offer free consultations, so you can make sure it’s a good fit.

Sessions are available by phone or video. All information shared is confidential. Evening and weekend options are also available for scheduling sessions.

Synergy eTherapy is also able to prescribe psychiatric medication in certain states.


  • free consultation
  • evening and weekend sessions available
  • psychiatry
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  • available in only some states
  • not all services are in network
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Best for teens


Teen Counseling
  • Price: Pricing ranges from $65–$90 per week, billed every 4 weeks. Costs depend on your location, your preferences, and therapist availability. While this is a monthly membership, you can cancel at any time.
  • Coverage: TeenCounseling services are usually not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. However, coverage and benefits for counseling services vary from one insurance company to another. It’s important to take a closer look at your benefits.
  • Features: There’s a focus on teens, multiple communication methods available, and the ability to message counselors at any time.

TeenCounseling is an online counseling platform for teens ages 13–19 years. The platform is part of BetterHelp.

More than 16,000 licensed therapists are available for affordable, discreet, and professional counseling services via computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Therapists can help teens cope with issues like anxiety, stress, self-esteem, depression, bullying, anger, eating disorders, and other challenges.

Teens can communicate with their counselor through a dedicated virtual counseling room, which is private and secure. Communication methods include:

  • messaging
  • live chat
  • phone calls
  • video chat

Teen Amalia M. tried TeenCounseling and said it was easy to get started.

After matching with a therapist, she joined video sessions via conference link, which was straightforward. The sessions lasted just under an hour, and she found the therapist:

  • friendly
  • welcoming
  • comfortable to talk with

She especially appreciated how the therapist used an age-appropriate tone, speaking to her like a teen and not like an adult. After hands-on testing of the platform, she says she would recommend the service to other teens.


  • multiple communication methods available
  • can cancel membership anytime
  • clients can message their counselors at any time
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  • usually not covered by insurance
  • users can’t choose their therapists
  • therapists cannot diagnose conditions
  • psychiatry not available
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Best app-based service


  • Price: Out of pocket, plans start at $69 per week and increase depending on whether you choose a monthly, quarterly, or biannual subscription. Some plans include messaging only, while others include video sessions and weekly workshops. The cost may be lower with health insurance.
  • Coverage: Talkspace accepts health insurance. See its full partner list to determine whether your employer or health insurance provider covers mental health services through Talkspace.
  • Features: There’s specialized counseling for teens, as well as communication through phone, video chat, or text messaging available.

Talkspace is one of the most well-known online counseling platforms. They’re highly rated and have been used by more than 1 million people.

Users can communicate with their counselors through text-based messages, video chats, or audio calls.

Teens ages 13–17 years can get specialized counseling on Talkspace through Talkspace for Teens by signing up through the iOS or Android app.

All teen counselors on the app are licensed and have experience working with adolescents.


  • easy access to therapists
  • accepts health insurance
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  • pricey
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Best for younger children


  • Price: Visits range from $99–$129, depending on the experience and credentials of the therapist. If your visit is covered by your employer or health insurance company, the cost of your copay may be lower.
  • Coverage: Some health insurance providers cover Amwell visits. During the sign-up process, you can check your eligibility.
  • Features: There’s counseling for children younger than 13 years. You can also communicate with your therapist through the app or website. Plus, there are weekend, holiday, and evening sessions available.

While most online counseling programs have a minimum age requirement of 13, Amwell provides counseling for children 10 years and older.

Amwell offers a variety of telemedicine services, including telemental health.

Teens and young adolescents can speak with their therapist face-to-face using the Amwell app or website. Sessions usually last about 45 minutes and can be scheduled during weekends, holidays, and evenings.

