The Best Online Family Therapy Providers

These family therapy providers are perfect for families with children young and old and teens on-the-go.

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Family in a mental health therapy session
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Online family therapy is a virtual form of counseling that can help families improve communication, resolve internal conflicts, and deal with issues or concerns involving violence, mental health, or substance use. One of the perks of virtual family therapy is that you can typically find appointments available sooner than with in-person therapy, and it may even be more affordable

Family therapists are especially equipped to provide a wide range of services and handle a variety of needs, all with the goal of helping your family achieve greater harmony. Though, it’s important to keep in mind that it usually takes a number of therapy sessions to see long-term results. Above all, family therapy will serve as a helpful tool to get everyone in the family on the same page, working together to cultivate a more communicative, comfortable, and happier environment. Online therapy has made access to family therapists much easier and more affordable, even for those in areas that lack family therapists. Below we outline the best options for online family therapy for various needs, budgets, and locations based on internal testing of 55 providers and user survey data from over 105 patients at each provider.

Best Online Family Therapy of 2023

01 of 08

Thriveworks

Thriveworks

Key Specs

Price: Monthly subscription $39.99; per-session cost depends on insurance

Insurance Accepted?: Yes

Platforms: Desktop, mobile

Why We Chose It

Thriveworks is the best online family therapy because it allows for instantaneous support at an affordable price. Users note how easy it is to find a therapist and how after continued use, they felt that most of their needs were met.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Over 380+ locations

  • Customer service is easy to work with

  • Flexible cancellation policy

  • Accepts insurance

Cons
  • No messaging available

  • Can be time-consuming and overwhelming to look for a therapist given the volume

Overview 

Thriveworks was established in 2008 with the mission of helping people live happy and successful lives through better mental healthcare. In addition to services to treat anxiety, depression, stress, delusions, and panic attacks, one of the most notable services it offers is online family counseling to address issues that impact the family unit, such as connecting with other family members, establishing healthy boundaries, and developing empathy for each other.

Efficiency and responsiveness are at the forefront of the Thriveworks service model: Calls to support teams are answered in under a minute, and if you pay for a membership, therapists or psychiatrists are available by phone or email between sessions. Thriveworks has a number of clinics that can schedule an immediate session. You'll schedule appointments by calling the company, visiting an in-person clinic, or signing up online. Therapy sessions are between 50 and 60 minutes long. 

Thriveworks accepts insurance; our user survey showed that 33% of therapy seekers value insurance acceptance as one of the most important factors allowing them to participate in therapy. If you use insurance for therapy, the out-of-pocket cost is just a copay. Without insurance, fees range from $60 to $130 per session.

In addition to the monthly subscription fee of $39.99, which gets you access to the portal and the ability to message your therapist 24/7, online and in-person family therapy at Thriveworks costs $0 to $99 per 50- to 60-minute session, depending on whether it's covered by insurance. The company accepts most major insurance carriers, such as Blue Cross, Anthem, Optum, UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and many others. This can vary by location and by provider. You can pay per session, which provides access to a counselor between sessions by phone and email and allows for a flexible 23.5-hour cancellation policy. If you don't cancel in time, you pay a no-show fee (though the website doesn’t make it obvious what that cost is). There are no free consultations or assessments.

Thriveworks has proven success; 90% of users surveyed rated their overall experience positively and 78% said all or most of their needs were met by their provider. That said, only 52% felt they would still be seeing their therapist six months from now. Forty-five percent said they are very likely to recommend Thriveworks to a friend.

02 of 08

Teen Counseling

Teen Counseling Review

Key Specs

Price: $60 to $90 per week (billed every four weeks)

Insurance Accepted?: No

Platforms: Desktop, mobile (with accommodations for disabled users)

Why We Chose It 

Teen Counseling is the best online family therapy service for families with kids ages 13 to 19, Teens can discuss issues related to self-esteem, depression, bullying, anger, eating disorders, or any other mental-health challenges.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Teen is matched with one therapist for continuity

  • Messaging available between teen and therapist 24/7

  • Choice of format: live chat, messaging, phone, or video

  • Able to cancel anytime

Cons
  • Not covered by insurance

  • Not for teens in an urgent crisis or emergency situation

  • Automatically charges your credit card each week

Overview 

Teen Counseling is an online therapy company, founded in 2015, which is owned and operated by the therapy platform BetterHelp. It offers online, on-demand therapy for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19. 

Sign-up is easy, and after providing payment and contact details, the site offers a number of providers to choose from based on their biography, specialties, clinical approaches, and availability. Therapy sessions are 30 minutes long, and clients can choose the method of communication: exchanging text messages, chatting on a live text platform, speaking over the phone, or video conferencing. Customers appreciate that prior to each session, there’s an option to decide whether it will be the teen and parent who will speak to the therapist, just the parent, or just the teen. If both parent and teen are joining the session, then they can choose chat, video, or phone for their session. 

Teen Counseling does not accept insurance; instead, it offers a  subscription for $60 to $90 per week that includes a weekly live virtual therapy session and unlimited messages. The exact weekly amount is not known until a user signs up, and is dependent on the user’s preferences, location, and needs. Users can cancel anytime.

Online family counseling at Teen Counseling costs $60 to $90 per week (billed monthly). The company does not accept insurance. No free consultation or assessment is offered.

According to our survey, 70% of users found Teen Counseling to be a good value for money, and 49% felt the service was affordable. Only 30% of users felt their teen would still be seeing their therapist six months from the survey date. Still, 85% felt their experience with the company was overall good to excellent.

03 of 08

Talkspace

Talkspace logo

Key Specs

Price: $276 to $396 per month

Insurance Accepted?: Yes

Platforms: Desktop, mobile

Why We Chose It

Talkspace is the premiere app-based therapy service, offering both therapy and medication management all in one place. With the Talkspace app, users can access family therapy any time they want.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Cancel anytime

  • New users choose from three therapists upon matching

  • Easy to change therapists if needed

Cons
  • Not covered by Medicare or Medicaid

  • Does not diagnose all mental health conditions

Overview

Talkspace is the best app-based therapy service offering family counseling. It was founded in 2012 by Roni and Oren Frank, a married couple, with the mission to make high-quality therapy more accessible and affordable for all. In the past decade, the business has grown to allow users to send text, video, or voice messages to their therapist 24/7. The duo has led Talkspace to many milestones, including the company's listing on Nasdaq in 2021.

The enrollment process is easy. The first step is to create an account, followed by speaking to a licensed mental health professional who will conduct a private intake. After the consultation, Talkspace matches users with several therapists, which they can then choose from or ask for a different match.

Talkspace family therapists offer a few treatment models, including Bowenian therapy, structural therapy, systemic therapy, and strategic therapy. The app-based messaging on this platform is ideal for users who want to communicate with their therapist between sessions; the average wait time for message responses is about three hours. Users really appreciate having the option to send unlimited messages to their therapist five days a week as part of their subscription plan.

Online family therapy costs $276 to $396 per month at Talkspace. While insurance is accepted, Medicaid and Medicare are not. You can also pay with a flexible spending account (FSA) or health spending account (HSA). No free consultations or assessments are available. 

There are three plan options to choose from:

  • Unlimited messaging therapy plus: $276 a month for unlimited text, video, and audio messaging 5 days a week
  • Unlimited messaging therapy premium: $316 a month for unlimited text, video, and audio messaging five days a week and one live 30-minute therapy session a month
  • Unlimited messaging therapy ultimate: $396 a month for unlimited text, video, and audio messaging five days a week and four live 30-minute therapy sessions a month

Eighty-two percent of users said Talkspace’s website was easy or very easy to use. Eighty-three percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options provided by Talkspace. Eighty-two percent of Talkspace users said they were likely or very likely to recommend the company to a friend.

04 of 08

Little Otter

Little Otter

Key Specs

Price: $200 per session

Insurance Accepted?: No

Platforms: Desktop, mobile

Why We Chose It 

Little Otter aims to increase mental health care access for children under the age of 14. It offers a holistic approach to providing care that involves the whole family, including parents, grandparents, and siblings.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Discounted bundle sessions available

  • Provides family therapy support for children under 14

  • Comprehensive blog on health and parenting topics

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Does not accept insurance

  • Not offered nationwide (11 states currently)

Overview 

Little Otter is the best family therapy service available for those with children under the age of 14. It was founded in 2020 by mother-daughter duo Rebecca Egger and her child psychiatrist mother, Helen Egger, MD. There was a personal motivation behind founding the company: Dr. Egger’s son was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, which made her realize that she wanted to create a platform that could help other families get care, too.