Amwell has a network of more than 350 licensed:

  • psychologists
  • social workers
  • other mental health professionals


  • accepts some health insurance providers
  • psychiatrists are available to prescribe medication
  • weekend, holiday, and evening sessions are available
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  • no subscription payment plans
  • video sessions only
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Best for psychiatry


  • Price: Talk therapy costs up to $108 per visit. Psychiatry appointments are $284 for initial visits and $108 for follow-up appointments. You may not have an out-of-pocket cost with some health insurance plans.
  • Coverage: MDLIVE accepts health insurance, which can lower some or all of the cost.
  • Features: Prescription medication is available. Children as young as age 10 years can receive therapy through the platform, and appointments can be requested as needed (no monthly fee).

MDLIVE is a telemedicine service for nonemergency medical, mental health, and dermatological conditions.

Unlike some online counseling platforms, MDLIVE has psychiatrists who can prescribe medication when needed. Parents must provide consent for children 10 years and older to be seen by a therapist or psychiatrist.

This platform may be worth considering for counseling and psychiatry visits as needed. MDLIVE is not a subscription-based service, so signing up is free, and you’ll be charged only when you schedule a visit.


  • can prescribe medication to address mental health symptoms
  • accepts health insurance
  • can choose your own therapist or psychiatrist
  • can request an appointment at any time
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  • therapist availability is often limited
  • psychiatrists cannot prescribe certain psychiatric medications
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Best for choosing your child’s therapist

Doctor on Demand

Doctor on Demand
  • Price: Therapy visits start at $134 when paying out of pocket, but it may be covered by health insurance. Psychiatry appointments are $299 for the initial consultation and $129 for follow-up appointments.
  • Coverage: Doctor on Demand is covered by some employers and health insurance plans. Add your insurance during registration to see if your health plan supports Doctor on Demand telehealth visits.
  • Features: You can choose your therapist. Live video calls are used for sessions, and you can pay per visit.

If you prefer to choose your child’s therapist instead of being matched with one, check out Doctor on Demand.

On average, the licensed psychiatrists and therapists in their network have 15 years of experience.

Doctor on Demand uses live video calls for their sessions.

If you need help determining whether counseling might be helpful for your child, Doctor on Demand offers a free mental health assessment.


  • covered by some employers and health insurance plans
  • choose your own therapist
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  • therapists may be limited in your area
  • communication methods are more limited than other platforms
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Best cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for teens


  • Price: The platform is subscription-based, starting at $50 per week. Plans that include counseling sessions cost up to $110 per week. Your first month is 20% off.
  • Coverage: This service does not accept health insurance.
  • Features: A holistic approach to therapy that includes journaling and yoga, plus multiple communication options are available.

With the written consent of a parent or guardian, teens can seek remote CBT on Online-Therapy.com.

The site offers more than just a chat box or digital chat room for teens who want a more complete toolbox. In addition to counseling sessions and multiple communication methods, counseling can include:

  • yoga
  • worksheets
  • journaling

The site is not geared toward young children, but adolescents can join with parental permission.

This service may be suitable for mental health conditions treatable with CBT, such as depression and anxiety.


  • multiple communication methods available
  • offers additional mindfulness-based activities
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  • does not accept health insurance
  • does not prescribe medication
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Best affordable service

7 Cups

7 Cups
  • Price: Chatting online with trained volunteers is free, anonymous, and available 24/7. Ongoing support from a licensed therapist is available for $150 per month.
  • Coverage: 7 Cups does not accept private insurance.
  • Features: There’s free therapy through a peer-to-peer network, as well as the ability to speak with a licensed professional.

7 Cups is an online resource available to people who are looking for someone to speak with for support. Teens ages 13–17 years can chat with volunteers who are specifically trained to speak with teens at no cost.

7 Cups also offers free chat rooms exclusively for teens who are seeking other young adolescents to speak with.

In addition to speaking with unlicensed, trained volunteers for free, 7 Cups offers a paid membership where teens ages 18 or 19 can speak with a licensed therapist on a regular basis.

Teens can send as many messages as they would like to their therapist. Messaging uses a professional and confidential mode of communication that’s compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).


  • therapists respond within 24 hours
  • chatting online with volunteers is free
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  • does not accept private insurance
  • no psychiatry
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Best for family counseling

Rethink My Therapy

Rethink My Therapy
  • Price: After a 7-day free trial, counseling starts at $99 per month. The family/children program costs $159 per month.
  • Coverage: Rethink My Therapy does not accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
  • Features: Family counseling and kids therapy are available. There are also multiple communication options, and you can choose your own therapist.

Looking for therapy sessions for the whole family? Rethink My Therapy offers both family counseling and individual treatment for kids.

You can search through the thousands of therapists and psychiatrists on the platform to find one that’s right for your child. The platform supports video calls, phone calls, and secure messaging.

Many therapists have availability on evenings and weekends.


  • choose your own therapist
  • book a family therapy session or let your child speak with a therapist one-on-one
  • evening and weekend sessions available
  • psychiatry is available
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  • does not accept insurance
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Best for diversity


  • Price: If you’re not using insurance, you can expect to pay between $200 and $240 for your first session and between $160 and $195 per subsequent session. Prices vary by insurance provider and location. With insurance, you may have no out-of-pocket costs.
  • Coverage: Thriveworks is in network with most insurance plans.
  • Features: There are many therapists to choose from, and video and phone sessions are available.

Thriveworks is known for the wide array of licensed therapists they offer. You can select from therapists who have a variety of different backgrounds, including:

  • CBT
  • mindfulness approaches
  • other methods

Choose a therapist who speaks your native language, or select a different type of mental health professional, like a psychiatrist or life coach.


  • accepts insurance and has more affordable pricing
  • same- and next-day sessions available
  • choose your own therapist
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  • mixed reviews
  • some clients report issues with payments
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Key signs that it’s a good idea to enroll a child in counseling include:

  • changes in behavior
  • loss of interest in school, hobbies, friends, etc.
  • changes in sleeping patterns
  • changes in appetite
  • increased irritability, sensitivity, and feelings of being overwhelmed
  • lack of self-esteem
  • isolation from family or social activities
  • big life changes
  • a traumatic event, either as a witness or participant
  • giving away their prized or personal possessions
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“If there’s any mention of [suicidal thoughts], or if you notice dangerous behaviors, it’s important to get help quickly,” notes therapist Virginia Williamson. “Most parents can feel when there’s a shift that just doesn’t seem like their child.”

Counseling can also be helpful if your child has recently undergone a big life change, such as moving to a new state or being affected by divorce. Speaking with a therapist can help kids learn to:

If your child has witnessed something traumatic, this may call for counseling, too.

If your child is not in immediate danger, but their behaviors or emotions seem “off,” monitor them closely over the coming weeks and months. Make a plan for when you will take action if your child doesn’t seem to improve.

However, it’s important not to wait for a crisis to occur before seeking out counseling for your child.

Some parents seek counseling for their child as a preventive measure or as an additional support for difficult emotions or behaviors.

We considered many criteria when choosing the best online counseling programs for kids, including:

  • Licensure: All the mental health professionals affiliated with each program are licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, or counselors.
  • Accessibility: Some of these programs accept health insurance, and most are at a lower cost than in-person treatment. The programs here also feature easy sign-up processes.
  • Reputation: We chose programs with positive customer feedback and reviews.
  • Offerings: These counseling programs offer a wide range of services for anxiety, depression, self-esteem, eating disorders, stress, bullying, anger, and more.

A child therapist can have a degree in:

  • counseling
  • social work
  • family counseling
  • psychology
  • medicine

Before beginning treatment, it’s important to ensure the therapist is licensed in their field and has experience working with and treating children.

Counseling for children may employ techniques such as:

CBT for kids

CBT looks a little different for everyone but generally uses many of the same techniques and concepts. These can assist in:

  • recognizing how problems can be made worse by unhelpful thinking
  • learning to understand the thinking and motivations of others better
  • learning new problem-solving and coping skills
  • gaining confidence and self-worth
  • learning how to face fears and challenges
  • building calming techniques when faced with potentially challenging situations
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Play therapy is frequently used when working with children. Play is how children learn, grow, and express themselves. Play therapists can be both directive and nondirective and aim to support children in expressing themselves, building coping skills, and more.