Signing up for Little Otter is straightforward. Once you sign up, an assigned care lead conducts a 30-minute Zoom call. This therapist will then establish what type of treatment your family needs. Users may face difficulty changing their assigned therapist and are encouraged to try a minimum of four sessions with the therapist before switching. Patients appreciated the user-friendliness of the website and that the company offers free assessments and toolkits.

Little Otter is only in-network with one insurance provider: Kaiser Permanente, and a local clinic pre-authorization is required before signing up with this insurance. Other costs may be covered by some insurance plans as out of network, but it depends on the plan and provider.

Online family counseling at Little Otter costs $90 for the welcome session, then $200 for one 45-minute session. You may also buy bundled sessions for $540 for assessment and 3-session bundle ($180 per 45-minute session) or $2,040 for a 12-session bundle ($170 per session). The only insurance accepted is Kaiser Permanente, and there are no free consultations or assessments.

Seventy-five percent of users reported a good to excellent experience overall with Little Otter, while 70% said their therapist met all or most of their needs. Additionally, 65% of users were satisfied with the therapist options provided on Little Otter. Fifty-eight percent said they would recommend Little Otter to friends and family.

05 of 08

Octave

Octave

Key Specs

Price: $190 to $275 per session

Insurance Accepted?: Yes

Platforms: Desktop

Why We Chose It

For families with adult children, Octave is a modern therapy practice creating a new standard for mental healthcare that's both high quality and accessible. It aims to normalize family therapy.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Recommends family therapy to complement individual therapy

  • Family therapy can be covered by insurance

  • Providers speaking different languages available

Cons
  • Does not treat anyone under 18

  • Only available in six states and Washington, D.C.

Overview

Octave is a leading family therapy provider for adults that specializes in helping family members work through emotional and mental challenges to learn how to communicate better. Octave aims to create better inter-family communication dynamics by focusing on issues that impact the family unit. 

It was founded in 2018 by Sandeep Acharya, the former head of strategy for One Medical. In 2022, Octave partnered with a fourth major insurance company to meet the growing need of mental health services in California.

Starting therapy at Octave begins with an initial intake, then you choose a therapist who is the right fit for your needs. Octave recommends using family therapy alongside individual therapy with another provider, though standalone family therapy is available. The family therapy sessions include you and at least two other adults, who will work together with your therapist to design a care plan that the therapist will then track and measure your progress on. Children or teenagers are not allowed to participate in family therapy.

Users appreciate that many Octave providers are members of marginalized communities and specialize in treating racial trauma and LGBTQIA+ issues.

Online family therapy costs $190 to $275 per session. Insurance is accepted, but only from a few carriers. No free consultations or assessments are available.

Fifty-four percent of users found Octave’s website easy or very easy to navigate. Eighty-two percent of users said their provider met all or most of their needs. Seventy-one percent of users reported a good to excellent overall experience with Octave.

06 of 08

Lifestance

LifeStance Health

Key Specs

Price: $75 to $300 per session, if paying out of pocket

Insurance Accepted?: Yes

Platforms: Desktop

Why We Chose It 

LifeStance Health is a national team consisting of medical professionals, psychiatrists, and licensed therapists that provides mental health treatment services for patients of all ages, both virtually and in person.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Straightforward sign-up process

  • Same-day telehealth appointments offered

  • Referral process available

Cons
  • Prices on the expensive side

  • Finding a therapist that matches your needs can be cumbersome

Overview

LifeStance Health is the best option for parent-child therapy because it offers health care services to families with a variety of different concerns. LifeStance Health was cofounded in 2017 by seasoned healthcare executives Michael Lester, Danish Qureshi, and Gwen Booth. Four years later, LifeStance became a publicly traded company.

LifeStance offers services in every state except Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

Signing up is straightforward and easy. Therapy sessions are 45 minutes long, though a therapist has the discretion to lengthen the meeting. LifeStance offers child-parent relationship therapy (to help children aged 3 to 8) or child and adolescent therapy. In addition to therapy, medication management and psychiatry services are also available.

Customers do complain about the company’s billing methods being non-transparent; LifeStance also does not disclose costs upfront, which many customers find frustrating. Users do appreciate the LifeStance Health podcasts available on the website with informative and engaging conversations.

Online family counseling costs $75 to $300 per session when paying out of pocket. Most commercial insurance plans in states where it offers services are accepted. No free consultation or assessments are available.