The goal of counseling for children is to identify the cause of certain symptoms and behaviors and help them develop the skills they need to cope with difficult situations and feelings.


  • online therapy may feel more natural to a child who is used to having screen time
  • children could feel safer than speaking with someone face-to-face, especially about embarrassing or tough issues
  • allows children to have support objects nearby, like favorite blankets or stuffed animals — or even their pet
  • the child may feel more at ease at home than in a therapist’s office, enabling them to speak freely or to open up readily
  • since it doesn’t require transportation, working with an online counselor alleviates the scheduling burden
  • may be beneficial for your child’s counselor as well, since it gives them the opportunity to see your child in familiar surroundings


  • child privacy and space during counseling sessions could be an issue if there isn’t a place in the home where a child can truly be alone
  • parents may be unable to resist the urge to listen in during an online session
  • if home doesn’t feel like a safe place for a child, doing therapy in that space may not be ideal
  • for some children, it may be difficult to focus when speaking to someone through a screen
  • it’s easy for children to end a virtual session abruptly as opposed to being in a therapist’s office
  • there might be some limitations to virtual therapy in terms of intimacy and in emergency situations
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Child therapists are trained to support many of the same conditions that adults see therapists for. They are also uniquely positioned to address issues specific to children and teens. Conditions and behaviors child therapists address include:

The tools your child’s therapist uses will vary based on your child’s age and the type of therapy being used. In some instances, they may wish to include you in some sessions. This benefits you and your child since the therapist can coach you in your interactions with each other. In other instances, a therapist may invite the parents for a separate appointment without the child.

A good therapist asks questions and listens to the answers. They may encourage your child to talk about what’s bothering them. They may also strongly emphasize praising your child to validate their feelings and build self-esteem.

Sometimes, your child’s therapist may suggest activities between sessions, such as keeping a journal or drawing. Otherwise, they may:

  • play games
  • encourage artwork
  • do other hands-on activities during the session

Some therapists, such as cognitive behavioral therapists, may work with your child to master coping skills such as mindfulness meditation or deep breathing. These are beneficial for helping your child feel and stay calm.

No cookie-cutter formula can be used to determine how long your child should stay in therapy. The issues at hand and your and your child’s goals for therapy will play a role.

Therapeutic changes that lead to happier lives and better behaviors take patience and time. Usually, a therapist will recommend seeing your child once a week for sessions. These may last for several months or longer. Sometimes, sessions may be stretched out to once every 2 weeks or even once per month.

Very young children often benefit most from play therapy techniques, such as child-centered play therapy. Play therapy uses carefully selected toys, games, and other play-centric props to help children resolve emotional issues.

Older children may benefit from many therapeutic approaches, including:

Finding the right therapist for your child can be challenging. Choosing a licensed and seasoned professional with experience working with your child’s age group is vital. Based on your child’s age, you may request an interview with the therapist before committing to therapy.

Questions to ask include:

  • Do you have knowledge or an understanding of my child’s cultural background?
  • What is your approach to therapy?
  • What are reasonable goals to expect from therapy?
  • What is your professional background and therapeutic experience?
  • How long do you anticipate that my child may need therapy?
  • Can or should I participate in any sessions?
  • Do you have availability?
  • Do you take my insurance?
  • If not, do you accept patients on a sliding scale?

Insurance may cover some online counseling services. To check eligibility, contact your health insurance company.

Many online counseling programs for kids have a range of payment options, including health insurance coverage and out-of-pocket payments.

Children’s therapeutic needs vary. However, child-centered therapy is often considered one of the best types of therapy for children. This type of therapy uses a carefully-orchestrated play environment for children to interact with.

Since toddlers can’t always tell you about traumatic incidents or their needs, it’s important to stay attuned to signs indicating that they may need therapy. These include regressive behaviors for toilet-trained children, such as bed wetting.

Constant or unusual fits of temper or anger may also be a clue.

Your child may have experienced trauma and need support if they suddenly:

  • become clingy

  • become fearful, or anxious

If you’re a parent or caregiver, you can have various levels of involvement in your child’s mental health treatment. Whether you’re present during sessions depends on a number of factors, such as the age of your child and what issues they’re working on in treatment.

Regardless of whether you sit in on sessions or participate in family therapy sessions, communicate regularly with the counselor and monitor your child closely between sessions. Share anything you feel is important with your child’s counselor.

In many states, minors cannot consent to mental health treatment without permission from a parent.

In some states, such as California and New York, minors of a certain age may obtain counseling without parental consent provided they understand the nature and consequences of the treatment.

Before getting started with counseling, research your specific state laws about minors receiving mental health treatment.

Yes, patient confidentiality and HIPAA laws apply to online counseling programs for children.

However, some modes of communication, such as Zoom or FaceTime, may not provide a secure or private connection. It’s important to make sure you’re using a HIPAA-compliant platform for your child’s online counseling.

In certain situations, confidentiality is limited. In some states, parents may access their child’s records. This may vary by state law. Therapists may work with parents to develop ground rules for maintaining a child’s privacy.

When it comes to mandated reporting, counselors and other mental health professionals must report the abuse of minor children to appropriate authorities, regardless of who is the alleged perpetrator. Counselors are also mandated to report if a minor expresses intention to harm themselves or someone else.

While online counseling is a great choice for many children, it is not a suitable option for everyone. Some kids respond better to an in-person treatment environment.

“For some kids, online therapy can be too much,” says Counselor Katherine M. Hayes, LCPC, a licensed clinical counselor who specializes in treating children and adolescents.

“If it’s hard for the child to engage in a session online, this would be something to discuss with the child and parent,” Hayes says. “Creative solutions can still be used online, such as art and games.”

Most websites outline who is best suited for televisits. Additionally, online counseling is not recommended for children or teens who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, self-harming behaviors, or serious behavioral or mental health conditions.

When your child is displaying certain behaviors, it may be a sign that they may need therapy. People of all ages can find it hard to manage complex emotions and trauma, including children as young as toddlers. 

Some difficulties are typical for kids and may even help them learn new strategies to cope on their own. Some children may need additional support, though. 

The following may signal that a kid should go to therapy:

  • significant changes in sleep or appetite
  • issues in multiple areas of life
  • repetitive, self-destructive behaviors
  • poor self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness
  • self-harm or thoughts of suicide

The best type of therapy for children depends on the individual. 

Talk therapy is one of the most common types of therapy for children. Specifically, CBT can help children learn to identify harmful thoughts and feelings and navigate problems by breaking them down into smaller parts.

Some forms of CBT, such as trauma-focused CBT, may be appropriate for children who have experienced trauma. Rather than focusing on multiple stressors, it focuses on a single issue or traumatic event.

For younger kids, therapy can include other modalities, such as parent-child interaction therapy, family therapy, and play therapy. For older kids and adolescents, CBT remains one of the most effective options.

Children can develop mental and emotional disorders just like adults. The most common mental health conditions in children include ADHD, anxiety, behavior disorders, and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms can vary, but persistent sadness, mood shifts, self-harm, not eating, and outbursts are some of the emotional signs to watch for in children, per the Child Mind Institute.

Behavior therapy and CBT are among the most effective treatments for common mental health conditions in children, says the CDC. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that works for every kid, but these methods have proven successful in children with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and other behavior and mental health disorders.

The best treatment option for your child may depend on their specific concerns or conditions. The first step is to have your child evaluated by a mental health professional who can determine what type of therapy might work best. For some children, that could include family therapy, play therapy, and other modalities. 

Online counseling can be an accessible and more affordable way to receive counseling for your child or teen.

Depending on your child’s needs, online counseling programs for kids can be a convenient alternative to mental health treatment in person.