Seventy percent of users said they were satisfied with the therapist options, with 73% saying the therapists met all or most of their needs. Eighty-percent said their overall satisfaction with Lifestance was good to excellent.

07 of 08

Kip Therapy

Kip

Key Specs

Price: $95 to $250 per session

Insurance Accepted?: No

Platforms: Desktop, mobile

Why We Chose It

Kip Therapy’s mission is to “help you find your place in the world” and for this reason, it is the best option for LGBTQIA+ individuals who are seeking support.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Same-day or next-day appointments available

  • Inclusive and sensitive to each individual’s needs

  • Choose your own therapist

Cons
  • Therapists only licensed to treat in New York

  • Expensive

  • No insurance accepted

Overview

Kip Therapy is the best option for LGBTQIA+ individuals interested in working through issues related to their LGBTQIA+ identity, or who simply want to seek therapy with their family to reach a better place. Clients can be confident that their therapist will provide understanding, affirming care. 

Kip was founded by Ryan Kull, Ph.D., an educator and therapist with over 20 years of experience focused on sexual orientation and gender identity issues. The practice was operating as a traditional in-person practice in New York, but the company moved its services online when the pandemic hit. Kip prides itself on having a culturally sensitive staff that understands the needs of the diverse individuals it serves.

Therapy sessions are 45 minutes long. Kip Therapy does not accept insurance. You are charged per session, though you can cancel service anytime. Despite the steep prices, overall, users said the services were good or excellent, and helped them to achieve their goals.

Online family therapy costs $95 to $250 per session at Kip. While insurance is not accepted, a receipt is available to request reimbursement from your insurance provider. No free consultations or assessments are offered.

Of the users surveyed, 72% felt the qualifications of the therapist they were matched with were good to excellent, with 70% saying their therapist met all or most of their needs. Seventy three percent of surveyed users said their overall experience with Kip was good to excellent.

08 of 08

Inclusive Therapists

Inclusive Therapists

Key Specs

Price: Depends on the therapist 

Insurance Accepted?: Yes, by some therapists 

Platforms: Depends on the therapist

Why We Chose It

The Inclusive Therapists directory is an incredible resource for those looking for BIPOC therapists. With over 3,800 providers, there is sure to be a counselor that meets your needs.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Culturally sensitive therapists available

  • Sliding fee scales available

  • Ability to search for therapists depending on need

Cons
  • Unclear which state therapists are licensed to practice in

  • Can feel intimidating to search

Overview

Inclusive Therapists is a directory of therapy providers that centers the needs of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled communities, making it our pick for the best directory. Founded by psychotherapist Melody Li in 2019, the platform aims to help users who identify as a member of one or more of these underrepresented communities find a culturally sensitive and compassionate therapist to help serve their needs.

Because the directory encompasses thousands of providers, it is difficult to ascertain therapy session costs; these vary by provider, and some offer sliding fee scales and/or financial assistance. Generally, most providers accept insurance, but this is also specific to each provider.

Users appreciate being paired with a therapist who is able to understand their struggles without microaggressions or racism. Users also like how some practitioners incorporate yoga or breathwork into their treatments, offering a holistic approach to improving mental health.

Because Inclusive Therapists is a directory, prices, insurance coverage, sliding scale availability, and free assessments all depend on the therapist.

Sixty-seven percent of surveyed users said they were able to find a therapist who met their needs at Inclusive Therapy. Fifty-seven percent said it would be likely to very likely that they’d still be using their therapist they found six months from now. Overall, 81% of users rated the therapists’ qualifications good or very good and reported being satisfied with the therapist options.

Final Verdict

There are many virtual family counseling services available, but when considering factors like pricing, insurance, value, and user satisfaction, Thriveworks stands out. Thriveworks is also a one-stop spot for the entire family’s mental-health needs. You can work individually or as a family, and work with a doctor for prescriptions and medication management if that's something you need. 

If you are looking for diversity or a large selection of therapists to choose from, the Inclusive Therapists directory has a large pool of therapists both within and affirming of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled communities. You will also have the option to find a therapist who will meet your budget and insurance needs.

Compare the Best Online Family Therapy

Company Name Price Insurance Accepted  Platforms 
Thriveworks Best Overall Monthly subscription $39.99; per-session cost depends on insurance Yes Desktop, mobile
Teen Counseling Best for Families With Teens $60 to $90 per week (billed every four weeks) No Desktop, mobile (accommodations for disabled users)
Talkspace Best App-Based Therapy $276 to $396 per month Yes Desktop, mobile
Little Otter Best for Families With Small Children $200 per session No Desktop, mobile
Octave Best Family Therapy for Adults $190 to $275 per session Yes Desktop
LifeStance Health Best for Parent-Child Therapy $75 to $300 per session if paying out of pocket Yes Desktop
Kip Therapy Best for LGBTQIA+ Affirming Therapy $95 to $250 per session No Desktop, mobile
Inclusive Therapists Best BIPOC Therapist Directory Depends on the therapist Yes, by some therapists Depends on the therapist

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Family Therapy 

Choosing an online family counselor can feel like an intimidating experience, especially if you are not sure where to start. Some families may be seeking child-parent therapy to assist their child with issues related to body image, body dysmorphia, or self-esteem. Families who belong to the BIPOC community may be attempting to break free from social stigmas related to mental health and normalize seeking its treatment. Others may be seeking family therapy to help their teen feel more independent and reassured as they make the transition to adulthood. Whatever the reason, we can help you choose the online family therapy service that is the best fit for you and your loved ones.

How Do I Choose Online Family Therapy?

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing which online therapy is best. These include:

Price: Consider your insurance options and budget ,then decide if subscription or pay-per-session options are better. If your budget is a major barrier, look for services that offer financial assistance and/or sliding-scale pricing.

Needs: Are you looking for certain issues to be addressed? For example, maybe you need medication management and psychiatry treatment; not all companies provide these services. If you have adult children, only certain providers support family therapy with adults. Clearly outline what your needs are.

Schedule: Scheduling virtual sessions might be the easiest if you are always on the go. However, some providers also offer in-person sessions. Schedule what works best for you and your family depending on everyone’s schedule. Some providers even have availability for weekends and evenings.

Location: Ensure that the provider you choose is licensed to treat patients in your state of residence. Not all providers are available nationwide. 

Method of communication (chat system, text messaging, phone call, video call, etc.): Depending on the provider or company, the way therapy is delivered might differ. Some providers give a hybrid approach (i.e. virtual sessions and text messaging). Figure out what works best. Sometimes that may mean trying one method and realizing it works, or alternatively, trying something and then wanting to switch it up.

Ease of switching between therapists: Make sure that the provider does not force you to commit to only one therapist, and that you have the flexibility to switch therapists if you want. You want to be able to switch therapists if you have trouble developing a good rapport.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online Family Therapy Good for Teenagers?

Family therapy is helpful for all. Online family therapy can give teenagers the tools to better communicate with members of their family, discuss issues they otherwise would not know how to express, and work through solutions to build a better relationship foundation. Also, online family therapy is an opportunity for teneagers to discuss issues that they are dealing with, such as anxiety, depression, identity issues, or stress, with the guidance of a qualified therapist.

Is Online Family Therapy Helpful During Divorce?

Divorce is one of the most stressful experiences a family can experience, and it can deeply impact the entire family unit. Online family therapy is a helpful tool to work through divorce because it can offer healing mechanisms, communication advice, and solutions for parenting disagreements.

Does Online Therapy Have Proven Success in Children and Teenagers?

Yes, children and teenagers have shown to benefit from online therapy because it helps them feel safe and reassured when a neutral third party participates in their discussions. Teenagers can also learn better coping mechanisms through online therapy, which in turn helps them develop greater self-esteem and work through anxiety and depression.

Can One Therapist Treat an Entire Family Unit?

One therapist generally sees two or more children of the same family together or separately, or a parent and child together, or a couple and their adult child together. There are other situations where members of a family unit are seen by the same therapist. If unsure, ask the therapist what the conflicts of interest laws are to be sure.

Methodology 

Our methodology for evaluating online therapy companies is comprehensive and data-driven. We sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users of each to gather both qualitative and quantitative information based on user experience and user data to uniform our selections.

Each company was evaluated based on a number of factors, including price, sign-up process, ability to switch therapists, insurance coverage, client privacy protection and ease of use. The overall cost, value for money, and user satisfaction was necessary to determine which online family therapy companies made this list. These facts are important because they are the driving forces behind why people opt for therapy in the first place.

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